Friday, 17 January 2014

Ghana Hair Chick's Letters:The ACV Rinse on Natural Hair Part 1

Hello gorgeous naturalistas! Many greetings and well-wishes for your health and happiness. I hope you've all been enjoying the new year and everything it comes with.I also hope my previous posts on shedding and breakage were very helpful to you.If you still have questions, you can leave a comment and I will try my best to deal with it!
Today's letter deals with a very common question that has been asked over and over by almost every new natural haired lady.

Question
What is an ACV rinse ? Is there any scientific backing to the claims being made about its benefits on natural hair?

I will begin to answer this question this week, but in order to keep it short I will leave the concluding part till next week.

 What is an ACV rinse? 
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ACV is an abbreviation for 'Apple Cider Vinegar'. This is a type of  vinegar produced by fermenting the must or cider of apples. The must of a fruit is the juice of that fruit in addition to its seeds,skin and flesh as well. Even though cider usually refers to an alcoholic or fermented beverage, apple cider is used to refer to the unfiltered juice of apples and  contains particles from the flesh of the fruit. When this  cider is left out or specific yeasts and bacteria are added to it, a fermentation process converts glucose to alcohols and then acetic-acid forming bacteria convert this alcohol to acetic and malic acids. These acids generally give the vinegar its sour taste and reduces the pH that makes vinegar acidic. I hope we all remember some of our Chemistry, but just in case you forgot, a pH of 0-6.9 is considered acidic,7 is basic and 7.1-14 is alkaline. ACV  has a pH of 4.25-5, well within the acidic range. Natural hair usually has a pH of around 5, depending on what products you're using and so on.

As you may have guessed by my answer above, there are different types of vinegar and cider vinegar. Vinegar is usually the pure acetic acid obtained from the process above mixed with water.Therefore, it can come from any source, fruit or glucose containing solution. Even though cider vinegar is usually ACV, it can sometimes refer to the cider vinegar produced from other fruits such as grapes.
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There are also two main types of ACV: raw, organic and unfiltered or filtered apple cider vinegar. Raw ACV is unpasteurised  or 'un-sterilised' ACV. Hence, it still contains living bacteria and some yeast. Organic simply means that no chemicals or artificial preservatives were used in growing the apples or making the ACV. Finally unfiltered ACV is not filtered to remove any particulate matter. Therefore, it is quite usual to see a layer of solid material at the bottom of the bottle of raw organic ACV. Filtered ACV is usually clear with no particles in it.
One important claim about the benefits of ACV involves the particles and microbes left in it, or the 'mother' as it is commonly referred to. The mother of ACV is a cobweb-like layer of particles, bacteria and yeast found in raw unfiltered or organic ACV. The mother is believed to help with a lot of conditions in the human body, and by extension, natural hair. Because of this, most ACV rinses recommend organic ACV and not any other type of ACV. Does it matter what type of ACV used? We will get to that in the benefits section.

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An ACV rinse  involves rinsing hair with a solution of ACV and water. The proportions vary, but usually ranges between a few tablespoons of ACV in one cup of water, to one part ACV and one part water. When practicing an ACV rinse, most people wash their hair and use the ACV solution last before their final rinse and styling.
In order to decide if an ACV rinse is for you, please check back for the final part of this article to find out the beneficial claims of an ACV rinse on your hair and if these claims are supported by science. If you have any questions before then, please feel free to drop a comment below. Till then, stay blessed and beautiful!
The Ghana Hair Chick

4 comments :

  1. When it comes to hair care, I have studied the science of many processes, but I have never ever stumbled upon or studied the science of ACV in relation to hair care. I only know about the pH aspect. All I know is that I just do the ACV rinse, and it makes my scalp and hair healthy.

    Well done Yvonne, this is really enlightening. Can't wait for next week.

    P.S: My ACV is the clear one. No particles, mother or films. It is wellingtons by Heinz. I hope it is good enough sha, lol.

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    1. Lol..so long as its good for your hair I don't think you should worry too much.I'm glad the post was helpful.Thank you for your kind words..:)

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  2. I don't have it yet,i sure will get 1 soon.tanx for the info.I will hang in for the concluding tips

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    Replies
    1. Awesome!I'm glad you found it useful..;)

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