How to use apple cider vinegar on hair. Shampoo, conditioner, treatment, oil: the dream of shiny hair drives women in particular to spend a fortune on care products. There is supposedly the best hair conditioner to buy in the supermarket for little money: Apple cider vinegar is supposed to give the hair a new shine and at the same time protect the environment and the wallet. What are the home remedies really good for?
Apple cider vinegar is created when fermented apple juice (must) is mixed with certain bacteria. The bacteria convert the alcohol contained in the must into acid. The list of ingredients in the hyped home remedy is very short: apple juice, acetic acid – that’s it.
No wonder that many natural cosmetics fans prefer to put a bottle of apple cider vinegar in the bathroom instead of shampoo and conditioner. It is free of artificial additives and cheaper than many hair care products from the drugstore. At the same time, those who wash their hair with apple cider vinegar are kind to the environment: Since it can be bought in glass bottles, less plastic waste is produced. And unlike some shampoos, apple cider vinegar does not contain microplastics either.
How to use apple cider vinegar on shiny hair
- Take a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and mix with water.
- After shampooing and conditioning hair, apply the mixture of apple cider vinegar over your hair evenly, with the scalp.
- Keep it a couple of minutes.
- Then wash it out.
Apple cider vinegar vs Shampoo & Conditioner: Which Is Better?
For the environment and your wallet, apple cider vinegar is clearly superior to conventional shampoos and conditioners. But what about the alleged beauty miracle effect: is apple cider vinegar also better for the hair?
You could say: Conditioner gives the hair an artificial shine, while apple cider vinegar preserves its natural shine. To understand this, you should have a rough idea of how hair is built: Hair is made up of fibers covered by a layer of dead cells. One can imagine this outer shell like the scales of a fish. The closer the flakes are and the closer they are arranged, the smoother and more even the hair surface and the more shiny the hair.
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Unfortunately, we often expect a lot from our hair: washing, blow-drying, combing, ponytail, bun, hat, washing again – all of this can damage the surface of the hair. Constant washing is particularly hard on the hair. Because shampoos contain substances that change the chemical composition of the hair flakes. They cause the hair to carry more negative electrical charges after washing, i.e. it is more negatively charged.
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This contributes to the cleaning effect: Shampoo contains so-called anionic surfactants. These are negatively charged particles that bind dirt and grease to themselves. The stronger the negative charge on the hair surface, the easier it is for the surfactants that are packed with dirt to be washed out again. (Because the negative charges then repel each other more strongly.)
It makes sense that shampoo increases the negative charge on the hair surface for a short time. However, it also means that the scales stick out further from the hair surface and there is more friction between the individual hairs – in short: the dreaded “frizz effect”. This makes the hair surface rough and dull, the flakes peel off and gaps appear in the cuticle. This can be remedied either with a conditioner from the drugstore or gentler care – for example with apple cider vinegar.
In rinses from the drugstore, there are positively charged chemicals that attach to the negative charges on the hair surface. So you’re not actually repairing the hair, you are wrapping it in a smooth protective layer.
Apple cider vinegar, on the other hand, ensures that the hair surface is not damaged in the first place – or at least not as badly. Because vinegar contains acid and is chemically more similar to the acidic hair surface than shampoo. The latter is usually alkaline, i.e. not acidic. Therefore vinegar does not change the “hair chemistry” as much. Unlike shampoo, it does not increase the negative chemical charge on the hair surface. The “frizz effect” does not occur and the hair surface is smooth and shiny.
See also, Benefits of apple cider vinegar drink
Apple cider vinegar & oily hair
Shampooing your hair less often is a good idea. Wash your hair only with apple cider vinegar, rather not – especially not if your hair becomes greasy. Because vinegar removes significantly less fat from the hair than shampoo.
If you want to avoid a greasy approach, you should therefore make a compromise: lather the hairline with (as small an amount as possible) shampoo or hair soap every few days and clean the hair lengths and ends only with water and apple cider vinegar.
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