A post I’ve been meaning to write for ages! Now, I have to state a disclaimer up front – nothing I’m saying is based on peer-reviewed clinical trials or evidence based guidelines. This is just my personal haircare experience, and I have tried a lot of stuff over the years! Everything I’m suggesting will certainly not harm your hair, so don’t be afraid to give it a try even if you’re unsure if it will give you the same results as me.
What to use: 1 part apple cider vinegar + 8 parts water, a plastic cup
How to do it: dilute the apple cider vinegar before or while you’re in the shower. Wash your hair with shampoo first, then carefully pour the vinegar solution over your hair (including the scalp). Wait for 2 minutes, then rinse well with water (no conditioner required). Your hair will still smell vinegar-y until it dries and the vinegar evaporates off. Repeat every 4th or 5th wash.
Why you should do it: the sulfur-based ingredients in hair products are alkaline and raise the pH of the scalp, which can cause dandruff and greasy, heavy hair. Ever noticed that a great hair product seems to get less effective with time? Apple cider vinegar helps return the pH of the scalp to normal and also removes the build-up of products which makes hair lank and greasy. Do this once, and you’ll notice your hair is lighter and much shinier.
ps. if you have acne, use the leftover apple cider vinegar solution to wash your face! its great for getting rid of blemishes. just don’t get any in your eyes!
What to use: cold, cold water
How to do it: after shampooing and conditioning, flip your hair over and hold your head underneath the faucet while running the water as cold as possible. This is sometimes called the ‘Arctic Rinse’. While under the faucet, run your fingers downwards along your hair to smooth it. I recommend waiting until you’ve finished your shower so you can hop out and get some clothes on asap to avoid hypothermia.
Why you should do it: heat makes hair rough. The same is true for hot water, just as it is for using a straightener or curling tong. The hot water can help conditioner penetrate your hair strands, but it leaves hair looking frayed. The cold water helps smooth down the protein coating hair strands to make them look smoother and shinier.
What to use: oil (not the type in the picture!) – argan, coconut, hibiscus, macadamia, grapeseed, olive, gooseberry….
How to do it: pour out a small bit of oil (the amount depends on the length and volume of your hair) into your palm, and rub your hands together. Gently work the oil through your hair, starting at the ends. The majority of the oil should be deposited at the ends. If you have long hair, don’t apply further up than your shoulders. If you have short hair, apply it to the tips only. For deeper penetration, wrap your hair in a warm towel for 30 minutes. This can be done to dry or damp hair.
Why you should do it: why do guidos oil their bodies and lie on the Jersey Shore? ‘Cos it makes them shiny! Just don’t overdo it (again, guidos should tell you why this is a bad idea) because your hair will go from shiny to greasy to gross very quickly. Using oil is like putting waterproof moisturiser in your hair, and it usually makes it smell nicer too! Warning: do not apply oil and immediately use a heated tool on your hair! It will fry like Canadian bacon. Mmm…crispy.
I would really encourage you guys to try these 3 steps out. They’re easy and super cheap, and they’ve made a huge difference in the quality of my hair. You can get expensive branded clarifying shampoos (eg. bumble and bumble Sunday shampoo) or oil serums (eg. Moroccan oil) but honestly, the stuff from the supermarket works just as well and sometimes even better!
Good luck on your hair journeys, dear readers!