Apple cider vinegar is perhaps the natural ingredient which medical professionals, scientists, eco-supporters, housekeepers and natural hair lovers most agree when it comes to its beneficial use. Many of them have been studied, tested and approved. Incorporating this natural ingredient in your tool box of hair tricks is a must whether you’re transitioning to natural hair or are already natural.
However, let’s first begin this conversation by saying that any apple cider vinegar (ACV) just won’t do! If you want the real deal you can’t go looking for anything other than raw, unpasteurised, unfiltered and organic apple cider vinegar. Why?
Many scientists believe that the beneficial properties of ACV are due to its double fermentation process which elevates this vinegar above others. Made from whole apples, ACV is highly nutritious and contains antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fibre, acids and most importantly the living nutrients (enzymes) which not only give this vinegar its colour and sediment but are also involved in chemical reactions. The several processes other kinds of vinegar go through make them nutritiously empty when compared to ACV. Let’s see what miracles ACV can work on our curly hair.
Dandruff, Itching, Baldness, Thinning Hair
Many scalp conditions are the result of fungi and bacteria, such as dandruff, hair loss or scalp itching. These organisms clog your scalp pores, creating the dry flakes you identify as dandruff and itchiness on your scalp. The acidic pH of apple cider vinegar and the enzymes in it help to kill fungi and bacteria stopping its growth on your scalp. However, if not taken care of, the clogged pores starve the hair of sebum (hair natural oil) which can break or/and fall leading to hair thinning or baldness.
Hair rinse recipe: mix 3 tbsp of ACV in 1 cup of distilled water. Apply on your scalp, leave 30mn – 2h and then wash your hair as normal. Apply a vegetable oil on your hair length while you’re doing this treatment as it can dry your hair.
Restores pH Level
For optimum hair health, the pH level of our hair and scalp should be slightly acidic with a 4.5 – 5.5 pH. This pH level allows the cuticle layers on the hair strand to lay flat giving you smooth, shiny and frizz-free hair. It is also this acidic pH that stops fungi and bacteria from breeding on your scalp. However, many times the hair products we use can change the ideal pH into an alkaline one which results in dry, brittle, frizzy hair and even dandruff and itchy scalp. The acidic pH of ACV restores hair and scalp to its normal pH level with a simple hair rinse.
Hair rinse recipe – Mix 2 – 3 tbsp of ACV with 2 cups of distilled water and make a final hair rinse once you finish your hair washing routine. Read more about natural hair and pH here.
Improves Hair Porosity
Hair porosity can be altered by chemical treatments, manipulation or environmental factors, but it can also be a normal characteristic. The twists, curls and kinks on our natural hair mean that the cuticle layers on it don’t lie flat making your hair more porous and unable to retain moisture. Lack of moisture leads to breakage and inability to retain length. The acidic pH of ACV helps to close the cuticle layers on your hair, improving porosity and moisture retention. If your hair is too porous an ACV rinse will help you. Read more about porosity here and here.
Besides maintaining the pH levels on your scalp and helping to regulate sebum production, ACV can also help you with hair growth. By making a simple paste and massaging it on the scalp, you can stimulate blood flow to your hair follicles, which will receive more nutrients and oxygen that will help the hair grow.
Hair growth recipe: Mix cayenne pepper with apple cider vinegar and create a paste. Massage this paste on your scalp for a few minutes. You can also read more about hair growth here and here.
Eliminates Product Build Up And Minerals From Hard Water
The products and butters we use on our hair and minerals from hard water can create build up and prevent proper moisture retention, which results in dry, brittle and frizzy hair. With time, it will break and you’ll be wondering why you can’t reach your hair length goals. However, clarifying and chelating your hair with an ACV rinse will clear all product and mineral build-up.
Clarifying rinse: Mix 2 – 3oz/85ml of ACV with 500ml of distilled water, apply on hair after washing your hair and leave for a few minutes you can let it hair dry or make a final rinse with water. Read more about clarifying here.
Mineral removal rinse: Mix 4 oz/125ml of ACV with 16/500ml of distilled water, apply on your hair, leave for a few minutes and wash hair as normal. Read more about hard water minerals here.
Improves Hair Shine, Body And Frizz
If you’re tired of trying all sorts of products to get your hair from dull, limp and frizzy to shiny, full of body and frizz free, maybe you should try a hair rinse with ACV. It will close your hair’s cuticle layers, your hair will then be able to reflect light back and will look shinier. The rinse will also remove product build up and minerals giving life back to limp hair and will also improve frizzy hair.
