If you are new on the journey to curly you may have seen the abbreviation ACV thrown about.
What is it and why are curlies using it to rinse their hair?
ACV stands for Apple Cider Vinegar. Jip, that good old grocery store staple can be used on your hair.
Regular rinsing with ACV can help bring your scalp and hair to its ideal acidity (which is 4.5-5.5). This matters because it helps to protect from fungal and bacterial growth and helps to keep your hair and scalp healthy.
The simple science is that mild acids and enzymes in ACV help destroy bacteria that cause uncomfortable scalp conditions like dry scalp and itchiness, we recommend using it once a month to start off with. If you feel you need to use it more make sure you deep condition as it can be drying. We wouldn't recommend using it any more than once every two weeks. Like everything with curls each person is different, you have to figure out what works for you.
ACV also has a natural softening effect on the hair and can help 'close' your cuticles which leads to shiny glossy hair. A more tightly closed cuticle will also help retain that elixir of great hair - moisture.
ACV also contains natural alpha-hydroxy acid, which gently exfoliates the scalp and hair, allowing for removal of dead skin cells and build up that can occur from sweat and/or conventional hair products. Product build up can lead to flat, dull, lifeless hair - a definite no from us.
When buying ACV choose the raw and an unpasteurised kind with "The Mother" (this is that ACV that has a cloudy and murky appearance). The mother contains beneficial enzymes, bacteria (the good kind), pectin and trace minerals which nourish your scalp.
Figuring out how often to apply this rinse will depend on your current hair and scalp situation. You can repeat this process once month. The scent may be strong while you use it but it disappears once your hair is dry.
Again, don't over do it. Always listen to your hair. Be cautious and pay close attention to your hair's reaction after each use, especially frequent use.
How to make and use an ACV rinse
Mix 1 part ACV to 4 parts water in a bottle. It's a great idea to mix a lot to keep in your bathroom to use throughout the month. Shake well before applying.
After cleansing and thoroughly rinsing, slowly pour rinse over the entire scalp (or you can work in sections) allowing it to run down the length of your hair. (Don't let it get into your eyes).
Massage the mixture into hair and scalp for 3-5 mins, this allows it to break up the molecular structure of any product residue so that it can be easily rinsed away.
Rinse with cool water to lock in moisture and shine.
Condition or deep condition as normal.