Earlier this year, I was dealing with a slightly annoying and confusing problem: I had a super-itchy and flaky scalp. It seemed that my scalp was starting to freak out, causing some major dandruff and a whole lot of irritation. It almost felt like the eczema on my hands had somehow traveled to my head.
When trying to figure out what was going on, I realized one main culprit must have been a new shampoo I was using. So I decided to make the switch back to one of my trusted bottles. But to my dismay, it seemed to not clear the problem entirely. My scalp was not as irritated, but it was still a little flaky. Luckily, at this point, we were all in quarantine, so no one had to be witness to my flakes since I was spending most of my time at home in my apartment alone. (You're welcome.)
After doing some research and consulting some trusted friends and co-workers, I decided I needed to try a scalp treatment to triage the situation. I never really paid much attention to my scalp before all of this, only focusing on the hair growing out of it, but I came to realize that a healthy scalp equals healthy hair. I learned that if you don't take care of your scalp and give it much-needed attention, it can damage your hair follicles, which could lead to a whole host of other problems like weak strands or even hair loss.
So I picked up Briogeo's Scalp Revival Shampoo after diligently reading reviews online. It's a sulfate-free scrub that is supposed to exfoliate your scalp, remove any buildup, soothe, and improve balance thanks to ingredients like charcoal, coconut oil, and a complex of peppermint, spearmint, and tea tree oil.
The product itself was so easy to work into my hair and left it feeling clean without drying it out or stripping any natural oils. Since it's a scrub, it did have a grain-like texture, but I didn't mind it at all, and it was nice to know that it was really going to work at the exfoliating part. The minty ingredients made everything feel really refreshed as well.
After a couple of uses, my scalp was pretty much back to normal. I noticed a decrease in the flakiness and itchiness. I finally wasn't scratching my head at all times of the day! Along with using my normal conditioner, my scalp was feeling good, and I felt like my hair was healthier because of it. Now, I've incorporated it into my haircare routine and use it about once every two weeks to keep my scalp free of buildup. It's definitely been a game changer.
Scalp treatments can be so effective for your hair health and aren't just for itches and flakes. There are some formulas for oily scalps, and others can help stimulate hair growth or repair damaged hair. Take a look at some other options below if you're scalp is in need of some TLC.
To get rid of dandruff and excess oil, you can use this detoxifying shampoo to cleanse. Like the Briogeo product, it has a paste-like consistency. It's safe to use on hair that's been colored and can even remove chemical residue.
If you're looking for something more lightweight, Oribe's Leave-On Treatment might be your best bet. Enriched with aloe vera and biotin, it will soothe an irritated scalp and rejuvenate hair follicles.
Formulated for an oily scalp, this scrub thoroughly cleanses while adding volume. It contains sea salt, vitamin B6, and salicylic acid.
Goop's G.Tox is another one of those scrub-shampoo combos. The whipped texture contains Himalayan pink salt, moringa oil, and rosehip oil to purify and refresh your hair and scalp. It also has a nice scent with notes of rosemary, geranium, orange, and peppermint.
This is a shampoo rather than a specific scalp treatment, but if you're looking for an OTC option that will really get rid of dandruff, this one works like no other. I turn to this whenever I have dandruff, and it gets the job done quickly without damaging my hair.
The creamy treatment is made with gentle rice beads to exfoliate and remove buildup. Alpha Keratin 60ku, kalahari melon oil, and jojoba oil repair and nourish your strands.
Use this scalp detox weekly to remove impurities, strengthen and stimulate hair follicles, and moisturize. It's formulated with botanical ingredients like baobab, amaranth, and moringa oils, plus basil leaf. Apply to the scalp, massage, leave for 20 minutes, and rinse. You can also use it overnight.
If you're dealing with hair loss, this Scalp Revitalizer works to invigorate the scalp and lift hair from its roots. It contains herbs and botanicals like tangerine peel, Japanese knotweed, an Ayurvedic herb blend, and turmeric. To apply, spray 16 times directly on your scalp, covering the whole head. Massage in and you're all set.
This restorative hair and scalp serum works to smooth, soothe, protect, and promote regeneration. It's a leave-in treatment that's formulated with apple stem cells, hydrolyzed protein, and sweet lupine plant.
Relieve an excessively itchy and irritated scalp with this leave-in treatment. It has a hyaluronic acid–based molecular patch and a vitamin B3–based microbiome complex to completely hydrate and rebalance the scalp.
This scrub contains apple cider vinegar to rebalance the pH levels, which you'll need for a healthier scalp. It also removes dead skin cells, unclogs pores, and soothes.
You get a two-for-one product with Ouai's scrub. You can use it to exfoliate the scalp before shampooing and to slough off dead skin cells from the rest of your body. Coconut oil leaves everything moisturized.
This is the serum version of the shampoo I used, and I'm looking to add it to my list next. It also contains charcoal as well as peppermint, spearmint, and tea tree oils to reduce inflammation, reduce oily buildup, balance, and hydrate.
Use this scrub before you shampoo your hair to exfoliate and remove buildup. The clean formula contains Hawaiian red salt (which is made with volcanic clay), apple fruit, and a blend of botanicals. Your head will be so clean and refreshed afterward.
Formulated especially for sensitive scalps, Leonor Greyl's treatment relieves dryness and targets dandruff thanks to a blend of different oils (copaiba, Brazil nut, camellia, and passion fruit) and magnolia bark and azulene extracts. You don't have to worry about a dried-out or overly oily scalp here. It prevents dehydration and regulates sebum production. Apply, wait 15 minutes, and rinse.
Here's another one for sensitive and oily scalps. Salicylic acid and kaolin will reduce buildup and absorb excess oil. Sunflower-seed extract and argan oil rejuvenate, protect against environmental damage, and soften the hair.
Massage five drops of this treatment onto your scalp for 15 minutes before you shower. It will absorb and purify any impurities thanks to plant extracts like sweet almond oil, cedarwood, rosemary oil, and sage oil.