A healthy scalp is the key to healthy hair — which means it deserves just as much attention as you devote to your daily skin care regimen. One of the best ways to maintain a healthy scalp is through regular exfoliation, something that most shampoos on the market fail to offer. But by using one of the
best scalp scrubs a couple of times a week, your entire head — from your hair's root down through its shift — will be on its way to its most optimal health in no time.
A scalp scrub is a necessity for the same reasons a facial exfoliant is — it buffs away product buildup, excess oil, and dead cells, which keeps your skin looking and feeling healthy. But just like when shopping for a facial exfoliant, it's important to keep the ingredients, and your skin type, in mind. If you have sensitive skin on your face, you likely also have a sensitive scalp, so look for formulas that use gentle exfoliants, like salt, fruit seeds, and even charcoal, to buff away dead skin without being too harsh. In other words, you should only put ingredients on your scalp that you'd also put on your face. The two areas of skin are more alike than you'd imagine.
Ahead, find five of the
best scalp scrubs that remove product buildup, relieve itching, and combat dandruff with every wash. 1 The Best Drugstore Scalp Scrub
gentle sugar-based scrub is made from 99% natural ingredients, and is free from parabens and sulfates. It contains powerhouse cleansing ingredients like tea tree oil, witch hazel, and apple cider vinegar that will leave your hair looking shiny and your scalp feeling fresh. This scrub comes in a convenient squeeze tube that makes it easy to apply directly to the scalp, even for those with thicker hair. One fan raved: “I struggle with build-up due to California water and VERY thick hair, so my scalp can have a hard time both getting and feeling clean & fresh. THIS SCRUB IS AMAZING and my hair was so soft after. I use it twice a week now before my regular hair routine in the shower.” 2 The Best Mid-Range Scalp Scrub
If you don't mind shelling out a few extra bucks, then
R+Co's Crown Scalp Scrub is a great choice: The vegan formula is paraben-free, sulfate-free, cruelty-free, and gluten-free, to boot. It's great for both oily and sensitive skin types because of the other ingredients it has in it aside from the exfoliators. It combines aloe leaf extract to help hair hold on to moisture, passion flower and mango fruit extracts that are packed with vitamins and antioxidants, and ginger root extract to soften hair and add shine. One fan raved: “Fantastic product, recommended by my barber to help revitalize my dry scalp. Only need to use a walnut sized drop to cover the entire scalp. The impact of the product was immediately felt. No itching, flaking or tightness and my scalp + hair felt softer. Worth every penny.” 3 The Best Prestige Scalp Scrub
If there's one scalp scrub that beauty gurus swear by, it's
this one from Christophe Robin: Consider it the crème de la crème of all scalp products. It's a fantastic option for just about every hair and skin type, as it's gentle, but also incredible effective. Salt is the main exfoliant in this scrub, so it dissolves down the drain with zero residue. It also actually produces a surprisingly foamy lather, which is probably due to the sulfates in the formula (yes, it does contain sulfates, but as a frequent user, I can vouch that it doesn't dry your hair out at all.) It is free of parabens, silicones, colorants, and phthalates, though, it smells delicious, and it leaves your hair shiny and soft. And since a little goes a long way, it'll last a while — just make sure your hair is nice and wet to produce that lather. One fan raved: “I desperately needed a scalp cleanser/exfoliant due to excess product build-up that had sent me into a cycle of scratching, flakiness, and distressed hair/scalp. I can FEEL this product working gently and thoroughly. I alternate with Christophe Robin’s purifying shampoo and my hair/scalp made a dramatically quick and lasting shift to healthy tresses.” 4 An All-Natural Shampoo That Acts As A Scalp Scrub
Activated charcoal is known as a miracle worker on skin that's in desperate need of a detox, but it's also great for your scalp. It also happens to be the star ingredient in
Briogeo's Scalp Revival Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo, which is cruelty-free, sulfate-free, and made with 98 percent naturally-sourced ingredients. It absorbs dirt, oil, and product buildup and gently exfoliates your scalp, but it also contains coconut oil for hydration, as well as tea tree oil, which is naturally antibacterial and an effective treatment against dandruff. As if that wasn't enough, there's also biotin in the formula, which is known to strengthen hair and encourage growth. Plus, since it's technically a shampoo, you don't even need to follow it with another wash. One fan raved: “I have waited to post a review until I have used the majority of the product. I have a very oily scalp, but sometimes my hair tends to dry out on the ends. I usually use this treatment once a week. I massage it into my scalp and let it sit for a few moments and then wash out. I will follow it up with a clarifying shampoo. It smells so good and I can definitely tell a difference in my scalp and the number of days I can go without washing.” 5 A Handy Tool That Turns Any Shampoo Into An Exfoliating Experience
If you don't want to invest in an entirely new scrub, you're in luck. The
Maxsoft Scalp Care Brush turns any old shampoo into an exfoliator due to its soft silicone bristles that deep clean your scalp. Basically, it's like a Clarisonic for your hair — except with thick, flexible bristles. It's easy to clean and feels amazing on your head. If you're someone whose scalp often feels tight, itchy, or even painful, you'll definitely want to invest in this little guy. One fan raved: “I started doing the Curly Girl method and I cowash a lot but my arms were getting tired from all the scalp massaging. I saw this on another video so I decided to get it and it's wonderful!!! My arms are way less tired in the shower and my hair and scalp feel great and very well cleansed. It's super gentle and soft. I can't believe I haven't had one of those til now!”