Shimmery, vibrant and soft-bodied hair is something that everyone hopes to have naturally, but not all of us are so genetically blessed with this type of hair. Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a wonderful and surprisingly effective way to lay the foundation needed for the healthiest, most vibrant hair.
After all, what is healthy hair that doesn’t also have the signature sheen and light reflective quality that we associate with hair health and vitality?
It is no wonder so many hair care products consistently use this as one of their biggest marketing points when selling hair products. Every shampoo, conditioner and pomade promises it will give you more good hair days. Here is how using a water and apple cider vinegar rinse (50/50 ratio) can help you achieve exactly that. Related: Should You Avoid Sulfates in Your Shampoo?
The acidity of ACV complements the pH of your hair and your scalp
Many of the hair care products we use today are alkaline, while our hair tends more toward the acid side of the pH scale (Related: Why pH is Important in Your Shampoo). This means that most of the products (especially many shampoos) we use actually open up or rough up the cuticle “seal”.
This seal is responsible for protecting the cortex of our hair where the melanin (color) is. This leads to breakage, rough appearance, dryness and a limp or dull appearance.
The pH of apple cider vinegar is highly complementary to the pH of our hair on the other hand. It helps to restore the pH equilibrium and therefore the health and vitality of our hair by sealing rather than opening the cuticle.
This is why ACV has gained such a reputation for helping rev up shine. Since it helps the cuticle lay flatter the hair reflects the light much better for a shinier appearance.
This results in a smoother appearance, and often it can even help restore the health of the scalp as well since most alkaline shampoos, hair colors and styling aids can also damage the health of the scalp. A healthy scalp often translates into healthier hair growth.
Apple cider vinegar gently removes dulling buildup that weighs hair down
Apple cider vinegar rinses also help to remove the buildup of styling products, dirt, excess oils, and any other debris that happens to settle on it. It has a naturally astringent quality which allows it to easily lift away and sweep up this type of buildup.
This gentle clarifying action results in hair that is free of this excess weight and has more bounce, movement and swing. Because of the natural acids in ACV it also makes your hair feel much softer. These are all coveted signatures of healthy, vital and “youthful” hair. Related: Why Does My Hair Tend to Look Bad Between Washes?
ACV is a natural dandruff remedy and excellent for scalp health
If you have dandruff or an itchy scalp, it is often aggravated by the buildup of hair products and treatments, sebum and debris. Apple cider vinegar helps to break that up and lift it away. It works like this on dandruff as well.
Since it is a natural antifungal, it can also address any type of fungus-caused irritations that may exist on the scalp. The nutrients provided by ACV are also very healing for the scalp and soothing for the itchiness or dryness that often comes with dandruff. These include vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A, several B vitamins, magnesium and calcium to name a few.