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April 9, 2009

The Curl Whisperer on ACV Rinses

Tiffany has graciously provided us with information on the purpose and benefits of rinsing with Apple Cider Vinegar. Check it out:



Apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinses are one of most cost-effective and beneficial ways in existence to improve hair health. A good ACV rinse can remove product buildup, restore the pH balance of the scalp and hair, promote blood circulation in the scalp--which can stimulate new hair growth--and give the hair a soft, healthy sheen.

One of the greatest benefits to those with curly hair, however, is that an ACV rinse will shut down the hair cuticle to protect the inside of the hair shaft from damage. In a previous article, I touched on the pH scale and how acidic solutions close the cuticle, which will keep moisture inside your hair and keep frizz at bay. On average, ACV carries a pH of 3, which is far more acidic than the 4.5-5.5 pH value of hair, making it an excellent and effective rinse for this purpose.

For maximum benefit, some proponents advocate use of only raw, organic and unfiltered vinegar rather than the "sparkling clear" vinegar you usually find on the grocery store shelves. And some individuals also choose to add a base including additional ingredients such as aloe vera, agave nectar, essentials oils, etc. to their ACV rinses as well.

One caution: you need to bear in mind that ACV is an acid--over 100 times more acidic than your hair--and it needs to be respected as such. Acids can and will start to degrade your hair shaft with overuse, so you must be cautious and pay strict attention to your hair's reaction to frequent ACV rinse use. I personally believe a monthly to bi-monthly ACV rinse provides more than sufficient benefit for almost everyone.

Depending on your hair texture and porosity, you may be able to support a greater amount/frequency of usage than others can, but you must be careful to judge yours accordingly. If you are doing frequent ACV rinses and are seeing positive results, then your dilution ratio is most likely suited to your hair type.

If you begin to notice degradation in your hair shaft--breakage, frayed ends, dryness, brittleness, or more porous hair--then you need to revisit your proportions and make adjustments accordingly.

I usually advise one tablespoon of ACV for every cup of water as a baseline formula to start, which you can then adjust to the specific needs of your own hair.

Tiffany the Curl Whisperer

15 Chime in!:

Chai said...

Great info! I discovered ACV earlier this year and haven't looked back;-)!

Afrocentric Mocha said...

Hi..Does it have to be ACV, or can a person use White/Distilled Vinegar?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for providing this information. I would like to try, but how long do you leave the rinse in? Do you simply spray/pour on and then rinse out with clear water? Is it typically done before you shampoo and condition?

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad I read this. I thought people just get a bottle of ACV and pour it straight from the bottle onto their hair....but I'm learning. :-)

TaiCM said...

I love acv rinses, I like to add a capful to my herbal rinses.

MizzRiRiTrini said...

I'm currently transitioning - 3 months along. Can I use an ACV rinse on relaxed hair? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

what if i have color in my hair, am i able to use this rinse?

Laquita said...

Great info :o)

Tiffany Anderson said...

Afrocentric Mocha - I don't see why you can't use distilled white vinegar. I believe it is slightly more acidic than apple cider vinegar, however, so you will want to watch your proportions closely.

To use: pour the mixture over the hair after cleansing (do not rinse out), then condition as usual. Any lingering smell will dissipate as the hair dries.

MizzRiRiTrini - yes, you can use it on your relaxed hair but make sure you use a weak dilution and pay strict attention to make sure you aren't drying yourself out. And good luck on your transition journey!

ACV rinses are great for use with color as long as you use them sparingly. They will help close the cuticle and keep all that processing inside. Just make sure you wait at least 24-48 after you color and use a mild strength rinse.

Zainab said...

Hey...do you use the ACV rinse after shampooing or conditioning? and do you rinse out the ACV afterwards?

Anonymous said...

My hair is relaxed and colored honey blonde in the front (ear to ear). I started doing weekly ACV rinses (1/4 cup acv to 6 cups of cool water) and my hair's reaction has been dramatic! After washing and conditioning, I pour the ACV over my hair and then roller set. The amount of breakage and shed hair is much lower, and my color shines. It also seems to soften my new growth and allow me to stretch out relaxer touch-ups. I have gotten a lot of compliments from people. The only ACV that I use is from Braggs - it's the best.

Anonymous said...

I do ACV rinses ever 5-7 days after shampooing to maintain a healthy scalp. My recipe is as follows: 1 part ACV, 3 parts water, 1 squirt of honey and a couple drops of tea tree oil.

Anonymous said...

Where I live, the water is VERY VERY hard (bad enough that it killed all our fish in the fish tank) so I was wondering, how often could I do this rinse until I can get a water filter?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the advice on ACV . I am a hairstylist that is transitioning and developed the worst flakes in the world. I use the Acv to help with the flaking once a week my hair is so shiny and healthy feeling !

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