Last time, I posted information about a website that promoted “shampoo free” wash and suggested vinegar as one of the alternatives to shampoo. I kept researching about that and it looks like a lot of people are actually promoting this technique. Poo-free sounds logical since shampoo wasn’t always around. But what I really wanted to try was vinegar to lighten my hair.
As you may already know, one of the many benefits of vinegar is that it detangles and clarifies the hair. It can also remove buildup and return your hair to its natural state. I usually color my hair blonde, so vinegar sounded like a good way to lighten it up between retouches.
Most sites I read suggested apple cider vinegar, but right now I am living in Spain and have no idea where I can get that—or if it even exists here. The only kind I could get a hold of was white wine vinegar, which still works and in my opinion it’s better because of its lower acidity.
They say you should mix the vinegar with lemon juice for lighter results and leave it on for about 10-20 minutes. Well, I have an ugly trait called impatience. So this is how I did it.
- First, I shampooed my hair as usual. Then I rinsed out thoroughly.
- Second, I dumped the vinegar on my hair straight from the bottle (making sure I left some vinegar for the onions later. Yum.) I didn’t even part the hair, nor did I dilute it in water; but hey, this was just me trying “lightening my hair with vinegar” for the first time, however way, to see if it’d even work before I invested time in doing the actual work.
- Third, I left the vinegar on for FIVE minutes—not nearly close to the recommended 10-20 minutes—and rinsed it out when time was up.
Three things I learned: 1) Your hair does smell like something that’s been cooked in vinegar afterward; 2) The smells goes away; and 3) I should’ve done it in the sink, not in the shower. A friend could probably do this, too. By the way, avoid getting vinegar into your eyes…at all cost.
Anyway, that was only five minutes, so I am anticipating a stronger smell next time. That’s right, there will be a next time. In fact, I am trying this again tomorrow—the right way. I am really trying to find the best way to lighten my hair naturally, without chemicals if at all possible. All of these cancers and weird diseases are only boosting my paranoia.
So, what kind of results can you really expect from hardly five minutes of testing? Well, I could feel softness in my hair, and after blow-drying, it looked a little looser. As for the color, I thought the process didn’t work, but two days later my colleague asked, “Marcia, did you brighten your hair?” I thought, no way this thing worked! (I’m still baffled by that comment, it might’ve been a coincidence.) But apparently it did something to it—something that I personally couldn’t see. It is a good sign though. And tomorrow I’ll try it with lemon juice. Stay tuned for results!
Have you ever tried vinegar as a clarifier? Did it work well for you?
Update: so in my search of a more natural way to dye my hair, I tried washing my hair with lemon juice. It basically just clarified my already honey-blonde-colored hair. I shampoo-ed, lemonized — leaving in for a couple of minutes — and then conditioned my hair. I could see a very slightly lighter shade, nothing else. It gets rid of dust and dirt buildup. Hence, lightening your faded shade. But it won’t change your hair color in any major way. Your scalp and hair feel very clean though!