A healthy scalp equals healthier hair. That's the truth. If your scalp is dry, itchy, oily, or has excess buildup, all of those things might stop your hair from growing and looking its best. You can sort of think of your scalp as the foundation for your hair, so it needs to be strong and healthy.
There are a few things you can do to keep your scalp at its best. Washing less often and using gentle products can help. When you do wash your hair, make sure you do it thoroughly to remove any dirt and grime and massage the products in gently. And you might also benefit from some products to treat the scalp, like serums or scrubs.
A scrub is one product that can fix a whole host of issues, like dryness, dandruff, and oily scalp and hair—depending on the type of scrub you choose. It's almost like pushing reset on your scalp, revealing smoother and softer skin. You don't have to use a scrub every day (and you probably shouldn't, depending on the specific product), but it's a helpful thing to add to your routine every once in a while when you're in need of a refresh.
Take a look at some scalp scrubs to shop below.
1. R+Co Crown Scalp Scrub
Senior beauty editor Erin Jahns recommends this one. Made for sensitive and oily scalps, this scrub is formulated with salicylic acid and kaolin clay.
2. Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub With Sea Salt
Christophe Robin's scrub is another favorite of Jahns. It's a detoxifying shampoo scrub that contains sea salt to treat sensitive and oily scalps. It's also great to use after you color your hair since it relieves itchiness and any chemical residue.
3. Yes to Tea Tree Scalp Relief Pre-Shampoo Scalp Scrub
You can use this product to remove buildup and calm your scalp before you shampoo. It's formulated with tea tree oil, sage oil, and witch hazel.
4. Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal Coconut Oil Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo
This exfoliating shampoo scrub works to unclog the scalp and hair follicles but gently removing buildup, dead skin, and oil. Along with plant-based exfoliators, the formula contains binchotan charcoal to detoxify; coconut oil to moisturize; and a peppermint, spearmint, and tea tree oil complex for a relieving, cooling effect.
5. Oribe Serene Scalp Exfoliating Scrub
Oribe's exfoliating scrub contains both physical (soft polymer beads) and chemical (alpha hydroxy and glycolic acids) exfoliants. It also has the brand's Signature Complex, which protects and defends the hair, plus a soothing flower complex to hydrate and calm the scalp.
6. L'Oréal EverPure Exfoliating Scalp Care + Detox Scrub
Infused with apricot seed and menthol, not only will this scrub exfoliate and purify the scalp, but it will also provide a nice calming effect. One reviewer wrote, "My scalp has become very dry, but it's not dandruff. I've tried several other shampoos which cleaned my hair but didn't help with the dry scalp. I read a recommendation of EverPure and decided to try it. It instantly cleaned my hair. It's been very effective—so far, so good!"
7. TPH by Taraji Never Salty Sugar-Based Hair & Scalp Scrub
This scalp scrub is formulated with sugar crystals, apple cider vinegar, and coconut and peppermint oils to really unclog any pores and remove buildup. It works on all hair textures.
8. Ouai Scalp and Body Scrub
It's totally genius that this scrub works on both your scalp and the body so you can cut down on product clutter. It has sugar crystals for exfoliation and coconut oil to nourish the skin.
9. Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Happi Scalp Scrub
The key ingredient in this scalp scrub is an AHA blend that contains glycolic, tartaric, lactic, and citric acids. It's accompanied by marula oil to keep the hair shiny and smooth, and mongongo oil to moisturize. And it's color-safe, so you don't have to worry about that.
10. Amika Reset Exfoliating Jelly Scalp Scrub
This shampoo scrub has a unique jelly consistency that's so gentle and benefits sensitive, itchy, or oily scalps. Ingredients include sea salt, pink clay, and charcoal. One reviewer wrote, "I use this shampoo once a week with my other shampoo and conditioner and I love how clean my hair and scalp feel after! My hair stays cleaner for longer after using this and I find a little goes a long way if you work it in section by section."
11. dpHue Apple Cider Vinegar Scalp Scrub With Pink Himalayan Salt
Apple cider vinegar is a powerhouse ingredient that has antimicrobial properties. Along with ACV, this scrub has fine grain and course grain pink Himalayan salt to detoxify and exfoliate. And you don't have to worry about a dry scalp after exfoliation because the formula is also infused with avocado oil and aloe vera.
12. SheaMoisture African Black Soap Bamboo Charcoal Pre-Shampoo Scalp Scrub
Use this scalp scrub before you shampoo to treat a dry or oily scalp. One reviewer wrote, "Great pre-shampoo treatment for itchy scalp. Has a nice tingly sensation and makes my scalp feel refreshed and clean even before I shampoo. I highly recommend it."
13. Virtue Exfoliating Scalp Treatment
If you're dealing with flakiness and dryness, you'll want to give this scalp treatment a try. It has fruit enzymes (papain and bromelain), plus beta hydroxy acid to exfoliate any dead skin. And it will leave your hair and scalp nourished, too, thanks to a healing protein and coconut, jojoba, and Kalahari melon oils.
14. Nexxus Clean & Pure Scalp Scrub
Made without parabens, dyes, or silicone, this scrub won't irritate your skin. It contains a ProteinFusion blend that is made up of elastin protein and marine minerals to purify the scalp and lock in moisture.
15. Drybar On the Rocks Charcoal Scalp Scrub
Drybar's scalp scrub packs a detoxifying punch—it has both sugar crystals for exfoliation and activated charcoal to purify. There are also lemon and orange extracts in the product to promote cell renewal.
More Scalp Care Products
This hair and scalp oil is amazing if you're noticing that your hair is feeling and looking weak and it's prone to breakage. It's a blend of castor oil and black cumin seed to lock in moisture and protect your strands.
Formulated especially for an oily scalp, this rinse-off serum is infused with glycolic and salicylic acids to exfoliate the scalp and dissolve oily buildup. It also contains niacinamide, which promotes hair growth.
Give your hair a boost with this thickening spray. It has densifying polymers to add volume, plus peppermint oil to refresh the scalp.
It can be tough to find a dandruff treatment that's clean, so this serum is clutch. The leave-in treatment contains ingredients like salicylic acid to exfoliate; aloe to soothe and nourish; and colloidal oatmeal to calm dry skin.
This serum is helpful if your hair and scalp are stressed from tight styles. It delivers a cooling, tingly effect, while also strengthening and hydrating the hair.
Next: Forgetting this Basic Product Makes Styling Your Hair So Much Harder
Hi, everyone. I’m Sarah! I was born and raised in Los Angeles, spent 12 years going to school and working in New York City (got my BA in journalism from NYU), and made the move back to L.A. to work at THE/THIRTY. I’ve had 10 years of experience covering lifestyle and wellness, with editor roles at Apartment Therapy, Real Simple, House Beautiful, Elle Decor, Veranda, and The Bump (sister site of The Knot). Most of my days are spent writing and editing stories about eating healthy, the latest wellness and self-care trends, the newest (and coolest) workouts, and the best fitness gear that will actually make you want to exercise. I love all the topics we cover at THE/THIRTY, but I especially love writing about mental health—I think that’s one of the most important topics right now and something I am passionate about (and also continuously working on myself!). As for self-care, I stick to these five things: a good workout, “me” time on the regular, a good book/podcast/playlist to unwind after a long day, naps, and decorating my apartment. When I’m not working, I love trying new restaurants with friends, listening to history and true crime podcasts, and enjoying an occasional Netflix binge.