I Tried Washing My Hair With Apple Cider Vinegar

The no poo movement to cleaning your hair has been a fad for a while. You often read about people who have found the best strands of their lives by washing their hair with apple cider vinegar (ACV) and other natural alternatives to shampoo. The theory behind method? That shampoo, something that is relatively new and has evolved from the bar soap, strips your scalp of its natural oils, thereby encouraging your scalp to create more oil to compensate for the loss.Listen: I've tried oil pulling and fell in love with it. I've chugged back a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar every day. I've even spent a week ditching all my skin care products for coconut oil. But washing my hair with ACV? I just couldn't get into it.The thing is I love showers, baths, just being in any body of water really. I love getting clean. I love the way hot water feels when it touches my skin after a long day, I love scrubbing myself senseless, and I love the cornucopia of products I will use during and after a warm shower. It's sensual, relaxing and a treat for my senses. Swapping out my lavender-scented shampoo for vinegar sounded really, really off-putting.

My hair texture is naturally wavy, and fine, and it gets really greasy after two to three days. I feel disgusting and uncomfortable if I don't wash it for any more than two days. But in the name of beauty (and my curiosity), I decided to give this ACV method a go.


All the how-tos told me I should dilute the ACV, but the ACV to water ratio was up for interpretation. Since I don't have a lot of hair to begin with, I mixed one cup of ACV with two cups of water. It felt like I was making a really big serving of salad dressing. It doesn't smell as horribly as I expected.

I didn't use baking soda like some natural blogs recommended, just apple cider vinegar diluted with water for the purpose of this experiment. After I wet my hair, I poured the salad dressing on my head. I didn't have a spray bottle, like a lot of the how tos recommended, so it went directly on my scalp. I massaged my scalp with the mixture poured it, like I would when I would shampoo. It doesn't feel as satisfying when your shampoo doesn't froth, and this one definitely didn't. I very rarely use product on my hair, so I know there's no product build-up of any sort.

And then I washed it all away. It was very underwhelming, actually. I thought, after all that much hoo hah over washing your hair with ACV, I would receive some sort of divine intervention. Thankfully, my hair didn't smell of vinegar after.

Was my hair shinier than usual? Not really. Did it feel clean? Definitely not. It may take a lot longer for me to see the difference and for me to get used to shampoo that doesn't froth, but unfortunately for ACV, it's going to be used for salads and smoothies only in my household.

Images: Faz Abdul Gaffa-Marsh