Apple cider vinegar shampoos gently cleanse the scalp

Apple Cider Vinegar for Hair Growth: Benefits, Recipes & Instructions

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is an all-natural health supplement that has been gaining popularity in recent years. One reason for this is due to its hair benefits, enabling you to cleanse your hair and scalp and accelerate hair growth.

In this post, I’ll introduce you to apple cider vinegar and its variety of uses. This will include a look at the ways in which you can use apple cider vinegar for hair growth.

In addition, you’ll learn three ways to add ACV to your hair care routine and how to use this supplement most effectively.

The Rise of Apple Cider Vinegar

As a centuries old folk remedy, apple cider vinegar has been used for a variety of medicinal and cosmetic purposes around the world.

This supplement contains a number of beneficial minerals and nutrients, including vitamins b and c, and niacin. In addition, it contains malic acid, acetic acid, and citric acid – all which have their own benefits.

In recent years, apple cider vinegar has grown in popularity among the health and wellness community (1).

That’s because there are many general health benefits which ACV provides, including weight loss, blood sugar control, lowering of cholesterol, and lowering of blood pressure.

How Apple Cider Vinegar Can Combat Hair Loss

In addition to the above mentioned benefits, apple cider vinegar can also be a treatment option for individuals suffering from hair loss. Let’s discuss a few things it can do.

It Removes Buildup from the Scalp

Scalp buildup is a common occurrence, and it occurs as a result of daily living.

Buildup consists of sebum, dirt, dead skin, hair products, pollution, and even harmful chemicals (such as DHT). This buildup can clog the hair follicles, and this makes it difficult for hair growth to continue.

(Learn natural ways of unblocking hair follicles here.)

As a cleansing rinse, apple cider vinegar can gently remove this buildup and prevent it from returning by balancing the scalp’s pH level.

It Improves Blood Circulation to Hair Follicles

Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA), also known as Male-Pattern Baldness (MPB), is the most common cause of hair loss in men (and the second most common in women) (2). To understand why this is, it’s important to know how AGA works.

First and foremost, DHT is a chemical believed to contribute most significantly to the hair thinning and loss suffered by those with AGA (3). This is an androgen (sex) hormone that’s produced from testosterone with the help of 5-alpha-reductase (5AR).

testosterone to DHT

Individuals with AGA don’t usually have more DHT; instead, their follicles are more sensitive to the normal levels present within their hair follicle cells.

Eventually, this sensitivity leads to miniaturization of the hair follicle and an interruption of the natural hair growth cycle.

As miniaturization occurs, blood flow to the follicles is restricted. This leads to poor delivery of oxygen and vital nutrients, as well as less removal of waste and buildup.

Apple cider vinegar, however, can improve blood circulation. While this itself won’t reverse hair miniaturization, ACV can also remove DHT from the scalp and lessen irritation.

It Treats and Prevents Dandruff

Dandruff is an embarrassing problem, but it’s also one that causes much discomfort and can even lead to hair fall.

There are a number of natural remedies for this condition, however (4).

While not much is known about the mechanism, it’s believed that the acidity of apple cider vinegar makes it difficult for Malassezia – the fungus responsible for dandruff – to live and spread.

While not a direct cause of hair loss, dandruff can be responsible for increased thinning. This is because scratching of the scalp can stress the hair and follicles, and can even result in permanent scarring if allowed to continue.

It Prevents the Growth of Bacteria and Yeast

A common problem among the general population, bacteria and yeast overgrowths can lead to permanent scarring and thinning and hair loss.

A few of the more common infections include dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis (yeast), scalp folliculitis (bacteria), and impetigo (bacteria). These can be uncomfortable and unsightly, but they can also cause permanent damage to the scalp if not addressed immediately.

Seborrheic dermatitis is a severe form of dandruff, and it can cause flaking, itching, irritation, and inflammation.

(Learn how you can battle dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis with natural products.)

Malic acid is a compound found within ACV, and it contributes significantly to its antiseptic abilities (5).

With regular use of ACV then, you can treat infections and prevent them from reappearing. This is vital if you want to maintain the health of your scalp.

It Targets Free Radicals and Reverses Signs of Aging

Free radicals are atoms present within the body (6). However, they’re missing an electron and must scavenge it from other atoms – healthy ones – in order to complete themselves.

These scavenging abilities lead to the degradation of vital cells, including skin and hair cells. This contributes to advanced aging, and it can make hair loss possible.

antioxidants fight free radicals
Antioxidants rid the body of free radicals by donating an electron. This makes it so the free radicals are “complete” and no longer have to scavenge from other bodily cells.

Citric acid, however, is an antioxidant found within ACV (7). This compound works to target and rid the body of free radicals, and this protects healthy cells from their scavenging.

It Maintains Hair Fiber pH Balance

The hair fiber has a pH of 3.67 and, as such, anything that can help to maintain its pH is good (8).

