Nourish - Unlock the Secrets of Beautiful Hair with Apple Cider Vinegar
When it comes to natural, budget-friendly hair care, there’s one household item that often gets overlooked: apple cider vinegar (ACV). This versatile liquid is not just for salad dressings; it’s also a game-changer in your hair care routine.
In this post, we’ll explore the benefits of using apple cider vinegar for your hair and scalp and how to incorporate it into your regimen.
The Magic of Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a fermented product of crushed apples and yeast. It contains acetic acid and a variety of nutrients that help to benefit your hair and scalp.
The best quality apple cider vinegar is made from organic apples and is unfiltered, unpasteurized, and contains what is known as the “mother.” The “mother” is a collection of beneficial bacteria and enzymes that form during the fermentation process. It often appears as cloudy strands or sediment in the bottom of the bottle and is a sign of the vinegar’s high quality.
Apple cider vinegar has a wide range of uses, from culinary to household cleaning and even as a natural remedy. Some people use it for its potential health benefits, from aiding digestion through to and helping to manage blood sugar levels. It’s also a popular ingredient in hair and skin care, as we’ll be discussing in this blog post, right about now!
Here’s why ACV deserves a place in your beauty routine:
No. 1 – Balances Scalp pH
One of the key benefits of ACV is its ability to balance the pH level of your scalp. This is essential for maintaining a healthy scalp and promoting hair growth.
The natural pH of a healthy scalp is slightly acidic, typically in the range of 4.5 to 5.5. Maintaining this slightly acidic pH is crucial because it helps create an environment where the scalp can function optimally. When the pH is balanced, the scalp is less prone to issues like dryness, itching, and flakiness.
No. 2 – Removes Buildup
Over time, hair products and environmental pollutants often leave residue on your hair.
The acetic acid in ACV has clarifying properties, which means it can effectively strip away residue and impurities from your hair. This is especially helpful if you use a lot of hair products like hairspray, gels, or serums that have a tendency to create a film on your hair.
Additionally, ACV acts as a mild exfoliant for your scalp. It can help remove dead skin cells and flakiness, which often contribute to buildup over time. By exfoliating the scalp gently, it encourages a cleaner and healthier environment for hair growth.
No. 3- Conditions Hair
Once again, we have to thank the acidity of ACV because it helps to make your hair feel softer and more manageable.
When your hair’s pH is in the right range (typically slightly acidic), the hair cuticles lie flat, resulting in smoother, shinier, and more manageable hair.
Furthermore, ACV helps to soften and detangle hair. This is especially useful for those with long or coarse hair that tends to tangle easily. The mild acidity of ACV helps to smooth the hair shaft, making it less prone to tangling.
And if you’re looking for that shiny glossy appearance, you’re in the right place.
The acetic acid in ACV helps to seal the hair cuticles. When hair cuticles are sealed, they lock in moisture and prevent moisture loss, leaving your hair feeling more hydrated and less frizzy.
No. 4 – Treats Dandruff
Apple cider vinegar is going to be your superhero if you’re struggling with dandruff. Why? Because of its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and pH-balancing properties.
The natural antimicrobial and antifungal properties of acetic acid help to control the overgrowth of the yeast-like fungus Malassezia on the scalp. Malassezia is a common contributor to dandruff. By reducing the population of these fungi, ACV helps alleviate dandruff symptoms.
Then there are always dandruff-like scalp issues…
- Dry skin on the scalp could be caused by dehydration, both external (due to environmental factors like low humidity) and internal (lack of hydration). Both lead to a dry, flaky scalp. Dry scalp flakes may appear similar to dandruff, but the underlying cause is different.
- Skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema also affect the scalp and lead to flaking, which may be mistaken for dandruff.
- Then there’s sensitivity to hair products, stress, hormonal changes, or even simply a lack of proper hair care. Inadequate scalp hygiene or infrequent shampooing can result in the accumulation of oils, dead skin cells, and debris on the scalp, which may lead to dandruff-like flakes.
Certainly unsurprisingly, by now, is the power of the balanced scalp pH. When the scalp’s pH is within the healthy range it creates an environment less favorable for the growth of dandruff-causing microorganisms.
Then, of course, the gentle exfoliating properties of ACV helps to, what do ya know, exfoliate the scalp gently. Dandruff is often associated with the buildup of dead skin cells on the scalp. The mild exfoliation provided by ACV aids in removing these dead skin cells, reducing the flakiness and itching associated with dandruff.
No. 5 – Stimulates Hair Growth
As a result of all of the above, from overall balanced scalp health to the strengthening and natural clarifying properties of ACV, you’re really setting yourself up for an optimum hair-growing environment.
An imbalanced pH can lead to scalp issues such as dryness and dandruff that hinder hair growth. Naturally, a clean and clear scalp is more conducive to hair growth, as is strong, well-conditioned hair. Healthy hair is also less prone to breakage, which helps to support overall hair health and ultimately, the appearance of longer hair.
Finally, massaging the scalp with ACV (as will be explained below) helps to stimulate blood flow to the hair follicles. Improved blood circulation will potentially provide more nutrients and oxygen to the follicles, which may encourage healthier hair growth.
How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Your Hair and Scalp
Now that you know the benefits, here’s how to use ACV as a hair and scalp treatment:
- Dilute It: Mix 1 to 2 tablespoons of ACV with 1 cup (240 ml) of water. The ratio can be adjusted based on your preferences and hair type.
- Shampoo Your Hair: Start by shampooing your hair to remove dirt and excess oils.
- Apply the Mixture: Pour the diluted ACV mixture over your hair and scalp, ensuring it’s distributed evenly.
- Massage Your Scalp: Gently massage your scalp for a few minutes to maximize the benefits. (make sure to keep it out of your eyes!)
- Rinse with Cold Water: Let the mixture sit for a couple of minutes, then rinse it out thoroughly with cold water to seal the hair cuticles and add shine.
- Optional Conditioner: If desired, follow up with your regular conditioner.
How Often to Use It
It’s best to use this treatment once or twice a month to prevent over-drying your hair. Frequent use may lead to dryness and could irritate sensitive scalps. It’s a “Less is more” situation.
Apple cider vinegar is a simple, cost-effective, and natural solution for improving the health and appearance of your hair and scalp.
It helps to balance your scalp’s pH, remove product buildup, and leave your hair feeling softer and shinier. Incorporating ACV into your hair care routine may be a small change nut boy oh boy, it yields significant results. So? Why not give it a try and unlock the secrets of beautiful, healthy hair?
A word to the wise. Consistency is key when it comes to hair care. With a little patience and the magic of apple cider vinegar, you’ll be on your way to a stunning, head-turning mane in no time!
If you have any sort of open wounds or cuts on your scalp, suffer from skin sensitivities, or are simply unsure if this is suitable for you, please speak with your doctor or dermatologist before trying out this technique.
Want some more hair care tips? Check these out:
- Unlock the Secrets of Flaxseed Gel: Your Hair’s New Best Friend
- 7 Ways to Nourish your Hair from the Outside – Part One
- 12 Foods for Strong Healthy Hair Growth
Any questions? Drop into your local Nourish store to chat with our expert team and explore our full range of foods, supplements and skincare. You can also find our full product range in our online store.
*Please note that while we are knowledgeable about our products and nutrition, this blog should never be a substitute for medical advice and attention.
Please remember that you should always obtain the all-clear from your doctor before starting any new supplement plan or diet if you’re on any medication