Scalp scrubs: Do I really need one?

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Scalp scrubs: Do I really need one?

You wouldn’t expect to grow a bed of flourishing flowers if your soil was full of grime, would you? Well, the same principle tends to apply when it comes to the health of your hair. 

You can keep your locks as glossy and clean as you wish, but if you’re neglecting the scalp (AKA the place your hair actually grows from), your hair follicles will inevitably weaken. 

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Similar to body scrubs, scalp scrubs exfoliate dead skin and help to remove any build-up of product (months worth of dry shampoo perhaps…) leaving your hair clean, healthy and balanced.

It is important to keep in mind though, that while this technique is a godsend to some, those who battle with a skin condition like psoriasis may want to avoid salt-formulated scrubs in particular, as they can aggravate pre-existing conditions and cause further irritation. 

So how can you tell if your scalp actually needs a scalp scrub?

If you are a frequent washer, a product lover or have fine hair, there is a high chance you’ve got some sort of build-up. Not dissimilar to the concept of plaque on your teeth, while routine brushing with toothpaste is required, it’s most effective after a proper clean and removal of excess gunk. 

It’s the same deal with your scalp, shampoo is most effective when the scalp is clear of build-up and it can properly get into the hair follicles. 

What kind of scalp scrubs are there?

There are two different types of scalp scrubs: physical and chemical. 

Physical exfoliants: Think of these like your traditional face and body exfoliator. These formulas contain small beads or granules which help to remove product build-up, excess oil or dandruff by mechanically removing it via massage.

bh recommends: GROW Longer Stronger Stimulating Scalp Scrub, Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt (available at Sephora)

Chemical exfoliants: These formulas contain active ingredients (such as salicylic and glycolic acid), that will deliver the same results when it comes to removing dead skin cells and dandruff, only chemically, so you don’t actually have to ‘scrub’ to make them effective. 

bh recommends: R+C0 Crown Scalp Scrub (available at Adore Beauty), Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Happi Scalp Scrub (available at Mecca)

Main image credit: Getty

Have you used a scalp scrub before? What did you think? If not, are you keen to try one?

Share your thoughts

Comments 75

  1. I’ve never heard of chemical based scalp scrub before so am very intrigued. I’ve suffered from scalp issues for almost 2 decades so will look into whether it could help me. I don’t use hair products (especially while in lockdown) so know I have an underlying scalp issue but the AHA and BHA based products sounds like they may be able to help!

    Thanks for raising my awareness.

  2. I haven’t tried a scrub yet, but I definitely need to exfoliate my scalp with a shampoo containing salicylic acid or it gets gross oily build up leading to seborrheic dermatitis, clogged hair follicles and hair loss!!! If you have oily scalp you definitely need to exfoliate it just like your face. It is skin!!!

  3. I actually stumbled across a scalp scrub by Sukin when I was looking for some shampoo and conditioner at Coles a couple of weeks ago. It was on special so I bought it. I’ve used it twice, not sure if I’m noticing much difference but my scalp is less itchy than before – I get really good relief from using it. It is another thing to add to my hair routine though…

  4. I suffer from dandruff and have been using head and shoulders. I noticed after using my dry shampoo a bit too regularly that I was getting a bit of a build up. I now use the dry shampoo less but perhaps I need to try giving my scalp some love!

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