But many commercial shampoos fall on the alkaline side of the scale, and this may increase the negative electric charge and lead to breakage, thinning, and overall damage.

So, what’s the solution?

You can switch to natural shampoos, such as Hairguard. These contain ingredients that are more in line with what your hair fibers and scalp need so as to prevent damage.

However, you may also want to make another addition to your natural hair care routine, and that’s ACV.

Apple cider vinegar has a high acidity. This means it can help to maintain your hair without leading to hair fiber damage or thinning.

Even better, apple cider vinegar will help to strengthen and smooth the fibers. This leads to stronger, smoother, and healthier locks.

Availability and Cost

Aside from its many health and cosmetic benefits, the two greatest things about apple cider vinegar is its 1) availability; and 2) low cost.

Apple cider vinegar can be found in grocery stores and health markets around the world, and it can also be purchased online from retailers such as Amazon.

To reduce costs, I recommend purchasing in bulk.

A 16-oz bottle of Bragg Organic ACV costs only $9.64 ($0.60/oz). However, a 128-oz bottle of the same brand costs $42.44, but that only comes out to 33 cents per ounce!

Of course, there are a variety of other brands to choose from. These include EDEN, Dynamic Health, and Vitacost.

How to Choose the Best Apple Cider Vinegar

With so many brands to choose from, it can be difficult to find the “best” one. So, what should you look for in apple cider vinegar?

The main thing to look for when purchasing ACV is the “mother.” This is a pulpy substance, and it’s where the majority of the vitamins and minerals reside. ACV without the mother will NOT deliver the same results.

If the ACV is cloudy, that’s good! That means it contains the mother and is just what you need.

You should also consider how the product is filtered.

The BEST ACV product will be raw and unfiltered.

The filtering process can remove many minerals and nutrients, and it can also remove a significant portion of the “mother.” When you buy unfiltered, you ensure you’ll get the full benefit from its use.

3 Ways to Add Apple Cider Vinegar to Your Hair Care Routine

Of course, you won’t experience any of the above benefits if you don’t use ACV regularly. With this in mind, here are three ways you can easily add to your daily routine.

Add It To Your Diet

While the majority of vinegar hair benefits come from direct application to the scalp, adding ACV to your diet can improve your body’s overall health. As a result, your scalp and hair will be healthier, too.

This versatile diet staple can be added to just about any recipe or meal. Add a few tablespoons to soups, stews, and broths. Or, use it as a base for your salad dressings and marinades.

If you like the tangy flavor, or if you just want a more direct way of consumption, you can even mix into water and tea.

Here’s a delicious tea recipe from Dr. Axe that you can easily add to your morning or night routine:

Ingredients:

  • Warm or hot water (12-16 oz.)
  • Apple cider vinegar (2 TBSP)
  • Lemon juice (2 TBSP)
  • Ground ginger (½ to 1 TSP)
  • Cinnamon (¼ TSP)
  • Cayenne pepper (dash)
  • Raw, local honey (1 TSP) (optional)

Directions:

Heat the water to desired temperature, and then combine all ingredients. Stir well, and enjoy!

Health & Hair Benefits:

All of the ingredients included in the above recipe are beneficial to your overall health.

ACV, as mentioned, can control blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol, and lower blood pressure. In addition, it can increase blood circulation to help cleanse and purify your scalp.

Lemon juice is a digestive aid, helping to break down mucus and line the tract. In addition, it’s an antioxidant.

The three herbs contained within the recipe – ginger, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper – also contain a variety of health benefits. Ginger, for example, is an anti-inflammatory while cayenne pepper is known to increase blood circulation (9).

Last, honey is a known antiseptic, but it can also add a touch of sweetness to offset the tang and spice of the tea (10).

Use It As a Hair Rinse

If simplicity is what you’re looking for, you’ll be happy to learn that an ACV hair rinse can be made in just a matter of minutes.

Ingredients:

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Water

Directions:

Combine the two ingredients in a 1:1 ratio, and store in a cool, dry place.

Before use, shake the mixture well.

To use, pour over wet hair. Leave in for 10-15 minutes, and massage your scalp to be sure the mixture reaches all areas. Rinse thoroughly, and repeat at least twice per week.

Reviewing PhytoWorx shampoo

Hair Benefits:

As mentioned previously, ACV is an excellent way to remove buildup from your hair and scalp. With the help of this gentle rinse, then, you can cleanse and nourish the scalp while gently removing any harmful chemicals and other buildup.

Take It As a Supplement

The final way to begin using ACV for hair growth is as a supplement.

Apple cider vinegar pills are a common supplement found in health food stores. They’re essentially ACV which have been dehydrated and turned into capsules.

The main benefit of using ACV pills is just how easy they’re to add to your day. You simply take one or two with a glass of water, and you’re all set!

