Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Diggy Llyod
If there’s one thing that all my friends ask me for, it’s a hack or quick tip on how to grow out their hair — fast. Whether they just got a cut they don’t love, or simply want long locks for Fall, everyone I know needs to learn “the secret” to a mane that won’t quit.
So when I saw this Glowpink article titled, “You Need Just 1 Spoon of This to Get Long, Thick Hair Like Never Before,” I was intrigued, but skeptical. According to this recipe, apple cider vinegar is the key ingredient to making your strands grow fast and stay healthy. Of course those are the results everyone wants to see, but as a jaded beauty writer, I needed to call in an expert.
That’s why I reached out to Dr. Rachel Nazarian of Schweiger Dermatology Group in NYC. I trusted her to tell me what’s what when it comes to apple cider vinegar. First, here’s the recipe in question:
1 cup water
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
Mix the water and apple cider vinegar together in a big bowl
Transfer the mixture to a spray bottle
Spritz over your hair
Wait 30 minutes
Wash off with shampoo
When I asked Dr. Nazarian if this mixture, which promises “speedy-fast hair growth,” is for real, she answered with a resounding: “No. Not even a little . . . The speed and length of hair growth is predetermined — washing with a particular substance can’t alter it.”
And even though you may long for the hair of that one friend who claims her strands grow fast, chances are, you both probably have the same rate of growth. According to Dr. Nazarian, all human hair grows at a uniform pace: nearly half an inch each month.
Nothing can speed up the process, but apple cider vinegar won’t necessarily hurt your locks, either. According to Dr. Nazarian, “Because most apple cider vinegar doesn’t vary too far from the natural pH of hair, it’s unlikely to do much damage if rinsed off quickly, but case reports of chemical burns caused by apple cider vinegar do exist . . . Ultimately, I would never recommend this treatment — especially with safer, gentle commercial shampoos that can offer the benefit of cleansing hair without the risk.”
And the next time you come upon a similar recipe that claims such results, be warned. Dr. Nazarian says that, “There is no such thing as a ‘magical treatment’ in real life. There’s nothing you can do to speed up hair growth — period.”
While it’s true that some hair treatments such as vitamins and injections can thicken strands, Dr. Nazarian says that you’ll only see improvement after about three months of continuous use.
In short, the derm says, “Save your apple cider vinegar for your salad dressing.”