For most women, hair is like their crowning glory. But maintaining good, long, shiny, and healthy hair is not an easy task. Most women experience some sort of issue or the other, like hair loss, product build, dull hair, dandruff, scalp infections, and split ends.
This is where apple cider vinegar comes in. Apple cider vinegar might just be the solution to your bad hair days. If you want strong, healthy and dandruff-free hair and scalp, we have just the thing for you. Read on to find out more on how to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Hair Growth, Dandruff and Hair Loss.
What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar is made from cider apples. These apples are crushed and the juice that is extracted is fermented in two processes. The first process changes the apple extract to alcohol, after which certain bacteria is added to begin the second process, which turns the alcohol into acetic acid. The sour taste that comes from apple cider vinegar is from the acetic acid and malic acid that is found in it.
Types of apple cider vinegar
Now there are two types of apple cider vinegar that is most widely used.
The first type is unfiltered apple cider vinegar. It is raw, unpasteurized, and organic. It has something called as the mother of vinegar, or simply, the mother. The mother is a cob-web like cloudy liquid that will be found in unfiltered apple cider vinegar.
Unfiltered apple cider vinegar has more beneficial properties as it contains over 30 different enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Health experts always recommend that you buy apple cider vinegar that contains mother of vinegar if you want to reap its benefits.
The second is the filtered apple cider vinegar. This, as the name suggests, is filtered and devoid of the mother. It is simply made with water and the juice of apples, and the mother, as well as different sediments, are usually filtered and removed. This gives it a clear, refined appearance.
Apple cider vinegar uses for hair?
Apple cider vinegar has many benefits, but how good is it really for hair? Several beauty and health experts have touted apple cider vinegar as a hair rinse, to promote hair growth and treat hair loss.
Over recent years, there is a rise in shampoos that have an apple cider vinegar base as well. Most commercial shampoos have high levels of alkalinity. This can disrupt the natural pH levels of the hair. (12)
By introducing apple cider vinegar to your hair, it can restore the normal pH levels, as apple cider vinegar is acidic in nature.
Can I use apple cider vinegar to wash my hair
Till date, there is no direct research that has been conducted regarding apple cider vinegar’s effect on human hair. However, studies have been conducted on the various properties of apple cider vinegar, to support its benefits.
For example, a study was conducted on the antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties of apple cider vinegar.
It was concluded that apple cider vinegar does have antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties, all of which can keep infections at bay and treat any infections if they exist.
Certain hair problems like dandruff and psoriasis are caused due to fungal or bacterial infections. With the help of apple cider vinegar, these problems can be treated.
For long, women have been using apple cider vinegar as a part of their hair care routine. Let us find out how to use apple cider vinegar in home remedies to get good hair.
Apple cider vinegar benefits for hair
From being an effective weight loss solution to treating diabetes, apple cider vinegar seems to be the go-to home remedy.
However, can the same be said for your hair? The answer is more inclined to a ‘Yes’!
This is why apple cider vinegar can be put to good use for your tresses –
1 It helps balance pH levels
Firstly, what are the pH levels? It is a metric used to determine how acidic or how basic a particular substance is. Hair that is too basic or alkaline on the pH scale, tends to be brittle, dull, or frizzy. Apple cider vinegar, in case you didn’t know, is acidic in nature. This can help balance the pH levels of your hair and make it look and feel better.
2. It can help fight infections
Apple cider vinegar has superior anti-microbial properties. This means it is effective in treating bacterial and fungal infections in your hair and scalp, as well as dandruff. (13)
3. Can help with exfoliation
Now apple cider vinegar contains something known as alpha-hydroxy acid. This can help with the removal of dead skin cells on your scalp and further exfoliate your scalp and promote hair growth.
When there is an accumulation of dead skin cells on your scalp, it can block the hair follicles and inhibit the growth of your hair. It can also cause a build-up or crust formation, which is a breeding ground for dandruff and other hair and scalp infections.
4. It has anti-inflammatory properties
The fact that apple cider vinegar has anti-inflammatory properties works well for your hair as it can ease scalp inflammation and prevent and treat dandruff. (14)
5. It is rich in minerals and vitamins
Apple cider vinegar, particularly the ‘mother’, raw, and unfiltered version, is rich in vitamins and minerals. It provides some really good nutrients for your hair, that can promote its growth and keep it healthy.(1)
How to apply apple cider vinegar on hair
Apple cider vinegar is pretty easy to use. You can try these simple hair remedies at home, based on what your concerns are –
1 Apple cider vinegar for shiny hair
As mentioned above, apple cider vinegar can help restore and maintain the pH levels of your hair. Hair’s natural pH levels should be well-balanced. Hair that has a high alkaline level can be brittle, dull, and lifeless.
