Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Natural Beauty // Apple Cider Vinegar vs Lemon Juice


Beautiful Hair

So here is something I wished I tried at the beginning of Summer...

A lemon juice hair rinse, instead of apple cider vinegar (ACV).

You may not remember, but a while back I tried the no-poo method for washing hair: a baking soda (BS) wash with an ACV rinse. It went bad, then quite well, then horribly. I made some adjustments along the way, testing variables such as the amount of BS and ACV or the number of days between washes.

Finally I determined that baking soda is too alkaline for my skin, hair and the type of water coming through our faucet. I switched to Nature's Gate shampoo (an all-natural shampoo by recommendation of a friend - thank you!) and decided on washing every other day.

And I continued the ACV rinses because that's what keeps my hair soft and shiny.

However, it can smell. It's a strong smell even when diluted. And while most no-poo-ers can honestly say they do not smell the ACV after it's been rinsed out and the hair dries -- some days I can. Usually on hot or humid days, ever so faintly, it's there.

Which is why I should have tried lemon juice sooner. I LOVE the smell of lemons! So fresh, clean and light.

And for me, the juice seems to work better than ACV. I say seems, because I have only used it four times. But I am pretty much sold. My hair is shinier, softer and light-weight - I feel like ACV weighed it down some - and my tresses smell fresh all day long.

No, I'm not concerned about bleaching my hair from the lemon juice. I looked it up just in case, but all evidence leads to the fact that lemon juice bleaching only occurs when:
1) You use A LOT of juice
2) You leave it in the hair (instead of rinse it out)
3) You are in the sun A LOT
4) You do the above three things day after day for weeks and weeks

No bleaching here. Just soft, shiny tresses!


Beautiful Skin

I did some more research on lemon juice to see if it would also be beneficial for the skin. Most sources say lemon juice is great for reducing acne/oily skin or fading dark spots. I vaguely remember using lemon juice as a toner a couple years ago - and liking it - but I got tired of squeezing lemons or something.


With ACV I learned it reduced oil production and moisturized my skin. After my hair rinse I would squirt the ACV/water mix all over my face and body to let it set for several seconds before rinsing. (Again, the smell. But it helped.)

The reason ACV is so good for the skin is that it is close to the skin's natural ph level (around 4.5). Most soaps are too alkaline for the skin. Those products will clean, but also strip the skin's natural oils and protective barrier. This leads to increased oil-production, clogged pores, bacteria build-up, infections, and so on. ACV will both cleanse and restore the skin's natural balance. It can even heal and soothe painful infections.

Lemon juice is more acidic than the skin (around 2.5), so I wonder if it will be as beneficial as ACV. I have not read any negative side effects of using it though. I'm eager to give it another try!

Anyone else have good experiences with lemon juice?

2 comments:

Anonymous said... Reply to Comment

I have managed to transition my hair to no using just baking soda and an apple cider vinegar rinse---my hair loves both! Unfortunately, my husband HATES the smell of apple cider vinegar and has asked me to stop using it. (And I even rinse it all of the way out). So, even though it is a little less convenient, I think I am on to trying lemons! I was a little worried about it not working as well, but you give me hope! :0) We will see how it turns out.

Valerie said... Reply to Comment

@Anonymous I hope lemon juice works for you! I've noticed that it does have a slightly different effect than ACV. So sometimes I will add a few drops of tea tree oil to the lemon juice, and it will condition my hair even more. I actually do different things on different days, depending on humidity, and moisture level in my hair already. The point is to experiment and see what works for you! Thanks for reading my post! :)