Everything You Need to Know About the 8 Best Scalp Scrubs in 2021

So, you may have heard a bit of buzz this year about scalp scrubs and scalp treatments

That’s probably because we’ve come to realise that the skin on our scalp is not too dissimilar to the skin on our faces, and that an unbalanced scalp can actually lead to a few problems such as dandruff, hair loss and generally poor hair health. 

Hair health starts with the scalp, which is why we recommend investing in a scalp scrub to help create and maintain the conditions for optimal hair health and growth

For me, they also provide a thorough cleanse, a much needed reset and a little bit of volume at the roots, which my flat hair sorely needs. 

Everything You Need to Know About the 8 Best Scalp ScrubsEverything You Need to Know About the 8 Best Scalp Scrubs


So, what exactly do scalp scrubs do?

There is a lot of contention around whether scalp scrubs are good, or even necessary. 

And honestly, we get it. Not everyone wants to add another bloody step to their routine. 

However, the benefits of including a scalp scrub in your hair care routine are pretty impressive, particularly if you have an unbalanced scalp or use a lot of hair products. 

Not all scalp scrubs are the same, and different formulas work differently to cleanse, detoxify, exfoliate or hydrate the scalp. 

Scalp scrubs also benefit different scalp conditions by:

  • Balancing oily scalps

  • Exfoliating and hydrating dry scalps

  • Soothing itchy scalps 

  • Removing product build up, dirt and debris 

Unfortunately, the build up of oil, sebum, dead skin cells and product build up can eventually block or impede the hair follicle, which can hinder healthy hair growth and ultimately lead to a variety of scalp conditions or even premature hair shedding (that’s hair loss for you). 

Plus, the scalp massage you give yourself when you apply a scalp scrub is also a great way to promote and improve blood circulation, which may also improve your hair health and growth

Everything You Need to Know About the 8 Best Scalp ScrubsEverything You Need to Know About the 8 Best Scalp Scrubs

How often should you use a scalp scrub?

So, this one really depends on the condition of your scalp and the product itself.

In most cases I would suggest using a scalp scrub fortnightly, unless your scalp really requires some extra TLC. In that case, I would recommend using a scalp scrub weekly. 

For those of you who don’t know how to use a scalp scrub, they are usually applied directly to a wet scalp and then massaged in before rinsing, generally in the place of your regular shampoo. 

Our favourite scalp scrubs for every scalp condition:

Scalp scrubs contain different ingredients, which will cater to the needs of every hair and scalp condition be it normal, oily, dry, itchy or sensitive. 

An invigorating scalp scrub that’s good for hair growth

One of the ways you can improve hair growth is by clearing the scalp, and making sure the follicle isn’t blocked. An excellent scalp scrub for thinning hair, or hair that is struggling to grow is the Previa Extra Life Purifying Scalp Cleanser. This formula contains Green Walnut extract to exfoliate and organic Green Tea and Tea Tree to soothe and detoxify the scalp. One of our favourite ingredients in this formula is the Vitis Vinifera stem cells, which help to protect the hair and scalp from UV stress that causes hair ageing. Simply apply to a dry scalp and massage in the product. After waiting 3-5 minutes rinse out the product before following with shampoo and conditioner as usual.

An invigorating scalp scrub that’s good for hair growth

Designed with oily scalps in mynd, the Kérastase Chronologiste Pre-Cleanse Shampoo Régénérant helps to clarify, detox and tone the slap. The combination of Charcoal and Hyaluronic acid helps to balance the scalp, helping to also remove dead skin and pollution. It’s an extremely deep cleanse, ideal for anyone with an oily scalp, who might like to use this treatment more regularly. Men generally have oilier scalps, so this is a go-to treatment I would recommend them using on a weekly basis.

A staff favourite salt scalp scrub we can’t get enough of is the Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt. This satisfying scalp scrub truly exfoliates with a combination of Sea Salt, Chamomile and Sweet Almond Oil to also hydrate and soothe the scalp. This refreshing formula helps stimulate blood flow, and can help improve hair health and growth by balancing the pH of your scalp. Emulsify the product in your palms before applying it directly to your wet scalp and massage the product in. We recommend using this product only once or twice a week.

This scalp scrub uses both chemical and physical exfoliation
This scalp scrub uses both chemical and physical exfoliation

For a true double cleanse, we recommend the Coco & Eve Like A Virgin Deep Clean Scalp Scrub, which uses chemical and physical exfoliation to really clear the scalp. The combination of AHA’s, BHA’s, Volcanic Ash and Coconut Shell makes this scrub truly thorough at scouring away dead skin cells, excess oil and product build up. It also has a fresh minty smell that makes using this scrub an invigorating experience. You can apply this to a wet scalp as the first step in your hair care routine. Simply massage it into your scalp and then rinse. This formula is also great for adding volume to fine hair.

The IGK LOW KEY Cooling Walnut Scrub is a cooling formula that helps to exfoliate and purify the scalp. This scrub is made up of Sugar, Walnut shell powder and Apple Cider Vinegar to gently remove build up without irritating the scalp. It also uses Walnut and Peppermint oil to hydrate and balance your scalp pH for healthy hair that simply shines. Concentrate a walnut-sized amount of the product onto your scalp, and then gently massage in the product until the exfoliants melt away. This product is ideal for those with colour treated hair as it won’t strip your colour or create further damage.

For a scalp scrub that looks super glamorous in your shower caddy, try the Oribe Serene Scalp Exfoliating Scalp Scrub. This refreshing formula contains a combination of polymer beads that break down as you scrub and AHA’s that scour the surface of your scalp. It detoxifies your roots while clearing up dry, flaky or itchy scalps. You can use this scrub weekly, applying it directly to a wet scalp and massaging it in before applying conditioner. It’s a gorgeous scrub that will leave your hair feeling truly fresh and clean.

The R+Co Crown Scalp Scrub is an impressive all rounder that leaves the scalp clear, balanced and your hair soft and shiny. We appreciate how this scrub combines Salicylic acid with Kaolin clay and a physical element of Ecuadorian Ivory Palm Seed Powder to exfoliate on multiple levels. Apart from being vegan and cruelty free, the best thing about this scrub is the lively scent of Green Tea, Eucalyptus and Siciilian Lemon. Massage a small amount of the product into your scalp until you feel the exfoliants fully dissolve and then rinse.

For dry scalps the VIRTUE Exfoliating Scalp Treatment is truly a savior. This scalp scrub conditions while it exfoliates, working to clear dry flakes while returning moisture and hydration back to the scalp. This formula uses a brilliant concoction of Fruit Enzymes, Rice Powder and BHA’s and then Coconut, Jojoba and Melon oils to hydrate the scalp. When you use this scalp scrub weekly you can simply apply it to wet hair and then rinse it out, no need to use a conditioner, that's how hydrating it is!





Brand and product inclusions are at the sole discretion of Adore Beauty. We do not seek or accept payment from brands or individuals listed in our guides.




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