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Similar to our legs, elbows, face and heels, the dead skin and product buildup that accumulates on our scalp needs to be exfoliated off. These days, we can get a little extra help from some amazing scrubs.
With pool season in full effect, proper cleansing and hydrating is important since chlorine can suck natural oils from the hair and skin, leaving them dry, rough, and damaged.
Needless to say, maintaining the health of your scalp health is crucial to maintaining healthy hair overall. If you're tired of flaking and dryness, it's time to reverse damage caused by the pool, styling products and chemicals.
But first, how often should I scrub?
Like all good things, scalp exfoliation is good in moderation. Some experts suggest scrubbing a healthy scalp every seven to 10 shampoos (unless you use an excessive amount of product on your head).
Since the glands on your scalp produce oil (sebum) that maintains the health of your hair and skin, over exfoliation may throw off your scalp's pH balance, which could cause it to overproduce oil.
That said, if excess oil builds up, a physical or chemical exfoliant is needed to help clear it away.
What type of scrub should I use?
Choosing a scalp scrub is a lot like choosing products for your face: if your scalp is sensitive or greasy, you'll need to stick with ingredients that treat the issue at hand.
For sensitive scalps, gentle polymer beads (which are free of microplastics) are a safe bet. If greasiness is a problem, an oil-absorbing charcoal scrub is a great option.
For all of the hair product lovers out there, the key to removing buildup is using a physical scrub that contains salt or sugar.
No matter your "scalp type", there's an all-natural, colour-safe, paraben-free, cruelty-free, vegan or even gluten-free scrub to detoxify and nourish. Check out the best of them below.
Get ready for the scent of crushed star anise to fill your shower as Rahua's new exfoliating shampoo purifies your scalp. This one-step cleansing/exfoliating routine removes dead skin cells, buildup, and improves blood circulation all in one go.
SHOP IT: The Detox Market, $52
Accumulated dirt, sebum, and product debris stand no chance against Virtue's Exfoliating Scalp Treatment. Its light, whipped crème texture gently lifts dry aged cells from follicles, balances, and conditions without adding residue.
SHOP IT: Sephora, $62
Have you ever tried a whipped shampoo? Goop's mineral-rich Himalayan Salt Scrub has a unique fluffy texture and cleanses the hair and scalp of product buildup, dirt and oil. Plus, it leaves behind the fresh scent of rosemary, geranium, orange, and peppermint.
SHOP IT: The Detox Market, $58
To remove excess oil and buildup, cleanse pores, and balance and energize the scalp, Oribe's Serene Scalp Exfoliating Scrub uses polymer beads, an alpha hydroxy acid blend and Oribe's Signature Complex: a defendant against environmental elements, oxidative stress, photoaging, and the deterioration of natural keratin.
SHOP IT: Sephora, $65
Formulated with antioxidant-rich green coffee, Frank Body's caffeinated scalp scrub gently removes dead skin cells while eucalyptus reduces inflammation and peppermint refreshes and detoxifies.
SHOP IT: Frank Body, $19
This sugar-based scrub from John Master's Organics contains four natural exfoliants — organic sugar cane, bamboo, pumpkin enzymes, and AHA botanical fruit extracts — that work to help remove flakes, buildup, and excess sebum.
SHOP IT: The Detox Market, $49
Brooklyn-based Eva NYC packed physical and chemical exfoliators like pomegranate enzymes and witch hazel into this salt-based shampoo to deliver a superior cleansing experience. It clarifies, exfoliates and refreshes.
SHOP IT: Eva NYC, $12
Famed for its line of signature scents, Le Labo packed this plant-based scrub with black sea salt and cooling menthol to stimulate the scalp. Olive oil and avocado oil strengthen and nourish.
SHOP IT: Nordstrom, $40
Hair queen Jenn Atkin has done it again with this foaming skin and scalp scrub. It unclogs pores and keeps bacteria in balance with a hit of probiotics. Scented with Atkin's signature Melrose Place fragrance, notes of rose, bergamot, lychee, cedarwood, and white musk linger in its place.
SHOP IT: Sephora, $50
This innovative jelly formula from amika contains charcoal, pink clay and sea salt to cleanse, purify, rebalance, and soothe. For sensitive, itchy, or oily scalps, it provides major relief.
SHOP IT: Sephora, $33
Used on a weekly basis, this tea tree and sea salt infused cleanser by Playa California exfoliates and treats the scalp to restore natural oil balance. It alleviates dryness and lightly scrubs away product buildup and flakes from hair follicles.
SHOP IT: Sephora, $48
With Hawaiian red salt (which is rich in volcanic clay and minerals) and an invigorating blend of celery seed extract, tea tree, and peppermint oil, this pre-wash treatment by Innersense stimulates, soothes, and successfully scrubs away impurities.
SHOP IT: The Detox Market, $56
Alterna's My Hair My Canvas New Beginnings Exfoliating Cleanser utilizes lemon peel extract to clarify and remove impurities from hair, neutralize free-radicals and lift away dirt. The addition of perlite helps to absorb excess oil without stripping the scalp.
SHOP IT: Ulta Beauty, $30
Monpure's clinically-proven Clarifying Scalp Scrub shakes off flaky dead skin and helps alleviate symptoms of dandruff and psoriasis. It also rejuvenates the scalp-skin with healing shea butter and argan oil.
SHOP IT: Monpure, $108
Balance and soothe an itchy, irritated scalp with Briogeo's Scalp Revival Scrub Shampoo. While peppermint, spearmint, tea tree, and coconut oils soothe and refresh, charcoal and plant-based exfoliators lift away buildup, impurities, dead skin, and excess oil that can clog hair follicles.
SHOP IT: Sephora, $54