Apple cider vinegar is delicious as a dressing for salads and offers a whole host of health benefits when consumed as part of a balanced diet. But did you know that this popular condiment is also a wonderful treatment for your hair and scalp?
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Your scalp has a natural pH level of around 5,1 which can be disturbed by the average hair care routine which involves shampoo, conditioner and styling products which often have alkaline formulas. Having its pH thrown off balance can cause an overpopulation of bacteria or overproduction of oil on your scalp. This can lead to blocked hair follicles along with itching and flaking.
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Just like your scalp, apple cider vinegar is mildly acidic. This means that rinsing the hair with apple cider vinegar could restore your scalp’s pH balance back to natural levels. Not only this, the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar is antifungal and antibacterial which will clear any microbes and fungus lurking on your scalp. The acetic acid also breaks down oils and proteins from the hair and removes product build-up which can occur as a result of a daily hair care regime as well as pollution from the environment.
Try this recipe for a simple apple cider vinegar hair mask. It could be the key to soothing your itchy scalp.
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar *
- 2 tbsp coconut oil *
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 drops lavender oil *
- Shower cap or hair turban
*Available from Holland & Barrett
Make sure you choose an unpasteurised variety of apple cider vinegar, which will look cloudy in the bottle. This is a sign that the vinegar is in its natural raw state.
Mix the ingredients together in a bowl. The lavender oil will disguise the vinegary scent, plus lavender oil is thought to increase blood flow to the scalp when used in conjunction with scalp massage.
Apply the mixture to dry hair and massage gently into your scalp. Cover with the shower cap or hair turban to allow the heat from your head to gently warm the oils to allow for better penetration into the hair.
Leave for 10- 30 minutes and rinse thoroughly. You might need to spend an extra few minutes rinsing to ensure there is no residue from the mixture left behind. Use weekly.
Don’t use apple cider vinegar or essential oils undiluted on hair as they might be too strong for sensitive scalps.
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1. [Online] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25073884.