Tag-Archive for » vinegar rinse «

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008 | Author:

So those of you who are unfamiliar with shampoo bars might be wondering what’s up with the vinegar rinse. Here’s the Cliff’s notes version, but if you google “vinegar hair rinse” you’ll learn a ton more. Basically, hair has all these scales on it, and when they’re roughed up, it makes your hair tangly and dull. If they’re smoothed down, your hair is silky and shiny. A pH higher than 7, i.e., a base, like most soaps, opens up these scales, or cuticles, causing your hair to get tangly and roughed up. A vinegar rinse, which has an acidic pH, smooths these cuticles back down, making your hair, you guessed it, shiny and tangle-free. In addition, soap can sometimes form a scum when combined with your natural hair oils and have trouble getting rinsed out (this is especially true in hard water). The vinegar rinse ensures that the soap rinses out completely.

All that being said, I know people who have hard water, wash their hair with soap, don’t use any vinegar rinses or conditioners, and are totally happy with their hair. So I’m not sure if it’s a hair type thing or a matter of finding the right soap, but so far, I need to do the vinegar rinse in order to be happy with my results with shampoo bars. Maybe if I find the right bar, I’ll be able to skip this step, although it’s not hard and no big deal.

All I do is pour a glug (about a tablespoon) of vinegar into a bottle, fill the rest with water and bring it into the shower with me. Then, after I’ve washed and rinsed my hair, I pour this on my hair, finish my shower and rinse it out right at the end. The vinegar smell is not too strong — especially since I cut down on how much I use. I use white vinegar because I happened to have a big bottle of it laying around. Most sites recommend apple cider vinegar, but I don’t think it matters. As long as you have a mildly acidic rinse, that’s all that matter. Lemon or lime juice work as well, as does citric acid.