Why apple cider vinegar is the perfect olaplex dupe you need to know about

Kourtney Kardashian swears by it

Marie Claire Marie Claire Editorial & Digital Intern / January 16 2020

Your regular hair care regimen most likely consists of the usual products; shampoo, conditioner, anti-frizz serum - or even a mask if your locks are in desperate need of some TLC. But what if we told you there’s a new secret ingredient that could restore your dry and damaged tresses to their former glory? Enter: Apple cider vinegar. The health benefits of the humble pantry item are practically legendary with ACV being praised for its ability to help people lose weight and manage their blood sugar. 

So, why in the world would you want to wash your hair with ACV? This pantry staple has been exalted - Kourtney Kardashian and Miranda Kerr use it on the daily - as a post-shampoo rinse before conditioning. Plus, it's beloved for its rejuvenating properties leaving damaged hair feeling soft and smooth

How Does It Work?

Apple cider vinegar improves our scalp health. To put it simply: Our scalp naturally produces oils that have a pH level that ranges between 4.5 and 5.5 on the pH scale. When our hair is healthy, this level of acidity prevents bacteria buildup in the hair and scalp and keeps the cuticle sealed. 

However, many of the hair care products that we regularly use (shampoos and conditioners are the worst offenders) are high in alkaline pH and disrupt the natural pH balance of the hair. Causing the hair cuticle to open and split, and consequently leaving you susceptible to those dreaded dead ends.

But that’s where apple cider vinegar comes into play. Its acidic properties work wonders on dry and brittle tresses, from exfoliating dry flakes from your scalp to removing clumpy residue and boosting shine.

To break it down, ACV is produced by fermenting apples (a concoction of crushed apples, yeast and sugar) wherein enzymes from the fermented apples work to seal and smooth the hair cuticle, thus restoring damaged and brittle hair. And the best part? It's super affordable. In fact, it's likely you already have it sitting in your pantry at home somewhere. 

If you're intrigued to find out what all the fuss is about for yourself, start by combining two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and water. After your shampooing and conditioning routine, pour the mixture into your hair and massage it into your scalp. Let the apple cider vinegar sit for a few minutes before rinsing thoroughly with cool water. 

It goes without saying that we all have different hair types and textures, so treading with caution and trialling how your scalp reacts first is of the utmost importance. Due to its acidic nature, too much ACV can leave you with straw-like strands. Start by trying it once or twice a month for optimal results and then continue to use as necessary. You should notice shine and body restored to your hair within a matter of no time.

Looking for more tricks to up your beauty game? Check out these 25 beauty editor tested hacks.

What beauty hacks do you swear by? Let us know in the comments below.

Main image credit: @kourtneykardash

Maddison has been marie claire’s star intern on both print and digital since 2018 and spends her days reading and writing about the latest skincare tips and tricks. When she isn't watching reruns of Gossip Girl, you can find Maddison indulging in a new face mask or trying to emulate Meghan Markle’s signature messy bun (it’s harder than it looks!).