I struggled with a dry scalp for my entire life and could never figure out what the problem was until I started a no-poo routine. Switching to a baking-soda paste "shampoo" and an ACV rinse changed my life. From there I started using shampoo bars and have never looked back! It's convenient, practically waste-free, and the texture/health of my hair and scalp has never been better.
What this all taught me was about the basic health and chemistry behind washing your hair.
The hair is a two-part structure consisting of the follicle, located below the skin the houses the root of the hair, and the hair shaft. Below the surface are the sebaceous glands that secrete sebum through the follicle, which lubricate the hair and skin. This oil makes up part of the acid mantle, which is a very fine, slightly acidic film that maintains and protects the overall health of the hair and skin. The outer layer of the shaft, known as the cuticle, is made up of tightly packed overlapping scales. The acid mantle and the pH of the acid mantle are critical in having the scales lay flat, giving the hair a shiny, smooth appearance and holds in moisture. What causes the cuticles to stand up, losing moisture, shine, creating frizzy, dull, damaged hair is a pH is that is greater than it should be. The acid mantle has a pH of around 5, which is slightly acid and many products on the market, including soap, are more alkaline (pH >7), which disrupt the acid mantle layer. Even sweat and diet can cause changes in the acid mantle.
Constantly maintaining the pH of our hair creates great hair days and scalps that are free from scales. Organic apple cider vinegar (ACV) has potassium, pectin, malic acid, calcium, B vitamins, vitamin C, and potassium and is loaded with beneficial acids and enzymes. These are crucial for hair health and ACV has a pH of around 3, making it perfect to close the cuticle and lay those scales flat.
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) Rinse
2-4 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
16 oz cool water
1-2 drops of your favorite essential oil
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