For the last few months my scalp has waged war against me. For the last 2.5 years I turned to mix of coconut oil, vitamin E oil, tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil, and lavender oil to help me relieve the itchiness and flakes my scalp seems to like enjoy throwing my way. Unfortunately that trusty mix hasn’t been so trusty lastly. Three weeks ago two things made me change the way I treat my itchy, flaky scalp.

First, I was looking through old healthy hair notes I saved in Evernote for anything on scalp care. I found a number of notes but this one stood out to me the most:

The scalp produces its own perfect oil, sebum, and does not need help from us via topical products. Some notice that their scalp is chronically dry and flakes, but this condition is only aggravated by the addition of products onto the scalp skin. It creates a vicious cycle of dryness. The scalp will produce less sebum to compensate for the products you are putting on it. And without this constant even production of sebum, the function of the scalp is thrown off balance. Dandruff and dryness return from the lack of sebum production, and then we tend to want to put more oils on the scalp thinking this will help. Then again, the scalp cuts back on sebum and dryness returns. The scalp, like any other skin needs to be able to respire (perspire) etc. With heavy concoctions on the scalp clogging the pores, an unhealthy environment for growth is created and the function of the scalp is hindered form operating at its optimal levels. For moisturizing and styling, apply your products from the new growth all the way to the ends avoiding the scalp as much as possible. Some product will inadvertently touch the scalp during the normal course of moisturizing, but avoid actively going through and coating the scalp with heavy oils. SOURCE

And second, I was chatting with my hair and she mentioned that instead of using shampoo (she’s natural) she rinses her hair with an apple cider vinegar (ACV) mix (2:1 ratio) to remove any product build up. After reading the information above and the conversation with my friend about ACV, I decided to incorporate ACV rinses into my wash days (and co-wash days).

How: After rinsing out the deep conditioner, I spray my scalp (and hair) with my ACV + water mix. The ACV rinse I use is much weaker than the rinse my friend uses. I use a 28 oz (828 mL) spray bottle I grabbed at the dollar store and add 50 mL of ACV and then fill the water bottle with 778 mL of water – filtered water since my apartment has hard water.

I’ve also stopped applying oil to my scalp during the week. Since making these seemingly two small changes, my scalp has been itch and flake free for the last three weeks. And I’ve been in heaven. Doing less has turned out to be just what the scalp doctor ordered for me.


  1. Hi there. Thank you for sharing this post. I'd advise looking into using a much higher Organic quality of ACV from Bragg vs Heinz. ACV has many other benefits such as for blood pressure, Heart, diabetes, skin, face, etc. Kindly Google it and your reserch will yield many benefits and uses.

  2. Am happy I read this post, not so much for the ACV but for keeping oils off my scalp! I have been thinking for the last 2 days that since the start of my HHJ I have not really been moisturising/oiling my sclap as I used to do in my BLue Magic and Dax days, and I started thinking, if I should be using oils instead, your post had stopped me right in my tracks!

  3. I've always been scared of using ACV since i have i Low Porosity hair, but Jen i think your Low Po" too,
    Do you use this after a deep conditioning session or after???
    I need to get rid of the itches forever!
    The Beautiful Eagle's Blog

  4. This is food for thought, I have been using your scalp oil mix, which has worked for me and my scalp is not itchy or flakey. But I don't want to mess with the natural production of the scalp, I will look at ACV.
    Thanks for sharing Jen

  5. Drinking Apple Cyder is good for your hair, eyes and skins…Also that thing help cure and prevent diabetes. I leave in Apple Cyder in my hair overnight and it works miracle.

  6. Do you rinse this out of your hair, or leave it in? Forgive me, but I did not see where it specified in your post.

    1. Author

      Yup ACV lowers hair's pH level, closing the cuticles along the hair shaft to smooth the hair.

    2. Do you know if there are adverse effects if ACV rinsed is used every week

  7. Great post! Because of my acne issues I have similar experiences and have to be careful of the types of makeup and moisturizer I use to control my body's natural sebum production.

  8. I LOVE apple cider vinegar as the final step for my hair and scalp! It definitely helped me get my itchy, flaky scalp under control. That note on applying oil directly to your scalp is really good food for thought, too.

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