Why You Should Be Using a Scalp Product—and Which Ones to Try

Raise your hand if you haven’t thought much about your scalp lately. By my very official calculations, most of us devote time to scalp care approximately once for every 100 gusts of dry shampoo and 30 minutes ruminating over conditioner options at Sephora. For anyone who experiences legitimate scalp issues, like dandruff or dermatitis, the response is likely a different one. But when your scalp is well-behaved—“normal” even—it’s easy to forget about it.

The hair/scalp connection

I asked Nunzio Saviano, a stylist and the owner of Nunzio Saviano Salon in New York City, about scalp health. Here’s what he told me about the connection between our hair and the skin from whence it grows: “Caring for your scalp means caring for your hair. When you do, it will be healthier, shinier and fuller,” he says. “If you ignore your scalp, your hair can look dull and lifeless. Residue from styling products like hairspray, gel, and dry shampoo clogs the follicles, trapping dead skin to the scalp and slowing down circulation necessary for healthy hair.”

Exfoliation with a scrub or clarifying treatment helps to get rid of this buildup, which means that anything put on the scalp will penetrate better. Treat your scalp the way you would your skin, with its type and tendencies in mind. Just as oily skin loves a toner, oily scalps will benefit from a product that minimizes sebum. Removing dead skin helps to balance drier scalps. And even those that fall into the normal category should do an occasional detox from environmental debris and product buildup.

 

Source: @randco

 

Choosing a scalp product

Saviano suggests choosing products with soothing ingredients, like coconut oil or coconut water, along with menthol, rosemary, and salicylic acid to invigorate and exfoliate the scalp. At the salon, ask for a deep scalp massage—or even a rough shampoo. You know the kind!—to amp up circulation.

 

Our favorite products to give your scalp some attention

 

La Tierra Sagrada

Treatment

From holistic line La Tierra Sagrada, this treatment is soothing and beautifully ritualistic. It contains coconut and Palo Santo essential oils to alleviate scalp irritation, along with rosemary essential oil, which is thought to encourage hair growth. (The line’s founder, stylist Stefani Padilla, was inspired to create the products after her own experience with hair loss).

IGK

Low Key Cleansing Walnut Scalp Scrub

Replace your regular shampoo with this scrub once a week. It feels instantly cooling and tingly, thanks to peppermint oil. Walnut shell powder and sugar pair up to cleanse and remove flakes from the scalp. And the sweet-but-not-cloying minty scent is dreamy.

UKA

Scalp Cleansing Deep & Light

From Japanese brand Uka, this scalp-specific cleanser relies on plant ingredients and amino acids to deep clean without stripping away moisture. It breaks up oil and invigorates with peppermint and tea tree oils, too.

Bumble & Bumble

Scalp Detox

This foam isn’t quite a shampoo—it’s applied to dry hair—but it deep cleans like one. It’s formulated with micellar water to refresh the scalp and salicylic acid to exfoliate. The fun is in the application, when it bubbles, foams, fizzes and ices in the most satisfying of ways.

dpHue

Apple Cider Vinegar Scalp Scrub

Before drinking apple cider vinegar was a mainstream thing, there was the apple cider hair rinse. This clarifying scrub makes the process a bit more palatable, by blending the vinegar with detoxifying pink Himalayan sea salt, aloe vera and avocado oils to nourish the scalp.

Oribe

Serene Scalp Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

This shampoo makes a solid argument for the existence of chic dandruff products. Ideal for dry or itchy scalps, it contains salicylic acid to gently remove dead skin and flakes. And the signature Oribe bottle is, as always, the most gorgeous.

Briogeo

Scalp Revival Charcoal + Tea Tree Scalp Treatment

Binchotan charcoal is the star detoxifier in this pre-shampoo treatment, which absorbs oil and impurities from the scalp. There’s also spearmint, peppermint and tea tree oils, along with biotin to support strong, healthy hair.

R+CO

ACV Cleansing Rinse

We haven't been able to stop singing its praises since acquiring it in our FabFitFun box. It's a cleansing rinse that softens the hair, calms the scalp, adds shine and won't strip away natural oils or color.

 

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