Can Alcohol Cause Dandruff in Your Hair?


Is your evening beer or glass of wine causing your dandruff? Read our guide to find out the truth, and how to prevent an itchy scalp.

Drinking too much is never a good idea, but the question were asking today is whether its responsible for your dandruff.

To find out, were going to look at the causes of dandruff in contrast to the effects of excessive drinking.


Put simply, dandruff is caused by a yeast called malassezia, which is present on everyones scalp.

In half the worlds population, this causes an irritation response that leads to dandruff.

The symptoms of dandruff include:

  • White flakes in your hair
  • Itchiness
  • Irritation

The cause is always the same, but there are various factors that can make it worse including:

  • Hormonal changes
  • Stress
  • Excess oil on the scalp
  • Chemical sensitivity
  • Not washing hair properly, or often enough

Youll notice that alcohol isnt on the list. So where did the link come from?


Drinking a lot of alcohol or even simply drinking regularly has a lot of potentially negative effects on the body.

But there are only a couple were interested in.

Alcohol is a diuretic. This means it causes your kidneys to remove excess water from your system, along with nutrients and electrolytes. Its this effect that is largely to blame for the morning-after headache.

It also means that drinking too much can lead to:

  • Dried out skin
  • Bloating
  • Redness

In combination, these symptoms could be confused with dandruff, but the truth is they are something else entirely.


Luckily, fixing the symptoms of regular drinking is as simple as putting down the beer and picking up a glass of water.

Doing so will both help stop your skin from drying out, and actively help it rehydrate.

But for dandruff, using a proven dandruff shampoo and conditioner is a good way to control flakes, as these will help moisturize your scalp and control flaking.