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Does TikTok’s Glycolic Acid hair hack work?

The glycolic acid hair hack has been making its rounds on TikTok recently, with claims that it can remedy a dry, flaky scalp. As someone who’s struggled with dandruff and a dry scalp for years – I just had to give it a try.

Bottle of glycolic acid


What’s Glycolic Acid anyway?

Glycolic acid, part of the alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) family, is renowned for its exfoliating properties. Typically, you would use glycolic acid as part of your skincare routine to help slough off dead skin cells and promote a radiant complexion.

I’ve been using glycolic acid on my face three times a week to help fight my uneven skin tone and spots.

But you’re probably wondering how this helps your scalp when it’s meant for your face.


#duet with @sagszn #glycolicacid #dandruff #dryscalp #scalpcare #skinbydrazi #skincare

♬ bound 2 – FILMSTELLAR

How glycolic acid helps your scalp

Recently, beauticians and dermatologists have got us seeing our scalps as an extension of our face. As such, we should treat it accordingly.

Glycolic acid helps dislodge dead skin cells and smooth the skin, which can do wonders for those struggling with dandruff and flakes. The molecular makeup of glycolic acid also helps break down the substances that cause dead cells to group, and it does wonders for removing excess oil and product buildup.

While some doctors suggest that it won’t necessarily promote hair growth, it will work best as a pre-shampoo treatment.

After seeing it working for women all over TikTok, and doing some research, I just had to try it.

ALSO SEE: Never have a bad hair day again with these 3 hair hacks

Does it work?

The short answer is yes.

I have thick curly hair, and most times I can’t get rid of product buildup unless I’ve gone to the salon. One douse of glycolic acid treatment on my scalp and I saw results immediately.

No more flaky scalp with oily roots. And all the product that’s been building up since my last trip to the salon was gone.

Even better, I haven’t experienced any negative effects since using this treatment. My bleached hair is still vibrant, and it hasn’t dried out at all.

Using the nozzle on my glycolic acid toner, I poured the product onto my scalp and massaged it in. I let it sit for about 30 minutes and then washed it normally.

I’ve used it a few times now, and my scalp has reduced its flakiness considerably. While I’m still struggling with excessive oil, it’s nice to not have to worry about dandruff a day after washing my hair.



Replying to @Latinamamiii how and what i use to get rid of dandruff (AND extend hair wash days) 🩷 – @The Ordinary glycolic acid (leave in for 30 mins) – @Fable & Mane hair oil (leave in for 1-2 hours) – wash it off and you’re done! You should see visible results in just one wash, but i do this biweekly for 2 months for lasting results! Check out my glycolic acid playlist for more tips 🫶🏼 glycolicacidforscalp glycolicacidbenefits glycolicacidfordandruff dandruffsolution itchyscalpremedy dryscalphack

♬ original sound – Calista


#greenscreen Only place I had never tried glycolic acid on yet😂 Turns out I also LOOOVE it for my scalp! #glycolicacidscalptreatment #glycolicacidforscalp #glycolicacidtoner #ordinaryglycolicacid

♬ original sound – Aurora

If you’re looking at trying out this hack – remember that glycolic acid is an exfoliator. It can cause irritation, which can make the skin drier and more sensitive.

If you have sensitive skin, use this as a rinse-off treatment, rather than leaving it on your scalp. You also should avoid using it more than once.

If you’re struggling with a dry flaky scalp, then this author stands behind the glycolic acid hair hack.


How often should you wash your hair, really?

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