Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is commonly used in a variety of ways including in cooking, cleaning and beauty. It’s made by fermenting apples that fill it with minerals, acids and live cultures. Because it contains so much goodness, it has a variety of health benefits.
Used on the hair it helps to strengthen follicles, enrich scalp health and accelerate growth. ACV is filled with minerals and vitamins such as C and B and it has anti-inflammatory properties which are beneficial for dandruff sufferers.
How Does Apple Cider Vinegar Assist Hair Growth?
ACV has been used for centuries for a variety of medicinal and cosmetic purposes. In the last few years, it’s become popular as a hair health tonic and benefits the scalp in many ways.
Removes Scalp Build Up
Dirt, dead skin, sebum and old air products build-up on the scalp every day. Over time, this may clog hair follicles and stunt the growth of new hair.
Apple cider vinegar has powerful cleansing properties, helping to return the scalp back to a balanced PH level.
Increases Blood Circulation to the Hair Follicles
Those who suffer from pattern baldness, have hair follicles that are more sensitive to DHT (dihydrotestosterone). This leads to miniaturization of the hair follicles, causing the hair growth cycle to be interrupted.
When this happens, blood flow around these follicles becomes restricted. This means less oxygen and nutrients and more waste build-up. ACV can stimulate blood circulation helping to minimize irritation.
Effective at Treating Dandruff
Dandruff is the appearance of white flakes of skin in the hair, on the scalp and eventually the shoulders when it falls. It can be embarrassing and can cause itchiness and even hair loss when a person constantly itches the scalp for relief.
Some dermatologists say apple cider vinegar is a beneficial remedy because the acidity fights the fungus Malassezia, which causes dandruff.
Stops Bacteria and Yeast Growth
Scalp folliculitis, impetigo and seborrheic dermatitis are just a few common infections of the scalp where bacteria or yeast overgrows. If left untreated, these can lead to hair thinning, hair loss and scarring.
ACV has antiseptic properties which help to fight these conditions. Regular use prevents them from returning and keeps the scalp cleansed.
3 Ways to Use Apple Cider Vinegar as a Home Remedy
1. Use it as a Hair Wash
ACV hair wash is simple to make at home. After washing and conditioning your hair combine:
- Two tablespoons of ACV with water
- Pour the liquid over your hair and massage into the scalp
- Let it sit for up to 10 minutes
- Rinse out and repeat twice weekly
- Add essential oils to the mixture if the smell bothers you
2. Add ACV to Your Diet
While washing the scalp with ACV is the most beneficial for the scalp, adding it to your diet will improve health. Add a few tablespoons to soups and stews or mix in with a marinade or sauce.
3. Take a Supplement
Apple cider vinegar health supplements can be found in most health stores. Simply take one or two daily with a glass of liquid to reap the benefits. Do remember that the process of turning ACV into supplement form, may remove some of the goodness.
Are There Any Downsides to Using Apple Cider Vinegar?
Just like with anything, too much of a good thing can have an adverse effect. If you use ACV too frequently, it may start to dry the scalp.
Even though we talked about removing the gunk from the scalp like sebum. Some of this natural oil is needed by the scalp, to keep the follicle moisturised and protected against the sun.
And remember, every scalp is different and may react differently to ACV. Start by using it on your hair once and see how your scalp reacts. Two times a week should be ok for most people but, if you experience dryness, every two weeks may works better.
Final Thoughts on Apple Cider Vinegar for Hair Loss
Now you know how to use apple cider vinegar for hair loss. As you can see, if used correctly, ACV helps to keep the scalp clean and promotes new, healthy hair growth. Of course, ACV alone is not going to regrow a full head of hair.
Always consult your GP if you’re suffering hair loss from stress or hair fall caused by a medical condition.