Scalp exfoliation is a very underrated way of making sure that your scalp and hair are the most healthy they can be. It’s easy for scalp health to get overshadowed by skin and hair health, since there’s hundreds of products on the market for those. But your scalp is just as important. Ever find that your hair looks limp, dull, or just won’t do what you want it to do? Or that you have random bouts of dandruff popping up? You’d probably benefit from a scalp exfoliation tool. If you’ve never used one before, you might be sceptical, but they are nothing to be scared of, and your scalp will thank you for the extra TLC it’s getting.
“One of the key benefits of scalp exfoliators is helping to stimulate blood flow to the scalp,” says Eva Proudman, Chair of The Institute of Trichologists. “This supports follicular activity and healthy hair growth. However, a word of caution: try not to be too vigorous. A slow, strong, and steady motion is better.”
Another benefit of scalp exfoliators is their ability to massage away dead skin cells and excess sebum on our scalps, as this makes it easier for new hair follicles to emerge. A 2018 study found a link between scalp health, hair growth, and quality. Its conclusion? Scalp exfoliation increases hair fullness and reduces hair shedding, as well as controlling scalp Malassezia levels (a type of yeast that causes damage to the hair follicles).
“Any skin cells that are on the scalp can be removed with a gentle scalp massage, using an exfoliating tool,” Proudman continues. “And, some scalp massagers, or exfoliating brushes, also advocate use for massaging shampoo through the hair and gentle ‘pulling’ the conditioner through to the tips, too. Used ‘tenderly’ but with a firm hand, these tools can really enhance your overall scalp – and hair – health.”
Bridgette Hill, a certified trichologist recommends looking for ingredients that help with cell turnover, reduce inflammation, and have anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties. “Ingredients such as citrus (for its natural acidity) and rosemary (which stimulates and improves circulation) are great for scalp health” says Hill, “as are tea tree oil and chemical exfoliants.” But if you’re looking to save a bit of cash, you can even DIY it at home. A mixture of ground salt, apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, and honey will give your scalp a good detox. You can eve add coarse salt or sugar to your shampoo for speedy exfoliation.
Scalp health also depends on your lifestyle. If you work out or sweat more, you might want to exfoliate regularly to get rid of excess oils that could block your hair follicles. But Hill advises not to exfoliate your scalp more than once or twice a week.
Below, you’ll find our recommendations for the best hair exfoliating tools to keep your scalp healthy.
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