Can You Use Apple Cider Vinegar On Braids

Have you ever had one of those days where your hair just won’t stop itching? You’ve tried everything like ignoring it, letting the problem naturally go out or even taking a shower. This problem is even more annoying with braids. Fortunately, apple cider vinegar is the solution you’ve been itching to find all day.

Can You Use Apple Cider Vinegar On Braids? You’ll be happy to know that answer is a resounding yes. As long as you apply the solution the right way with some necessary precautions, apple cider vinegar is not just useable but also good for your hair.

If the idea of putting a form of salad dressing puts you off, there are a few alternatives that we discuss later in the article. But before you dismiss this life hack, read on as the benefits may just change your mind.

Why Your Braids Are Itching

Why Your Braids Are Itching

We are strong believers in the idea that the start to solving any problem is finding the reason for it. Your braids are likely itching for one of these 3 reasons.

1. Dirt Accumulation

Maintaining your braids is incredibly difficult because you can’t really wash them. This allows a lot of dirt and debris to get caught in between your locs. You are more susceptible to this issue if you live in a heavily polluted area.

2. Dead Skin

Dandruff is natural and you need to take measures against it or else you are going to make it snow wherever you go. Again, without washing and more importantly shampooing, you can’t get rid of this dead skin buildup.

3. Alkaline Chemicals On Braids

If you are using synthetic hair, you should know that some alkaline chemicals are used to coat this type of braiding hair. You may suffer from persistent itching on your scalp if you have an allergic reaction to these chemicals.

Why Apple Cider Vinegar Helps Eliminate The Itch

Why Apple Cider Vinegar Helps Eliminate The Itch

1. Easy To Apply

ACV can be easily applied to the scalp and braids by diluting it with water and using a spray bottle or cotton ball. The process is simple and convenient, making it an easy solution to use.

2. Removes Buildup

Due to the acidic nature of apple cider vinegar, it does something called scalp exfoliation. This scrubs out the dead skin and dirt deposits. In other words, it keeps your hair neat and clean by removing buildups of foreign substances. The process is the same for both braiding hair and your natural hair.

3. Chemical Reaction

When you soak your hair in apple cider vinegar, it counteracts the negative effects of strongly alkaline braiding hair. The acidic nature allows it to offset the pH of the alkaline chemicals your skin may react to.

4. Antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties

ACV has natural antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help to soothe the scalp and relieve itchiness. It can also help to reduce inflammation and promote healing, which can further support healthy hair and scalp.

How To Apply Apple Cider Vinegar On Hair

How To Apply Apple Cider Vinegar On Hair

Applying apple cider vinegar to your hair is a more complex process than you would think. Make sure you follow these 4 steps to get all the benefits without any of the fallout.

Step 1: Make The Apple Cider Vinegar Solution

The first step is to create a miracle cure for your itch. To keep the ratio 1:4, you use one part apple cider vinegar and four parts water. Make as much solution as you need to cover your hair. You can make some extra and keep it in the fix for up to a year for any future emergencies.

Step 2: Shampoo And Condition

Before applying the solution, you need to clean and moisturize your hair. Use a high-quality shampoo and conditioner to prepare it for this process.

Step 3: Apply The Solution And Wait

Once your hair is completely dry, you need to apply the solution to all your hair. It generally takes around 10-15 minutes for the effects to take place. Don’t cross the 20-minute mark as it may harm your hair greatly.

Step 4: Rinse It Off

This last step is crucial for the same reason you can’t cross the 20-minute waiting period: apple cider vinegar is highly acidic. After soaking the hair in apple cider vinegar, rinse thoroughly with cool water to remove any remaining vinegar and avoid irritation or damage. If you don’t wash it off, it is going to have some nasty side effects.

Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar For Braids

Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar For Braids

Other than stopping the itch, apple cider vinegar offers these 5 unique benefits for your braids.

1. Nutrients Soaked In

Apple cider vinegar is filled with vitamins and minerals. Your scalp should soak up some of these supplements and get some much-needed nutrition.

2. Detangles Knots

As apple cider vinegar can soften your hair, it is easier to get rid of knots once you apply the solution. A wide-tooth comb should easily get the job done.

3. Prevents Hair Loss

Anecdotal evidence suggests that apple cider vinegar is directly responsible for slowing down hair loss. This could be because it cleans the hair follicles.

4. Color Treatment Protection

If you’ve undergone a color treatment, you need to avoid color fading at all costs. Apple cider vinegar locks the cuticles of your hair and so, prevents this process from happening.

5. Cheap Pre-Treatment

Apple cider vinegar is an affordable method of preparing your hair for braiding. These are hard to find as most products tend to cost a lot. It may not be as effective but they make a great makeshift solution.

Risks Of Using Apple Cider Vinegar

Risks Of Using Apple Cider Vinegar

There are downsides to everything. These 3 problems with apple cider vinegar prove that hypothesis.

1. Scalp Pain

Acid is caustic so any skin that is exposed to it may experience some pain. If you have a high pain tolerance, this won’t be much of a bother.

2. Eye Damage

Ensure that not a single drop of the solution gets into your eyes. Wear eye protection if you have to.

3. Breakage

Unfortunately, apple cider vinegar can also damage your hair. The acidic qualities of the solution may greatly weaken the hair and cause it to break.

Applying Apple Cider Vinegar On Different Types Of Hair

Applying Apple Cider Vinegar On Different Types Of Hair

You need to follow different precautions for different types of hair. We can divide hair into these 3 types.

1. Synthetic Hair

Synthetic hair can be soaked in apple cider vinegar as a way to clean and refresh it. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Fill a bowl or sink with warm water and add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar.
  2. Place the synthetic hair into the bowl or sink, making sure that it is completely submerged in the water and vinegar mixture.
  3. Let the hair soak for 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. After soaking, rinse the hair thoroughly with cool water to remove any remaining vinegar residue.
  5. Gently squeeze out any excess water and let the hair air dry completely before styling.

Note: Be careful not to use hot water or a hair dryer to dry synthetic hair, as it can damage the fibers.

2. Dry Hair

Dry hair dries out even more when exposed to acid. Reduce the ratio of ACV if you feel as though your hair is too dry.

3. Oily Hair

Oily hair isn’t greatly affected by acids. Maintaining the ratio we mentioned should do the trick here too.

Natural Alternatives For Apple Cider Vinegar

If you are hesitant against using or can’t find ACV,  these natural hair care remedies should suffice:

  • White Vinegar
  • Jojoba Oil
  • Aloe Vera Shampoo 

Final Words

With that, you know all there is to know about using apple cider vinegar on your hair. You should now comfortably be able to answer the question: Can you use apple cider vinegar on braids to stop itchiness?

To recap, you need to start by finding the root of your problem as there are many causes for itchiness. Next, you need to use an apple cider vinegar solution following strict instructions. There are several benefits to this treatment but there are also a few key risks. You could try a few natural alternatives if you are hesitant.

The most important part is that you practice moderation. Overdoing any hair care routine can damage your hair so make sure that you don’t overindulge in this ritual.

By Cindy Mahlangu

Hey there! I'm Cindy Mahlangu, a pro hairstylist with a serious passion for natural hair care. My mission? To inspire and educate others on the beauty and benefits of protective hairstyles. Through my creative writing, aim to empower individuals to embrace their unique hair texture and confidently care for their locks. So, whether you're rocking locs, braids, or twists, join me on this hair journey and let's achieve healthy, fabulous tresses together!

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