Apple Cider Vinegar Treatment for Dandruff

| Modified on Mar 14, 2023

According to Earth Clinic readers, the best home remedy for dandruff is apple cider vinegar! Our readers use organic and raw apple cider vinegar with "the mother".

Apple Cider Vinegar Treatment

  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Water

Dilute apple cider vinegar 1:1 with water. Use this mixture just like shampoo to clean your hair and scalp. By killing off the yeast that cause dandruff, this treatment should cure the itch instantly and help to get rid of dandruff within a few days of applications.

Continue reading below to discover how our readers fared with they applied diluted apple cider vinegar to their scalps.

34 User Reviews

5 star (25) 
4 star (3) 
1 star (5) 

Posted by Lisa (CO) on 12/27/2022

My son had dandruff until he took some ACV with him in the shower. He scrubbed his whole scalp with it, rinsed then shampooed. He had to do this again a couple of days later. It really helped!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Rm (Sedona, Az) on 06/14/2016

ACV treatment for dandruff:

ACV mixed 50/50 with water, sprayed on to scalp, allow to sit for 5-10 minutes, wash off. Make sure you try going gluten, dairy and carb free for a couple weeks to make sure it isn't skin autoimmunity dermatitis. If you have rosacea or dry skin in places other than scalp, this could be a tell.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Felicity (Ny) on 04/10/2016

My Dr. swears by apple cider vinegar as a dandruff treatment, as the acidity of apple cider vinegar changes the pH of your scalp, making it harder for yeast to grow. Mix a quarter cup apple cider vinegar with a quarter cup water in a spray bottle and spritz on your scalp. Wrap your head in a towel and let sit for 15 minutes to an hour, then wash your hair as usual. Do this twice a week.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Rhonda (Orange County, NJ) on 11/05/2014

Apple Cider Vinegar has worsened my condition.... I went from having a few thick flakes to having the full top of my head to flake consistently.... I'm going to try coconut oil next :/

Replied by Ann

Sounds like scalp psoriasis. My sister has it, it's an autoimmune disease that is manageable.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Anonymous (Ridgefield , Ct) on 04/01/2013

I have been diagnosed with all sorts of sensitive skin and dermatitis problems over the past 6 years. I cannot believe after only one use of the apple cider vinegar/ water mixture sprayed on my scalp for 20 minutes, my flaky scalp and the itchiness is almost gone. I even used regualr shampoo and conditioner for the first time in 6 years after using the vinegar treatment. I will absolutely keep using it. I have been suffering for so long emotionally and physically, I am so thankful for your suggestions and reader comments. I cannot believe after years of buying endless hair treatments and medications, a natural non toxic $0.99 bottle of apple cider vinegar worked!! Thank you, thank you!!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by William (San Luis Obispo, California, Usa) on 12/31/2012

Mild case of dry scalp and dandruff.

Following the advice posted I tried a 1:1 ACV and tap water mix. 1 cup in total, no pre wash. I wet my hair then slightly dried then poured half the solution over the back of my scalp while rubbing it in. It stung a little where I had been scratching perviously but it was a good "this is working" sting. I let the solution soak in for - 10 min. Then poured the other half on my head just before I stepped into the shower. I rinsed my hair well but did not wash with shampoo.

It has been a few hours since this treatment and I already feel a huge difference. My scalp is not itchy and the dandruff I had this morning is now non existent. And on a side note my hair feels conditioned and soft after the treatment a double win .

It is currently winter here in California and that seems to be the time I am most prone to a mild case of dry scalp with a slight itch and small but noticible amounts of dandruff. Lucky for me this solution worked wonders and will be my go to from now on.

Many thanks to the Earth Clinic community.

Replied by Isaac
(Montréal, Canada)

Distilled water, please. No tap water

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Sophie (Berlin, Germany) on 06/30/2012

Hello, is it normal that ACV worsens the condition in the beginning? I have severe dandruff since last year, I just know that it is NO fungus, but the rest is unclear to me. At the moment the worst areas are the ones over my ears and at my forehead. There, a very dry flaky condition even reaches into my face. But on my scalp, I am not even sure if it is a dry dandruff, the flakes are crusty and stick to the scalp, white and yellowy. I now tried ACV for the first time, I diluted it with water 1:1 and put it in a spray bottle, sprayed it on my dry scalp, waited for 15 minutes, went into the shower and washed it out. Now, the condition seems even dryer, the flakes are more visible, is it a bad or a good sign? Shall I proceed? Am I doing it right? Would love to hear about your experiences!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Southernarc (Durham, Nc, Usa) on 02/18/2012

Looking for a natural cure for dandruff is what led me to this site. I've had dandruff all my life, but not the bad flaky kind. I've had sores/scabs in portions of my scalp, and the last few years I've had problems even with my eyebrows. I've tried dandruff shampoos but have only been able to control things, and even then the control has not been that good.

I've found that a 1:1 mixture of ACV and plain tap water works! I mixed 1 ounce of ACV with 1 ounce of water, and for good measure added in 20 drops of teatree oil. Thoroughy moisten hair in the shower with the concoction and massage in for a few minutes. I noticed results after the first application. I used it twice more a few more days apart and by the third application it appears the scabs are all gone. Even my eyebrows are cured (I made sure to apply the concoction).

Using tea tree oil also helps with the smell. It counteracts the smell of the ACV quite a bit, and I'm thinking of increasing the amount to 25 drops per 2 ounces.

The only other change I made was to switch to a baby shampoo instead of my regular "dry hair" shampoo. But I'm convinced it's the ACV. I've used teatree oil before and I think it helped a bit, but it didn't cure. I know it's not hurting, and since I had some on hand I included it. And I've also gone against conventional wisdom I've read on this site and used regular filtered ACV that I picked up from the supermarket for $.99 If it didn't work I was going to try the organic kind, but since I'm now cured of this ailment I won't have to buy any more ACV.

I know that the baby shampoo must be helping, since I've always had a dry scalp and dry hair and now it's much better. Yet the first time I used the ACV concoction I decided to try my regular shampoo, and even then I could swear that my hair was less dry and more manageable when I was done. So the concoction alone is good. But I'm sticking with the baby shampoo just to be sure, plus I really like the results.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Tara (Baton Rouge, La) on 12/24/2011

I'm 24 years old, and I've had dandruff for several years. Often I would get build-ups of cells and scabs on the back of my itchy scalp. I started mixing one part raw, unfiltered organic apple cider vinegar with one part filtered water in a spray bottle and spraying it all over my scalp, massaging briefly, and rinsing before I shampoo. My dandruff was completely gone within the first two treatments and has been gone for months now. I do it a few times a week. Although the smell was hard to handle at first, I'm now in love with apple cider vinegar. It's still not exactly pleasant, but the benefits are so worth the smell and taste, which don't last very long anyway. I use it for many other things, which I'll report later! :)

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Courtney (Lewisville, Tx) on 08/11/2011

Ok so I have been keeping up with my treatment of the ACV and water for my scalp, and although the mixture feels really good on my scalp.... My flakes and dandruff have increased a lot! Before the flakes would be somewhat visible but mostly just to me.... Now when I brush my hair my shirt/shoulders are covered! I think this is great for people that it works for, but I just don't think that I am one of those people. I do like how soft my hair is, but the flakes getting worse I just can't handle. I did a spin class at the gym today and when I began to sweat I smelled like vinegar :( Oh well, I guess I am on to another product.

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