The 21st Century Herbalist

Apple Cider Vinegar for Shiny Hair and pH Balanced Skin

It’s the start of “One Ingredient…One Great Fix” month and I’m starting with one of my favorites, apple cider vinegar. You probably know it best as a culinary ingredient, but it’s so much more than that!  I initially intended to give you “one great fix” but apple cider vinegar is so versatile that I couldn’t help myself and I had to give you two great fixes.

Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse
Remove Product-Buildup, Add Shine, Soothe Itchy Scalp

You know all those crazy hair styles you’ve been sporting lately?  Your shampoo can only do so much to remove all of the product that you use on your hair and the product that it leaves behind will build up and lead to dull hair.  You can also experience lack luster locks because your conditioner may contain glycerin*, which coats your hair making it soft and shiny.  It also attracts dust and dirt, which then sticks to your hair and creates buildup.

You can combat buildup and add shine with a simple apple cider vinegar rinse.  There are all sorts of additional herbs and essential oils that you can add to this rinse, but the two most essential ingredients are distilled water and the apple cider vinegar and you can use them together with excellent results.

For oily to normal hair, mix 1 part apple cider vinegar with 4 parts distilled water.  For dry hair, use a mix of 1 part apple cider vinegar to 6 parts distilled water.

After shampooing pour the rinse over your hair and massage it into your scalp.  Rinse with warm water, then cool water. The smell may be strong at first, but it will fade and you won’t spend the day smelling like salad dressing. Use this rinse once a week to maintain shiny, healthy hair.  This rinse also has the added benefit of restoring your hair’s natural pH balance and soothing itchy scalp and dandruff.

*In general, glycerin is a great all-natural product and you shouldn’t avoid it because it can create buildup, just use the vinegar rinse to reduce its effects.

Apple Cider Vinegar pH Balancing Facial Toner
restore skin’s pH balance, reduce acne, prepare skin to absorb moisturizer

Apple cider vinegar makes a great pH balancing facial toner that can help combat acne and open your pores, allowing them to better absorb your moisturizer, which ultimately leads to smaller, less noticeable pores.

To make a toner, mix together 1/2 c. of apple cider vinegar with 2 c. distilled water.  After cleansing your face, apply the toner using a cotton pad and allow the skin to dry.  Then follow with your favorite skin moisturizer like the HelloGiggles inspired Rose, Apple and Honey Face Creme, from last week.  You may find the scent of the apple cider vinegar to be strong at first, but it is only temporary and is worth all of the benefits you get.

Just like the hair rinse, you can add herbs and essential oils to this recipe.  In fact you can swap the distilled water with an herbal floral water made from a variety of herbs that compliment your skin type, like this Easy, All-Natural, pH Balancing Facial Toner recipe.  I don’t recommend using this toner on very sensitive skin or sunburned skin.  When in doubt, test a small area first.

Apple cider vinegar does so much more than just this, but it’s a great place to start.  So why not give it a try this weekend and see how a $3 bottle of vinegar can give you healthy hair and skin.

Next Week: One Ingredient…One Great Fix – Hydrogen Peroxide

image via: istockphoto