You’ve probably heard about the remarkable benefits of apple cider vinegar for hair. Apple cider vinegar has become famous over the years as an effective treatment for hair loss.
It’s typically the most popular type of vinegar in the natural health and remedy community.
It’s also a popular condiment and healthy food and is being hailed as a home “cure-all” for health and beauty problems despite being under-researched.
Interestingly, it has been used as a natural remedy since the days of Hippocrates – it was used centuries ago by the ancient Greek doctor to treat wounds.
In recent years, people have also used apple cider vinegar as a skin tonic, digestion regulator, natural household cleaner, and even as a potential weight loss aid.
In today’s article, we’re going to explore the various benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar for hair growth.
What Is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar (also called “cider vinegar”), is made from fermented apple juice. Apples are loaded with calcium, potassium, pectin, and malic acid. The fermentation process helps to fortify the end product with even more beneficial acids and enzymes.
Furthermore, apple cider vinegar (ACV) is made by fermenting pulverized or smashed up apples. There are basically two types of cider vinegar; raw apple cider vinegar and pasteurized apple cider vinegar.
Raw apple cider vinegar is preferred over pasteurized apple cider vinegar because it leaves all of the nutrients in the vinegar.
Apple cider was first developed around 2500BC by an ancient nomadic tribe called the Aryans. They called it a soured apple wine – and cider vinegar has been medicinally used for many years for a range of illnesses, including mushroom poisoning, toothache, and dandruff.
It will interest you to know that cider vinegar was used to treat wounds on the battlefield during World War I and the US Civil War. Ancient Persians drank a dilution of cider vinegar to prevent the accumulation of fatty tissue in the body.
That’s not all, vinegar has also been used for food preservation for years, and is still used today as a very versatile product; Hippocrates (circa 400 B.C.E.) was the person that first started prescribing vinegar for a range of ailments and preventive needs.
Why Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Hair?
Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar for Hair Loss
In addition to the benefits already stated earlier, apple cider vinegar can equally be an excellent treatment option for people suffering from hair loss.
Now, let’s look at a few other things it can do to that respect:
1. Restores Hair’s pH
Shampooing and the use of many other hair care products typically increase the pH factor. The human hair is acidic, with a pH factor of about 4 to 6. Interestingly, the pH factor of Apple cider vinegar is 4.
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Therefore, using ACV will help to restore the natural pH balance of your hair, which will also help to maintain your hair’s protective layer.
2. Protects Hair against Bacteria and Fungus
Apple cider vinegar is rich in Acetic acid. Acetic acid is a powerful antimicrobial that can kill fungus and bacteria, which are some of the primary causes of dandruff and hair loss, making it a fantastic natural cure.
A hair rinse with ACV is also an excellent preventative routine – by maintaining the natural pH of your scalp, you’ll create an unfriendly environment for the bacteria and fungus that causes these issues.
3. Provides Needed Nutrients
Apple cider vinegar offers several much-needed nutrients, such as potassium, B vitamins, vitamin C, which are needed for hair growth.
Aside from that, it also helps to smooth your hair, reducing the incidence of split ends.
4. Provides Shine
Applying apple cider vinegar smoothens down the hair shaft’s cuticle. This results in shiny, smooth hair without the frizz and roughness.
To restore your hair’s sheen using apple cider vinegar, it’s recommended that you rinse your hair every Sunday to prep it for the week ahead.
Mix one-third cup of apple cider vinegar with two about cups of water, combined with a little hair shampoo for your first wash, then rinse and condition your hair as usual.
5. Prevents Hair Loss
Since apple cider vinegar is so very beneficial to the composition of your scalp, it also helps for managing and preventing hair loss.
A healthy scalp is key to maintain healthy hair and preventing hair loss. Fortunately, apple cider vinegar will help protect your scalp by warding off bacteria and maintaining a balanced pH level.
For scalp health, it is recommended you mix 3-4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with a cup of water in a spray bottle.
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Then, apply the mixture to your scalp and massage in, letting it sit for around 10 to 15 minutes before shampooing. According to Dr. Jaliman, a dermatologist:
“Massaging will help to boost circulation and stimulate hair growth.”
6. Targets Free Radicals & Reverses Aging
Within the body, there are atoms called ‘free radicals’ which are missing an electron. These free radicals, in order to complete themselves, scavenge electrons from other atoms.
