This OG Hair Hack Is Back... & It's Even Better Now!
No doubt there were some straight-up wacky skincare DIYs people swore by in the past. Peanut butter on pimples? Baking soda face masks? Slathering cooking oil instead of a moisturizer? The horror. While some are truly awful, there are some old-school DIY tricks that were, and remain, legit. Using apple cider vinegar (ACV) as a shine-boosting hair detox is one of them, and this OG hair hack has officially made a 2023 comeback. The good news is that this trick has received a modern-day update that makes it better than ever before.
Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar in Hair
@grace_mcgrand Highly recommend! Results = 10/10 #acvrinse #acvhairrinse #applecidervinegar #clarifyyourhair #dandruffremoval ♬ original sound – GraceMcGrand
An ACV rinse is pretty straightforward: shampoo, then rinse with diluted ACV, and let it set for about five minutes before rinsing. The results are seriously shiny strands and an ahhh-inducing scalp reset. “ACV is great for the hair – but only when it is used in the correct way,” explains celebrity hairstylist Glenn Ellis. “I think ACV and its multitude of benefits makes for a great at-home tool to use in order to promote healthy scalps and to decrease and get rid of unwanted build-up.”
Think of it as a clarifying, deep-cleaning agent. Dr. Alan J. Bauman, a hair restoration surgeon, says, “It can help with aiding a healthy scalp due to its antifungal and antibacterial properties, and can help remove the build-up of dirt, debris, and styling product residue on the hair and scalp.” He adds that it can make dry hair more manageable while rebalancing oily scalps that produce too much sebum. Dr. Bauman also explains that it can help make hair shiny because it closes the cuticle, which can also help with color fading.
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If all that wasn’t compelling enough, ACV is also a natural anti-inflammatory that can help soothe, clarify, and stimulate your scalp. It can also seriously level up the shininess factor, detangles knotted strands, is color safe, and can help with dandruff.
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Meet the New Class of ACV Products
As wonderful as the benefits are, the DIY ACV rinse was stanky as hell. It’s sour-smelling vinegar, after all! Plus, the treatment can be harsh on your scalp and strands when done poorly. Ellis says that these negative side effects are largely due to improper application; a lot of people either didn’t dilute the vinegar enough or would use straight ACV. Overuse of the treatment – which includes using too potent a mixture – can actually have an inverse effect of drying out your scalp and increasing dullness. Not ideal, obvs.
Enter: A modern-day spin on this old-school hack. Beauty scientists and brands know that ACV is a hair hero, and they’ve figured out a way to make sure people can get their ACV detox sans stink. As a result, there’s been a new surge in beautifully formulated ACV products.
“ACV in these new products provides the same benefits as creating your own mixture, but it takes out all the trials you have to do,” notes Ellis. “It simplifies the process because these products already dilute the product for you, and most of them have a ton of other great properties in it that, in combination with the ACV, will make your hair healthier.” Dr. Bauman agrees, adding that pre-formulated products deliver benefits that you would not receive with a DIY ACV treatment.
Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Products to Try
Want to give ACV hair products a try? Check out our fave tried and true ACV formula here, then check out some other new kids on the block worth your time. Just make sure to follow the label instructions to get the most out of them, and consider them supplemental to the rest of your regimen. “These are treatment products, so you generally do not want to do them daily,” notes Ellis. “Since ACV is an astringent, it can become irritating with constant use. I recommend using the treatments once a week or once every other week.”
- dpHUE Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse, $37
- FEKKAI Apple Cider Detox Shampoo, $28, Conditioning Detangler, $28, and Detox Scrub, $36
- Aveeno Apple Cider Vinegar Blend Sulfate Free Shampoo, $8
- Girl+Hair Clear+ Apple Cider Vinegar Clarifying Hair Rinse, $14
- Head & Shoulders Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse, $8
- R+Co Lost Treasure Apple Cider Vinegar Cleansing Rinse, $34
- Majestic Pure Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo and Avocado Coconut Conditioner Set, $35
We’re guessing you’re here because you love a good hair treatment. Let us introduce you to hair slugging, a snail-inspired hair hack that infuses tons of moisture into your strands.
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