How to Make a Hair-Protecting Treatment Using Apple Cider Vinegar

Photo: Stocksy/Marija Savic
Despite all the amazing things about summer (lounging in a dreamy outdoor oasis, jetting off to an amazing wellness vacay, and of course: peaches!), the season definitely puts your healthy hair through the ringer. From chlorine-loaded pools to salty waves, warm-weather fun can leave your locks looking, well, less than mermaid-y.

So what can you do? It may sound contradictory to spritz your locks with something smelly, but that's just the solution: apple cider vinegar. Yes, the wellness elixir you may drink every morning (or at least pour over your kale salad) does wonders for your hair, too. (I even washed my own tresses with it to great results.)

Contrary to popular belief, using the acidic nutrient in your tresses will not mess with any dye you may have.

The ultra-acidic powerhouse ingredient is known to promote shine, but it can be super beneficial when it comes to summer-damaged hair, too.

"Apple cider vinegar mixed with water is a great way to bring back life to the hair," says Will Johnson, owner and master stylist at cool-girl salon Whistle in New York City. "It's also great for the color."

And, contrary to popular belief, using such an acidic nutrient in your tresses will not mess with any dye you may have (good news for those rocking that Khaleesi-platinum shade). Much like vitamin C powder, ACV helps to remove the heavy metals that get stuck in your hair from too much time in chlorine, notes Johnson—and it helps smooth things out, creating a glossy shine.

"An ACV rinse will help close the cuticle layer and bring the pH back to the correct place," explains Johnson. "When the cuticle layer is closed, the hair will be shinier, less frizzy, and free of tangles."

Of course, just like when you're drinking it, dilution is key. You definitely don't want to pour it straight from the bottle over your head. Luckily, we got some pro advice on the perfect DIY mix—which you can use as often as needed.

Here, Johnson shares his ACV-infused recipe for repairing those summer-wrecked locks.

apple cider vinegar hair treatment
Photo: Stocksy/Victor Torres

Apple cider vinegar hair treatment

1/4 cup of organic apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups of purified water (can simply boil and let cool)
10-20 drops of lemon or rosemary essential oil (your preference)

1. Shake the mixture in a spray bottle well.
2. Spritz thoroughly in hair after shampooing.
3. Leave in for three minutes and then rinse with cool water.

"This is great for a healthy scalp, removing buildup, detangling, adding shine, and smoothing the hair," says Johnson. In that case—spritz your summer hair hangover away.

Originally published August 3, 2017. Updated May 27, 2018.

For more hair tips, this is what the creator of "The Rachel" cut wants you to know about styling your locks. And here's how to master the messy updo—summer's hottest hairstyle

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