You can treat almost every health issue with apple cider vinegar. It is a cure-for-all solution. From weight loss to heart diseases, ACV can be helpful in getting rid of various problems. Other benefits of ACV are for skin warts, bad breath, diabetes, sore throat, backacne, and much more. Unsurprisingly, this magical vinegar can also promote the growth of your hair. The hair loss can be caused due to various reasons like improper nutrition and stress (1). ACV doesn’t only give you long hair but also makes them shiny and dandruff-free. For having a lustrous mane, you should include apple cider vinegar in your hair care regime. Let’s discuss why and how ACV can be proved as a boon for hair growth.
Does Apple Cider Vinegar Really Affect the Hair Growth?
Being recommended for various diseases, ACV has certain benefits for our hair. It has a number of medicinal properties like anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, etc., (2) which help fight any scalp infections caused by fungi or other micro-organisms. Along with that, it is full of essential nutrients and minerals like potassium, vitamin A, B1, B6, & C, and iron. Therefore, it gives a proper nutrition to hair and makes them thicker and longer. It also has some beneficial enzymes and bacteria that ensure a healthy scalp and growth.
How does ACV Promote Hair Growth?
1. Anti-fungal and Anti-bacterial
Apple cider vinegar is anti-fungal in nature (3). Therefore, it inhibits the growth of harmful fungi in your scalp. The removal of these fungi, in turn, reduces the itching and dryness in the scalp skin. It also decreases the production of bacteria due to its anti-bacterial properties. Combating these bacteria, ACV treats burning sensation and irritation on the skin of your head.
Being an antiseptic agent, apple cider vinegar stops the further effects of infections. Due to this characteristic, it also prevents the spread of yeast in your scalp (4) and encourages a healthy hair growth.
3. Acidic Nature
As ACV is a type of vinegar, it has acidic properties too (5). These properties help maintain the pH balance of the scalp (6). It does so without removing the natural oils from your head.The imbalance in the pH level due to the excessive use of shampoo (7) can cause a dry scalp, which may further turn into dandruff, flaking, and many other issues. Such problems may hinder the growth of your hair. ACV balances the alkalinity of your scalp and paves the way for a flourishing hair growth.
4. Unclogs Hair Follicles
Apple cider vinegar can be used as a conditioner too. While giving you a shining and well-nourished hair, it unblocks the clogged hair follicles (8). The blocked hair follicles cause hair loss (9). This unclogging process results in an infection-free scalp and a healthy hair growth.
5. Natural Cleanser
Hair cleansing is an important part of hair care regime (10). By cleaning your hair naturally, it ensures a healthy mane. ACV is able to remove dirt or any other impurities that might be blocking your hair growth. It can also remove the remnants of shampoos and styling gels and provides a shinier and softer hair.
6. Prevents Psoriasis
ACV has alpha-hydroxy acids, which aid in removing dead skin from the top layers of the scalp (11). The removal of dead skin can prevent the irritating skin disease psoriasis which may cause a higher amount of hair fall. Using apple cider can be beneficial to check the disease before it can actually occur.
7. Repairs the Protective Layer
This type of vinegar can treat the damaged scalp and hair too. Our hair has a natural protective layer to save them from harsh components. UV rays, excessive shampooing (12) and air pollutants weaken this layer and damage the hair. ACV cures the damaged hair by restoring this protective layer of your hair and making them strong.
8. Prevents Split Ends and Detangles Hair Naturally
Due to its ability to smooth hair cuticles, it can restrain split ends and the breakage of hair. The smoother ends give you a healthier hair growth means frizz and split-end free hair (13). ACV can replace your conditioner as it works great on frizzy hair. It detangles your hair naturally and stops hair fall caused by combing messy hair (14).
How to Use ACV for Hair Growth?
As mentioned above, ACV has numerous qualities, which aid in a healthier hair growth. But, what are the exact ways to use it for this purpose? Here, we have explained a few ways in which you can utilize apple cider vinegar for having a fuller mane.
1. ACV with Water
To keep your scalp healthy and reduce flakiness or itching, you should rinse your hair with ACV. Often, a diluted mixture of ACV and water is used (15). For this, mix ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar in a ¾ cup of water. Take a spray bottle and pour the mixture into it. Rinse your hair with this solution after the shampoo and before the conditioner. Dribble the mixture on the roots of your hair and let it sit on your scalp for 3-5 minutes. Massage gently and then, wash it off with water. Apply the conditioner afterwards and pat your hair dry properly.
