Apple Cider Vinegar for Color Treated Hair

Adding apple cider vinegar to your shampoo can make hair shiny.

Photo: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Just like that doughnut you had to have for breakfast, using too many hair products is bound to catch up to you. When you can’t do without your hairspray, gel, mousse or serums, they can build up on your hair over time and make it feel sticky and look greasy. This is normally where a clarifying shampoo comes in, but you have color-treated hair and many of these shampoos can strip your color away. One ingredient you might have in your cabinet can help: apple cider vinegar.

How It Helps

Apple cider vinegar has more than just a strong smell: It has a high level of acidity that you can use to your advantage when you have hair build-up. When you apply apple cider vinegar to your color-treated hair, the acid helps to remove the extra build-up. Apple cider vinegar isn’t as strong a cleanser as traditional ingredients in clarifying shampoos, such as sodium laureth sulfate. For this reason, apple cider vinegar may be healthier for color-treated hair.

Make Your Own

You can create an apple cider vinegar rinse or add it to your shampoos to cut the gunk, yet not strip your hair. After rinsing out your shampoo in the shower, add 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to your hair and work it in as if you were applying shampoo. Leave this on for five minutes to give the apple cider vinegar time to remove build-up. Rinse away and follow up with a conditioner to infuse moisture into your hair.

Add to Shampoo

Another option for apple cider vinegar and color-treated hair is to add the vinegar to your shampoo for color-treated hair. Pour your desired amount of shampoo into your hand and add 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to the shampoo. Work the mixture through your hair as you normally would, leave it on for five minutes, then rinse away. This method allows you to use a color-protecting or moisturizing shampoo while still removing excess build-up.

Ready-Made Options

If you prefer your apple cider vinegar treatments come in a bottle, those are available too. “Allure” magazine recommends Fekkai Apple Cider Clarifying Shampoo, a shampoo that already has apple cider vinegar added to it along with softening and protective ingredients. This shampoo is considered to be gentle enough for use on color-treated hair. Look for other clarifying shampoos labeled as mild or safe for color-treated hair that contain apple cider vinegar at your drugstore shelves.

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