An apple cider vinegar scalp scrub just might be the missing piece of your hair care routine. Often high on the list of must-have DIY health and beauty ingredients, apple cider vinegar could be a key to supporting healthy hair.
If you’ve been hearing raves about what an apple cider vinegar rinse or apple cider vinegar scalp scrub can do for your limp hair and itchy scalp, read on to learn more about why it works. Plus, you’ll learn how to get started on making your own scrub or ACV rinse.
What Makes Apple Cider Vinegar (Or ACV) So Effective For Hair?
ACV is often lauded as a potent, vitamin-enriched acidic substance. It is essentially acetic acid — a compound that can help lower hair’s pH levels and potentially help restore its balance.1
High-pH hair may be limp, frizzy, or brittle. Neutralizing it with an acidic substance, like ACV, might help resolve its dull appearance and restore luster. Not only that, apple cider vinegar has some properties that may help with an itchy scalp.2
Benefits Of An Apple Cider Vinegar Scalp Scrub
The acidic, vitamin-packed nature of apple cider vinegar lends itself well to a laundry list of hair and skin concerns. If you’re plagued by any of these conditions undermining your healthy hair, it might be worth considering an at-home spa appointment with ACV.
Ease An Itchy Scalp And Product Buildup
Soothe your irritated, scaly, and/or itchy dry scalp with an apple cider vinegar rinse or scrub. Whether caused by an overgrowth of yeast on your scalp or an accumulation of dead skin cells and residue from other products, apple cider vinegar’s acidic composition may help slough off those pesky flakes and help ease scalp irratation.3
Support Healthy Hair Growth
Considering how ACV contributes to restoring balance to your hair and scalp health, it may also support the hair’s natural growth cycle.4
The exfoliating powers of the acids present in ACV also help stimulate the scalp, and by promoting scalp health, you’re also supporting healthy hair.5
Support Hair’s Smoothness, Luster, And Overall Appearance
When you rely too much on heat styling and an arsenal of other, pH-damaging hair products, your hair cuticles may end up damaged over time. Apple cider vinegar’s acid properties help close and seal the hair cuticle, helping to resolve some visible issues such as dullness, split ends and easy breakage, and frizz.6
Now, it won’t do to just douse your hair with the stuff — it’s still an acid, after all, and you might burn your delicate skin or aggravate any hair concerns you might have.
How To Make A Gentle DIY Scalp Scrub And Other ACV-Based Hair Tonics
From a basic rinse to a more natural, ingredient-enriched apple cider vinegar scalp scrub, here are a few recipes you can try. Make sure you remember to practice caution when using ACV (especially for the first time) and to consult with your dermatologist if you have particularly sensitive skin.
Basic ACV Rinse
This rinse is a simple and easy DIY product to help give your hair a boost — just allot a few extra minutes in the shower to complete.
What You Need
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups clean, warm water
- An old shampoo bottle or spray bottle
- Combine ACV and warm water in the bottle and shake to mix well.
- Shampoo hair as usual, then rinse and towel-dry. Massage or spray the ACV solution throughout the hair, from roots to tips. Let it sit for a bit (say, while you shave your legs).
- Rinse thoroughly with warm water and apply your usual conditioner. Style your hair as you normally would.7
DIY Scalp Scrub With Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
This more intensive scrub offers a deeper clean — with help from a few other favorite DIY hair care ingredients.
What You Need
- ¼ cup Himalayan sea salt (make sure sea salt is ground)
- 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1 tsp honey, Manuka or otherwise
- 15 drops essential oil of your choice
- Optional (but beneficial) add-ins: Aloe vera, ground oatmeal, lemon or lime zest
- Combine all the ingredients in a lidded jar, mixing well. Store until ready to use.
- In the shower, lightly wet your hair and scalp, making sure to squeeze out excess water.
- Rub some of the DIY scalp scrub between your palms then work it into your scalp starting from your hairline.
The coconut oil will melt a little, but don’t expect it to become foamy.
- Gently massage the scrub (especially the sea salt particles) into your scalp. Flip head over to get to the bottom part if your hair is particularly long or thick.
- Let the scrub sit for a few minutes, then rinse off. Shampoo and condition hair as usual.8
Always Exercise Caution
Even if it’s a natural ingredient, apple cider vinegar can be overly-drying if used too often or intensively. Make sure your ACV is always diluted before applying to your hair or skin. If you have color-treated, permed, or severely damaged hair, ask your stylist or colorist if they think apple cider vinegar might work for you.
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