6 Reasons Why Apple Cider Vinegar is a Curly Hair Success Secret
By Shondell Babb
Natural Remedies. They're often over-looked by consumers for store-bought concoctions. But mother earth has provided many natural solutions that are often much cheaper, more effective and have no bad side effects (or very minor).
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is formed from fermented apple and smells funny, but it is one of the top remedies to add to any curly hair regimen.
The benefits below will have you running out to your nearest health food store to pick up a bottle. Just note the best type is the Organic type vinegar with the "Mother" (meaning it includes the fermented apple sediments in the bottle).
6 Solutions to Common Curly Hair and Scalp Problems
Dandruff and Flaking Remedy
Balances your Hair's pH Levels
Provides Light Conditioning to Hair
Removes Hair Product Build Up
Restores Natural Shine
Hair Loss Prevention
"Curly Hair Bonus Tip: Always drink at least 8-cups of water daily to combat dehydration that leads to dry hair and scalp. Your scalp requires water for healthy, consistent hair growth, which comes from your water intake." -Shondell Babb (Information source: "The Science of Black Hair").
1. Dandruff and Flaking Remedy
The naturally formed acetic acid from ACV helps to gently exfoliate the hair and scalp, providing a more thorough cleanse of the hair and scalp surface. After the pesky flakes are lifted and removed, the scalp is clarified, similar to what toners do for the face.
ACV's anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties also promotes scalp health. Plus the scalp can better breathe without those dead flakes covering your pores.
2. Balances Your Hair's pH Levels
What is the pH of hair? A healthy scalp has a natural pH level of 7. When we continuously use shampoo products that can be very alkaline, they increase the natural pH levels, making the scalp unbalanced. This is when frizzy hair, irritated scalp and cuticle damage happens along the hair shaft. Then split ends develop.
The natural acidic levels of ACV carries down alkaline levels, to the scalp's optimal pH levels, so applying it restores balance.
3. Provides Light Conditioning to Hair
It may be hard to believe that ACV is not harsh on your system, but once massaged into the hair and worked down the length of the hair, it provides light conditioning properties to the hair. How? ACV works to add needed moisture to thirsty curls and also seals the cuticles down so they lay flat, soothing and smoothing the hair shaft.
However, take cues from your hair. If you still need some regular conditioner or a mask, the more moisture-the better.
4. Removes Hair Product Build Up
Over time, all the conditioners, gels, creams, butters, oils and other styling products tend to build up on the hair and scalp. Hair is naturally negatively charged. Hair products have a positive charge so they are attracted to the hair and are created to deposit and stay on the hair shaft to protect it.
This build-up can block your pores, causing itching, flaking and excess oil production. ACV is a gentle exfoliator and cleanser that lifts product residue. This also means that the hair strand itself (hair cuticle) may not absorb products well anymore. If you've noticed that your hair products seem to stop working well after a while, it's probably time for an ACV rinse. Now that your hair is clarified, you hair products will work optimally!
5. Restores Natural Shine
We all want hair that has a natural shine, but doesn't look oily or greasy. Removing all the products from the hair shaft and scalp then allows the natural sebum (oils) that come from the scalp to help moisturize the hair shaft and add a natural sheen. If your hair shaft is smoothed, the look that results is shinier hair.
Type 3 & 4s, don't get it twisted, most of the time the natural oils from our hair are not able to travel down our curly, kinky and coily strands, so extra moisture is required from hair products.
6. Hair Loss Prevention.
A healthy scalp produces healthy hair. ACV has natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. When used as a tonic, it helps to fight off scalp infections, dryness and itchiness that can lead to hair dryness, split ends and eventually breakage.
Shopping for Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV):
I suggest going to a health food store like Vita Health or the natural/organic/health food section of your full-service grocery store. The brand isn't as important as how the ACV is processed. The key is to buy it in the purest form possible for maximum benefits like Omega Nutrition's product. Look for:
- Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
- With the "mother" (rich in pectin)
- Unpasteurized (keeps nutritional value and natural enzymes)
- Ingredient lists ACV ONLY
- Packed in opaque (dark), non-reactive bottle to prevent nutrient break-down and and free-radical production
Instructions for Using Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Tonic:
- Start with an empty conditioner bottle for easier application, or a basic tupperware container will also work.
- Note that ACV should be used in a diluted form for human consumption.
- Always use the 1:2 ratio for mixing proportions: 1 cup ACV to 2 cups water (regardless if you're working with tablespoons or cups).
- Shampoo the hair in a downward motion with a sulfate-free shampoo.
- To clarify the hair and scalp: Apply the ACV tonic thoroughly to the length of hair and massage into scalp. Allow to air dry (the natural scent will fade).
- Rinse off.
- ACV adds a light conditioner to the hair. If your hair is coming from an extremely dry place, go ahead and use a deep-conditioner treatment or a natural leave-in conditioner.
- Don't forget to detangle those curly locks with a high slip conditioner. You can shop for some of the best ones on our website by clicking on the Shop tab above: www.naturallygorgeouscurls.com/shop
- Style as usual.
- ACV is safe for kids and adult use and can be added every 2 weeks or once a month as part of your hair routine.