It really does! I had  read a few articles about ACV (that’s another abbreviation to learn) and how great it is at cleansing your hair of product buildup, reducing frizz (not a massive problem when you have less than an inch of hair) and adding shine. Some even use this exclusively to wash their hair when they feel the buildup is too much. I was excited to try it and add to my regimen. Then I opened the bottle and was horrified that anyone expected me to put that in my hair. “The smell goes away,” they say. “It doesn’t smell that bad,” they say. “Have you actually used this in your hair?” I say.

Well smarter, more experienced women with much longer hair than I ever have had said use it. So I did. There are lots of recommended brands out there but as I have come to learn, the brand is not necessarily important, it is the attributes of the product itself. It should be as unprocessed as possible and it should contain “The Mother”, enzymes that live in liquid that are good for your body (for those that ingest this) and your hair. Some say it should be organic but I sometimes think the whole “organic” thing is just a way for companies to charge more for something that is different but not significantly different and not necessarily better. That could just be the cynic in me coming out to spread doubt though. “The Mother” does make the vinegar look murky which goes against what you normally would like from products you use. You want them to look clean and clear but as I’m discovering with buying ingredients rather than finished products, the real thing may not look like you expect. The one I ended up buying was Raw Health’s Apple Cider Vinegar with Mother. And it stinks just like any other brand!

There are a lot of different dilutions talked about all over the internet and I was being super lazy and couldn’t be bothered to check Google I wasn’t sure which one to go with, so I guessed my own concoction and it turns out I do not know what I am talking about…yet.

As you can see from the photo I used the top of a bubble bath bottle to measure because I couldn’t find my measuring spoons. I used 3 parts water to 1 part ACV. That wasn’t a problem and in fact it gave me a nice small amount that is just enough for my TWA (teeny weeny afro). I put it in one of my many spray bottles, co-washed my hair and then sprayed all of the mixture onto my head. I also added a little Tea Tree Oil because I was worried about the vinegar irritating my scalp, I had this horrible image of my scalp burning like it does when you use a relaxer after scratching your head. However, that wasn’t the problem, the dryness I experienced afterward was. I thought it was because I didn’t pre-poo which would have definitely helped. I didn’t deep condition with Honey and Oil afterwards but as an alternative I left my conditioner in for much longer than I normally would. This obviously wasn’t sufficient with the dilution of ACV I used. I said to my sister how much I put on my hair and I did see the momentary flash of horror on her face which she quickly concealed with “Yup, that’s too much.” This also goes to show what happens when you don’t have time to properly complete all the steps you need to care for your hair.

I would say that considering how dry my hair felt for days afterwards, it definitely works to cleanse your hair, stripping away all of the oils and creams you layer on day after day. So there is the plus. It works! How could my hair have gotten so dry if it didn’t remove all of the buildup? I will do it again but next time I will try diluting it 10 parts water to 1 part ACV. If that’s too weak then I will up the concentration and keep tweaking the ratio until I get it right for me. Going forward I want it to cleanse my hair, not kill it. It took me almost 3 whole days until I was happy again with how it felt and I spent those 3 days worried that I had permanently ruined my hair. Luckily, with being so early into my journey, starting again wouldn’t scare me but I’m glad I didn’t have to.

The other option and possibly the more sensible one is to add ACV to my regular shampoo or conditioner if only co-washing. The shampoos job is to clean and by adding the ACV this should help boost it’s ability to do so. In my mind, it would be a good idea to add it to a moisturising shampoo so it doesn’t dry out my hair but there are quite a few options to avoid the dryness – use a conditioner, deep conditioner, moisturising shampoo, LOC method post wash or all of the above which may be my choice because I am so scared and paranoid about my hair not being moisturised and soft.

So here’s to more mistakes because mistakes lead to growth or something else you’d find someone saying on Instagram or Pinterest.

Oh and the smell goes away…eventually!

Let’s keep growing together!

xx Lee xx

Comments welcome below. Have you tried ACV in your hair, on your body etc.? What works for you?

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