2. ACV with Water and Sage Oil
ACV can be effective to get rid of dandruff. Sage oil fights microorganisms due to its antimicrobial properties (16). Add ½ cup of apple cider vinegar to 2 cups of warm water. Stir the solution to mix the ingredients properly. Pour a few drops of sage oil to this mixture. Spray it on your scalp evenly when you have shampooed your hair and wait for half an hour. Rinse it off properly. Do it once a week to see the results.
3. ACV with Avocado and Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a great natural conditioner and moisturizer (17), while avocados are full of nutrients. To use them on your scalp, take equal parts of ACV and water. Mix them properly and pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Spray it on your scalp and hair in an even manner. Apply the mixture thoroughly by dividing your hair into parts and then, by covering them with the solution. Let it soak for 5-10 minutes. Prepare a mixture of tea tree oil and shampoo. Use it to rinse off the ACV. Allow the shampoo to stay on your hair for 2-3 minutes. Wash it off with water. Now, make a puree of an avocado mixed with 2 tbsp. of coconut oil. Stir well to mix the ingredients. Apply it to your hair and massage gently. Cover your hair using a shower cap. Leave it for about half an hour. Rinse it off with a mild shampoo and fresh water. Do it once a week to keep your scalp hydrated.
4. ACV with Baking Soda
This combination can work wonders for your hair, as baking soda has amazing antibacterial properties (18). Therefore, it can prevent any such outbreaks. Make a solution of water and the required amount of baking soda to cover your hair completely. Apply this solution from roots to tips of your hair. Massage the scalp in a circular motion. Wash your hair using warm water. Now, mix one part of ACV in four parts of water. An essential oil of your choice can be added to the solution to get rid of the smell of the vinegar. Apply it to your scalp and hair. Cover the whole head with this mixture. Wait for five minutes and wash it off afterwards.
5. ACV with Tea Tree Oil
Both ACV and tea tree oil are anti-bacterial in nature (19). Therefore, it kills Bacillus bacteria that is responsible for various hair problems including hair loss, dandruff, flakiness, etc. To prepare the solution, add 5-6 drops of tea tree oil to half a cup of apple cider vinegar. Mix them properly. Apply it to your hair and rub the scalp gently. Wait for 5 minutes. Rinse it off using a shampoo and water afterwards.
6. ACV with Aloe Vera and Honey
As Aloe Vera has been a great remedy for hair loss (20), this blend is quite effective for treating itchy and unhealthy scalp. Mix 3 tbsp. of aloe Vera juice, one tsp of rosemary oil, and honey in a ½ cup of ACV. Stir the mixture properly and pour it into a spray bottle. Spritz the solution to your scalp and massage gently for a few minutes. Use a shower cap to cover your head. Take off the cap after 20 minutes. Use cold water to wash your hair. Apply shampoo and conditioner afterwards.
7. ACV with Olive Oil
If you have a flaky scalp, then this remedy will work great for you. This mixture will balance the pH level and ensure the production of natural oils in your scalp. Olive oil can treat the damage caused by UV rays (21). Warm 2 tbsp. of olive oil for a few seconds. Apply it to the scalp and massage gently. Wait for half an hour and then, comb your hair in a thorough manner. Dilute ACV with water. Rinse your hair with it. Wash them in the running water for a few minutes.
8. ACV with Rosemary
To get nourished hair, you can use this vinegar with rosemary herb. This herb promotes the growth of hair (22). Pour 3 cups of water and a handful of rosemary into a saucepan and boil it. Bring it to simmer and cook for 45 minutes. Strain the mixture and let it cool at the room temperature. Mix a few drops both of rosemary and peppermint oil along with half a cup of apple cider vinegar in it. Pour the solution into a spray bottle and shake well. Apply it to your scalp after shampooing. Allow it to rest for a few minutes. Rinse it off with water and pat your hair dry.
9. ACV with Beer
Beer works wonderfully for hair growth on a bald scalp (23), and when it is used with ACV, its benefits gets broadened. Pour 2 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar and 2 cups of beer into a bowl. Mix them thoroughly and apply to your scalp after the shampoo. Let it sit on your scalp for a few minutes. Massage with your fingertips for about 10 minutes. Rinse it off with water. Do the procedure twice a week to get rid of a dry hair condition.
Apple cider vinegar is a great ingredient to be added to your hair care regime. However, it is not completely harmless. You need to take a few precautions while using ACV on your hair and scalp.
1)Use a more diluted ACV, if you are feeling a burning sensation on your scalp.
2)ACV should not be used when you have already applied oil on your hair. The oil would prevent the penetration of the apple cider vinegar into your scalp.
3)Raw ACV is rich in pectin, malic acid, potassium, sodium, iron, and calcium. So, always use ACV that is unpasteurized and unfiltered.