Apple cider vinegar for your scalp may not always be the first ingredient that comes to mind. After all, it is a kitchen cupboard staple! However, what people may not know is this ingredient has so many benefits to help you achieve luscious locks. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, healthy hair starts by taking care of the scalp. When you cleanse the scalp thoroughly with a product containing apple cider vinegar, it helps to produce stronger, shiner hair. Ultimately it’s what we all want, isn't it? Let us show you the benefits of using apple cider vinegar for your scalp, in the comfort of your own home.
What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar is a fermented juice, which many people have used for natural home remedies, hair care included, for centuries. One of the main benefits of this acidic substance is that it can help in the removal of scalp build up while restoring the balance of your pH level. Whether you have curly hair, coily hair, or wavy hair, you may benefit from using this ingredient in your haircare routine.
Let's go back to the fundamentals. Your scalp has a natural pH level (the level of acidity or alkaline) of around 5. People who have frizzy or dry hair may actually have a higher pH level, which is why using an ingredient like apple cider vinegar on your scalp can help bring your hair back to a balance.
How Can I Use it on My Hair?
You should never apply apple cider vinegar directly to your scalp or curly hair type, as its highly acidic pH could cause irritation or burn sensitive skin. The best and safest way to use this ingredient, in its purest form, is by diluting it with water to make a hair rinse. You also have a variety of other options on how to use apple cider vinegar for your scalp. The various treatments include:
- Using it as a pre-poo - apply to your hair before cleansing and make sure to really saturate it. For this method, use one cup of apple cider vinegar per litre of water.
- Performing as a final rinse - use as a final rinse once you have cleansed your hair. Leave on for a couple of minutes and then rinse it out. Use the same quantities as before.
- Using it as a leave in treatment - you can use the rinse method by adding the formula to a spray bottle and applying evenly over your head. Leave overnight and cleanse your hair the next day. If you use this method, you should use a much lower ratio of apple cider vinegar to water, just one tablespoon per litre of water.
Whatever method of application you decide to choose, know that apple cider vinegar could lead to a healthy scalp and shinier hair in no time.
Is Apple Cider Vinegar Suitable for Every Hair Porosity?
Before tying a new method or routine to your hair care, it’s always important to take into consideration your hair porosity. Porosity is the hair’s ability to retain and absorb water. Depending on your hair's porosity you may reap different benefits from this DIY hair treatment.
Low porosity: People with low porosity hair tend to suffer frequently from product build-up on their scalp. Apple cider vinegar can help melt build-up away, so it’s a great treatment to clarify this hair type. We recommend using it as a pre-poo in this case, to really support your regular cleanser in purifying the scalp.
Medium porosity: Medium porosity hair is in between high and low porosity types, so it can benefit from all apple cider vinegar application methods. The pre-poo method will help keep build-up under control while the final rinse or leave-in method will tame the cuticles and make the hair shiny.
High porosity: High porosity hair has very open hair cuticles , which means moisture can easily enter the hair shaft but it can also leave just as quickly. The low pH of apple cider vinegar can help seal cuticles, so it’s a great way to trap moisture without letting the hair strands dry too quickly. Use this as a final rinse or as a leave-in to really lock in hydration, tame frizz and boost shiny hair.
How Does Apple Cider Vinegar Differ from Using Clarifying Shampoo?
Apple cider vinegar and clarifying shampoos are two very different products. What clarifying shampoo is specially formulated to do, is remove product build up and give the scalp a deep clean. It should be used every 4-5 washes, alternated to an everyday shampoo such as our Curl Quenching Conditioning Wash or Vivid Tones Vibrancy Shampoo. Using a cleanser enriched with apple cider vinegar like our Wash & Scrub Exfoliating Shampoo, rather than the ingredient in its pure form, allows you to reap its benefits as a scalp exfoliator without the downsides of DIY. Apple cider vinegar can have a very strong scent, but our Wash & Scrub has a lovely fresh fragrance. In addition, we have engineered the product with exactly the right amount of apple cider vinegar, so you will never run the risk of using too much and having a reaction on your skin.
Pure apple cider vinegar, like all DIY homemade remedies, is less effective on its own. It can help melt buildup, rebalance the scalp pH and close the hair cuticles, which helps boost the hair shine. Other benefits of apple cider vinegar include being rich in vitamins C and B.
How Often Should I Apply Apple Cider Vinegar on My Scalp?
Because of the high acidity of apple cider vinegar, it should be treated as a clarifying treatment. We recommend to use it around once a week if you wash your hair every day, once every other week if you wash your hair 2-3 times a week and once a month if you only wash your hair once a week. If you’re not sure how often you should be washing your hair, let our guide break down the best practices.