While apple cider vinegar is best known for its gut health benefits, it’s a wonderful ingredient to add to your hair care routine, too. “Like aloe vera, ACV can lower pH, helping to bring the hair and scalp health back into balance,” Chambers-Harris notes.
In addition, research suggests ACV may help with dandruff caused by yeast on the scalp. “ACV acidity makes a less favorable environment for the yeast and therefore may halt its growth, leading to less flaking,” board-certified dermatologist Morgan Rabach, M.D., and co-founder of LM Medical NYC, once said about the ingredient.
ACV can also provide gentle exfoliation, as it naturally contains lactic acid. This AHA is a particularly beneficial acid for skin health, as it can act as humectant as well. This means it can pull in water and hydration while exfoliating the epidermis.
So to sum it all up, ACV can balance your scalp’s pH, ease dandruff, and provide gentle exfoliation—addressing many of the potential triggers of an itchy scalp in a single go.
However, you should always dilute the vinegar first before applying (catch our recipe below); you never want to put the acidic substance directly on your scalp. Those with a hypersensitive scalp may also want to patch-test this ingredient first, as it may be slightly irritating.