These scavenging abilities result in the degradation of vital cells, including hair and skin cells. This contributes to advance aging, and can potentially lead to hair loss.
Additionally, antioxidants free the body from radicals by donating an electron. With this, the free radicals are “complete” and will no longer scavenge from other bodily cells.
However, citric acid is an antioxidant found within apple cider vinegar. This compound works to target and relieve the body from free radicals, and this protects healthy cells from their scavenging.
7. It Improves Blood Circulation to Hair Follicle
Male-Pattern Baldness, also known as Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA), is the most common reason for hair loss in men (and second most common in women).
For a better understanding of why this is so, it’s essential to know how AGA works.
First and foremost, Dihydrotestosterone DHT is a chemical that is generally believed to contribute most significantly to the hair loss and thinning suffered by those with AGA.
This is essentially an androgen (sex) hormone that is gotten from testosterone with the aid of 5-alpha-reductase (5AR).
People with AGA don’t usually have more DHT; rather, their follicles are more sensitive to the normal levels within their hair follicle cells.
In the long run, this sensitivity results in the miniaturization of the hair follicle and a disruption of the natural hair growth cycle.
Furthermore, as miniaturization takes place, blood flow to the follicles is restricted, which results in poor delivery of oxygen and vital nutrients, and less removal of buildup and waste.
However, apple cider vinegar can stimulate blood circulation. While this won’t reverse hair miniaturization, ACV can equally remove DHT from the scalp and lessen the irritation.
8. It Removes Product Buildup
Scalp buildup is a common hair occurrence, and it occurs as a result of daily living and attempts to taking care of our hair.
Buildup comprises of sebum, dead skin, dirt, pollution, hair products, and even harmful chemicals (such as DHT). The buildup can clog the hair follicles, making it hard for hair growth to continue.
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As a cleansing rinse, ACV can gently eliminate this buildup and prevent it from coming back by balancing the scalp’s pH level, thereby improving hair growth.
9. It Prevents Breakage & Split Ends
By regularly rinsing with apple cider vinegar, you’ll be naturally eliminating tangles from your hair, improving porosity, closing the cuticles, and stimulating stronger strands – all of which cause a reduction in breakage and split ends.
10. It Defines Curls
Unlike conventional shampoo and conditioners, apple cider vinegar can define your curls and make it ‘pop’ by bringing their spongy bounce.
Apple cider vinegar won’t weigh down the individual strands, like the shampoo and conditioners do, meaning you can enjoy more movement and natural body to your hairstyle.
You may even find you don’t need to use heating and styling products after a vinegar rinse, saving your hair from further damage.
Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Dandruff
Dandruff is one of the most common worst and embarrassing scalp conditions one could have. It’s not just annoying and painful; it is also evident, especially if you have dark hair.
Sadly, nothing can be worse than suffering from chronic dandruff all year round. Lots of people just accept the condition as normal and move on, but several people still feel more than a bit sensitive discussing it.
Whichever group it is you fall in, the good news is that there are many things you could do to ease, if not wholly curb, the problem of dandruff.
Before we go into discussing the tips, it’s crucial to understand the meaning of dandruff and what causes it.
Dandruff can be referred to any condition that causes a flaky, dry scalp, but according to Sejal Shah, M.D, a dermatologic surgeon and RealSelf contributor:
“People with dandruff most commonly have a condition known as seborrheic dermatitis.”
There’s no definitive cause for seborrheic dermatitis, but it can be triggered by the weather, Malassezia yeast, stress, or even your genes.
Sensitivity to shampoo or hair dyes, not shampooing enough, and skin conditions like psoriasis are other potential culprits for flakes.
Apple cider vinegar, in its versatility as a natural remedy, has been recommended to bring relief to dandruff plagued scalps. Apple cider vinegar does this because of its antiviral, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties.
The vinegar kills any dandruff-causing fungi and balances the pH of the scalp. In addition to being antimicrobial, it is equally anti-inflammatory, which can counter the skin inflammation that usually occurs with dandruff and a flaky, dry scalp.
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To rid your scalp of dandruff, you can use the apple cider vinegar sitting in your pantry or elsewhere; mix equal parts (about 1/4 cup each) apple cider vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
Spray onto your hair after shampoo; wrap it in a towel, let sit for about 15 minutes, and then rinse. Use twice a week, and you will be flake-free in no time