To treat this, you can rinse your hair with apple cider vinegar. Add half a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a cup of water. Rinse your hair with this after you have washed it clean with shampoo.
You can use a spray bottle. You can repeat this once every week.
2 Apple cider vinegar to remove product build-up
Most of us use a lot of hair products and even if you don’t your hair is exposed to dust and pollution. Apple cider vinegar is effective in removing product build. It has a clarifying effect on your hair.
To do this, you can rinse your hair the same way as mentioned above. However, increase the amount of apple cider vinegar to maybe one spoon for a better effect.
3 Apple cider vinegar for hair growth
As mentioned above, the mother apple cider vinegar contains several enzymes and nutrients that can help stimulate your hair follicles and thereby, hair growth.
To make good use of this, boil a few nettle leaves in a cup of water. Once it has cooled down, add one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Nettle leaves are great for hair growth as it contains silica.
4 Apple cider vinegar to detangle hair
Detangling terribly knotted hair can be annoying. Now apple cider vinegar has astringent properties, which means it can help contract or close hair cuticles.
This way, your hair becomes smooth and easier to detangle. Use a spray bottle to spritz diluted apple cider vinegar along the lengths of your hair.
5 Apple cider vinegar to treat an itchy or sensitive scalp
No one likes an itchy scalp. However, this is an issue that most of us suffer from. Most of the time, harsh chemicals in shampoos, conditioners, and other hair products can result in the itchy scalp.
To counter the effects of an itchy scalp, it is recommended to use apple cider vinegar. To a cup of water, add half a spoon of apple cider vinegar and a few drops of lavender oil. The lavender oil can soothe your scalp. Rinse hair thoroughly. (13)
6 Apple cider vinegar for hair dandruff
More than being a hair condition, dandruff is actually an issue that affects the scalp. A lot of men and women suffer from dandruff. It makes the scalp dry and itchy, and the fact that dandruff is white makes it visible to the people around you.
To treat this, you will have to mix water and apple cider vinegar in a 1:1 ratio. To this mix, add around 10 drops of tea tree oil. You can wash your hair with this mix. (11) (12)
7 Apple cider vinegar for hair mask (ACV for hair mask)
More often than not, your hair needs some tender loving care. It bears the brunt of hair styling products, chemicals, dust, and pollution. If your hair looks dull and lifeless, then it is simply a call for help.
At times like this, a hair mask is the need of the hour. To make a hair mask, take two tablespoons of coconut oil, and add a few drops of apple cider vinegar.
Massage this deep into your scalp and along the ends of your hair, and let it sit for 15 minutes. You can then wash your hair clean.
8 Apple cider vinegar for damaged hair
You can use apple cider vinegar to revive and rejuvenate damaged hair as well. (13) For this, you will have to make a hair mask with honey, coconut oil, and apple cider vinegar. To two tablespoons of coconut oil, add one spoon of honey and half a spoon of apple cider vinegar. Mix this thoroughly and apply it to your hair. Let this sit for 15 minutes, after which you can wash your hair.
You can try these home remedies according to the condition that your hair is in. However, all hair types are different, so if you have severe hair issues, consult your doctor before trying the above.
How to use ACV for Hair Lice
ACV along with Coconut oil can do wonders for your hair. This is probably the best home remedy for hair lice. The three ingredients that you need to get rid of hair lice are:
- Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
- Organic Coconut Oil
- Lice Comb
How to apply apple cider vinegar on hair for Lice
To get rid of hair lice start by rinsing hair with diluted apple cider vinegar. After washing hair with apple cider vinegar leave it for some time. Do not rise the hair and allow it to dry on the hair.
The magical properties of Apple cider vinegar will dissolve the lice ‘glue’.
The moment the hair is completely dry, apply coconut oil on the hair and massage it.
After the application of coconut oil and apple cider vinegar on hair cover the hair with a shower cap. If you do not have a shower cap, you can wrap it up with any fabric and leave for at least 2 hours.
Now is the time to use a comb on hair. With a gentle stroke of the comb, the lice that are already smothered by the oil will come out in the comb. Now you are ready to wash off your hair as you would normally do. (source)
Washing hair with apple cider vinegar side effects
There are many benefits of apple cider vinegar for your hair. You can use it as a hair rinse, it can treat dandruff and psoriasis, it can help promote hair growth and treat hair loss, and balance the pH level of your hair and scalp, thereby restoring shine and lustre.
