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Sure, it’s not as fancy as talking about your glistening locks or increasing the sheen of your hair with a sparkly hairspray, but your scalp actually plays a big part in the health and appearance of your tresses. Think about it—if you’re not regularly caring for your oily scalp, you’ve probably had to walk around with an oily-looking do. Likewise, overly dry scalps may produce skin flakes that kind of look like (but aren’t) dandruff. So what’s one way to treat and cleanse your scalp other than the regular shampooing ritual? Exfoliation.
Yes, just like you’d exfoliate your face, your scalp (which is skin, after all) can benefit from the removal of dead skin cells, dirt, dandruff, oil, and product build-up, giving your roots an ideal environment for hair growth. In addition to washing and brushing your hair, you can give your scalp some TLC with products made specifically to exfoliate and give it balance. We’ve rounded up a few products for you to check out below.
This textured treatment, formulated with active enzymes to get to work on your scalp, is designed with intention to rid your scalp of the build-up of dead skin, product, and oils. When you take the cap off, you’ll find a flexible, bristled brush that you can use to gently scrub your scalp and disperse the product. Think of it as a massage.
(Where to Buy: Alterna Caviar Clinical Exfoliating Scalp Facial, $36, nordstrom.com)
By now you’ve heard of the texturizing benefits of sea salt for making your locks wavy, but this ingredient works wonders for your skin as well. Soothing inflammation and balancing skin, this product is a go-to for any at-home spa session. While it’s a bit pricey, the sea salt in this scrub (which can work as a shampoo) gently cleanses your scalp of all that stuff you don’t want sitting on there. And since salt is a natural exfoliant, you’ll see those results as well. Major plus? We think so. After you rinse it out, finish off with a hydrating conditioner on your ends.
(Where to Buy: Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub With Sea Salt, $52, net-a-porter.com)
This product specifically targets dandruff, which experts explain to be a condition that has to do with an overproduction of oils and possibly yeast, causing amounts of skin to stick to your scalp, inevitably flaking off and becoming visible. This product is said to exfoliate the skin already sitting on the scalp, making ample room for growth and, well, less visible dandruff. Working as a mask, it’s suggested to be applied for about five minutes and then washed off before you shampoo.
(Where to Buy: Kiehl’s Deep Micro-Exfoliating Scalp Treatment, $20, kiehls.com)
Scalp Expert Philip Kingsley would, of course, offer a product that is designed to exfoliate the skin on your head. To deter flakes and cleanse the scalp, this mask exfoliates as well as soothes and moisturizes, so the problem is less likely to occur in the future. It’s recommended to be used about once a week and to be left on between 10 and 20 minutes.
(Where to Buy: Philip Kingsley Exfoliating Scalp Mask, $30, philipkingsley.com)