For the past two weeks, all I’ve done is itch my scalp, and it took me a while to figure out that I, too, have fallen prey to the most dreaded skin condition: dandruff. Without a doubt, one can say that dandruff is one of the most stubborn and dreadful hair problems one can face. It causes flaking and destroys your confidence to wear dark clothes.
You can find many shampoos in the market to treat dandruff. However, suppose you are unsatisfied with it and are looking for natural remedies, just like I was. In that case, I’m here to tell you all about apple cider vinegar and its excellent benefits.
To learn all about how to treat dandruff using ACV, its benefits, risks, and precautions to take, scroll down and start reading!
Apple Cider Vinegar, and its Benefits
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV), a well-known condiment and food, is made from fermented apples by enriching them with live cultures, acids, and minerals. It is used for many home remedies, including ones for hair health. Some uses of ACV are to cleanse the scalp, maintain healthy hair, and add sheen to it.
Apple cider vinegar is commonly used for its antimicrobial and antioxidant properties and because it helps relieve scalp conditions, including flaking and dandruff. It treats dandruff by maintaining the natural pH level of the scalp, preventing the growth of fungus that causes flaky and itchy skin.
Since apple cider vinegar is rich in minerals and vitamins, like vitamins C and B, it is used for many hair treatments. Its anti-inflammatory properties treat dandruff, and the presence of alpha-hydroxy acid helps in exfoliating the scalp skin.
By removing excess oil and grime in the air, apple cider vinegar reduces fungal growth and treats dandruff. It helps in soothing itches and adds shine to your hair. It is also claimed to smoothen your hair and reduce breakage. ACV removes the product build-up in hair and keeps the scalp clean.
How is Dandruff Treated Using Apple Cider Vinegar?
The two ways ACV helps in treating dandruff are:
- Balancing the pH levels of your scalp
- Killing the fungus or bacteria that causes the flaking
Since Apple cider vinegar can do both, it is beneficial to treat dandruff.
How Can ACV Balance the pH Levels of One’s Scalp?
The ideal pH of one’s scalp is approximately 5.5, which is a bit acidic. Many shampoos, including those labelled “anti-dandruff”, have pH levels higher than 5.5. These alkaline shampoos could irritate the scalp, causing flaking, redness, and itching.
Dull or frizzy hair is usually more alkaline or has a high pH level. Acetic acid treats this and makes the hair healthy. ACV has acetic acid, and it helps to bring down the scalp’s pH level, and helps treat dandruff.
Other factors affect the scalp’s pH, and some of them are:
- Antibacterial properties
- Excess sebum
- Air pollution
A study conducted in 2019 found that apple cider vinegar could decrease skin pH levels after treatment, though the effects are temporary. Similarly, another study conducted in 2019 found that apple cider vinegar limits the growth of some bacteria and fungi.
What Are Precautions to Take While Using Apple Cider Vinegar?
If it is the first time you are using apple cider vinegar on your skin, it is advised to take a patch test.
The steps to take a patch test are:
- Apply 2-3 drops of diluted ACV to your hand.
- Observe the skin and check for signs of irritation like redness, burning or itching.
- Check again a few hours later as some skin reactions occur within a few minutes and some hours later.
If you don’t observe any signs of irritation after the patch test, you can go forward with applying apple cider vinegar wash to their scalp. Make sure to use a less concentrated solution of ACV. In case any signs of an irritated scalp or worsened dandruff are observed, stop using apple cider vinegar.
The Different Ways to Make Use of Apple Cider Vinegar to Treat Dandruff
There are several ways one can use apple cider vinegar on their hair to treat dandruff. Some of them are:
1. Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse
The most commonly used way of using apple cider vinegar is this, and it helps in treating dandruff and removing the product build-up from one’s scalp. It cleanses the hair and scalp and adds a shine to it.
You need 1 cup of water and 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar for this method. Dilute the ACV by mixing it with water and setting it aside.