However, while there is a whole list of benefits of apple cider vinegar for hair, there are a few side effects of using apple cider vinegar for your hair as well.
Apple cider vinegar side effects on hair
We cannot disregard the fact that apple cider vinegar is acidic in nature. This essentially means it is caustic. Any substance that is caustic in nature has the ability to corrode or burn organic tissue.
This, in turn, means that it can easily corrode and damage your hair as well, especially if you use undiluted apple cider vinegar directly on your hair. Prolonged usage of apple cider vinegar can also cause allergic reactions.
Additionally, apple cider vinegar can dry your scalp if used in excess. This can strip the natural oils on your scalp, and stunt the growth of your hair and cause split ends.
It is worth noting that the side effects of apple cider vinegar on your hair take place only and mostly when you use it in excess. As the saying goes, too much of anything can be bad for you.
To limit the side effects and only enjoy the benefits of apple cider vinegar, make sure you use it in moderation. Also, always use it only in the diluted form. The best way to use this is to mix one part of apple cider vinegar with ten parts of water.
Other health benefits of apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has several other health benefits, apart from being great for your hair. Here are a few to begin with…
- Apple cider vinegar helps the body regulate blood sugar levels. People who suffer from diabetes are not the only ones who should be wary of their blood sugar levels. Everybody will benefit from an optimal level of blood sugar in their body. (3)
- Apple cider vinegar is a popular choice for those who want to lose weight. A study found that apple cider vinegar could burn fat cells, reduce the waist circumference, and lower the overall percentage of body fat. Apple cider vinegar can also suppress your appetite, thereby reducing the intake of food, which aids in weight loss. (4)
- Apple cider vinegar is a go-to remedy for sore throat as well. Traditionally, apple cider vinegar is used along with honey and cayenne pepper. (5)
- Pimples happen when there is a build-up of oil, bacteria, and dead skin. Apple cider vinegar can help treat acne and pimples by drying them out. However, you need to consult your dermatologist if you have severe pimples and other skin disorders. Apple cider vinegar’s high acidic levels might worsen your skin condition. It is best to dilute it with water. (6)
- Apple cider vinegar can help treat indigestion and heartburn as well. In some cases, low levels of stomach acid may cause acid reflux. Consuming apple cider vinegar can counter these effects. (7)
- You can treat feet odour with apple cider vinegar. It has anti-microbial properties that can help remove and destroy bacterial and fungal infections on your feet. For this, you will have to soak your feet in a tub of warm water to which you’ve added a few spoons of apple cider vinegar. Additionally, you will also have to take good care of your feet and keep it clean at all times for best results. (8)
Negative impacts of apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar comes with its own set of downsides as well. Because of its acidic nature, it can corrode tooth enamel. This, in turn, can pave the way to a multitude of oral issues like tooth cavities and decay.
Apple cider vinegar can also cause burns on your skin and throat if consumed undiluted, over a long period of time.
Doctors say that people who suffer from hypokalemia should not take apple cider vinegar as it can further lower the levels of potassium in the body. Hypokalemia is a condition where the potassium levels in the body are extremely low. Potassium is an important nutrient for the functioning of nerves and muscles.
Apple cider vinegar can also gastrointestinal issues because of its acidic content. Doctors advise that people who are suffering from gastroparesis should not consume apple cider vinegar as it further delays the rate at which food leaves the stomach after digestion.
To consume apple cider vinegar safely, make sure it is always diluted. Usually, when ingested, it is one part apple cider vinegar with ten parts water. If you experience any discomfort after the consumption of apple cider vinegar, make sure to consult your local physician or healthcare provider. (10)
Where to buy apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is easily available in supermarkets or medical pharmacies. You can buy apple cider vinegar online as well. To reap good benefits for your hair, buy unfiltered apple cider vinegar, that contains the mother. Two great unfiltered apple cider vinegar brands are –
- Bragg’s Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar – Available on Amazon
- HealthViva Apple Cider Vinegar – Available on Amazon
- St. Botanica Natural Apple Cider Vinegar – Available on Amazon
So if you want good hair, you can try incorporating apple cider vinegar in your kitty. However, check for allergies first, and if possible, take the advice of a good doctor or esthetician before you start using it.
Always remember- home remedies are effective and do not contain harsh chemicals. So try to take care of yourself naturally. And Apple Cider Vinegar is a great tool in your arsenal for self-care.