You have heard of body and face scrubs, but what about scalp scrubs? It is exactly as it sounds. Scalp scrubs remove the buildup of excess oil, dirt, and dead skin cells which helps to create a healthy environment for your hair.

Scalp Scrub Benefits

The scalp is just like the rest of the body. The pores in the scalp get clogged up, dead cells pile up, and even the residue from hairstyle products can build up which is detrimental to the health of the hair. [1] Not addressing these issues can quickly affect your hair and scalp.

The regular use of shampoo or conditioner sure is helpful but remember there is a difference between your hair and scalp and shampoo mostly helps your hair health. The skin on your scalp needs continuous tender loving care (TLC). 

Here are some of the benefits of scalp scrubs:

Buildup Removal

Scalp scrubs are beneficial if you are experiencing problems with your hair as it helps exfoliate your skin. Not exfoliating your scalp can lead to dandruff and buildup which can lead to dry hair or scalp irritation. 

Promotes Shiny Hair

When you use a scalp scrub, it can clear up the follicles where the hair grows from. Your hair will grow in a healthier environment and look shinier and bouncier.

Prevents Dandruff and Dry Scalp

It removes the flakes that can leave us feeling irritated and itchy. The exfoliation of the scalp using a scrub allows the natural oils to be nourished which produces healthy hair and scalp.

Hair Growth

Scalp scrubs can remove the dead skin cells, which leads to a decrease in enzyme population that contributes to the natural shed rate. Removing the dead skin encourages new cells to be produced, which allows a healthier environment for the hair to grow as healthy, thick, and shiny as possible. [2]

Types of Scalp Scrub

There are different scalp scrub types available in the market. It is important to find the one that best suits your scalp needs. Some scrubs have ingredients that are better for oily hair but aren’t effective in treating dry scalp.

There are two kinds of scalp scrubs; physical and chemical. The physical scalp scrub uses salt, sugar, nuts, and many more to remove dead skin cells and oil from your scalp. The chemical scalp scrub contains alpha-hydroxy acids to remove gunk or dirt on the scalp. [3]

Scalp Scrub for Oily Hair

A little oil on your scalp is actually healthy as it helps support and protect healthy hair. But, a little too much of everything is bad. Too much oil on your scalp can lead you to feel that your hair is dirty and greasy all the time. 

You can use the SheaMoisture Green Coconut & Activated Charcoal Exfoliating Hair Mud which can soak up the excess oil because of the charcoal in the ingredients. The green coconut and white tea can hydrate the greasy scalp.

Another alternative is the Philip Kingsley Exfoliating Weekly Scalp Mask which contains BHA chemical exfoliants and zinc that help remove excess oil from the scalp.

Scalp Scrub for Curly Hair

If you’ve got curly hair, maintaining it is a priority to keep it bouncy and full. The best option to keep your curly hair healthy is to use a moisturizing scalp scrub applied to the roots. You just have to use a conditioner afterward to maximize and lock in the moisture.

You can also use the Ouidad Heavy Lifting Bubbling Scalp Mask which is a gel-to-foam scrub. The white charcoal clears any buildup while the vitamin E and hyaluronic acid hydrate and soothe the scalp without damaging your curls.

Scalp Scrub for Dandruff or Flakes

If you have flakes on your scalp, it could be a sign of dandruff or dry skin. You can try the Kerastase Fusio-Scrub which contains vitamin B-5 to prevent dryness and nourish your hair at the same time.

One of the best scalp scrubs for dandruff is Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo as it contains hydrating oils to nourish the scalp and hair. It also has micro-exfoliators to help remove the flakes and coconut oil to increase moisture.

Scalp Scrub DIY 

Aside from the products available in the market and salon, you can make your own scalp scrub. DIY scalp scrub has been quite popular, and you can customize it as much as possible with several ingredients to meet your needs. Maintaining a healthy scalp is a must to achieve strong and luscious hair, and with multiple DIY options, you don’t have to spend money or even go out as some of the ingredients are already in your kitchen cupboard.

DIY Scalp Scrub for Curly Hair

  1. Olive Oil + Brown Sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼  cup olive oil

Mix both ingredients in a bowl and then massage the mixture in your scalp gently for three minutes before washing your hair.

  1. Honey + Olive Oil and Sugar
  • 1 ½  tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. white or brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. organic honey

Mix both ingredients in a bowl and then massage the mixture in your scalp gently for three minutes before washing your hair.

  1. Aspirin + Warm Water and Toothbrush
  • 6 to 8 aspirin
  • 4 tbsp. warm water

Put the aspirin in a bowl and use the warm water to dissolve the tablets. Use the toothbrush to stir the mixture and apply it to your scalp gently.