Wash and condition your hair. Once the conditioner is rinsed off, pour the diluted ACV on your scalp, and massage it onto your hair strands. Wait for a while and rinse off using cold water. Use this rinse every 2 weeks for effective results.
2. ACV and Tea Tree Oil
The mixture of tea tree oil and ACV helps in controlling dandruff. The antifungal properties present in tea tree oil helps in treating dandruff. It also acts as a conditioner, soothes the scalp and prevents flaking.
You require 3 tablespoons of ACV for this. To that add 3 drops of tea tree oil for effective results. Massage it onto the scalp and rinse it off with shampoo. Do this one time every week to achieve results.
3. Chamomile Tea and Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse
The tea is rich in antioxidants and it helps keep your hair healthy. As a natural exfoliator, Chamomile tea will help clean the scalp.
For this, you need 1 tablespoon of ACV and chamomile tea. Prepare 1 cup of chamomile tea and mix the ACV with it. Follow your routine of shampooing and conditioning and after that, pour the tea on your hair and let it dry.
Don’t rinse it off. Try every 2 weeks for accurate results.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar and Aloe Vera Mask
Aloe vera is rich in healing properties and removes dead skin cells. It hydrates the scalp and hair and keeps it clean, preventing dandruff.
You need 5 tbsp of aloe vera gel and 3 tablespoons of ACV. Mix this with 1 cup of water for the hair mask and apply on the scalp. Rinse it off after 25 minutes. Use this mask once every week for accurate results.
5. ACV and Baking Soda Mask
Baking soda exfoliates the skin on your head and removes dead skin cells. It helps in treating dandruff and keeping the scalp and hair clean.
You require 2 tbsp of ACV and 2 tbsp of baking soda for the hair mask. Mix the ingredients and form a paste, massage it onto your scalp and wait for 5 minutes. Rinse it off with cool water.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar Spray
You could use the apple cider vinegar in the form of hairspray instead of directly applying it to your scalp too.
You need ¼ cup of warm water and ¼ cup of ACV. To this add 4-5 drops of tea tree oil and transfer into a bottle that can be used to spray the liquid. Spray the contents on scalp and rinse off after 15 minutes. Wash & condition your hair by following the normal routine. Do this once every week for results.
Risks of Using Apple Cider Vinegar
It is essential to use diluted apple cider vinegar as the acetic acid present in concentrated ACV will irritate skin and give chemical burns if left on the skin for an excess amount of time. Excess apple cider vinegar can dry your scalp and hair, causing breakage and hair loss. If you observe signs of irritation, discontinue using ACV. Take a patch test before use to ensure you aren’t allergic.
1. Can apple cider vinegar harm my hair?
No, it isn’t harmful to your hair. However, excess use can dry out your hair and lead to breakage.
2. Is it safe to replace shampoo with ACV?
Yes, it is okay to use ACV in place of shampoo. Natural washes like apple cider vinegar and baking soda are safe as long as they are diluted with water.
3. What happens when I use apple cider vinegar instead of shampoo?
ACV balances the pH of hair and helps cleanse your scalp. It adds sheen and makes your hair healthy.
Apple cider vinegar is known for its antifungal and antioxidant properties. It treats dandruff by balancing the pH levels of the scalp and treating the fungus or microbes that cause dandruff. It cleans your hair and removes the build-up in the scalp. It adds sheen to hair and takes it from dull and frizzy to healthy and sheen.
It is vital that you take a patch test before you use ACV on your scalp. Put 2-3 drops of ACV on the back side of your palm and observe for any symptoms of irritation. If you observe any signs, refrain from using apple cider vinegar. It is essential to use ACV correctly as an excess of it can dry out your hair and cause the condition to worsen. Some of the common ways are in the form of an aloe vera and ACV hair mask, ACV hair rinse, ACV and chamomile tea rinse, and ACV and tea tree oil.
We hope you learned everything one should know about using apple cider vinegar for dandruff through this article. Leave your thoughts and questions down below. Thanks for reading!