Scalp Exfoliation Is the Crucial Step Your Hair Care Routine Is Missing

top view of hair and scalp scrubs

Because you shouldn’t neglect your scalp if you want the good hair…

Just like exfoliation is major key for your face (and body!), you really shouldn’t forget about your scalp. I’ve talked over and over again about how important a healthy scalp has been to my hair growth process, which is why I wanted to round up a few of my favorite scalp and hair cleansers.

Hair and Scalp Scrubs

Why should you care?

You need to remove all that product buildup.

You need to make sure your scalp is clean and flake-free if you want your hair to grow in thicker and/or longer.

What’s the most important thing to know?

Be gentle when using these. You don’t want to over-scrub because that could irritate your skin and make things worse and even break your hair follicles.

Only use these once or twice a week at most (twice if you have a very oily scalp and/or dandruff).

These won’t *cure* your dandruff but it might help. There’s a difference between having a flaky scalp and having actual dandruff. If you have the latter, you should still give a scalp scrub a try but also simultaneously use a dandruff shampoo since that will have ingredients formulated to actually kill the bacteria buildup.

And for surrrre, don’t use a scalp scrub if you have psoriasis. Ask your derm or doctor for a prescription treatment.

Briogeo hair and scalp scrubs

Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-exfoliating Shampoo:

By now you all know how good charcoal is for just about everything skin, but now I’m OBSESSED with putting it on my hair and scalp as well.  This exfoliating shampoo is infused with, yes, charcoal, as well as coconut oil to help exfoliate, detoxify, soothe and balance the scalp.  Plus, a cooling blend of peppermint and spearmint oils reduces scalp itchiness if you have that going on for you (no fun). And, as you know, I looove a clinical study. The brand did some testing and found that over a one-week period, 92% of participants with a self-assessed dry scalp indicated that the shampoo was effective in hydrating and moisturizing their scalp and 100% of participants with a self-assessed flaky scalp said the shampoo was effective at reducing flakiness.

Sugar Shine System hair and scalp scrubs

Matrix Biolage Sugar Shine System Polishing Hair Scrub:

This scrub is more for your hair as opposed to your scalp, but I had to include it because it’s just actually that awesome.  Formulated with sugar crystals you can see and feel, this is a pre-shampoo treatment that works to scrub away impurities and nourish your hair with humectants for lightweight body and moisture.  I was nervous at first, since I bleach my hair blonde, but this product is actually totally color-safe and great for all hair types.

Christophe Robin

Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt:

This is probably the most well-known of the bunch winning several beauty awards! It uses sea salt to deeply cleanse and soothe sensitive and/or oily scalps, while also delivering essential hydration to the scalp.  Essentially, this is the ultimate scalp and hair detox when you’re feeling like you have product buildup. You can use it on your scalp if it’s acting oilier than usual.  Fun fact: It can also be used as a post-coloring treatment. So, it can relieve itchiness and remove chemical residues left on the scalp.

One note: this scrub is NOT recommended for anyone who has extensions or keratin treated hair but it’s solid for everyone else (even someone with a sensitive scalp).

Madam CJ Walker

Madam CJ Walker Beauty Culture Dream Come True Wonderful Scalp Exfoliator:

This one is another great option for removing buildup and flakes!  What really stood out for me here was the really amazing scent; the scrub has notes of white flower and warm vanilla for a subtle, yet really calming scent.

Philip Kingsley

Philip Kingsley Exfoliating Scalp Mask:

Philip Kingsley is known as a scalp guru. I went to his salon in New York for scalp treatments! This mask is an intense anti-dandruff treatment that helps to soothe and clear the scalp of any flakes or irritation.


14 thoughts on “Scalp Exfoliation Is the Crucial Step Your Hair Care Routine Is Missing

    • Hi Tabitha! I really do love all of them but if I HAD to choose one, it would probably be the Cristophe Robin one. But just remember that it’s NOT recommended for anyone who has extensions or keratin treated hair.

  1. Hi! You know what, I get some build-ups on my scalp every winter season. I’m glad to have stumbled upon your article. I think I’m going for Philip Kingsley’s. 🙂

  2. Pingback: Here’s what you should do now for thinning hair (+ a giveaway!) - Honestly Jamie

  3. How often should exfoliate my scalp, I have normal skin but a very sensitive scalp, I usually avoid exfoliation, please guide how frequently should I exfoliate? your advice will be much appreciated.

  4. Why can’t the Christophe Robin purifying mask be used with extensions? I’ve just received a free tub and was hoping to use it 🙁 What treatment can be used instead?

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