Apple cider vinegar for hair loss
Jan, 25 2020 | By Dr. Sangay Bhutia (Hair Transplant Specialist in Delhi)
If there is one product which finds a mention in most conversations and blogs about hair care, it has to be apple cider vinegar. From getting a healthy shine and bounce, to getting rid of dandruff, there is nothing that this all-in-one product can’t do. In fact a lot of people have even tried swapping their shampoo or conditioner with it, while some use it as a clarifying rinse post shampooing to add some shine. The one question that often props up about apple cider vinegar is whether it can cure hair loss and actually help in hair growth.
The answer is a little complex. Just using apple cider vinegar instead of curing the actual reason behind hair loss, which can vary from nutritional deficiencies, stress, an unhealthy lifestyle, or crash dieting, is not going to stop it. The important thing about curing hair loss is to understand what is causing it, and then dealing with that particular issue. Firstly, a normal person loses about 50 to 100 strands a day, if the hair loss is significantly more than that, it requires attention. A timely medical check up and a consultation with an expert can help identify the actual issue and adequate steps can be taken to arrest hair fall.
There is no substitute for medication, healthy eating, exercising, or curing any illness that may be causing it. However, here is what apple cider vinegar can do which might help you have healthy hair or even stop hair fall.
Experts say that apple cider vinegar, which is made out of the juice of fermented apples, can help clarify hair and remove any product buildup which might be clogging your scalp. The buildup can be caused by shampoo, conditioner, or other hair styling products.
Apple cider vinegar has antifungal and antibacterial properties which means that it can fight and stop the spread of Malassezia, the dandruff causing fungus.
Often, people who have dandruff might be using products which are unsuitable for them, causing a buildup and making the scalp itchy and flaky. Some hair products can even invigorate the condition as the yeast feeds on the oils present in these products. Apple cider vinegar can help avoid product build up which leads to dandruff.
Hair products interfere with the pH balance of the scalp. Hair is naturally acidic because of sebum and naturally occurring oils, and the cuticle is smooth. But hair products can make hair alkaline by opening the cuticle. Apple cider vinegar is slightly acidic and helps in maintaining the pH balance of the scalp. It can restore the pH balance and make the cuticle smooth, which means that it can detangle hair, avoid breakage, and split ends.
Product buildup and dandruff can be a cause of hair loss. The itching caused by dandruff can weaken hair and lead to follicles eventually falling off. Therefore keeping the hair clean and dandruff free can help in avoiding hair loss. Apple cider vinegar also contains vitamins A and C and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). AHAs help in boosting cell turnover and exfoliation, keeping the scalp healthy.
However, if the hair loss is genetic, apple cider vinegar will not be able to stop it. But even patients suffering from androgenetic alopecia or male pattern baldness can use apple cider vinegar to maintain a healthy scalp. Such patients risk losing more hair if they also have dandruff. Apple cider vinegar can help avoid product buildup in their hair as well and at least prevent any dandruff related hair loss.
Adding apple cider vinegar to your hair care routine is fairly beneficial. It is, however, important to dilute it with water before using it. An easy way to remind yourself to do it is to store it in a shampoo bottle mixed with water and apply while washing your hair. It can be left on hair for a few minutes and then rinsed off.