Why is apple cider vinegar considered the best scalp detoxing ingredient?
It seems like the best beauty products are always right in front of you — or at least sitting in your kitchen cupboard. You should never be afraid to try a little DIY with tried and true ingredients. This seems to be true when you want healthy, shiny hair.
You might have tried TikToks' favorite hair hack: rice water hair treatments. Or maybe you decided to make your own banana mask. But what about home solutions to detoxify your scalp? The solution may be in the form of apple cider vinegar (ACV), which is made from fermented apples, and should definitely be a part of your hair care routine.
"Apple cider vinegar is just one of those gifts from Mother Nature that's too good to be used on everything, including your hair," says celebrity hairstylist Michelle Cleveland. But in what, specifically, is it awesome, apart from making a killer salad dressing? In the end, the benefits of apple cider vinegar come down to one word: balance. From reducing frizz to adding shine and exfoliating the scalp, apple cider vinegar does (almost) it all. The hype may be real—but before you raid your pantry, read on to learn the ingredient's benefits, exactly how to use it, and some of the products we recommend.
Benefits of apple cider vinegar for hair
It can balance and soothe your scalp
Hair, like anything else, has a natural pH range - containing a level of acidity or alkalinity - to maintain in order to stay healthy. When it goes beyond this range, due to your environment, product use, design, or other external forces, then you will notice a difference in the look and feel of your strands.
"The scalp's normal pH is 5.5, and the hair shaft is 3.5. Alkaline shampoos and conditioners disrupt the hair's pH balance, causing hair to become more porous and frizzy," says dermatologist Yoram Harth. He explains that ACV has a pH of two to three and can rebalance our pH, seal open cuticles, reduce hair porosity, and make our hair stronger and shinier.
It will remove the buildup
Because apple cider vinegar is more acidic than most regular shampoos, it helps exfoliate dead skin cells and remove buildup from hard water and hair products like dry shampoo. You will notice how easy it is for shampoo to settle into your hair after using the apple cider vinegar product. Since taking care of buildup, hair care products have become more effective.
It's antimicrobial while healing a dry, itchy scalp
Your scalp is host to some bacterial and fungal friends—many of them are harmless—but sometimes they feel a little uncomfortable, causing unpleasant side effects like itchiness and dandruff. "Apple cider vinegar can help balance a dry, itchy scalp by helping to control bacteria or fungi that can lead to scalp and hair problems," Cleveland explains.
It complements your favorite clarifying shampoo
Apple cider vinegar can help reduce excess natural oils at the roots, making it ideal for individuals with oily hair or fine hair. Even better, it's gentler than most clarifying shampoos, so you can use it more than once a week. Says Philip B, hair and scalp expert and founder of Philip B. Botanical hair care.
It can reduce hair loss and repair split ends
Since apple cider vinegar has the ability to effectively balance the pH of the scalp and remove any inflammation within the hair follicles, the ingredient in general works to reduce hair loss. Apple cider vinegar strengthens our strands through additional use and brings more balance to the scalp, thus less stress is placed on the area.
“Most hair colors are alkaline, opening up the cortex and increasing its porosity. Because apple cider vinegar is slightly acidic, it can extend the life and vibrancy of hair color. For best results, apple cider vinegar should be diluted 1 to 8 with water and applied properly after rinsing off the color,” he says. Dr. Harith. So, if you take regular trips to the salon to color your hair, apple cider vinegar is a must to maintain and get the most out of it.