But you may want to consider that the process involved in dehydration can remove some nutrients.

There’s something to be said for consuming raw ACV in its natural form. If you’re in a pinch, though, then ACV pills can enable you to supplement with the beneficial drink very easily.

One other thing to keep in mind is that ACV pills can be more potent. This is because there is often a higher dose within the capsules than you’d be able to consume in one shot.

This is something to be aware of if you suffer from diabetes, as ACV has been shown to lower blood sugar levels (11).

Conclusion

As a cheap and effective supplement, I urge you to consider adding apple cider vinegar to your regular hair care routine.

While the results may not be as dramatic as minoxidil or finasteride, ACV can supplement your health and contribute to a balanced and clean scalp. This is essential for the growth of strong, healthy locks.

Of course, apple cider vinegar alone is not enough to treat your hair loss. Instead, you must find out the cause and treat it at its source.

This is why I recommend you use ACV alongside other naturally-derived methods to boost results.

*This article was reviewed by Dr. Anil Simhadri

21 thoughts on “Apple Cider Vinegar for Hair Growth: Benefits, Recipes & Instructions”

  1. Coating my hair with apple cider vinegar, causes it to reek of vinegar whenever moist. E.g. when I go jogging.

    Earlier today, I tried washing it out with a combination of cold tap water and (edible) xanthan gum.
    Worked perfectly, but does anyone know of an adverse effect to this simple method?

  2. I don’t think this is for me. I have alopecia universal. Had this for over 20 years. Just thought I’ll get the information. Thanks.

    • Hello, you can begin with PRP treatment, massage 6 times a day, peppermint and rosemary oil. Also, you can try JAK-inhibitor topically. After a year if nothing help, you can transplant bio-hair.

    • You should try adding Red Reishi Mashroom to the home made shampoo for that issue and give it two months of consistent use.

  3. Great information will ..really helpful..am trying on ur combinations..will inform u the results..!! N I am also having hypothyroidism..may be this can also increase my hairloss..

  4. when i do the apple vinegar rinse, my hair feels more greasy than using a normal shamoo? does this mean there is more sebum on the scalp?

    • Hi,

      It can take awhile for your scalp to become used to the ACV. It should begin to even out within a few weeks.

      – Steph

    • I wouldn’t recommend it. Regular shampoos are full of chemicals that strip away natural oils, irritate the scalp, unnaturally alter skin pH and kill the natural and healthy bacteria on the skin. Stop using your regular shampoo.

  5. A gentle shampoo is good. I don’t use other kinds due to the amount of chemicals and also I cant make it smell nice by essential oils because those give me bad side effects .

    • Yes, in the long term any kind of chemicals that go into your shampoo will end up damaging the root of the hair follicle. That is why our shampoo is completely natural.

    • I don’t recommend ketoconazole shampoo. Why would you want to use it after acv anyway? What issues are you experiencing?

  6. Commenting to your reply “I don’t recommend ketoconazole shampoo. Why would you want to use it after acv anyway? What issues are you experiencing?”

    I have dandruff on my scalp (for too many years). And my skin is an oily skin. If I don’t use a shampoo my scalp stays oily which makes my hair look so bad. More over I could not buy your shampoo as I am from India. Let me know if I can buy your shampoo in any online sites like Amazon.

    • If you skin is oily then try to improve your nutrition. Which foods might you be eating that are oily themselves? Try to remove processed, especially fried foods from your diet. This should help reduce the oiliness considerably.

  7. Is the shampoo supposed to be extremely thin/watery? I mixed as it said above, but was unable to get any kind of lather feel.

    • Hi Rachel,

      Yes. The lather in commercial shampoos is from chemicals such as SLS and SLES. These can be harsh and may actually promote hair loss.

      Regards,

      Steph

  8. I think I have AGA as a recent hormone test revealed I have a little elevated level of testosterone. I had receding hairline for quite sometime and now my frontal hair is also receding. I’m a 30 year old female. I do have oily scalp and dandruff problem for quite sometime. I’m on a good diet as I wanted to lose weight and have successfully lost over 13 kgs so far. I’m so worried about hair loss as my scalp is becoming more and more visible day by day 🙁

    I’m definitely gonna try ACV rinse after shampooing. I’ll see if this helps to bring things under control. Please let me know if you have any other advice for me.

  9. I bought your Caffeine shampoo. I was Just wondering how I add the ACV rinse into my routine? Do I use the rinse on the same day I wash with the shampoo? Or do I use the ACV rinse on days I don’t use the shampoo? Please help not sure what to do here. I don’t wanna over do & have my hair start looking worse

    • Hi James,

      We recommend you use the ACV rinse on a day that you aren’t using the Caffeine Shampoo.

      You should only perform it once every week or once every two weeks, as using it more frequently can cause overdrying.

      Regards,

      Steph

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