On the list of things you didn’t expect to be good for your hair, apple cider vinegar probably sits pretty high.
Known for its ability to kill harmful bacteria, as well as work to improve the protective barrier of the skin (restoring dry and eczema prone skin in the process)…it’s heralded as a serious multitasker. Although benefits of the ingredient have been touted by influencers, celebrities and experts alike, they have generally come from the likes of salad dressings, straight up shots (Goop style) or by diluting for use in skincare.
But it seems we can now add another use for the kitchen staple…hair care.
“Apple fruit extract [AKA apple cider vinegar] is rich in antioxidants and natural acids which protect the hair and scalp from free radical stress and damage,” explains Barney Martin, R+Co Australian and Global Educator and owner of Barney Martin Hair Salons. “[ACV does this] by gently exfoliating the scalp and balancing the pH of both the hair and scalp, smoothing the cuticle and preventing the absorption of [potentially damaging] environmental aggressors in the process.”
Used as a substitute for shampoo or conditioner, or as an additional product, Martin explains, it acts as a purifying ingredient. It helps provide a thorough cleanse and detox…“hair [becomes] stronger and shinier in exfoliating and rebalancing the scalp.”
So, how do I know if it’s right for me?
“ACV works particularly well for anyone who has an oily or flaky scalp, or for those who use a lot of dry shampoo or other styling products,” he explains. “Similar to a makeup remover…[it works] as an effective cleanser and to remove build up [on the scalp],” which in turn leads to cleaner, healthier hair (and potentially faster growing hair). “If you’re a frequent swimmer, go to the gym daily or use a dry shampoo every day, you could use an ACV product every time you wash your hair – [but it also works well] as a weekly detox.
In getting the most out of the product, “ensure your hair is thoroughly rinsed with water before applying…” says Martin. “This ensures even distribution and maximum efficacy.”
While ACV is yet to become a mainstream hair care ingredient in Australia, a few of our favourite products include: R+Co Acid Wash Acv Rinse, dpHUE Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse, Pureology Vinegar Hair Rinse