Vinegar as a Home Remedy for Dandruff

Dandruff is a skin condition that causes the scalp to flake off. Although not serious, it can be very annoying for those who suffer from it. Discover how to use vinegar as a home remedy for dandruff.
Vinegar as a Home Remedy for Dandruff

Last update: 30 May, 2022

Vinegar has a variety of uses around the house and perhaps we know it most for its use as a salad dressing. However, some people claim possesses certain properties that could make it a home remedy for dandruff.

This sour-tasting liquid, which is the result of the acetic fermentation of alcohol, has been prescribed throughout history to treat different conditions and symptoms. In this article, we’ll tell you more about its benefits and how it can help eliminate dandruff.

Stick around to find out more!

Apple vinegar, an effective remedy for dandruff?

Have you ever noticed little white spots on your dark clothes?

Dandruff, also known as pityriasis, is a common problem that affects the scalp and causes it to flake off. Although it’s not a serious condition, it can be embarrassing, itchy, and difficult to treat.

According to a publication by the Mayo Clinic, stress can intensify the signs and symptoms of dandruff. Also, they tend to be more common during dry, cold seasons. As for the causes, the publication mentions the following:

  • Irritated, oily, or dry skin
  • Not washing your hair enough
  • The presence of a fungus known as Malassezia. It feeds on the oils present in the scalp of most adults
  • Contact dermatitis: appears from the use of certain hair care products
  • Other skin conditions, such as psoriasis and eczema

Fortunately, it seems that the apple vinegar home remedy below could help control this condition. Anecdotal evidence suggests that its use may reduce flaking and relieve the symptoms associated with this problem.

While there is no scientific evidence to support its effects as a home remedy for dandruff, an article by Natural Product Research points out that this product has antimicrobial potential. Therefore, it could limit the growth of certain bacteria and fungi.

A man with dandruff.
Dandruff is a flaking of the scalp due to a colonizing fungus.

Read also: Why Wash Your Face With Apple Cider Vinegar? Know the Benefits

How to use this home remedy with vinegar for dandruff

As we mentioned, there are no studies that prove the effectiveness of vinegar for dandruff control. However, you can check the results for yourself, since experts consider its use to be safe. To enjoy the benefits of this home remedy, you should consider the following steps:

  1. To begin, dilute half a cup of apple vinegar in one and a half cups of warm water.
  2. Wash your hair with shampoo and rinse as usual.
  3. Apply the vinegar to the entire scalp with the help of a cotton ball and massage gently for about 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Let it dry naturally.
  5. If necessary, use a conditioner.

You can repeat this process every day until you notice an improvement in your symptoms.

You may be interested in: 7 Home Remedies to Treat Dandruff

Other alternative remedies for dandruff

The characteristic itching and flaking of dandruff are controllable in most cases. Fortunately, there are several antidandruff shampoos on the market that help reduce oil and skin cell build-up. However, you may have to try more than one option to find the right one for you.

Also, other measures could reduce the symptoms of this condition. So, if you suffer from this skin problem, you can also try the following:

  • Manage stress: As much as possible, it’s important to learn how to manage negative emotions, as they can affect your overall health. Although it sounds strange, it could also worsen the symptoms of dandruff.
  • Eating a balanced diet: Including enough zinc, B vitamins, and certain types of fats in your diet may help prevent dandruff.
  • Shampoo your hair frequently. If you have an oily scalp, shampooing it every day helps loosen scales. To achieve this, gently massage the area and rinse carefully.
  • Limit haircare products. This is because styling products can build up on the hair and scalp, making it more oily.

On the other hand, the use of tea tree oil may also be an effective home remedy for dandruff. This is thanks to its antiseptic, antibiotic, and antifungal properties. However, this alternative irritates people with sensitive skin.

A woman with dandruff.
There are no magic solutions for dandruff, but you can combine approaches with different natural remedies.

Possible adverse effects

Don’t forget that it’s important to pay close attention to the results of using apple vinegar or any other dandruff remedy. Some products may make symptoms worse.

As for vinegar, since it’s a very acidic substance, it can cause burns when applied to the skin. In this case, it’s best to discontinue its use and consult your physician to find the appropriate treatment for your case.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that, many times, dandruff requires an approach from various fronts. Therefore, it must be clear that vinegar is not the magic solution to the problem, but one option among many.


All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Clínica Mayo. Caspas. (2019). Recuperado el 12 de agosto de 2020.
  • Gopal J, Anthonydhason V, Muthu M, et al. Authenticating apple cider vinegar’s home remedy claims: antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral properties and cytotoxicity aspect. Nat Prod Res. 2019;33(6):906-910. doi:10.1080/14786419.2017.1413567
  • Bonifaz, Alexandro, et al. “Estudio comparativo de dos esquemas de tratamiento para dermatitis seborreica capitis con champú de ciclopiroxolamina/piritionato de zinc/keluamida (CPO/PZ/K).” Dermatología cosmética, médica y quirúrgica 13.3 (2015): 188-193.
  • Torres, E., R. Arenas, and C. Atoche-Diéguez. “Infecciones causadas por el género Malassezia.” Med Cutan Iber Lat Am 36.6 (2008): 265-284.
  • Laborda, P., P. Zaballos, and A. Garrido. “Semiologia de la dermatosis de cuero cabelludo.” Revista de Medicina integral (2011).
  • Chunata Sánchez, Lidia Mariela. Tratamiento de la Pityriasis Capitis del Cuero Cabelludo Producida por Malassezia globosa con Sampoo de Romero (Rosmarinus officinalis). BS thesis. 2012.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.