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As someone who has both big chopped and had very long hair, I can say with wholehearted confidence that wash day is never short. Though many describe it as some sort of relaxing, self-care activity, I view it as unavoidable self-maintenance that requires multiple, time-consuming steps. At the same time, I won’t deny that all of those steps–including a natural hair scalp product–are also necessary.
Between protective styling, hot tools, and the many other products in a daily regimen, those with textured hair know the product buildup struggle. Personally, I know it’s time for a deep cleanse when I’ve been using edge control every day and it starts to leave a white cast, even after I’ve washed and moisturized along the hairline. It’s the double-edged sword of priming your scalp with grease or lotion; you know it’s what stimulates growth and nourishes dry patches, but it can also leave behind the kind of gunk that gets stuck under your nails when you go in for an itch. (Don’t side-eye me; we’ve all done it.)
Scalp-focused formulas made with antimicrobials such as apple cider vinegar and tea tree oil are life-savers when you really want to get rid of the grime and start fresh. Here are the top-rated ones I recommend keeping in your bathroom.
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1. Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Tea Tree Scalp Treatment
A powerhouse mix of charcoal for drawing out dirt, mint oils for cooling irritation, and witch hazel for neutralizing oil production.
2. Living Proof Restore Dry Scalp Treatment
One of the few hair treatments out there infused with hyaluronic acid, a star ingredient for restoring moisture, thus relieving itchiness.
3. Mizani Calming Scalp Lotion
This affordable, professional salon option cools irritation and delivers moisture to a dry scalp.
4. SheaMoisture Bamboo Charcoal Scalp Tonic Treatment
With the clarifying power of charcoal and tea tree oil, your scalp is in for the deepest cleanse it’s ever had.