Vinegar is traditionally known as a tart liquid produced from the oxidation of the alcohol in wine or cider. Most of us known it as a condiment or food preservative. But really, vinegar is an all-star. Seriously, is there anything the sour liquid can’t do? Some know it as the superhero of natural household cleaners. But did you know that vinegar is also a long-standing celebrity of natural beauty?
Ask any old wife of old wives tales, and they will tell you that vinegar will make your hair look lustrous. Seriously, when you see those women in the hair product commercials swinging their insanely glossy locks around, I bet they’re secretly rinsing apple cider vinegar through their hair between takes. Vinegar works on our hair to remove product buildup and restore its natural pH levels. It also leaves a shine to your hair and makes it easier to brush by removing tangles.
That all sounds amazing, and we should rush to the supermarket to invest in gallon jugs of vinegar, right? Well, sorta. Make sure it is unfiltered organic apple cider vinegar. This means that the vinegar will not be over processed or contain any weird residuals chemicals. And as experts report, unfiltered apple cider vinegar contains the mother enzyme – which is somehow not an enzyme that nags you to brush your hair or criticize your boyfriend. And I quote, the mother enzyme “occurs naturally as strand-like enzymes of connected protein molecules and is a rich source of probiotics. Vinegars containing the mother contain enzymes and minerals that other vinegars probably do not contain due to over processing, filtration and overheating.”
So are you ready to rinse? Take one cup of vinegar and mix with two cups of warm water. It is really important to dilute the vinegar with water. Rinse your hair with the solution, leaving it one for one to three minutes. Then, rinse out and comb it through your locks. Vinegar can be minimally drying, so we don’t recommend using this home remedy more than once a week. If you do, use a conditioner before you rinse. You can also work the vinegar into your scalp and leave it on for up to 30 minutes, as it is known to help with dandruff.
I know what you’re thinking – do I really want to smell like a bottle of old wine? In my experience, rinsing with vinegar is yes, a bit much. And afor the love of Pete, avoid getting any of it in your eyes. But once vinegar is rinsed out of your hair, you are generally left with a faint smell that goes away surprisingly quickly. Unlike your screams if it’s in your eyes. (Okay, point driven home.)
Or you can shell out $17 for a new product from John Masters Organic, the Herbal Cider Hair Clarifier and Color Sealer. This product, made with certified organic ingredients, is a once a week hair treatment to clean away buildup and seal in color on your hair. It contains apple cider vinegar, lemon oil, nettle and rosemary.
How does it work? I tried it out in the shower, mistaking it for a shampoo. It’s really light, so this resulted in me dumping half the bottle down the shower. (Heed my warning. Also, do not get it in your eyes. It’s vinegar. I did, thus the traumatic warnings above.) As instructed, I mixed three capfuls with a small cup of warm water. Working the solution through my hair, I left it sit for a minute. It rinsed out fairly easily. And I will say this – I could literally hear my hair squeaking as I worked it out. And my hair felt really soft and airy after using it, plus any residual vinegar smell was gone in an hour.
The John Masters Organics products works as well as a homemade vinegar solution, but I will say that the added essential oils took the edge off it. It’s a good investment – if you don’t accidentally spill it in the shower and use just a capful with each weekly application. But if you’re looking to save a few dollars, apple cider vinegar with a few drops of essential oils added will also do the trick.
Just don’t get it in your eyes.