I’ve never had good hair. It’s not like I complain to anyone other than my stylist and my mom (after all, I did inherit my hair from her), but after years of praying for Gisele-level locks, I was ready to accept great hair was not in my destiny (it’s OK, I have other things going for me, right!?). My hair is naturally thin, dry, and knotty, no matter how much hair oil I use. It’s been known to edge on the side of frizzy, stringy, and just plain lifeless (if only you could see my eighth-grade graduation pictures).
I would rate my haircare as slightly above average. I always use “good” shampoo and conditioner, pay regular visits to the hair salon for cuts, and spray heat protectant before blow-drying, curling, or crimping (ah, the early 2000s were simpler times). One time, when I ran out of conditioner in high school, I put mashed avocado in my hair during my morning shower (thanks Google and whoever wrote “Conditioner Replacements You Can Find in Your Kitchen” on Yahoo).
Low and behold, the avocado didn’t rinse out all the way. Once my hair dried halfway through morning classes, I realized how avocado-y it was. In a panic, I washed my hair in the boy’s locker room during my free period (true story). Rookie mistake, yes, but at least I’ve always shown my dedication to silky strands, right? Yet still, despite my efforts (and the avocado), no matter what, good hair did not seem to be in my forecast.
Cut to 2020: “The Rachel” is trending again, Ariana Grande (finally) took out her ponytail, and I had just moved to LA six months prior, where everybody has good hair. Sure, you can blame the abundance of good hair on limitless extensions and celebrity stylists (way out of my budget), but I knew if I was ever going to get flawless strands, this was the time for my hair to shine (literally).
I’d heard about the Instagram-favorite brand, dpHUE, from popular bloggers and my obsession with clean beauty. It seemed legit, and if The Bachelor contestants like it, it was worth a try (AKA how I make all my purchasing decisions). Co-founder Justin Anderson is a celebrity stylist (and I mean the most iconic blondes in the industry like Jennifer Aniston, Margot Robbie, and Miley Cyrus), but he’s earned celeb-status in his own right (Very Cavallari fans know what I’m talking about).
But it wasn’t just the star-status that sold me on the cult-favorite Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse. I had done the research, and it seemed like the best product for hair health on the market. The Rinse contained *real* apple cider vinegar, which I knew was good for boosting shine. It also had aloe vera to repair damage and lavender extract to cleanse, instead of damaging chemicals in most shampoos like formaldehyde or phthalate. The product promised to gently remove impurities without stripping natural oils, while protecting hair color (win, win!). I threw in the Apple Cider Vinegar Leave-In Therapy too, because I don’t do anything half-assed.
The product recommends replacing your normal shampoo with the Rinse (you know it’s fancy when it’s called a ~rinse~) a couple of times a week, but since I try not to wash my hair too often, I stopped using my regular shampoo and decided to only wash 2-4 times a week with the Rinse. I also temporarily stopped using products from my beloved shelves full of haircare to see if the two dpHUE additions would really make a difference. It was the simplest routine I’ve had since back in the day when “haircare” meant “No-Tears!” shampoo.
I was well aware that the smell might not be like the typical coconut-vanilla scented hair products I was used to (have you ever smelled straight-up ACV?) and was fully prepared to spray perfume since I imagined the stench of the Leave-In would linger (at least the Rinse could be *rinsed* out). While the products had a hint of the signature ACV smell, they smelled much more refreshing than pungent. Once my hair dried, there was no trace of the scent at all, AKA the travel-size hair perfume I bought in advance was totally unnecessary.
The Rinse was easy to spread around the scalp (special shoutout to the cap for easy application) and rinsed out easily (it is it’s namesake, so it only makes sense). I particularly loved the Leave-In Spray because it was similar to the Rinse, but it was also intended to help detangle and provide protection from both heat and sun. As for the results two months later? Well, just see for yourself.
Both pictures are un-styled and semi-dirty second-day (or third-day) hair, but I did get a refresher on my highlights during the two months, so please note that the change in color is not on account of the Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse (no shampoo is that good). But still–dramatic results, right!? It’s like a ’90s movie makeover, except a brand new wardrobe was not included and I didn’t get the jock in the end (although my boyfriend did play baseball in college. Does that count??). Call it the placebo effect, but in a couple of weeks, I started noticing my hair looked shinier and, dare I say, more volumized.
I also started noticing that I could go longer without washing my hair. The grease that usually started rearing its ugly head after a couple of days would not show up until at least day three or four. A few weeks later, my hair was noticeably less frizzy and wouldn’t get as knotted. Without thinking about it, I started taking better care of my hair (like brushing more often, adding in occasional hair masks, etc.) because I was seeing a major difference. There’s nothing quite as motivating as actually seeing results.
After a couple of months of washing only with the ACV Rinse and using the Leave-In Therapy after every wash, my hair truly felt like the best hair of my life (not to be dramatic or anything). It was softer and slightly fuller than before, and it looked much healthier. I’ve tried a lot of products and DIY treatments (read: avocado), but you can consider me a dpHUE-convert. Sure, my hair feels a lot healthier, but I also feel just a little bit more confident. I finally feel like I have “good” hair (well, most days). I learned that you don’t always need expensive extensions or shelves full of pricey products. Sometimes it takes just a couple key products that are actually good for your hair to achieve good hair days *cue hair flip.*