Apple cider vinegar has many supposed health benefits and can do so many different things. One of the things it can do is help to balance the pH on our hair.
But what does this mean? Chemistry teacher mode engaged.
pH is a measure of how acidic or basic a substance is. The lower the number, the more acidic it is. Acidic substances have a sharp, sour taste (like lemon juice and vinegar). The higher the number, the more basic a substance is. Bases tend to mix with water to form soapy sudsy products and are used as cleaning products mainly (think toothpastes, soap, shampoo).
The science behind your shampoo!
You may notice that if you wash your hair with shampoo and don't use conditioner, your hair will appear dry and maybe frizzy. This is because the cuticle (little square shaped overlapping cells that make up the outside of the hair shaft) is open on the hair.
The cuticle opens when shampoo is used to help clean out any dirt or oil on the hair strand. It can't just close back down on its own, it needs a balanced pH to do this. This is where conditioner comes in. Conditioner is a slightly acidic compound that helps to balance out the basic pH brought on by the use of shampoo.
ACV rinses are particularly good for newcomers to solid shampoos!
When you start using solid shampoos, your hair needs time to adjust (see our switching to solid shampoo post here), and it may appear fuzzy, dry, waxy, or a combination of the above. An apple cider vinegar rinse or spray can help to balance out the slightly higher pH caused by solid shampoo bars, and leave hair feeling softer and more manageable while your hair adjusts.
Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse:
Mix 1 - 4 tablespoons of ACV with approx 235ml water in a spray bottle. The amount needed will vary from person to person: dry hair tends to need less, while oily hair needs more.
Pour, squirt, or spray ACV rinse onto wet hair (after shampooing).
Massage into scalp and ends in particular.
You can rinse it out, or leave it in. If you leave it in, the vinegar smell should disappear once your hair is dry.
How Often Should I Do an ACV Rinse?
There is no one-fits-all answer for this. Everyone's hair is different and needs different things.
But as a rule, this would be good to do once every two weeks as a clarifying routine.
However, using it every other wash when transitioning to solid shampoos could be helpful to try and remove excess product residue from liquid shampoos and help the hair transition easier.