Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is made from fermented apple juice, which contains malic acid, acetic acid, and citric acid. ACV has been preached about for its health benefits by beauty and medical experts alike. While many of its benefits for weight loss and better skin are anecdotal and not backed by strong research, there seems to be evidence for its presumed benefits associated with hair issues.
Below we discuss how it can boost hair growth and help you get shiny and healthy hair.
How Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help With Hair Growth?
While there is no scientific evidence that apple cider vinegar can help your hair grow, incorporating it into your routine may help tackle concerns that lead to hair conditions. Thus it is believed to help prevent hair loss.
Let’s take a look further into apple cider vinegar benefits for hair.
Potentially helps ward off dandruff
While dandruff is not a cause of hair loss, it can lead to hair thinning. The constant scratching due to severe dandruff can scar the scalp and stress the hair follicles, thus slowing or stopping hair growth. Furthermore, dandruff may lead to or be linked to telogen effluvium.
Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial and antifungal properties, making it great for cleansing and removing product build up that often clogs follicles, cleansing the scalp and enabling the hair to grow. The acidity of apple cider vinegar is thought to make Malassezia—or Pityrosporum folliculitis, the fungus that causes dandruff—difficult to develop and live.
Prevents the Growth of Bacteria
The scalp can become infected if fungus or bacteria enter the scalp through the hair follicles or damaged skin, leading to permanent scarring, thinning, and hair loss. Some common infections include scalp folliculitis and impetigo. Not only do they tend to be uncomfortable and unpleasant, but they can also cause permanent damage to the scalp if not treated early.
ACV contains malic acid, a compound that contributes significantly to its bactericide potential. As a result, by using ACV regularly, you can treat scalp infections and prevent them from recurring. This helps you in maintaining the health of your scalp.
Removes Build up
Scalp build up has similar symptoms as dandruff but due to different causes. Build up occurs when sebum, dead skin, hair products, and even harmful chemicals (such as DHT) accumulate on the scalp. This leads to the clogging of hair follicles or an uncomfortable condition called folliculitis, making it difficult for hair growth to continue.
Due to its acidic properties, using apple cider as a cleansing rinse breaks down residue that settles on the scalp, gently removing this buildup and preventing it from returning by balancing the scalp’s pH level. This also helps maintain your hair’s protective layer.
Balances the pH level of the hair
Your acid mantle is a thin, slightly alkaline layer that retains the natural oils in your hair and preserves the overall health of your hair and skin. This acid mantle makes cuticles scales lie flat, giving hair a shiny, smooth appearance and protecting from moisture loss.
The acid mantle typically has a pH of around 5; however, most hair care products we use have a pH above 7, which can contaminate or remove the acid mantle. This causes hair swelling and the scales on the cuticle to open, resulting in frizzy, brittle hair.
As a highly acidic substance having a pH of 2-3, ACV could help balance pH. By increasing acidity and lowering pH, the outer layer of the hair hardens, the cuticle flattens, thus bringing back your hairs’ shine and health.
Potential Disadvantages of Apple Cider Vinegar For Hair
Although apple cider vinegar is good for your hair, it can be drying if you use it too much or if you don’t dilute it before applying it. When used without proper care, it can strip the scalp of its thin layer of sebum that protects hair from moisture loss.
Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse
It is important not to use undiluted apple cider vinegar. This is the simple ACV wash recipe and steps on how to use it:
- Mix a couple of tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar with warm water to dilute it and create a wash.
- After shampooing and conditioning, pour the solution over your hair evenly, working it into your scalp.
- Let it sit for a couple of minutes, and then rinse it out.
- Dry and style hair as usual.
The best approach is to start using the rinse once or twice a week in your hair care routine. This needs to be done regularly in order to reap the cleaning benefits while still preventing dryness.
Last thought, everyone’s hair is different. Apple cider vinegar rinses may not prove to be effective for everyone. The best way to find out if it’s right for you is to incorporate it into your hair care routine and see how it goes. Although the results might not be as drastic, ACV can help you achieve healthy hair by contributing to a balanced and clean scalp, which is essential for the growth of strong, healthy hair.