Submitted Date 07/05/2020

To continue from some talk about the 'No Poo' method and shampoo bars, I'd thought I'd touch on apple cider vinegar hair rinses a little more. I get that some people hear this and get a little weirded out, which is fair, pouring vinegar on hair doesn't seem that exciting, or great smell wise, I know, but trust me, it works wonders.

Apple cider vinegar can improve the health of your scalp and enhance shine, it also is great for detangling hair. In general, apple cider vinegar is also just a great staple as a health food. There's a lot more science to why it's used on hair, too, starting with the acidity and pH of apple cider vinegar and your hair. Hair that's a bit more frizzy, dull and damaged tend to have a higher pH, apple cider vinegar helps lower the pH and bring back some balance to those strands. Vinegar is also a popular home disinfectant, something that I've talked about before when making your own natural house cleaning solution with lemons and vinegar, it truly does it's job and can do the same on the scalp while being soothing and not harsh. It helps with minor infections and scalp itchiness. However, I do want to emphasize that if you do have a sensitive scalp like me, apple cider vinegar should be weaned up in the solution you male (mixed with water) to rinse your hair with. Personally, I no longer really measure anymore because I've been using it for so long, however I use a little bit, probably four tablespoons with eight ounces of water only two to three times a month. Although I love the way apple cider vinegar makes my hair feel after a shower: clean, detangled, and so soft and shiny, I'm one of those people that have to use this sparingly. My scalp is very sensitive after years of chemical processing, dyes, and bleaching. Using too much apple cider vinegar will only cause some itchiness for me, and goes away when I stop using it for a while, which is not as bad as how it feels after using conditioner or shampoo full of chemicals on my sensitive scalp.

So how do you use it? Well, you just mix a couple tablespoons with eight ounces of water or more – adjust accordingly. Resources will say to wean up, start with a half or one tablespoon and work your way up, but you can dive right in if you'd like, I just would be careful with not putting too much vinegar in the mix, it's going to be diluted with water and the water shouldn't look like it could be mistaken for apple cider vinegar, always put more water!

There are little concoctions you can make with this, which is my favorite part: feeling like a little scientist or a witch making potions, real fun. Herbs and essential oils can be mixed into your apple cider vinegar mix to accommodate your hair type and hair needs. For these, I would use a large glass bottle to put your concoction in and pour a little out into a mug or jar that you'll bring into the shower to use (be careful with glass in the shower, of course), this way your herbs really get infused with the water, and you don't have to make your mixture again and again, because that does seem a little exhausting.

So what things can you use? Lots!

Rosemary smells lovely and is good for dark hair, you can use a few drops of essential oil or you can infuse rosemary with your vinegar. Chamomile is also great for light or blonde hair, you can also experiment with tea instead of plain water. I'm sure black tea would be great for dark hair. Lavender, thyme, and witch hazel help with oily hair. Lavender is also a very calming scent which is perfect if you usually end your day with an apple cider vinegar rinse, although I promise that the vinegar smell does not linger from doing these rinses, unless you use too much apple cider in your water ratio or you don't rinse it out fully.

Nettle is said to help and control dandruff and horsetails can help brittle hair. If you're using herbs you can use fresh or dried herbs. Most of these herbs are easy to grow on your own, and have multiple uses to them of course, than just hair, and it's a fun new project to try along side this, so why not? Just remember to rinse your herbs before infusing. Dried herbs also work well, and can be tied up in a little baggy like a tea bag and infused into the mix. Once again, since I have sensitive skin I usually try to stay away from adding essential oils to my scalp. I know they're safe when you buy good quality essential oils, especially food grade, but my scalp just isn't about it! However I do only use Dr. Bronner's lavender castile soap for a face wash, which I swear has helped my lashes grow like crazy, so in the end it really is all about experimenting what works best for you and your skin. You can infuse a small mixture before diving right in to canning in a large bottle to start off slow. Please also do research on essential oils and if they can be applied directly to the skin, I Know lavender can, but there are also many oils out there that are recommended not to be applied directly to the skin.

Of course, I'd recommend starting off with just the good old basic ratio of apple cider vinegar to water to see and feel the difference in your hair after a wash, and then experimenting once you have found your perfect ratio and played around a little with it. Trust me, it's a great ingredient, it's a fun DIY project that virtually never ends because there's so many options, and it's great for your scalp and hair health. It makes a world of a difference!

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