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With its water-like appearance and distinctive sour odor, white vinegar is a liquid acetic acid solution produced through the fermentation of alcoholic liquids. Although many people use this versatile solution in the kitchen and laundry room, you may not be aware of its ability to improve and condition your hair. Look for this inexpensive hair treatment ingredient at a supermarket or grocery store, where it typically sells for as little as $2 or $3 per gallon.

Hair Rinse

According to Joe Green, author of the book “Joe Green’s Supermarket Spa,” white vinegar provides a low-cost hair rinse that may help you manage oily hair. In order to utilize white vinegar for this purpose, you’ll need to use it immediately after shampooing and conditioning your hair. Green recommends that you blend plain white vinegar with an equal amount of water, applying the thinned vinegar solution to your hair and rinsing it out thoroughly before drying and styling your hair. Green says you can also use white vinegar as a scented hair rinse, but make sure you allow two weeks for it to ferment before use for the strongest herbal scents. Adding a cup of grated orange peels or another favorite herb or spice to several cups of full-strength white vinegar provides an acceptable blend of ingredients. After letting the blended ingredients sit for two weeks, filter it by pouring it carefully through a coffee filter. Store the solution in a spray bottle, applying it directly to your hair before washing it out completely with warm water.

Shine Boost

According to Elizabeth Crowe, coauthor of “Prevention’s Ultimate Guide to Women’s Health and Wellness,” white vinegar increases your hair’s shine appeal and gives it more body. In order to cut down on the amount of acetic acid you’re putting on your hair, Crowe suggests a custom blend of 1 tbsp. white vinegar and 1 pint plain water. The low vinegar content allows you to scent it quickly as well. You can create a pleasant scent by steeping a bag of herbal tea--Crowe suggests chamomile--in a pint of water for several moments before adding the vinegar and spraying the liquid mixture onto your hair. Add enough vinegar to dampen your hair, leaving it alone to soak for a couple of minutes before rinsing.

Natural Highlights

According to Diane Irons, author of “The World’s Best Kept Beauty Secrets,” white vinegar is powerful enough to provide an effective solution for creating or enhancing blonde hair highlights in your hair. In order for the vinegar to accomplish this, it must remain in your hair for a longer period. Irons suggests 10 minutes, but you may need to do it a bit longer if you’re not getting the results you want. Mixing 5 tbsp. of the white vinegar with a dollop of your regular shampoo provides an easy way to achieve your blonde look. Shampoo your hair as usual, leaving the solution in your hair for at least 10 minutes before rinsing and conditioning, as normal.