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How to Make Your Hair Silky and Shiny with Vinegar
Centuries ago, people discovered that vinegar makes hair look silky and shiny. A simple mixture of vinegar and water smooths the hair cuticle and cleanses buildup. Using white or apple cider vinegar after shampooing your hair is an excellent way to revitalize its texture.
Using a Simple Rinse
Mix vinegar and water.Plain vinegar is too strong to use on hair, so it's important to dilute it with water first. One-fourth cup of vinegar and one-fourth cup of water should be enough for a single hair rinse.
- If your hair is quite oily, you can add an extra tablespoon of vinegar. If your hair is dry or you tend to have dandruff, add a tablespoon of water.
- Curly hair and color treated or permed hair should be treated with a much more diluted solution, anywhere from 2 to 4 parts water to 1 part vinegar.
- Either distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar work well here. Many prefer using apple cider vinegar in the shower because the smell is less intense.
Shampoo your hair as normal.Go ahead and wash your hair with your normal shampoo. If possible, use lukewarm or cool water. Using hot water causes hair to look dull and frizzy. Cold water will help your hair shaft lie flat and contribute to the shiny, smooth look you're after.
Skip the conditioner.Since you're using a vinegar rinse, there's no need to condition your hair after shampooing. The rinse will leave your hair soft and smooth.
Pour the rinse into your hair.Slowly pour it over your scalp and try to distribute it evenly over the top of your head. Use your fingers to massage it into your scalp and smooth it into your hair from the roots to the tips.
Wait five to ten minutes.This will allow the rinse to fully soak into your hair. Use the time to complete your shower routine.
Rinse your hair with cool water.Give it a quick rinse to remove the extra vinegar from your hair. There's no need to go overboard, since the smell of the vinegar will be gone once your hair dries.
Dry your hair as usual.Either let it air dry or use a hair dryer to dry your hair. When you're finished, it will be silky and soft. The vinegar smell should be gone.
Repeat once or twice a week.You may love the results of your rinse so much you're tempted to repeat it every time you wash your hair. However, vinegar can dry out your hair if you use it too often. Use it just once or twice a week to remove buildup in your hair and restore shine.
Making a Custom Vinegar Rinse
Try adding a tablespoon of honey.Honey has both clarifying and moisturizing properties, making it a great addition to a hair rinse. This is especially helpful if your hair tends to be a little dry. Honey also smells fantastic and can combat the vinegar smell while you're in the shower. If you want to try adding honey, here's how to do it:
- Make your vinegar rinse with warm water to help the honey dissolve. Pour it into a container with a lid.
- Stir in 1 tablespoon of honey.
- Put the lid on the container and shake well before use.
Use an egg white for extra shine.Egg whites, like vinegar, clarify hair and make it look beautifully shiny. Since you've already got the vinegar out, why not try adding an egg? You can also use an egg white in place of vinegar if you happen to be out when your hair needs a rinse. Here's how to use an egg white in your rinse:
- Mix up your vinegar rinse as normal. Place it in a container with a lid.
- Separate one egg, letting the white drop into the container with the vinegar. If you have dry hair you can apply the yolk to the ends for extra moisture.
- Place the lid on the container and shake well before use.
Consider using a little oil to moisturize your hair.If your hair is quite dry, you can massage a bit of oil into the ends before rinsing your hair with the vinegar. Try:
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon melted coconut oil
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon almond oil
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon olive oil
Scent the vinegar with nourishing herbs.If you're having trouble with this rinse because you don't like the smell of vinegar, you might want to try scenting it with herbs. The herbs impart a gentle scent that helps to mask the vinegar and make it more pleasant to use. Here's how to do it:
- Mix your vinegar rinse as usual, and pour it into a small saucepan.
- Add a tablespoon of your favorite dried herb, like lavender, rose hips, sage, mint, or rosemary.
- Bring the rinse to a simmer and let the herbs cook for 10 minutes.
- Strain the herbs from the rinse and let it cool before use.
Try it with essential oils.Using essential oils is another easy way to mask the scent of the vinegar and make your rinse smell great. Some essential oils are even beneficial to hair in their own right. Mix up your rinse as usual and stir in 5 to 10 drops of one of these essential oils:
- Lavender. It has a soothing effect and is often used in skin and hair products.
- Tea tree oil. It can help combat dandruff and has a strong herbaceous scent.
- Lemongrass. This energizing scent effectively masks the vinegar smell.
QuestionCan I use distilled white vinegar?
Licensed CosmetologistLicensed CosmetologistExpert AnswerYou can use distilled white vinegar for the rinse—that's what my mom used when I was growing up! However, apple cider vinegar smells better and is less harsh.Thanks!
QuestionDoes this solutions work on African hair?
Licensed CosmetologistLicensed CosmetologistExpert AnswerVinegar is great for African and other extremely curly hair types. It removes dandruff and gently cleanses the hair. However, for curly hair I'd recommend using 2 parts water to 1 part vinegar instead of the 1:1 ratio recommended above and I wouldn't use this rinse more often than once a week.Thanks!
QuestionCan I replace my conditioner with vinegar wash permanently?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo, too much vinegar won't be good for your hair. After the next wash or two, you should use your normal conditioner.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if I washed my hair three days ago? Do I still have to wash it?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThat's really your decision. If it's not that oily I would say no; the longer you can go without washing the better. Also, if it is a little oily, you can always put some cornstarch in it. The starch acts as a dry shampoo without all the chemicals.Thanks!
QuestionShould I rinse the shampoo out before using the vinegar, or leave it in?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou should rinse the shampoo out. This will give the vinegar "less work" to do, and make it more effective. In a sense, the vinegar is replacing your conditioner.Thanks!
QuestionDoes it increase hair loss?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo, it does not increases hair loss if used correctly. Do not overuse the solution. If used properly it should help to thicken your hair.Thanks!
QuestionCan we use conditioner after rinsing our hair with vinegar?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can, but it's not necessary. Vinegar rinse replaces the need for further conditioning.Thanks!
QuestionCan you use vinegar on colored-treated hair?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, Apple Cider Vinegar is safe for all hair types, including color-treated hair.Thanks!
QuestionIs vinegar effective for preventing hair loss due to hard water?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf your hair is falling out more while you're applying or rinsing out your conditioner (that is, if it's related to the conditioner you use), then the vinegar will be effective, but otherwise no.Thanks!
QuestionHow long do I leave the mixture on my hair to get the maximum shine?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt depends on your hair type. If you have dry hair, you should let it sit for about 5 minutes at the most. If you have oily hair, you can let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes.Thanks!
What type of vinegar is really advisable for colored and rebond hair?
How do I remove old color from my hair, ends
Do I need more than 1/4 cup of vinegar for long hair?
How can I use vinegar, egg, and honey on my hair?
How often should I do this after the first two washes?
- Keep a spray bottle of one of the mixtures in your shower. Use it for stripping the residue from your hair as well as to keep the soap build up off your shower walls.
- Do not get the solution into your eyes as it will sting.
- Make sure the vinegar is mixed with water.
Things You'll Need
White or apple cider vinegar
Optional mix-ins, like honey, egg white, oil, herbs, and essential oils
Sources and Citations
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