It’s 8 a.m. on a Thursday and for the seventh time this week I flip off the bathe and dump vodka on my head. The scent of a $10 bottle washes over me for about 15 seconds as I work the spirit into my hair, fastidiously avoiding my eyes. Then I dry off, and go about my day.
Residing by the recommendation of magnificence bloggers can lead you down some unusual life paths. I ended up dousing my hair with vodka after coming throughout a weblog put up on The Beauty Gypsy by Anubha Charan, who has labored as a Vogue magnificence director and Marie Claire magnificence editor. Within the piece, she suggests utilizing a vodka-water combine as a clarifying rinse after washing your hair to be able to take away “product buildup from the scalp and strands.” Shade me intrigued.
I discovered comparable tales about utilizing vodka as a hair product in babe, the Style Craze blog, XO Jane and numerous others. It’s not an ideal measure, however the first 10 pages of Google search outcomes on washing hair with vodka are crammed with folks testing it out and spreading the vodka-wash gospel. It could possibly “cure almost all problems related to hair and scalp,” one weblog wrote, while another added that vodka “leaves your hair clean, lustrous and voluminous” with the additional benefit of “stopping dandruff.”
“Vodka works very well as a clarifying agent to take away product buildup from the strands and scalp,” Charan informed Supercall in an e mail. “By doing this, it stimulates hair development and makes the strands shine! It additionally lowers hair’s pH, serving to the cuticles to shut, and sealed cuticles imply decreased frizz and tons of shine (once more!).”
Bought. I exploit product to maintain the hair out of my face, and vodka’s potential to relax the frizz whereas additionally eradicating hair product “buildup” sounded instantly interesting. Plus, who would complain about tons of additional shine?
Charan says her vodka rinse method—one cup water, one tablespoon of vodka utilized after washing—got here from a 67-year-old girl from Samara, Russia. Charan says she tried it out herself with constructive outcomes. That was sufficient to persuade me, somebody who final obtained knowledgeable haircut in 2014, to strive it. Ignoring Charan’s recommendation to not do an excessive amount of too quick (“no more than as soon as per week” was the precise recommendation), I made a decision to strive it out on daily basis for per week like Jacqueline Suazo did for her babe story. However as an alternative of Suazo’s vodka-conditioner combine, I went with Charan’s vodka rinse since I don’t use conditioner within the first place—my sister usually tells me I’ve “lady’s hair” already, and I’m completely content material with my hair’s pure softness. Plus I’m low cost and two bottles for hair at all times appeared extreme.
From day one, my girlfriend Heather had some comprehensible reservations. Maintaining a bottle of vodka on the prepared within the bathe is a questionable transfer at finest. Then there’s the scent. The steam from the new bathe carried the scent of vodka all through our whole, admittedly small, New York condominium. On the finish of the primary day although, Heather made a curious remark: My hair smelled higher in a impartial means.
Within the hopes of studying extra, I reached out to hair scientists, beauty colleges and different magnificence bloggers. New York College’s Langone Well being turned down my request to talk with researchers concerning the impact alcohol can have on hair, and Bernstein Medical by no means answered. 5 cosmetology colleges and 7 magnificence bloggers ignored my emails as nicely. Even a request on Assist A Reporter Out, a device that connects journalists with sources, didn’t dig up any leads. Apparently it’s a tough request to take severely, so I used to be left to my very own analysis.
An interview with hair loss skilled Samuel Lam on the weblog Naturally Curly was the primary unfavorable signal I discovered. Lam stated that he couldn’t “severely reply the query of whether or not vodka does something particular for hair,” however he acknowledged that dwelling treatments “have been touted to work however haven’t panned out.”
A study analyzing the protection of placing ethanol in your pores and skin was printed in 2008 by the Nationwide Middle for Biotechnology Data (NCBI). It seems dumping vodka in your head wasn’t frequent sufficient to be included within the examine, and it analyzed high-alcohol hand sanitizers to find out the topical results of alcohol as an alternative. Alcohol, the examine states, has antimicrobial results as a result of it denatures protein. It’s additionally essentially the most speedy bactericidal and fungicidal ingredient in hand disinfection. Including to the excellent news, the examine states that alcohol-based merchandise “trigger much less pores and skin irritation than hand washing.”
This was all promising, aside from the truth that hand sanitizer has between 60 and 90 p.c alcohol. Vodka is barely 40 p.c, and I used to be weakening its bacteria-killing potential even additional by mixing it with a cup of New York water that’s so questionable it comes out of the bathe head a considerably milky white coloration. Vodka isn’t even sturdy sufficient to kill micro organism in drinks, a study in late 2017 found. A 2002 hygiene study by the Facilities for Illness Management said that alcohol’s capacity to scrub depends on focus and phone time, including that “making use of small volumes” is “no more efficient than washing” with cleaning soap and water.
Per Charan’s advice, nonetheless, the rinse isn’t for killing off micro organism. It’s for eliminating any product construct up in your hair and scalp, so it may not matter if the micro organism simply will get a bit of drunk as an alternative of dying off. There aren’t any government-funded research about alcohol eradicating extra product construct up, although, so I needed to rely alone expertise for that.
The extra days in a row I rinsed with vodka, the greasier my hair appeared to get. It was a refined, however noticeable, distinction. My hair, which is painfully straight and could be fluffy, additionally misplaced any frizz and fell flatter on my head than regular. Vodka surprisingly didn’t dry my scalp out or trigger dandruff or itchiness, but it surely additionally didn’t actually do something constructive. The results, in my expertise, have been minimal.
So must you rinse your hair with vodka? It’s in all probability not definitely worth the questions you’ll get concerning the bottle by your tub.