Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) to treat Dandruff

Human body sheds dead skin cells every 24 hours. It is true for scalp cells too. When the skin cells on the scalp are dead, they are pushed out of the scalp. Usually, this whole process takes place once in a month. It is a very slow process. But when this process becomes rapid, the appearance of white flakes on scalp becomes more frequent. This condition is referred as dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis.

The reason behind speeding up this process could be hormonal imbalance, poor hygiene, etc. So let’s understand the science behind how dandruff is formed? And how to get rid of dandruff fast?



What causes dandruff?

The exact cause of Dandruff is still questioned. Some believe that they are just dead cells. While some believe, dandruff is caused by a yeast-like fungus, called Pityrosporum Ovale. It is present on each and every individual scalp but exists more in certain individuals. They grow faster in warm and humid condition. The enzyme activity of this fungus, cause dandruff and skin inflammation. The severe form of dandruff caused by this fungus is referred as Seborrheic Dermatitis.

There are various causes for the buildup of this fungus, like:

Internal Cause External Cause
Allergy Weather
Emotional Stress Excessive oily or junk food
Genetic Predisposition Inadequate rinsing of hair
Compromised body immunity Excessive use of chemical based hair sprays, gels
Improper Nutrition and Poor Health

How to get rid of dandruff using Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar for hair is used for treating dandruff. The malic acid present in apple cider vinegar can treat Acne and Dandruff. The acidity of ACV changes the PH of your scalp, making it harder for the yeast to grow. It also helps to clean clogged pores and hair follicles.

ACV is an acetic acid. Some anti-dandruff shampoo also uses dehydroacetic acid as their content.

How to use Apple Cider Vinegar for Dandruff treatment.

Mild: For mild dandruff, you can apply the ACV by mixing it with water at 50:50 ratio.

Moderate: For visible and moderate dandruff, you can mix half a cup of ACV with shampoo

Severe: For severe or bad dandruff, ACV can be directly applied to the scalp. Massage hair scalp with ACV on every other day for a week.

After the vinegar treatment, the scalp should clear up from dandruff in a week or two. You can use white vinegar in substitute to ACV.

Beside ACV other product used for dandruff cure are,

  • Anti-fungal Ketoconazole shampoo
  • Anti-fungal Selenium Sulphide shampoo

Myth about dandruff

There are few myths related to dandruff formation like.


  • Over-shampooing can cause dandruff
  • Not drinking enough water can cause dandruff
  • It is more common in people with dry scalp
  • Only adults have dandruff
  • Using anti-dandruff shampoos exacerbates the condition

Pros and Cons of using Vinegar


  • It is a natural treatment. It does not contain any synthetic dyes, chemicals or perfumes
  • It reduces the chances of an allergic reaction or skin irritations
  • The powerful enzymes in the ACV remove the unwanted fungus on the scalp
  • It restores the natural acid-alkaline balance of the scalp
  • It act as a mild conditioner
  • It reduces the inflammation caused by the itchy and dry scalp


  • It has a strong odor
  • Some might find applying vinegar a time consuming process
  • • Apple cider vinegar side effects cause irritation to eyes, if it gets into eyes.

Natural dandruff remedies using apple cider vinegar

People having severe dandruff can combine other natural resources with their apple cider vinegar. It will help to get rid of dandruff fast.



  • Tea tree oil: Few drops of tea tree oil mixed with apple cider vinegar either in water or in shampoo will help in dandruff treatment.
  • Honey: Honey has a soothing effect on the scalp. The anti-inflammatory properties of honey treat the burning and itching sensation due to dandruff.
  • Natural anti-dandruff shampoo: You can also use organic anti-dandruff shampoo free of harsh chemicals with apple cider vinegar.
  • Rosemarinus Officinalis: The rosemarinus extract is used as an anti-dandruff agent. It has an anti-oxidant property. It can help reducing scalp itching and inflammation.
  • Nigella Sativa: : This black seed has antimicrobial activity. It can be very effective in treating dandruff.

Other natural remedies for treating chronic dandruff is by using plant medicine like Mezerium and Thuja Occidentalis.

Apart from these natural remedies, people also try some unorthodox treatments like using aspirin tablets. Aspirin contains salicylic acid. It is the most common chemical used in anti-dandruff shampoo. Adding two tablets of aspirin to normal shampoo and washing may help to get rid of dandruff.

Useful Tips to Avoid Dandruff

Dandruff growth is inevitable. It can’t be cured but can be controlled. Don’t wait for the appearance of flakes for dandruff treatment. You can stop dandruff growth even before it appears. You can use following preventive measures.

  • Avoid diets high in saturated and trans- fats. It may produce more oil on your skin and scalp, leading to dandruff.
  • Incorporating various veggies and fruits that contain vitamin B and zinc. It may help to keep flakes away.
  • You can also consider taking a probiotic to combat the overgrowth of yeast.


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