After doing some research on natural ways to combat shedding, I learnt that apple cider vinegar rinses could help. I have used this natural remedy as a hair cleanser in the past but never to deal with hair loss/breakage. So in this post, I outline the benefits of this vinegar and how I use it on my hair for that purpose.
Hair loss often reflects a change or deficiency in our metabolisms. In my case, this was a sharp reduction in my estrogen levels after pregnancy. This likely affected the levels of tissue salts in my system -mainly sodium chloride, calcium phosphate and silicic oxide-which are needed for hair growth. Apple cider vinegar (when ingested or applied to hair externally) can help re-establish the natural balance by offsetting the deficiencies where needed.
It can also help to restore the pH balance of your hair. This is because shampoos and conditioners tend to be alkaline while the vinegar is acidic so it helps re-establish the natural acid mantle necessary for healthy hair. Making your hair slightly more acidic also closes the cuticles and this leads to the layers lying flat. A smooth and flat cuticle is good because it helps to lock in moisture and proteins while reducing tangling and adding elasticity -all factors that could reduce breakage and damage to your hair.
I applied my vinegar over the weekend as follows:
- I mixed one part vinegar and 3 parts cold water in a jug. It is important that the water is cold as this helps close the cuticles too.
- I applied my regular conditioner to my box braids from root to tip then rinsed with water.
- I followed with the vinegar mixture, focusing on rinsing from my scalp and letting it run down my hair. It is porbably best to keep your eyes closed while doing this as the vinegar (even when diluted) can be corrosive.
- I then massaged my scalp (focusing on my areas of shedding) before rinsing out with cold water. Some people do not rinse out the vinegar at all but leave it in for extra effect. The smell supposedly fades as your hair dries.
- I conditioned my hair again and applied my butter as normal.