Ever since my adventures with the No Poo method of hair washing I've been on a mission to try out alternative methods of getting the gruaig clean and shiny.
I normally use Philip B pH Restorative Detangling Toning Mist with apple cider vinegar - but would the homemade version - actual apple cider vinegar - work as well and save me €20 into the bargain?
I decided to find out.
The theory behind using apple cider vinegar is that its pH is very close to that of hair itself, so applying after shampooing can help re-balance the hair's pH levels, remove product residue and seal the cuticle for smooth, shiny hair.
You simply take equal parts apple cider vinegar and water and apply it to the hair and scalp after shampooing, leave it in for a few minutes and then rinse out for smooth, soft hair - no conditioner needed. My application method was a bit haphazard since I just mixed the two in a jug and then poured it into my hair (luckily I had a lot more in the jug than I actually needed), but if you had an empty spray bottle to hand that would be ideal.
There's a bit of a vinegar-y smell, obviously, but nothing too off-putting and it faded after rinsing and was gone once I'd dried my hair.
So, did it work? Well, I should start by saying that product buildup isn't a huge issue for me as I don't colour my hair or load it down with product.
I was interested in seeing the effects on my permanently itchy scalp, however, and there I have noticed a difference. The itch isn't completely gone, but my scalp is definitely a lot more comfortable than usual. It does feel softer than usual and surprisingly it was easy to comb through after washing the rinse out - this is where I usually need either conditioner or a detangling spray.
After blowdrying, however, I did notice a difference I didn't like. I need smoothing conditioner, detangling spray or serum to blowdry out random kinks and waves - plain apple cider vinegar didn't tame my hair.
By contrast, the Philip B pH Restorative Detangling Toning Mist (which contains some silicones and plant oils in addition to the water/vinegar mix) leaves my hair much easier to style when blowdrying and the outcome is smooth, straight hair with no fuss.
I probably would use the apple cider vinegar method again if I felt the need to remove product buildup and relieve itchyness, but I just don't think using the rinse regularly in place of conditioning will work for me.
Have you tried the apple cider vinegar rinse and did it work for you? Or are you devoted to your conditioners and styling products? Let us know in the comments!