Shiny Hair in Your Pantry?

Shannon R., SELF magazine

You may be surprised to learn that vinegar isn't just for the kitchen--you might want to move some to the bathroom as well! You probably already know the benefits of using vinegar to clean and disinfect (and cook, of course!) but it may offer some hair helping benefits as well.


How does vinegar help hair?
Vinegar has a low pH, which makes it an acid. There are three things that the low pH could do to help hair:

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1.
Tighten the cuticle
s - If your hair is damaged and the cuticles are upraised (cuticles are the outer layer of your hair, they protect the inner cortex like to how shingles on a roof work), an acidic rinse could help lay flatter and therefore improve shine and remove tangles.

2. Boost your conditioner
- Applying a vinegar rinse before you condition could help your conditioner to work better. Conditioners based on quaternary ammonium compounds work better at a lower pH because they stick to hair better. The more conditioner "sticks" to the hair, the healthier and shinier your hair will look and feel.

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3. Remove residue
- If shampoo isn't rinsed completely, there can be a dulling residue left behind on hair. This can be especially true if you have extremely hard water, which can result in a buildup of mineral deposits (like soap scum in your shower!). Vinegar can help to remove buildup and let the natural hair shine through.

How do I use vinegar to help my hair?
To get the most benefit, rinse hair with vinegar after you shampoo. You may want to put vinegar in a spritz bottle to help ease application. No need for anything fancy, you can use just regular old white vinegar or apple cider vinegar (which smells a bit better!).

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Bottom Line
Vinegar is a very inexpensive household item that may offer some conditioning benefits, as well as help to increase shine. Of course, with the exception of removing residue, all decent conditioners will do a better job of hydrating hair and keeping it healthy looking. However, if you are looking for a natural DIY option or have dull hair (especially combined with hard water) you may want to give a vinegar rinse a try!


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