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.
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?