Hair-care is a learning process that is filled with a lot of stumbles and mishaps. As you grow up, the needs for your hair grow with you. There are newer things to consider, such as the effect your daily stress has on your strands and how your diet affects it. When we are kids, those of us who are fortunate to have had loving homes were probably pushed by our parents to eat healthily. But once we become older, the toll adulthood takes on our minds can often lead to us abandoning self-care habits. This leads to us constant annoying problems such bad-hair days full of split ends and dandruff, not to mention other consequences such as bloating and skin troubles. And because we still can’t make time for healthy habits in our busy schedules, we turn to quick solutions full of chemicals and preservatives. Doing this inevitably leads to more harm than good. The ironic part of this is that often the solutions we are looking for are right under our nose. Or rather, right inside our kitchen. Yes, so many of our health and hair problems can be resolved by using natural remedies. From food items such as eggs, curd, lemon to natural oils like coconut oil, there are so many beneficial elements available in nature. Today, we are going to discuss one such DIY remedy for hair problems: apple cider vinegar. Read on to find out all about the benefits of apple cider vinegar for hair and why you should consider making it a part of your routine now. What Is Apple Cider Vinegar? Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a type of vinegar that is prepared from apples. Crushed apples are exposed to yeast, which ferments the sugars inside, turning them into alcohol. Then, bacteria is added to further the fermentation process, which leads to the formation of acetic acid. It is this acetic acid that gives apple cider vinegar it’s signature sour flavor and smell. It is believed that acetic acid is also responsible for many of the health benefits of apple cider vinegar which makes it such a popular home remedy. Additionally, organic, unfiltered ACV also contains a substance known as “mother”, which is made up of strands of friendly bacteria, proteins, and enzymes. This “mother” gives ACV its murky appearance. ACV also contains a small amount of potassium. Thus, it is clear that it has a lot of healthy properties that can be of use, such as in the case of apple cider vinegar for hair. Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar for hair We know that you may curious to find out how to use apple cider vinegar for hair, but it is important to first know the benefits. After all, if you find out that apple cider vinegar gives results that you have been aiming for in your hair-care routine, you will be more determined to use it and to use it correctly. Here is how apple cider vinegar supports your hair: 1. Relieves itchy scalp Apple cider vinegar has natural anti-inflammatory properties that help in reducing itchiness, while its antimicrobial properties work to eliminate the germs responsible for it. Hence, even as it protects your hair, it gently soothes scalp irritation, eliminating that annoying urge to keep scratching. 2. Helps reduce dandruff Apple cider vinegar for dandruff is a very popular remedy because it contains antifungal and antimicrobial constituents which make it a powerful killer of the dandruff-causing yeast on your scalp. Not only is this effective, but it also a natural alternative to your usual chemical-based products, making it much less aggressive on your hair. Hence, using apple cider vinegar for dandruff results in preventing further growth of germs and gives you healthier hair in the long run. 3. Has clarifying properties Is greasy hair a problem for you? Well, worry not, because apple cider vinegar may just be the solution you are looking for. Apple cider vinegar contains alpha-hydroxy-acid (AHA), which makes it a natural exfoliator, which reduces the oily build-up in your hair. Things such as our diet, hygiene habits, product use, etc. can lead to greasy roots. Using ACV can help in gently removing this buildup from your hair. However, this should be used moderately, because excessive use of ACV will also lead to more damage than good. 4. Gives smoother and shinier hair Apple cider vinegar can also revive frizzy, gloomy hair. Dull, brittle hair is often a result of a change in the natural pH of the scalp. All our unhealthy habits can culminate into making the scalp more alkaline, which rescues its quality. Since apple cider vinegar is an acidic substance, it helps in restoring the balance by lowering the pH. This, in turn, will add some life back to your hair and give it the glow that it deserves. How to use Apple Cider Vinegar for hair? Now that you know all the goodness that is stored in ACV, you may be wondering how to use apple cider vinegar for hair. Well, there are many ways to do so: you could add it in DIY rinses, include it in natural hair masks, amongst other things. Often, natural remedies made out of other base ingredients include ACV for added benefit. Hence, you should do your research and choose the solution which works best for you. Here is a basic way to use apple cider vinegar for hair: 1. Dilute ACV by mixing 1 part of apple cider vinegar into 5 parts of water. For eg, mix 100 ml of ACV in 500 ml of water. You can mix this in a spray bottle for more even application later on. 2. After you are done shampooing your hair, spray the diluted ACV on your scalp, gently massaging it in with your fingers, making sure that it is distributed proportionately. 3. Let this mixture sit in your hair for around 2 to 3 minutes and then rinse it using water. 4. You do not need to use a conditioner after using ACV, but if you find that there is a need, you can use a light conditioner, something which won’t weigh your hair down. If the smell of ACV bothers you too much, you can mix it with a few drops of essential oil to reduce it. Precautions to take Even though apple cider vinegar for hair is a natural remedy, there is always a need to be safe. Too much of a good thing is always bad, so make sure to not go overboard with the ACV. Do not use it daily. Instead, use it a couple of times a week. Steer clear of this remedy if you have extremely dry hair because ACV can strip even those meager remaining oils from your hair. In such a case, it is better to first consult your dermatologist to see if they can give you a recommended dosage. Hence, it is important to know your hair type so you can understand the kind of treatment your hair needs. If you find that your scalp is not reacting well to ACV or that you are experiencing any burning and irritation, discontinue its use and consult a professional for a better solution. Maintaining a proper hair-care routine Keep in mind that consistency is always the most important part of any success. As beneficial as ACV is, no one remedy will solve all your problems instantly. You will need to make continuous efforts and go through a gradual growth until you eventually start seeing the positive changes you are looking for. Remember that you do not have to be perfect in hair-care because everyone slips up every once in a while. What matters the most is that you are trying every day, putting in as much work as you can. Some days, this may be following all the steps properly. Other days, this may just mean rinsing your hair to the best of your ability. Whichever path you choose, stop at the end of the day, look in the mirror and remind yourself that you did well. After all, the fact that you are embarking on this self-care journey is already something to be very proud of.