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We’re obsessed with gorgeous hairstyles, from braids and messy buns to beachy waves, but one can’t forget that hair that looks good starts with hair that’s healthy. Your scalp is the most important factor, so don’t neglect it in favor of deep conditioning treatments and hydrating serums—they’ll give hair the appearance of health, but nurturing your scalp is the real key to making your hair the best it can be (and helping it grow, too). These five healthy scalp products are our top picks for achieving your shiniest, softest hair ever.
LUSH Hair Doctor Hair and Scalp Mask ($15.95, lushusa.com)
This deep-cleansing herbal treatment, which contains ingredients so fresh it needs to be stored in the fridge, is excellent for fine or oily hair that tends to get weighed down by buildup accumulated over time. Peppermint oil and rosemary give the treatment an invigorating tingly sensation as it works, but almond oil, chamomile, and coconut oil soothe and hydrate the scalp for perfect balance and softer, shinier hair.
Kiehl’s Magic Elixir Hair Restructuring Concentrate ($20, kiehls.com)
Anything that calls itself “magic” better come through on that claim—and this product does and then some. Rosemary leaf stimulates the scalp to encourage healthy hair growth, thanks to its significant antioxidant activity, while avocado and safflower oils moisturize and make hair more manageable. It’s suitable for all hair and scalp types that need a quick fix, but we love it for treating dryness.
Alterna Caviar Clinical Exfoliating Scalp Facial ($36, shop.alternahaircare.com)
If your scalp is itchy, dandruff-ridden, or even just in need of some serious TLC, this gently exfoliating treatment really gets the job done when it comes to scrubbing away oil and buildup without drying or irritating—in fact, the presence of various oils, botanicals, and fruit enzymes ensure that the scalp is gently but thoroughly cleansed without stripping. And don’t worry: it’s totally safe for colored hair.
Kérastase Initialiste Advanced Scalp and Hair Concentrate ($61, kerastase-usa.com)
Skin care for your hair? Sure, why not! This serum exists at the intersection of innovative technology—it utilizes a key ingredient that mimics the molecules found in healthy hair—and total luxury—it smells good enough to be worn as perfume, as is the Kérastase way. Consumer trials attest to stronger, healthier, softer hair in just a week, and if breakage is your primary concern, you’ll find that this formula makes a significant difference.
Philip Kingsley Scalp Toner ($34, philipkingsley.com)
From the authority on all things scalp and hair health comes a gentle toner that stimulates blood supply for better hair growth while rehydrating the scalp to maintain moisture balance. The mild astringent qualities help to absorb excess oil and protect against the bacteria growth that causes dandruff and flakiness. We’re fond of this one because, while it’s meant to be applied on freshly washed hair, you can reapply it throughout the day when required.
Read more from Daily Makeover: 4 Weird All-Natural Ways to Cure Dandruff