Hair is your crowning glory and its condition can say so much about you. If fact, it’s so important to many women that one method of punishment to women in olden times and during war times, was to shave their heads.
In order to understand why your hair isn’t shiny, you need to understand the composition of hair. It has an outer layer called the cuticle that acts like a protective cover, much the way bark protects the tree.
The cuticle isn’t a smooth coating but rather like scales that bond together or shingles on a roof. If you’ve damaged the cuticle of the hair, it affects the overall appearance of it.
The cuticle normally lays flat on the hair, which makes your hair have a smooth silky appearance. When the bond is tight, it creates a reflective surface that gives your hair a shimmering shine.
However, shampooing can open the cuticles, breaking that tight surface that makes the hair look shiny. Not only does it reduce or obliterate the sheen, it also gives a dull or damaged appearance to the hair.
You don’t have to have dull, lifeless hair after you shampoo, you can follow a regimen and use products that make your hair shine.
While some shampoos that cost a fortune can bring lifeless hair back to life, you can do the same thing with some simple ingredients you find in your cupboard.
You’ll not have the shimmering hair other women envy, you’ll save huge amounts of money in the process.
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 pinch of baking soda
- 1 small squirt of shampoo
You can adjust the amount of ingredients according to your hair length.
The recipe for a conditioning shampoo is easy, mix one squirt of your favorite shampoo with two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and a small pinch of baking soda.
It will fizz a bit, but I like that part! Use this to shampoo with at least one or two times a week and then condition afterward as you normally would.
What Does the Apple Cider Vinegar Do?
Apple cider vinegar is acidic and can be used to remove soap scum from tubs and sinks. It also does the same for the hair shaft, stripping away the built up residue from years of shampooing.
- That residue stops the cuticle from creating a reflective surface that gives your hair the shine.
- It also can prevent the cuticle from closing properly, which also stops the reflective quality of the hair. Not only does sealing the cuticle tightly give a reflective surface, it also stops tangles by allowing the hair to slide easily.
- Your scalp benefits from the vinegar stimulating blood circulation.
The Pinch of Baking Soda Can Be Important
When you add a pinch of baking soda to the mixture, it helps reduce the acidity from years of highly acidic shampoos.
Some people create a combination of one part baking soda to three parts of water to create their own shampoo.
Allow it to sit on their hair and then after rinsing completely, use a mixture of apple cider vinegar with four parts of water and a bit of peppermint, lavender or other essential oil for a fragrant smell.
This recipe combines all the steps at once for the same results.
You’ll add shine, lock in moisture and protein by locking down the cuticle and have smoother tangle free hair when you use this recipe or any version of it, whether in one step or two.
It helps protect the elasticity of the hair as well since the baking soda lowers the pH of the hair. Over time, you’ll notice your hair is more and more elastic because of more hydrogen bonds.
Be Aware of How Temperature Affects the Hair
The cuticles open with warm water and close when you expose them to cooler water. When you’re washing and conditioning your hair you’ll want to keep this in mind.
Just like the acid in apple cider vinegar closes the cuticles, locks in moisture and creates a shiny surface, so does cooler water.
If you find your hair still has problems with tangling and frizzles, try using the formula with a baking soda wash and an apple cider vinegar rinse. You can follow the regimen with a detangling conditioner.