Hair rinse recipe: Mix 2 – 3 tbsp. of ACV with 2 cups of distilled water and make a final hair rinse recipe once you’ve finished washing your hair.
Do you have any other uses for ACV? How do you use ACV? What are your results?
My mother’s best friend used to swear by the method of apple cider vinegar years ago but my mother could not bring herself to try it. I’ll have to show her this article.
She suffered from a terrible itch sensation and had to be really careful about what shampoo she chose and how she dyed. Would apple cider vinegar help this condition?
Hi Chris, ACV is really a miracle worker! from you said about your mother I suspect she was allergic to a chemical/synthetic ingredient in the products she used and using it consistently only made her itchiness worse (read this post to find more about itchy scalp). If she is still using them try to convince her to go for a low sulphate or all natural shampoo (my preference). ACV could help the itchiness but if she continues to use the same shampoo it won’t do much. She needs to change the hair products and read through the ingredients list (here is a little help). Hope you mother gets better! All the best to you both.
I knew that ACV was good for your health but I had no idea how many other ways to use ACV for your hair health. It only makes scense that ACV would also be used to make your hair optimum health just as it is for your whole body. I appreciate your knowledge on restoring your hair health and I wish this information was available to me years ago, before I lost most of my hair. Perhaps using ACV will prevent me from losing more hair as I age. I am bookmarking your site for future reference. Thank you.
Hi Kenneth, although baldness in men is genetic and can’t be stopped, there are things you can certainly do to delay it. With regards to preventing baldness, in the case of ACV it is linked to dandruff/clogged pores that starve your hair from sebum and will then lead to thinning and baldness. If this is you case try ACV. You can also have a look at my onion post which talks a bit more about baldness (genetic).
I haven’t tried apple cider vinegar for the hair before. I like its benefits like removing dandruff and itchness. Commercial hair products are not good for our hair because of the synthtic ingredients in it.
Hi Keye, apple cider vinegar is very good for our hair. If you feel you need to, try it. It certainly isn’t full of synthetic ingredients, just make sure you buy the organic, unpasteurized and unfiltered ACV.
Very nice. I’ll have to try this
Thank you Betty, let me know if you like it.
Well Well I have a healthy site and it looks like I will have to do some research into this. I knew apple cider vinegar was good for the hair but just how good i didn’t know so thank you for your very informative post and bringing it to my attention. The structure of your site appears to be good at it is laid out lovely and very easy to navigate.
Hi Simon, I’m glad the information on this post is broadening your awareness to the benefits of ACV. Thanks for your feedback on the website, I appreciate it!
Very great post. As you can tell from my avatar I am going bald lol. The ACV hair rinse instructions were kind of confusing. When should I put on the vegetable oil? How many days a week should I do the Hair rinse exercise for my scalp? Please comment back I want to know these answers for my hair hahaha.
Hi ChrisJ, it’s great that liked the article. As for the vegetable oil you apply it on your hair length while you apply the acv mix on the scalp. I suspect you have short hair so just apply the acv on your scalp. If your trying to prevent baldness, it can’t be done it’s genetic. You can however, delay it so do it once a week. If your treating dandruff or itching I say you should do it once a week until it clears.
I have been experimenting with an organic apple cider vinegar mix with distilled water and cayenne pepper for almost 5 months. My level of baldness is hereditary and I can honestly state that the hair regrowth has been jaw dropping. I’ve experimented with several mixtures and application procedures. I’ve also been using Vitamen E oil applied to the area to restore nutrients. I am in the early stage of releasing an inexpensive organic product that will be featured within a website, full of my photos taken every 2 weeks to document the progress. It does work and it is much better than invasive procedures and it will also leverage a better appreciation to healthier lifestyle, which in the end benefits all aspects of wellness.
BTW, I started ingesting OACV for kidney stones a few years ago and this led to the positive effects my skin and body experiences since. Balance/dilution is key with water…
It seems you are getting amazing results with ACV. The cayenne pepper must really add a kick to your homemade recipe, which you are now turning into a product. I’m happy you found a way to revert and stall a condition 50% of men suffer from, and the great thing is it’s all done with natural ingredients! Please, let me know when it releases I’m curious about it. All success to you in your new ventures.
