Does apple cider vinegar help with hair growth? How often should I use apple cider vinegar on my hair? And what is the best apple cider vinegar hair rinse recipe? Learn all this and more in this article.
I have always advocated the use of natural products for cleansing and taking care of your hair. And one of my holy grail products for helping boost hair growth is apple cider vinegar or ACV as it’s popularly known.
In recent times, ACV has become sort of a beauty celebrity and has been used in everything from shampoos to skincare products and even weight loss products.
So what exactly is ACV and how does it work? Does apple cider vinegar strengthen hair? Or is it just fad. Let’s find out!
Related: How To Use Hibiscus For Hair Growth
What is Apple Cider Vinegar: Quick Facts
Everyone is familiar with vinegar as it’s a common kitchen ingredient. But apple cider vinegar is different. Both are made in similar ways but from different sources of carbohydrates.
Vinegar of any sort is formed by fermenting sugars in a carbohydrate source by using bacteria and yeast.
In this process, firstly the Acetobacter bacteria is added to the sugars which helps convert it to alcohol by process of fermentation. And then the yeast is added to the resulting alcohol which then turns it into vinegar, a different type of organic compound.
Apple cider vinegar is a type of vinegar that is formed by fermenting the sugars in smashed ripened apples.
Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help With Hair Growth
There is no direct evidence linking ACV with hair growth. However, it can help deal with several other hair issues and help increase hair growth in a roundabout way.
For example, it’s a well known antimicrobial agent that can help decrease fungal and bacterial growth on your scalp. This can help reduce dandruff flakes, clearing the way for nutrients to reach hair follicles better.
One of the biggest ways apple cider vinegar helps with hair growth is by balancing the scalp’s pH levels.
Most of the scalp cleansers, shampoos, and other hair products these days have an alkaline nature. This can disrupt the scalp’s chemistry causing excessive dryness, itching, hair fall, etc.
So an acidic product like apple cider vinegar can help balance scalp pH and is often an ingredient in low pH shampoos.
Benefits Of Using Apple Cider Vinegar For Hair
Apple Cider Vinegar Can Boost New Hair Growth
Let me get this out of the way, apple cider vinegar is not a hair growth tonic like minoxidil. So you can’t expect it to suddenly boost hair growth.
It however, does remove a lot of obstacles to hair growth and reduces factors that contribute to hair loss.
For example, it’s good for clarifying your scalp and removing product buildup.
This buildup can prevent nutrients from other hair growth products from reaching hair follicles and can lead to issues like dandruff and scalp acne that cause hair loss.
So by removing hair loss-causing scalp issues, ACV can help boost new hair growth.
Another great way ACV can help improve new hair growth is by making sure the pH levels of the scalp are balanced.
This provides a healthy environment for the hair follicles prompting them to enter their growth phase early.
It Can Help Reduce Dandruff And Scalp Build-Up
Apple cider vinegar is acidic in nature which means that it can function as a chemical exfoliator on your hair.
So if you have dandruff flakes on your scalp and a lot of buildup thanks to excessive hair styling products then using an apple cider vinegar can clarify your scalp.
In a similar vein, this substance is great for controlling excess oil on your scalp as it helps clear out the sebum from hair follicles too and prevents them from getting clogged.
Using Apple Cider Vinegar Can Get Back Your Hair Texture
The acidic nature of apple cider vinegar can help smoothen hair cuticles. It also helps remove a lot of dirt, buildup and grime from strands that can weigh your hair down, causing it to appear limp.
So if you want to regain your natural hair texture (especially natural curly hair) you can use an apple cider vinegar rinse.
It Helps Keep Scalp Infections And Itchiness At Bay
The antimicrobial properties of apple cider vinegar have long been proved by scientific research. So it’s not a far stretch to assume that ACV can help combat fungal and bacterial infections on the scalp as well.
By reducing these infections ACV can help with conditions like itching, redness on the scalp, inflammation, fungal dandruff, and more.
It can also help remove dead skin cells and flakes caused by dandruff. However, there is no direct study that proves that apple cider vinegar works specifically on scalp conditions.
Apple Cider Vinegar Smoothens Hair Cuticles Reducing Frizz
Apple cider vinegar is also helpful in smoothening hair cuticles and helping knots and tangles slip out easily.
This helps reduce hair breakage and frizz. By smoothening hair cuticles ACV also provides a smooth surface area for light to reflect off, increasing the “shine”on your hair.
How To Use Apple Cider Vinegar For Hair
There are several ways you can use apple cider vinegar on your hair. But first, you need to dilute it with water in a ratio of 1:1. After this, you can use apple cider vinegar in the following ways:
As a hair rinse: You can use this ACV mixture after you’ve shampooed and conditioned your hair. This helps smoothen hair cuticles and adds shine to your tresses.
Mix it with your shampoo: If you’re suffering from mild dandruff or want a pH balancing shampoo, you can add ACV to your shampoo bottle and mix well to create a new cleanser.
Use it as a hair mask ingredient: If you don’t want to mess with your expensive shampoos, you can simply make a DIY hair mask with apple cider vinegar along with other ingredients like coconut oil, yogurt, egg whites, aloe vera, and even coffee grounds.
Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse Recipe
If you want to make your own ACV hair rinse at home, you can follow these steps.
First of all, you need to buy good quality, organic apple cider vinegar. Next take a clean, empty plastic bottle and pour 2-4 tablespoons of ACV in the bottle as per your requirements.
Next, add about 400ml or about 16 ounces of clean, cool water to the bottle and shake well.
You should use this mixture after you have shampooed and conditioned your hair. Just tilt your head back and pour the liquid over your hair and scalp.
Make sure you do it in a way that prevents the ACV from getting into your eyes as this can cause irritation.
Do not rinse this mixture from hair and scalp immediately. Let it rest for a few minutes (I’d suggest about 1-2 minutes, at least) and then wash off with loads of water.
Pro Tip: Use cool or even slightly cold water to rinse off your hair in the final step. Cold water helps close hair cuticles, leaving your hair looking smoother and adding more shine.
Is Apple Cider Vinegar Safe: Things You Should Know
Apple cider vinegar is 100 percent natural and generally safe to use on hair and scalp. There is no research indicating that ACV has side effects when used on hair.
However, you need to be careful about how you use apple cider vinegar. This is because ACV is technically just acetic acid.
And using too much of acidic substance on your scalp can disrupt the scalp pH balance. Too much of an acidic substance can also worsen dryness and irritate very sensitive scalp skin.
So it’s always best to dilute ACV before using it. I suggest using apple cider vinegar with water in the ratio 1:1.
That is, for every one part of apple cider vinegar you add an equal amount of water before you use it in any shape or form on hair.
It should also go without saying that you should be careful with accidentally touching eyes with ACV.
This can irritate your eyes and cause a slight burning sensation. You should, in this case, immediately rinse with running water.
To sum things up… Yes, apple cider vinegar can indeed help boost hair growth. It firstly helps remove debris from the scalp, helping nutrition and external hair growth tonics reach the hair follicles better.
Some research also suggests that ACV can improve blood circulation to your scalp, improving the reception of nutrients and oxygen by the bulbs of the hair follicles.
There are other benefits of using apple cider vinegar on your hair. The reduction of dandruff, restoration of scalp’s pH levels and smoothening of hair cuticles being the top most.
You can make an ACV hair rinse at home by mixing equal amounts of water and apple cider vinegar.
If not, there are several ACV products like hair rinses and shampoos that you can buy from a store.