Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has a reputation as the ultimate does-it-all, health-enhancing ingredient for the body from bug bites to kidney stones – and rinsing hair. But should you be taking your pantry into the bathroom and using salad dressing for hairdressing? In theory, Yes. But in practice? There are reasons to be cautious. Here are the ABCs of ACV.
A 2014 study supports the claim that ACV can lower pH to improve hair health. Apple cider vinegar is acidic (low pH) and is high in acetic acid. Hair that looks dull, brittle, or frizzy tends to be more alkaline or higher on the pH scale, and high alkalinity can contribute to friction, breakage, and dryness.
The idea is that an acidic substance helps lower pH to bring hair back into balance and support smoothness, strength, and shine.
Research supports the disinfectant power of ACV and its ability to help control the bacteria or fungi (Candida albicans and Aspergillus niger) that can lead to scalp and hair problems, such as minor infections or itchiness. However, no research or science supports its ability to control or flaking as a result of dry scalp.
There is no science to back claims that ACV is rich in vitamins C and B. But it is a proven source of manganese, which is associated with preventing changes in hair pigmentation and growth. It is also rich in calcium, which can promote healthy hair growth, potassium, the lack of which can lead to hair loss, and iron, which promotes shine and strength.
Some experts insist that ACV can extend the life of hair color when applied after hair dye is rinsed. Most dyes are alkaline and open up the hair cuticle so that they can penetrate to the hair’s inner cortex to produce a color change. ACV may reseal the cuticle to not only help hair color last longer, but also make hair shinier (smoother and therefore more reflective) and easier to comb.
If you’re not careful, you can get burned. Literally. That same acetic acid that ACV contains is known to be caustic, which means it may irritate or burn the skin. In other words, it cause inflammation rather than reverse it.
Pure ACV will definitely start degrading your hair, and for that reason, always dilute ACV before using it topically or mix with oil as a carrier. And never allow contact with your eyes (if it happens, wash out with water immediately).
By taking the DIY approach, you may be doing more harm than good without a complimentary moisturizing regimen to replace the oils that ACV can strip away. Otherwise, you may be drying out your scalp and damaging already dry ends.
By taking the DIY approach, you may be doing more harm than good without a complimentary moisturizing regimen to replace the oils that ACV can strip away.
At the end of the day (or the beginning), while ACV is an effective clarifier that removes product build-up and an exfoliant that removes dead skin cells, it does not actually clean your hair.
And all of this is precisely why we developed New Wash (Deep). This addition to the New Wash family is made with a healthy – and safe – dose of ACV to give you all its benefits. We also included Argan oil – often called “liquid gold” – which is full of moisturizing properties with fatty acids (oleic and linoleic) that help prevent dryness, reduce fizziness, and boost shine, anti-inflammatory properties to help prevent or improve skin conditions, including psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis. Its antioxidant activity prevents drying and other damage from ultraviolet rays.
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So our best advice is to leave the Bragg’s in the kitchen – or use it to clean any room in your house – but leave proper hair cleansing to the experts and get yourself a bottle of New Wash (Deep), the best hair cleanser you’ll ever use.