Q. My life is so much better since I read your column about rinsing my hair with vinegar. I am 56 years old and for the previous 30 years my scalp has itched intensely whenever I sweat. No anti-itching shampoo or skin specialist could cure me, but rinsing with vinegar did.
A. Itching and flaking can be caused by dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis. Dermatologists believe that these common conditions are caused by the yeast, Malassezia, that grows on the scalp. A vinegar rinse apparently makes conditions unfavorable for this fungus.
One 80-year-old woman has used a solution of four parts warm water to one part apple cider vinegar on her scalp for more than 50 years. Others prefer a more concentrated one-to-one water/vinegar mixture.
We discuss many other remedies for controlling itching and flaking (including milk of magnesia and Listerine rinses) in our new Guide to Hair and Nail Care.