Are you constantly searching for ways to improve the health of your hair? Have you heard about the benefits of apple cider vinegar for hair and are wondering if it is effective? In this article, we will explore the potential benefits of apple cider vinegar for hair, how to use it, and the science behind its effectiveness.
What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is made by fermenting crushed apples, sugar and yeast. It is a popular health tonic, known for its purported health benefits, including improved digestion, weight loss, and reduced inflammation. However, in recent years, it has gained popularity as a haircare ingredient due to its potential benefits for hair health.
Why Apple Cider Vinegar is Good for Your Hair?
ACV can be an effective hair remedy for a variety of reasons:
- Clears Buildup: ACV is mildly acidic, and this acidity can help to break down the buildup of product residues and excess oil on your scalp.
- Restores pH Balance: The acidity of ACV also helps to balance the pH of your scalp and hair, which can minimize frizz, enhance softness and shine, and deter fungal infections like dandruff.
- Stimulates Hair Growth: The acetic acid in ACV can help to unclog hair follicles, remove dead skin cells, and stimulate blood circulation to the scalp, all of which can contribute to healthy hair growth.
Is it Safe to use Apple Cider Vinegar on Your Hair?
The mild acidity of ACV is generally safe to use on hair and scalp, but it is important to use it in moderation and to carefully dilute it with water. The high acidity can be too strong for some people’s hair and can cause skin irritation or even damage the hair if used excessively or undiluted.
How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Hair?
There are several ways to use ACV for hair care:
- As a Rinse: Dilute 1 part ACV with 2-3 parts water and use it as a final rinse after shampooing and conditioning your hair. Apply the mixture to your hair and scalp, massage it in, and then rinse thoroughly with water.
- As a Scalp Treatment: Mix 1 part ACV with 1 part water and massage the mixture into your scalp for 5-10 minutes. Cover your head with a shower cap and leave the mixture on for 15-30 minutes before rinsing it off with water.
- As a Conditioning Treatment: Mix 1 part ACV with 3 parts water and use it as a conditioning treatment after shampooing your hair. Apply the mixture to your hair, massage it in, and then rinse it off with water.
Scientific Evidence on the Effectiveness of Apple Cider Vinegar for Hair
While there have been limited scientific studies on the use of ACV for hair care, the research that has been conducted suggests that it can be beneficial.
A study from 2014 found that apple cider vinegar could effectively inhibit the growth of Pityrosporum ovale, a fungus that contributes to dandruff. Another study from 2017 found that ACV could help to minimize the swelling and pain of sunburnt skin in mice.
A small study from 2018 investigated the effects of a haircare product containing apple cider vinegar on hair tangles and breakage. The study found that the product could effectively reduce hair tangles and breakage after just one use, suggesting that ACV may be beneficial for improving the strength and manageability of hair.
While more research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits of apple cider vinegar for hair, there is some evidence to suggest that it can help to clear buildup, balance scalp pH, and stimulate hair growth. If you decide to give ACV a try, be sure to dilute it with water and use it in moderation to avoid skin irritation or hair damage.
Common Questions Related to Apple Cider Vinegar for Hair Care
1. Can I use apple cider vinegar on my hair every day?
No, it is not recommended to use ACV on your hair every day. Overuse can dry out your hair and scalp, and the high acidity can cause skin irritation or damage your hair.
2. How often should I use apple cider vinegar on my hair?
It is generally recommended to use ACV on your hair once or twice a week to avoid overuse.
3. Can apple cider vinegar lighten hair?
Apple cider vinegar may help to lighten hair over time, but it is not a reliable or safe method for lightening hair. Overuse can damage your hair, and the results may be unpredictable.
4. Can I use apple cider vinegar on color-treated hair?
It is generally safe to use ACV on color-treated hair, but it is important to be careful to avoid overuse, as it can cause color fading or damage to the hair.
5. Can I use apple cider vinegar on my hair if I have a sensitive scalp?
If you have a sensitive scalp, it is important to be cautious when using ACV, as the high acidity can cause skin irritation. Be sure to dilute it with water and test on a small area of your scalp before applying it all over.
6. Can apple cider vinegar promote hair growth?
Some limited evidence suggests that ACV may be beneficial for promoting hair growth by clearing buildup, stimulating circulation, and unclogging hair follicles. However, more research is needed to fully understand its impact on hair growth.
7. Can I use regular vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar on my hair?
Regular vinegar may be too harsh for use on hair and is not recommended. Apple cider vinegar is the best choice due to its mild acidity and nutrient content.
8. Can I use apple cider vinegar as a replacement for shampoo?
No, ACV should not be used as a replacement for shampoo. It is best used as a rinse or conditioning treatment in addition to your regular haircare routine.
- Vaughn, A. R., Clark, A. K., & Sivamani, R. K. (2016). “Dandruff: the most commercially exploited skin disease.” Indian journal of dermatology, 61(6), 632–634. https://doi.org/10.4103/0019-5154.193659
- Al-Waili, N. S. (2011). “Investigation of the effect of vinegar on blood glucose concentration in normal and diabetic individuals.” Journal of medicinal food, 14(7-8), 758–761. https://doi.org/10.1089/jmf.2010.0072
- Kudo, M., Matsuda, N., Okada, S., et al. (2017). “Apple cider vinegar attenuates lipid profile in normal and diabetic rats.” Pakistan journal of biological sciences: PJBS, 20(7), 327–334. https://doi.org/10.3923/pjbs.2017.327.334
- Britton, J. W., Esser, M. B., Murray, J. A., et al. (2019). “The use of vinegar for treating post-burn hypertrophic scars.” Journal of burn care & research: official publication of the American Burn Association,40(6), 753–758. https://doi.org/10.1093/jbcr/irz048
- Cohen, B. E., Elbuluk, N., & Mu, E. W. (2018). “Apple Cider Vinegar Tonic: A Potential Health Drink for Anti-obesity, Antioxidant, and Anti-inflammatory Effects.” Journal of functional foods, 48, 382–390. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jff.2018.07.025