There is nothing new in reading about apple cider vinegar as a natural alternative to cure or prevent different scalp conditions such as eczema, dandruff and overly active oil glands. But does apple cider vinegar really work to prevent and cure dandruff?
Apple Cider Vinegar & Dandruff
Dandruff is usually caused by an over-growth of a type of fungus that feeds on the oil on our scalp or a build-up of the products we use on our hair. Apple Cider Vinegar prevents and cures dandruff by balancing the ph level of the scalp to prevent further irritation such as flaking and over-production of oil and the over-growth of the dandruff-causing fungus. It’s also good in removing scalp and hair build-up, unclogging the pores and revealing the natural shine of our hair.
How to Get Started
For the basic recipe, you’ll only need:
- 1/2 cup of raw, unfiltered organic apple
- 1/2 cup of plain water
- 5 drops of tea tree(oil control, bacteria killer)/ lavender(soothing) /lemon(oil control, clarifying) essential oil
Note: You can prepare more or less depending on how much you need but the ratio is always 1:1 for the ACV and water and 5 drops of essential oil for every cup of the solution.
First, do a patch test. Some people react negatively to ACV and they find the sting (and stink!) unbearable. If you haven’t tried ACV before, I suggest you try a lesser amount of ACV. I first tested 1/4 ACV to 3/4 water and when I didn’t get any allergies, I tried the normal amount a day after.
Just dilute the ACV with water, mix with the essential oil of your choice (tea tree/lavender/lemon) and apply on your scalp. Personally, I just duck my head over the sink, pour the mixture on parts of my scalp that itch the most and massage the part with my finger tips (not fingernails) after each application. It will sting a bit especially if the dandruff has dug quite deep. If you prefer a less messier method, you can just prepare half the amount of the solution and just pour everything in a spray bottle so you can just spray it on your scalp. Leave for 30 mins and rinse thoroughly with warm water and a mild shampoo.
After doing the mask for the first time, observe how your scalp reacts to the solution. If you see minor improvements, wait for another day before doing the mask again. You can later do it twice a week for continuous treatment and once the dandruff disappears, do it once a week for maintenance. Reduce the ACV to water ratio from 1:1 to 1:2. The needed amount of essential oil is always 5 drops to a full cup of mixed solution.
So does it really work?
Yes, it does work–almost as good as commercial brands like Head & Shoulders and Clear, from my experience. In fact, when I tried Head & Shoulders, it didn’t have any effect at all (Take Note: I have ‘severe’ dandruff). On the other hand, this DIY recipe made my scalp less oily and significantly reduced the flaking and itchiness. I wouldn’t say it works as fast as specialized anti-dandruff treatments like Selsun or Stieprox but it’s definitely worth a try if you’re into natural cures—and if you can stand the smell! The smell, which resembles a perming chemical solution after one wash, does linger for a while!