Wish your hair was shinier?
Have you noticed some embarrassing flakes on your sweater?
Does your scalp seem to be itchy when it wasn’t before?
Or maybe you’re just looking for a more natural approach to hair care that isn’t so dependent on chemicals you can’t even pronounce?
Perhaps you’ve noticed how many praise what apple cider vinegar can do for hair. You’re intrigued but not quite convinced it right for you.
Well you’re smart to want to know more.
And you’re right. Organic apple cider vinegar (ACV) has a long list of fans who tout an equally long list of potentially beneficial properties – some even for hair.
Can this be a magic elixir or does ACV do more harm than good?
Many inquiring minds have questions just like those.
So let’s work through a list of some of the most commonly asked questions about hair care and apple cider vinegar to see if we can’t begin find out how it can help, hurt or what it might do for you.
Here’s some of the questions:
- What is the difference between raw apple cider vinegar and regular vinegar?
- How exactly is vinegar good for your hair?
- How should you apply apple cider vinegar to your hair?
- Does apple cider vinegar really make hair shiny?
- Please explain how to use apple cider vinegar as a dandruff rinse?
- Does apple cider vinegar dry out your hair?
- Can apple cider vinegar damage hair if left on too long without rinsing it out?
- Does apple cider vinegar make hair smell bad?
- I want to know how to wash my hair with apple cider vinegar.
- Does apple cider vinegar affect hair color?
Now it seems like a good place to start is by answering the question that defines what we’re talking about.
QUESTION: What is the difference between raw apple cider vinegar and regular vinegar?
Let’s understand we’re not talking the vinegar you typically buy off the shelf at the local supermarket. Instead we’re talking the raw, unpasteurized, unfiltered, and organic variety.
Surprised? Don’t be.
Actually the apple cider vinegar you want does NOT look like apple juice.
It is not clear – so you should not be able to see through it.
It’s more cloudy which signals it’s loaded with all sorts of good stuff like raw enzymes and beneficial bacteria.
Okay then having settled what you should use your next question would be…
QUESTION: How exactly is vinegar good for your hair?
If you’ve read anything about apple cider vinegar for hair care, the promise is ACV will do just about everything but wash your now annoying ex-boyfriend out of your hair.
Okay but let’s not go crazy. It’s not a cure all. But it can help certain situations.
For example it can help balance the pH levels on your scalp. Studies have found when those are out of whack friction between strands increases leading to cuticle damage and breakage.
Plus it can strengthen strands too.
Removing product build up is another pretty well known outcome. Not only will you hair look healthier the color will pop again.
Many find it can help control annoying dandruff too. Even when other products have failed.
Which reminds me…
QUESTION: Does apple cider vinegar really make hair shiny?
In a word, yes.
And for a much lower cost than commercial products.
Besides do you really need to subject your mane to even more products? Especially since some shine enhancers may contain ingredients you really don’t want to be putting on your hair.
That’s why those looking for lustrous locks naturally turn to ACV.
Here’s why it works.
Since it’s acidic by nature it will strip away unwanted product build up (think dry shampoo, pomade and hairsprays) or similar leftover residue. Plus it shuts down the cuticles helping make each strand more light reflective and thus more glossy.
It’s a simple hack that will have your hair looking healthier and shinier in minutes. Meaning apply your apple cider vinegar solution, wait 10 minutes, then rinse. Well. Then shampoo like you normally would.
Use vinegar weekly to naturally remove product buildup from hair. The result will be super shiny hair that’s pretty darn gorgeous. And if there’s one thing we all want it’s tresses that glisten in the sun.
Then too for much the same reason it is also Nature’s detangler.
Right. If you haven’t had tangles to brush out after your shower you must have a pixie cut!
So in much the same way that the natural acidity of ACV can help some find their way to shinier hair, the same sealing of the cuticles will cut down on tangles and discourage knots.
But none of that matters if you don’t know who to use it for best results, now does it?
QUESTION: How should you apply apple cider vinegar to your hair?
The best way is probably to show you. The good news is in about a minute from now you’ll know all you need to know about applying this to your hair.
QUESTION: Please explain how to use apple cider vinegar as a dandruff rinse?
Ugh. Spotting pesky dandruff flakes is never fun.
The good news is apple cider vinegar is a great DIY option for eliminating dandruff.
This works on dandruff because of the anti-fungal properties found in ACV which will restore the natural pH levels on your scalp which will discourage further fungal growth and flaking.
Plus the acids and enzymes in ACV can kill bacteria, which can cause many scalp and hair conditions such as dandruff, itchy irritated scalp, even hair loss.
QUESTION: Does apple cider vinegar dry out your hair?
