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Citric acid and ascorbic acid for healthy skin and hair, no dandruff
Over the years I have tried a few different methods to wash my hair. Mostly out of curiosity
to see what would happen and to see how washing hair looked like in the pre-industrial area.
I have tried: less shampoo, just normal soap, just water and vinegar, baking soda and water,
water and egg-white, various tea mixtures, citric acid, ascorbic acid (vitamin-c).
All of them work well but rinsing the hair with one of the above acids provided very good results and
can be combined with any of the other hair washing methods.
A healthy scalp and skin is slightly acidic and many shampoos are alkaline to neutral.
Rinsing the hair with vinegar makes it shiny. People have used it for hundreds of years after washing
Rinsing the hair with vinegar helps to maintain that acidity. However not all acids are equal in the
way they dry. You can dilute different kinds of acids to the same strength by adding more or less water
to each type of acid but even when the same amount of volume has evaporated for different acids the
strength of the remaining solution can be very different.
It is therefore important to consider what happens when diluted acids dry.
- Vinegar evaporates at room temperature before all the water has evaporated. This means
that a vinegar solution becomes less and less concentrated as it dries. Eventually there is
no acid left.
- Citric acid or ascorbic acid are solids. The powder of those acids can be diluted to get a solution but when
it dries the solution becomes more and more concentrated. The acid molecule remains. Only the water
I wanted to try something other than vinegar because vinegar smells due to the fact that it evaporates.
However I was a bit worried about what would happen when I had finally tiny concentrated acid crystal on
my skin. It turns out that citric acid and ascorbic acid are much stronger acids than vinegar but
they are still fairly weak and they are acids that occur naturally in fruit juices. We can drink them without any problems.
Normal skin can handle a thin film of microscopic citric acid or ascorbic acid crystals.
It is actually very good for the skin as it builds a protective acid layer and the acid itself
is not strong enough to damage the skin. There are as well studies showing that the antioxidant property of ascorbic acid reduces the effects of photo-ageing on the skin.
A tea spoon full of citric acid and ascorbic acid
I made a solution that consists of a teaspoon of citric acid powder and
a teaspoon ascorbic acid powder dissolved in 0.5 Liters of water. After that I just dry my hair with a
towel. The results are very good. No itching scalp. No dandruff. It's not that I had a dandruff before but
towards the winter when I used a heat to go outside I would sometimes get some dandruff. There is no more
dandruff at all and my scalp just feels much better.
Good and healthy hair starts with a healthy scalp and it seems this is what citric acid or ascorbic acid help with.
I have experimented also with solutions of just citric acid or just ascorbic acid. There was not much
obvious difference. The mixture seems to work best but I did not do a scientific study on this. This is just
Note that ascorbic acid is an antioxidant and as the ascorbic acid molecules oxidize they change their
color from clear/white to brown. This can discolor pillows and towels. The brown stains go away when you
wash the items.
If you have long hair then you might still want to rise the hair with water after rinsing the
scalp with the acid solution. Citric acid and ascorbic acid make the hair stiff since they become
solids when drying. I have as well tried a small spray bottle and I use it to spray the solution very
close to the scalp such that the outer hairs gets less exposed to the acids.
A small spray bottle with a solution of citric acid and ascorbic acid. Keep it in a dark cabinet. Ascorbic acid oxidizes quickly and becomes yellow-brown when exposed to light.
© 2004-2019 Guido Socher