Sunday, December 16

The Truth About The Much Touted Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse

A close-up view of human hair on scalp
A close-up view of human hair on scalp (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Mention apple cider vinegar (ACV) in the same sentence as hair care, and most people will tell you that it's a great clarifying rinse to remove buildup of chemicals from everyday use of hair conditioners, straighteners, and styling products. Perhaps, some people had the right kind of hair growing on the right type of scalp because the ACV rinse they tried worked fine on them. There's a sheen and softness to their hair that wasn't there before they had the rinse. Many people, too, swear that through regular rinsing, perhaps every 6 to 8 weeks or when your hair starts feeling heavy, the diluted ACV mixed with baking soda effectively cleanses the scalp and hair of bad mojo.

However, I found two dissenting voices among the crowd shouting AYEs and YEAs. These hair care experts explained the dangers of using the ACV rinse too much or too often.

Heidi W. from The Long Hair Community forum posted a clarifying explanation (pun intended) of why an ACV rinse doesn't actually "clarify" all the chemicals that accumulated over time on your scalp and hair.

Actually, the rinse is applied after the hair has been washed with shampoo and applied with conditioner. So, whatever chemicals have been left behind on your hair are rinsed away by the ACV mix. Because apple cider vinegar has higher acidity, it promotes better pH levels on your skin after the shampoo has washed away most of the natural sebum and disrupted the acidity of the scalp.

Nicki Zevola of FutureDerm cited a renowned dermatologist's warning of baking soda causing skin irritation to the scalp.Although the baking soda is an acid neutralizer, it doesn't work that way when it's solely mixed with water, which registers an alkaline of 9.0 that's much higher than the expected 7.0 on the scalp area. Thus, regular use of baking soda to cleanse your hair could cause more damage to your hair cuticles and leave your scalp dry and itchy.
An alternative way to healthier hair is to choose a pH-balanced shampoo fortified with organic oils extracted from the Jojoba plant or from sweet almonds. Other natural oils good for your scalp's health are Argan oil and Squalene. Most importantly, make a personal resolution to never use hair care products with alkaline in them.

Without a doubt, apple cider vinegar as a folk remedy effectively rids of fungal infections, such as Candida albicans and Aspergillus niger. It's also used as an after-dye rinse to effectively seal the color into the strands and flatten the hair cuticles for detangling curly hair and smoother combing. And so, hair look shinier, feels smoother, and its coloring stays vibrant for a long time. However, ACV must be diluted with 2 to 3 parts of water and applied to wet hair immediately after washing away the excess dye.

Suggested Recipes for the Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse

So, despite these warnings and you're still interested in applying the ACV clarifying rinse, here's a simple recipe taken from a post at the Vissa Studios blog:
Mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda, 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, and 1 cup of warm water to create a light paste. Use your finger tips or a toothbrush to massage the scalp and lightly throughout your hair. Wash out with lukewarm water. Condition afterwards.

Check out the embedded video by Happydimples39 who washed her hair with her own concoction of the ACV rinse. The rinse turned murky after she dipped her head into it and washed her hair.

Apple Cider Vinegar with Mother
Apple Cider Vinegar with Mother (Photo credit: AndyRobertsPhotos)

Incidentally, Heidi W. shared her formula for the vinegar rinse. Mix 1 tablespoon of ACV diluted well in 8 oz of water. She said this is a standard dilution ratio. Increase the amount of ACV, perhaps 2-3 tablespoons, depending on your preference.

However, she issued a warning to "never come close to approaching, for example, 50/50, nor put in100% vinegar, ever" because the high levels of acid in vinegar could lead to blistering and cause a burning sensation on your scalp.

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