Another great question. Especially for those who get to the point where they may be using an ACV rinse every day. Then suddenly it dawns on them maybe you can get too much of a good thing!
So is there a downside to using apple cider vinegar to make your hair look and feel fantastic?
While this is more of an issue if you are not using the right kind of vinegar, you are wise to be concerned. Because of its acidic nature too strong of a solution can definitely have a drying effect on your hair.
This point can’t be stressed enough.
Which is why starting off more diluted and increasing the concentration if need be is a smart way to go. Anything approaching a 50/50 mix is likely going to be too strong for regular use.
So while there is little consensus as to how much to use keep reading for more on the concentration to start with covered under the recipe to use question.
Along the same lines you may be wondering how long is too long.
QUESTION: Can apple cider vinegar damage hair if left on too long without rinsing it out?
Probably not. Especially with the right ratio of vinegar to water, no, you can’t leave it on too long.
But if this is a concern and to error on the side of caution you might want to rinse it out with cool to cold water which can also add shine.
QUESTION: Does apple cider vinegar make hair smell bad?
Ahh, you’ve actually smelled vinegar, have you? It’s hard to forget the acrid odor.
Nothing worse than having lustrous locks that would make a Disney princess jealous only to be haunted by the strong stench of vinegar, right?
Don’t worry. Pretty much everyone agrees that any vinegar odor from using this as a final rinse should fade away before you finish your breakfast since once your hair has dried any unwanted vinegary smell will disappear.
QUESTION: I want to know how to wash my hair with apple cider vinegar.
If you’re looking for an all-natural shampoo alternative is apple cider vinegar it?
If so how do you go about “washing” your hair with it?
Typically beauty bloggers go about this using a spray bottle to spritz the diluted ACV directly onto the scalp. The idea is to completely saturate your mane (saturate as in drenched) with the mixture.
Then you leave it for 30-60 minutes while covered with a plastic wrap, bag, or whatever apparently to use the heat from your head to help activate the magic.
Does it work? Here’s what one beauty diva found out from her test of ACV as a shampoo substitute.
Okay, while your mileage may vary, it could be this is not an ideal shampoo replacement. But it might work for you.
Still those at Redken, Paul Mitchell Matrix, and Suave etc can breathe a sigh of relief. It seems ACV isn’t going to replace their cleansing products any time soon.
So it would be fair to say that if you’re worried about side effects associated with washing your hair with apple cider vinegar the only one that matters is it may not work well enough. You may find it doesn’t exactly degrease your hair.
Actually no surprise here. While some may suggest you can wash your hair with apple cider vinegar I’m not sure this makes that great of a shampoo.
But that doesn’t mean it won’t work effectively as a rinse.
QUESTION: Does apple cider vinegar affect hair color?
The best answer is not likely. Which is a good thing, right?
Byrdie.com asked this very question and “the experts we consulted agree that apple cider vinegar is safe for all hair types, including color-treated hair.
Apple cider vinegar, while being acidic, is only slightly so—just enough to balance the pH of your hair (and scalp), not strip it.
And because it’s a chelating agent, apple cider vinegar grabs the minerals and metals (mostly from hard water) that build up and dull your hair.”
So there you go. Color safe and everything!
QUESTION: What the best apple cider vinegar recipe for a hair rinse?
Well fact is when it comes to best seems there’s no exact surefire recipe here even though recipes abound.
From what I’ve seen the degree of dilution of the ACV varies wildly. From a 50/50 blend to many points of (much) greater dilution.
Personally I would be leery of anything approaching 50/50 for daily use.
Something more like 1 part vinegar to 10 parts water or 2 vinegar to 10 water might be okay to start. You’d want to adjust the vinegar concentration from there based on results.
Then too the ratio to use depends on your hair. Some things are obvious like how thick your hair is or how long. Thicker and longer may require more concentrated potions.
Other factors, well, not so obvious.
Which is to say the best advice might be to find the least amount of ACV needed to do that job.
As discussed earlier start highly diluted (say one part vinegar 10 parts water) and increase the concentration until you find the magic formula your hair responds to best.
That would then be the best apple cider vinegar recipe for YOUR hair rinse, right?
But if you insist to get you started here are four recipes rounded up from various sources.
- First here’s the simple vinegar rinse recipe from chagrinvalleysoapandsalve.com.
- CoconutsAndKettlebells.com offers their variation of best.
- While magazine elleuk.com weighs in with their recommendation.
- Finally if you prefer a preparation that comes with something like a celebrity endorsement here’s the recipe Jessica Albas uses courtesy of Doctor Oz.
Hopefully with (most of) your questions answered you’ll ready to rush right out to get this hair care tonic to rinse away some long standing issues you’ve had with your mane.