I’ve always used apple cider vinegar in my breakfast fruit smoothie. I’ve known about the pH value and I believe I’ve enjoyed better health for having ingested ACV but I’d never considered its benefits to the outside of my body. I’ve learned something from your website and will apply your ACV rinse recipe to my hair to counter breakage and encourage my husband to use it as a treatment for balding. Thanks for the info.
Hi Stephanie, it’s great that you liked the article and have found other uses for ACV.
It’s amazing that the best thing for your hair are natural food ingredients! Science still can’t beat out nature after all these years! Also, I am glad that you explained the difference between a quality product and a poor one and what and why science supports it. Very informative, thanks!
Hi, Brandon! Yes, we can still find in nature everything we need. Amazing isn’t it!? Glad you enjoyed the post thanks.
What a nice and informative article, I really enjoyed reading it! I knew that Vinegar is very good for the health, but I didn’t know the benefit of it for the hair. I will try the apple cider today and see how it goes. I have a question if you don’t mind.
My children are still very young and they are always in contact with other children in school and they get lice all the time. So I was wondering if apple cider can help to remove the lice?
Thank you in advance
Yes, ACV can be used on children although I never did on my children. However, it is more effective at killing the eggs than lice itself. You can use it to remove the eggs and then use some complementary chemical treatment to get rid of lice. If the child only has the eggs, dilute equal parts of ACV and hot water, soak scalp and hair, cover with a plastic cap and leave for 2 hours. I hope this helps, I’m really happy this article was informative to you.
Wow this is a rally cool website and an interesting article.
I’ve heard that shampoo and all those chemicals are rally bad for your hair and I’ve been wondering about alternatives to wash my hair with. This seems like the perfect solution to my problem. I’ve always wanted really nice hair naturally.
Thank you so much for this information.
Hi, Dylan! If you want to minimise the use of chemicals in your hair care you can try these sulphate free shampoos or these no-poo alternatives. I hope it helps. Please be aware that ACV does not wash/cleanse your hair it conditions, regulates pH, and various other awesome things. Anyway, I’m delighted that you liked the information.
I used to have curly hair, even when my hair was dried after taking a shower. Unfortunately, due to dry scalp/dandruff my curls can only hold up when it’s still wet, but when it’s dry it poofs out and straights/waves some what. Will this help to regain my natural hair?
If you’re asking me if apple cider vinegar (ACV) will give you your curls back, I have to say no. ACV will help with your scalp condition dandruff and a lot of other things as written here in this article. The fact your curls seem to be gone can have to do with lack of moisture (or your hair’s inability to retain it), chemical damage or heat damage.
If you don’t moisturise your hair properly and then apply some sort of emollient (oil/butter) to help seal it in your hair will become dry and frizzy, you hair strand won’t clump together forming beautifully tamed curls, and it will become frizzy and unruly. Read these articles for moisturisers, oils, information on sealing and penetrating oils, and the LOC method which for me is the best method to keep your hair moisturised.
On the other hand, your curls can be gone as a result of heat or chemical damage that weakens and “destroys” the outer and inner layers of the hair. If this is your case, you should stay away from dyeing your hair and/or using direct heat. Give your hair a looong break from this, think of doing at least 2 protein deep treatments a month to strengthen it (reduce once you feel your hair is better, too much can also damage your hair).
As for dry scalp/dandruff, I don’t believe they interfere with your curl pattern in the way you’re describing. You can try AVC to address your dandruff and you can read this article here to address a dry scalp.
Anyway, I hope this helps Kobe, as I don’t know your specific hair care routine and practices.
Hey Monica, thanks for the reply! I honestly believe it’s because my hair lacks moisture. Do you think Paul Mitchell: curls full circle Leave-in treatment will work?
Hi, again Kobe!
If you look at the ingredients list of that product the 3rd ingredients is a silicone. These are not bad per se, but you need to know which ones you use and be careful to remove them properly from your hair or they will create product build-up and make your hair dry, limp, lacking in shine and will eventually lead to breakage.
Nevertheless, I believe a leave-in conditioner won’t be enough if your hair is really dry. You need to deep condition regularly (every week or every other week) and find a good moisturiser.
This content is really cool. I have bookmarked it. Do you allow
guest post on your site ? I can write high quality articles for you.
Let me know.
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