6 Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar for Your Hair and Scalp
The average woman in the United States spends a minimum of forty minutes a day simply washing, drying, and styling her hair. Over the course of a year, a total of fourteen thousand minutes, or roughly ten days, is spent on a daily hair care routine.
Annually, millions of dollars are spent on products that promise to calm frizz, add volume, and keep hair shiny and soft, some with more success than others. However, these products are often full of chemicals that can be more harmful than helpful in the long run.
Apple cider vinegar has recently gained popularity as a household cleanser as well as a supplement that has health benefits throughout the entire body. Utilizing apple cider vinegar on a regular basis can lead to a number of different hair and scalp benefits. These include the following.
6 Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar for Your Skin and Hair
1. Apple Cider Helps Balance pH Levels
While we may not think of it, throughout the entire body there are different levels of acidity or alkalinity that need to be maintained in order to stay healthy, and the hair and scalp are no different.
The pH of hair is generally acidic, but most shampoos and cleansers are alkaline, which can lead to increased shedding, frizz, and dandruff, as well as increase the appearance of dead ends. Using apple cider vinegar with or as a replacement of your favorite cleanser or shampoo can help to keep your hair in balance. (1)
2. Apple Cider Vinegar Helps To Remove Buildup
Between shampoo, conditioner, and the various other hair products that are used on a daily basis, residue can quickly build up in your hair.
Build-up causes your hair to appear dull, flat, lifeless, and greasy. Build-up can also be the cause of dandruff on the scalp.
Apple cider vinegar works to break down the residue, making it easier to wash out with warm water. Make sure you are rinsing your hair with apple cider vinegar at least once per month to keep your hair build-up-free.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar Has Anti-Fungal and Anti-Bacterial Properties
Dandruff is a condition that many people experience at some point in their lives, but few truly understand the underlying cause of this itchy affliction.
Many assume that dandruff is caused by a dry scalp, but is actually caused by an overproduction of oil and the yeast that naturally occurs throughout the body.
When too much oil is present on the scalp, the yeast feed on oil and dry skin cells, causing more skin cells to shed and often times clump together.
Apple cider vinegar works as an anti-fungal agent (2) to help keep the yeast under control. It kills any harmful bacteria living on the scalp that may cause infection, which is particularly important if there is any broken skin as a result of scratching to relieve dandruff itchiness.
Apple cider vinegar also contains anti-inflammatory agents that help soothe irritated skin as well as help alleviate the irritation caused by psoriasis on the scalp.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar Helps Enhance Curls
Sixty-five percent of women in the United States have naturally wavy or curly hair, but a large number of them spend a significant amount of time chemically or heat-straightening their hair to achieve a certain appearance.
Many women find that their natural curl or wave pattern tends to be uneven and unruly, and hair products that have a large amount of chemicals can contribute further to these problems.
Apple cider vinegar can help encourage your hair to absorb more moisture, and curls that are adequately conditioned are less frizzy and have a more uniform curl pattern.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar Helps Detangle Hair
As anyone with long hair knows, regular detangling is one of the most important parts to keeping your hair healthy and beautiful.
Detanglers work to sooth the hair shaft and cuticle, but many commercial detanglers are full of chemicals can cause frizz and dullness. Apple cider vinegar, particularly when combined with olive oil or coconut oil, is a great all-natural detangler.
After letting the mixture sit on your hair for a couple minutes, immediately run through with a wide tooth comb to remove any tangles.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar Helps to Control Head Lice
Pediculicide resistance has been increasing throughout the world, so there has been a need for alternative solutions to help control pediculosis. The development of new pesticides has become so costly that many companies are now unwilling to pursue new commercial pediculicides.
People with lice have no choice but to resort to home remedies that may or may not work. One solution however, has shown some promise. In one study, vinegar had a significant effect on participants who were infested with head lice, reporting that symptoms of itchy scalp, redness, flakiness and dryness were diminished significantly with just 1 to 3 treatments spaced 5 days apart. (3)
How to Utilize Apple Cider Vinegar to Benefit Your Hair
For best results, apply a diluted mixture of apple cider vinegar and water to your scalp and hair one to two times a week. A ratio of two tablespoons apple cider vinegar to one cup water should suffice.
Depending on your hair type, you might find that adding more apple cider vinegar provides better results. You can also add essential oils to this mixture for added benefits and to cut down on the odor of the vinegar.
After you shampoo or use baking soda as a cleanser, apply the mixture to your scalp and hair, and leave on for five minutes.
Make sure you avoid contact with the eyes and flush eyes with cool water if contact does occur to relieve any discomfort. Many find that apple cider vinegar can replace a regular conditioner.
Many people also consume apple cider vinegar diluted in water for a variety of different benefits. Mix together between one and two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with one cup water and drink in the morning or before each meal.
While the benefits on the hair may not be as direct as applying the mixture topically, you may find that regular consumption of this mixture results in both hair and overall health benefits.
What is the Best Type of Apple Cider Vinegar for the Hair?
Unfortunately, not all types of apple cider vinegar are created equally. While there is a slight price difference, make sure that you are using organic, raw, unfiltered, and unpasteurized apple cider vinegar, as this contains “The Mother”.
The Mother gives this type of apple cider vinegar its cloudy appearance and contains a wide variety of important nutrients, bacteria, and enzymes that contribute to many different benefits.
Apple cider vinegar has gained popularity in the past decades for a number of different medicinal purposes, such as lowering high blood pressure and blood sugar levels, helping aid in weight loss, and aiding in overall digestive health.
While the popularity surge has been recent, various types of vinegar have been utilized for medicinal purposes for thousands of years.
Before you purchase commercial products that have questionable ingredients, try a mixture of apple cider vinegar because it is safer to use and can be just as effective, if not more so, then other products on the market today.