Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has long been used as a natural hair care product to promote healthy hair in both men and woman. Its acidity is close to that of natural hair, it’s a good conditioner and cleaning agent and it’s also an effective germ killer.
As a result, apple cider vinegar uses and benefits for the hair include:
- Vinegar hair rinse
- Hair Herbal rinse
- Essential oil vinegar hair rinse
- Dandruff and itchy scalp relief
- Natural hair loss treatment
- Home Remedy for head Lice
1. Vinegar Hair Rinse
Hair is on the mildly acidic side of the pH scale and has an ideal pH of 4.5 to 5.5, which is close to that of an apple cider vinegar rinse (pH 2.9).
On the other hand, many of the hair care products we use, such as soap-based shampoos, bleaches, hair colors, and permanents are strongly alkaline.
Rinsing with apple cider vinegar will help balance the pH of your hair and remove the buildup that can result from the use of these styling products and inexpensive shampoos.
Rinsing will also close the numerous cuticle scales which cover and protect the surface of each hair shaft. This imparts a smoother surface which reflects more light and as a result leaves your hair shinier, smoother and easier to manage.
Rough hair shaft with open cuticles compared to smooth hair shaft with closed cuticles.
Don’t worry about the slight vinegar smell you will notice after rinsing. It will disappear completely as your hair dries.
Make your own healthy after-shampoo hair rinse by mixing 1/3 of a cup (75 ml) of ACV into a quart (1 liter) of water. You can then store this mixture in a plastic bottle and keep it in the shower for ready use.
If you would like to prepare a smaller batch of this vinegar hair rinse recipe to experiment with, try mixing 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of apple cider vinegar into 1 cup (250 ml) of warm filtered tap water.
Apply the vinegar rinse after shampooing and then rinse it all out, or for extra conditioning, you can leave the rinse on your hair. This natural hair care product can be used once or twice a week or more often as needed.
2. Hair Herbal Rinse
By infusing various herbs into the vinegar rinse, you can enhance different hair colors and condition hair at the same time.
Here are some recommended herbs to use with apple cider vinegar:
- For dark hair:……Parsley, Rosemary, Sage
- For light hair:…..Chamomile, Flannel Mullein, Marigold
- For red hair:…….Henna
- For oily hair:……Lavender, Thyme, Witch Hazel, Yarrow
- For dry hair:…….Marigold
- For brittle hair:…Horsetail
To make your own herbal hair rinse natural hair care product:
- Place 2 tablespoons of the dried herb (or herb mixture) into a muslin bag or tea ball and put in a warmed tea pot.
- Pour 1 pint (500 ml) of boiling water over the herbs and infuse for 2 hours.
- Allow the liquid to cool then pour it into a quart (1 liter) jar.
- Add 1 pint (500 ml) of apple cider vinegar and mix well.
3. Essential Oil Vinegar Hair Rinse
If preparing a vinegar/herb infusion is not your cup of tea, then a faster way to enhance the hair conditioning effect of apple cider vinegar is to add a small amount of certain types of essential oils.
To make a batch, just add 5 drops of the essential oil to 1 cup (250 ml) of apple cider vinegar. When you are ready to rinse your hair, take 1 tablespoon of this mixture and add it to 1 cup (250 ml) of warm water.
Types of essential oils that go well in a vinegar hair rinse include:
4. Dandruff and Itchy Scalp Relief
The acids and enzymes in ACV kill the “bottle bacillus”, a bacteria that is one of the causes for many scalp and hair conditions such as dandruff, itchy scalp, hair loss and often baldness.The bacteria clogs hair follicles allowing dry crusts to form that itch and flake.
For a simple home treatment for dandruff and itchy scalp, apply full strength ACV to the scalp, rub in, and leave on for a half hour to an hour before washing your hair.
For an extra strength natural hair care product, apple cider vinegar can be infused with herbs such as stinging nettle, southernwood, goosegrass, plantain and burdock root all of which help prevent dandruff on their own. Tea tree oil is another excellent natural anti-dandruff ingredient, which can be added.
5. Natural Hair Loss Treatment
In her book Apple Cider Vinegar– Miracle Health System, Patricia Bragg recommends trying the following natural hair loss treatment:
For bald and thinning areas apply to scalp an hour before shampooing- 2 Tbsp ACV mixed with a tiny pinch cayenne powder.
Then before going to bed, mix a royal jelly capsule with one tsp ACV, pat on bald areas and leave overnight.
The following herbs have also been used to prevent hair loss and stimulate hair growth:
Make your own vinegar mixture as per the herbal hair rinse recipe given above and apply it full strength to the scalp. Rub it in and leave it on for a half hour to an hour before washing your hair.
6. Home Remedy for Head Lice
Lice infestations are very contagious and are characterized by intense itching caused by an allergic reaction to a toxin in the saliva of the lice.
If you find that commercial lice preparations are too toxic (many contain pesticides) for you or your child’s skin, try the following herbal head louse treatment described in the Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine that uses all natural hair care products:
- Carefully brush the child’s head with a mixture of 3 parts olive oil and 1 part lavender essential oil.
- Follow this by an apple cider vinegar rinse, 1 tablespoon (15 ml) ACV added to 1 cup (250 ml) water, to unglue the nits from the hair.
- Nits or lice eggs are fairly small and can be pearly to grey in color.
- Then, using a fine-tooth comb, parents should comb the child’s hair meticulously to remove the lice eggs from the hair shaft.
- And finally, wash the child’s hair with a natural shampoo.
Once completed, check the child’s hair every other day for the next 10 days, and if needed repeat the treatment.
Ladies, have you tried any of these uses? Do you incorporate apple cider vinegar into your regimen?