Is an apple cider vinegar hair rinse good for your hair? As it turns out, it could support the health of your hair. How do you use apple cider vinegar for hair? Let’s take a closer look.
Natural Hair Care: What Is An Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse And How Does It Work?
An apple cider vinegar hair rinse, or an ACV hair rinse, is as straightforward as it sounds. You use diluted apple cider vinegar on your strands as a way to rinse away impurities.
But why apple cider vinegar? What makes it good for hair? ACV’s hair-boosting benefits lie in its acidic nature. To understand why acidity matters when it comes to your hair, it helps to take a close look at your scalp and hair.
Why Use Apple Cider Vinegar For Hair?
Your hair follicles are protected by the hair shaft, which is covered in scale-like structures known as the hair cuticle. The state of these cuticles (and your hair’s appearance) is determined by what’s known as the acid mantle. This is a barely perceptible coating of oils that help protect your skin and hair. As implied by the name, the acid mantle plays on the lower end of the pH scale.1
Various factors, including the buildup of hair products which are often formulated to be alkaline in nature, may mess up the acid mantle and affect the hair. When this happens, you might notice frizziness, dullness, and brittleness.
To help restore the hair’s acid mantle, an acidic substance can be used for clarifying hair and to bring it back into a proper pH balance.2 This is where apple cider vinegar comes in.
By restoring the pH balance of your damaged hair cuticle, hair strands may appear shinier and bouncier. An apple cider vinegar hair rinse can also work as an effective natural detangler, since hair strands may appear immediately smoother and easier to style.
Can Apple Cider Vinegar Help With Dandruff?
The acetic acid naturally occurring in ACV contains properties that might help with eliminating bacteria on your scalp.3
If you’re dealing with dandruff, flaky skin, or any other kind of skin issue, always consult with your dermatologist before using any new products, including ACV. And always do a patch test on a small section of your hair and scalp when using any new product.
ACV Hair Rinse Recipe: Ingredients And Steps
You should never apply pure apple cider vinegar directly to your scalp or hair. Undiluted ACV can burn and cause more damage.4 Here is how you can dilute both its potency and vinegar smell, plus more tips on how to enhance your hair rinse experience.
What you need:
- 1 part apple cider vinegar (choose an organic, raw and unfiltered brand))
- 5 parts clean water
- Spray bottle or squeeze bottle
- Wide-toothed comb (optional)
What to do:
- Mix together water and vinegar by adding both to your chosen container and shaking it for a few seconds.
- Spray evenly on hair, working in sections. Use your fingers to work the mixture into your strands and scalp.
- You can comb through your hair to make sure the mixture is evenly distributed.
- Let the mixture sit for a maximum of five minutes, then rinse thoroughly with cool water.
- Wash again until you’re positive you’ve removed all traces (and the smell) of vinegar.
- Apply a lightweight conditioner, let sit, then rinse.
- Dry your hair and style as usual.5
Note: You shouldn’t feel any burning on your fingers or scalp while using the hair rinse. You can incorporate this practice into your hair care routine by opting to do it weekly or even bi-weekly.
To clarify even further, first, wash your hair with a baking soda paste(mix baking soda and water) or add a bit of baking soda to your usual shampoo. This can help remove product buildup that might be weighing your hair down. Rinse thoroughly and then finish with an ACV rinse to restore your hair’s natural pH balance.6
Adding Herbs And Other Ingredients To Personalize Your Hair Rinse
Some believe in boosting the hair care properties of apple cider vinegar by adding some beneficial herbs or other ingredients to your ACV rinse to make an infused vinegar rinse for your hair.
- Lavender buds or lavender essential oil helps soothe the senses
- Rosemary oil or horsetail to support healthy scalp circulation7
- Chamomile and/or lemon juice is believed to boost blonde tones in hair8
- Burdock root to help support scalp and hair health9
- Try rubbing a few drops of pure argan oil into your hands and then applying it evenly to your hair(start at the ends and work your way up) as post-rinse treatment.
Apple Cider Vinegar: Rinse Responsibly
It may take some trial and error to get the right proportions of vinegar to water. You’ll also have to figure out how often to rinse to get the best results for your hair. Ultimately, apple cider vinegar is an inexpensive and easy way to revive your locks and support healthy hair, so why not consider adding this little trick to your hair care routine?
However, always remember to dilute the apple cider vinegar rinse before you apply it to your hair. And watch for any potentially adverse reactions, including an irritated scalp, rashes, or burns. See your dermatologist if you have any questions or experience these issues.