I’m guessing a lot of you haven’t really though too much about how to take care of your scalp. But then I didn’t either until about 2 years ago. In hindsight, caring for my scalp is something I should’ve been doing for ages before that.
We’ll spend so much money and time crafting the perfect skincare routing, exfoliating and moisturizing our bodies as well, but we forget that our scalp is also skin. We don’t think about it really because for most of us it’s covered in hair and no one ever sees it, so you might wonder why should we bother?
For the longest time, I dealt with an oily, itchy, flaky scalp and just thought it was dandruff. I thought I had to use harsh shampoos that stripped my hair of its natural moisture and faded my color as a solution for my problem scalp. My scalp started getting better almost 10 years ago when I made the switch to sulfate-free shampoo. Because the natural moisture wasn’t being stripped from my hair, my sebum production was no longer going into overdrive to compensate, and after about two weeks of adjusting, I didn’t have oily roots the day after washing anymore. After a few months, and in combination with sleeping on a silk pillowcase, my frizz was also drastically diminished.
However, even with those super-helpful changes, my scalp still wasn’t home free. I didn’t want to go back to stripping clarifying shampoos to deal with product buildup, especially since I’d really grown to love volume boosters for my hair. They worked beautifully, but unfortunately would leave residue on my scalp that wasn’t the easiest to remove fully with just shampoo and my fingers. So this is where scalp scrubs come in.
I’ve tested each of these individually myself over the last few years. They’ve worked well to varying degrees, with 3 of them really standing out and one that I now use almost exclusively because yes, it’s really THAT good. Here I’ve ranked them, from worst to first.
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I really wanted to like this product, especially because I absolutely love their Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse for removing buildup from my hair without stripping. I saw it on sale at Ulta for almost half off and decided to try the scrub, but the scrub was something else entirely. It was hard to work into my scalp, even with the aid of a scalp scrubber. It formed a sort of paste that even with a full shampoo afterward didn’t rinse clean and somehow left my scalp feeling less clean than before. Also, I was finding salt crystals in my hair for days after. I’m not sure if I had an unpleasant experience with it because my hair is longer and maybe it’s suited to people with shorter hair or maybe those with power washer-level water pressure in their shower. I also wasn’t a fan of the tub packaging, which was kind of narrow and awkward to scoop out in the shower in small amounts.
Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt (via Amazon, $49.97 or Look Fanstastic UK £30.00 ON SALE)
I got a deluxe sample of this from my hairdresser this year. While the formula was lighter and not as “sticky” as the dpHUE, there was still an issue of not really rinsing cleanly and salt crystals left behind. Also had tub packaging which got easily diluted in the shower.
There were a few things I did like about this scrub, especially given that I’ve liked most Drybar products I’ve tried in the past. I liked that the texture of the scrubbing grains weren’t too coarse, it was easy to work into my scalp, had easy and fuss-free tube packaging and it also rinsed clean. That last part turned out to be the biggest issue because it rinsed TOO clean. As in even with shampooing and conditioning after, my hair felt dry and it didn’t play well with my color.
Pacifica makes some high-quality and affordable clean beauty products, and this scrub is no exception. A great option even if you’re not on a budget, the formula is effective, in easy tube packaging, and doesn’t strip hair. The only downside for me is that I still have the issue of some salt crystals left behind, even though it does rinse cleaner than the other salt-based scalp scrubs I’ve tried.
Another amazing Kerastase product, this one is an invigorating, deep-cleaning scalp scrub for oily scalps. If you have a dry scalp and prefer something more soothing, they also have a Soothing Scalp Scrub available. Downsides are the tub packaging, but this scrub feels great on the scalp, just a little bit tingly in a good way. The scrub rinses clean, it plays well with color and I haven’t had the issue of finding leftover salt in my hair as I have with the first few scrubs I listed. Great for oily scalps and a luxurious mood-booster.
And finally, my favorite all-time scalp scrub…
This is it, my HG scalp scrub. The best, my absolute favorite, my ride or die. I love everything about it so much that I’m even willing to overlook the tub packaging (but at least it’s a big tub with a wider mouth) because everything else about it is perfect. So easy to work into my scalp, the scrubbing grains are finer and rinse away cleanly every time. Thoroughly removes buildup without stripping hair of moisture and I can use it without fading my color. I use it about every two weeks and my scalp and hair love it. Now if only they would finally package it in a tube, it would be my perfect hair product!
Have you tried scalp scrubs before? What did you think? Are there any you love that I’ve left out and haven’t tried yet? Let me know below in the comments!