DIY Scalp Scrub for Dandruff

  1. Clarifying Shampoo + Baking Soda Scrub

Add a bit of baking soda into your shampoo to help remove the buildup of oil and dead skin cells from your scalp. Use the mixture to massage your scalp gently for a few minutes to maximize its effect and then rinse your hair thoroughly.

  1. Salt Scalp Scrub
  • 2 tbsp. sea salt
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2-3 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 1 tbsp. avocado oil

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and use the mixture to gently scrub your hair, after shampooing it. Make sure you apply the mixture as thoroughly as possible into the roots and then let it sit on your hair for several minutes before rinsing it. After that, use a mild conditioner for your hair.

  1. Oatmeal Scalp Scrub
  • 1 tbsp. oatmeal
  • 1 tbsp. Conditioner
  • 2-3 drops of tea tree essential oil
  • 1 tbsp. white sugar (optional)

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl to form the mixture. Before you apply a generous amount of the mixture to your scalp, shampoo your hair first. Massage your scalp and let it sit on your hair for a few minutes before rinsing with water.

DIY Scalp Scrub for Oily Hair

  1. Sea Salt, Lemon, and Olive Oil Scrub

Lemon contains nutrients that are great exfoliators for oily scalp while olive oil is rich in vitamins that can help nourish your hair and encourage hair growth [4]. Sea salt is great for promoting blood circulation and removing flakes. If you don’t have any sea salt, you can use normal salt for this scrub.

Combine equal quantities of olive oil, lemon, and sea salt into a bowl to create the scrub mixture. Apply the mixture to your scalp and massage it for five minutes before washing thoroughly. Follow up by using your shampoo and conditioner to complete the treatment.

  1. Sugar and Egg White Scrub
  • 2 tbsp. sugar (Brown or White)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tbsp. yogurt

Beat the egg white in a bowl until it turns fluffy then you can add the yogurt and sugar in the same bowl and mix until the mixture turns into a thick paste. Apply the mixture on your scalp gently, massage it for about five minutes and leave it on your hair for 15 minutes before rinsing.

  1. Olive Oil, Sugar, and Honey Scrub
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 3 drops of rosemary oil

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl to create the scalp scrub mixture. Apply it on your scalp while gently massaging it for about 20 minutes to maximize its effects.

Bottomline: The Benefits of Scalp Scrubs

Luscious, shiny, and healthy hair is the dream, but without the proper maintenance, the hair and scalp environment becomes unhealthy, and you can end up with oily, dry, and flaky scalp. 

Scalp scrubs can help nourish the scalp and encourage healthy hair growth. There are several types of scalp scrubs, so that leaves you with plenty of options depending on your needs. 

Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your own healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.

Editorial References And Fact-Checking

  • Gavazzoni Dias M. F. (2015). Hair cosmetics: an overview. International journal of trichology, 7(1), 2–15. https://doi.org/10.4103/0974-7753.153450
  • Trüeb, R. M., Henry, J. P., Davis, M. G., & Schwartz, J. R. (2018). Scalp Condition Impacts Hair Growth and Retention via Oxidative Stress. International journal of trichology, 10(6), 262–270. https://doi.org/10.4103/ijt.ijt_57_18
  • Kostarelos, K., Teknetzis, A., Lefaki, I., Ioannides, D., & Minas, A. (2000). Double-blind clinical study reveals synergistic action between alpha-hydroxy acid and betamethasone lotions towards topical treatment of scalp psoriasis. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology : JEADV, 14(1), 5–9. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1468-3083.2000.00006.x
  • Tong, T., Kim, N., & Park, T. (2015). Topical Application of Oleuropein Induces Anagen Hair Growth in Telogen Mouse Skin. PloS one, 10(6), e0129578. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0129578 
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Beatriz Galang

Beatriz is an exceptional freelance medical writer. This is a craft she has been honing since her university years. Beatriz also has experience writing content in the health and wellness field, which she is extremely passionate about. She aims to help her readers understand their health and wellness deeper and make better health-related decisions. LinkedIn

Author

  • Beatriz is an exceptional freelance medical writer. This is a craft she has been honing since her university years. Beatriz also has experience writing content in the health and wellness field, which she is extremely passionate about. She aims to help her readers understand their health and wellness deeper and make better health-related decisions. LinkedIn

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Beatriz is an exceptional freelance medical writer. This is a craft she has been honing since her university years. Beatriz also has experience writing content in the health and wellness field, which she is extremely passionate about. She aims to help her readers understand their health and wellness deeper and make better health-related decisions. LinkedIn