Benefits of Using Glycolic Acid for Dandruff Treatment

Glycolic Acid Dandruff: How to Get Rid of Dandruff with Chemical Exfoliation

Do you suffer from dandruff and have tried numerous remedies with minimal success? Have you considered using glycolic acid to combat your dandruff problems? Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) commonly used for chemical exfoliation in skincare routines. But it can also be an effective ingredient for treating dandruff.

Glycolic acid is a water-soluble AHA derived from cane sugar. It has the smallest molecule size of all AHAs, enabling it to penetrate deeper into the skin and scalp to unclog pores and exfoliate dead skin cells. By removing the dead skin cells from the scalp, glycolic acid can help reduce dandruff formation.

How Does Glycolic Acid Fight Dandruff?

The primary cause of dandruff is the overgrowth of yeast on the scalp. These yeasts feed on the sebum produced by the sebaceous glands, leading to an excess buildup of dead skin cells that flake off as dandruff. Glycolic acid helps to regulate the skin’s pH balance, which can help inhibit the growth of yeast on the scalp. Additionally, glycolic acid has antimicrobial properties that can kill bacteria and fungi that contribute to dandruff formation.

Using Glycolic Acid for Dandruff

It’s essential first to consult with a dermatologist or hair care professional to determine the appropriate concentration of glycolic acid for your scalp. You can find glycolic acid in shampoos, toners, and serums. Concentration levels of between 5 – 10% of glycolic acid are suitable for scalp exfoliation.

Here’s how to use glycolic acid for dandruff:

1. Wash your hair with a shampoo containing glycolic acid.

2. Let the shampoo sit on your scalp for two to three minutes.

3. Rinse hair thoroughly with warm water.

4. Condition your hair with a conditioner formulated for dry scalps.

5. Use the glycolic acid shampoo once a week for maintenance.

Listed below are some glycolic acid shampoos that can help with dandruff:

  • Mario Badescu A.H.A. Botanical Body Soap: This shampoo contains glycolic acid and papaya extract. It can be used on both the scalp and body to exfoliate and unclog pores.
  • Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Shampoo: This shampoo contains a blend of AHAs, including glycolic acid, to exfoliate the scalp and improve hair texture.
  • Perricone MD Intensive Pore Minimizing Toner: This tonic contains glycolic acid and DMAE to minimize pores and soothe the scalp.


Getting rid of dandruff requires more than using a conventional shampoo. Exfoliating the scalp with glycolic acid can help regulate the sebum production and reduce the amount of dead skin cells that contribute to dandruff formation. However, it is crucial to use glycolic acid products in moderation and under the guidance of a dermatologist or hair care professional. Choose a gentle, well-formulated glycolic acid product to enhance the scalp’s health and reduce dandruff, and start enjoying a healthy, flake-free scalp.

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