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Why Use a Scalp Scrub?
If you already exfoliate your body, consider taking care of your scalp in a similar way. The scalp is skin after all, and those with dry skin, dandruff, and greasy hair that causes oil buildup may find it beneficial to use a scalp scrub.
Instead of a harsh clarifying shampoo, I prefer a nontoxic scalp scrub made with clean ingredients to deep clean the scalp. In addition to the practical benefits, I find the experience very soothing.
If you have extra sensitive skin or any other scalp issues and still want to try a scrub, you may want to patch test first to avoid any major irritation or discomfort.
Nontoxic Scalp Scrubs I Recommend
I currently use the Goop G.Tox Himalayan Salt Scalp Scrub Shampoo and the Innersense True Enlightenment Scalp Scrub on rotation. Both brands are known for using clean ingredients, and the products are similarly priced. While on the expensive side, each container lasts me a long time since scalp scrubs are only to be used weekly.
Just like you can overwash or over-exfoliate the skin on your face and cause it to panic and over-produce oil, exfoliating your scalp too much can be counterproductive, so I recommend not using it more than once a week.
The Goop version is sea salt-enriched, and lathers up nicely into an invigorating shampoo. Innersense is more gentle and leaves a refreshing minty tingle on the scalp.
I've also tried Briogeo's Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-exfoliating Scalp Scrub Shampoo, and it worked fine, but I didn't find it to be as special as the two products mentioned above.
How to Use a Scalp Scrub
In a shower or bath, make sure your hair is thoroughly wet. Scoop out a quarter-sized of either product and massage onto a wet scalp with your fingertips. I like using it with a scalp massager, especially with the Goop scrub, because it helps work it into a rich lather as the salts dissolve.
The Goop scrub doubles as a shampoo, so you can simply follow up with a conditioner. The Innersense scrub is not a shampoo. It's a pre-wash exfoliation treatment, so you do need to follow up with both shampoo and conditioner.
Which one is better?
If you prefer a deeper clean, the Goop scrub exfoliates really well. It may leave the hair a little dryer than usual, which is why I follow up with a deep conditioner such as Briogeo's Don't Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Hair Mask. I leave that in for 10 minutes while in the shower or bath.
The Innersense scrub is gentler and more relaxing. The peppermint tingle that it leaves on the scalp can create a soothing, spa-like experience. Since it's not as strong of an exfoliator, it's great for those with sensitive skin and less oily scalps.
I use Goop on the days I want a deeper clean, and the Innersense when I want a milder exfoliation and a more relaxing experience. If I really had to choose one, I'd pick Goop because it works really well for my oily hair. If I had to choose products to create an at-home spa experience, the Innersense scrub would be high on that list.