• Top 10 Best Scalp Scrubs in 2021 1
  • Top 10 Best Scalp Scrubs in 2021 2
  • Top 10 Best Scalp Scrubs in 2021 3
  • Top 10 Best Scalp Scrubs in 2021 4
  • Top 10 Best Scalp Scrubs in 2021 5

Top 10 Best Scalp Scrubs in 2021

Grease. Dandruff. Residue. Using a ton of products like hair spray, hair gel, and mousse on your hair day in and day out can really wear out your locks and your scalp. Just like you exfoliate your face with a face scrub, you can get rid of product and dirt buildup with a good scalp scrub! But with so many scrubs to choose from, how do you know which one will do the job?


We found that the best ones not only clarify, but they also nourish with oils and moisturizers galore. We fell in love with dpHUE's Apple Cider Vinegar Scalp Scrub because it's safe for all hair types, soothes, and moisturizes. See what else made the cut and some things to look out for when you're shopping with our buying guide!

  • Last updated: 01-27-2021
  • 1,256 views
Table of Contents

What is a Scalp Scrub?

What is a Scalp Scrub?

Scalp scrub, like the name suggests, is a scrub for your scalp. Your scalp is where the sweat and dead cells are produced. Your hair is also exposed to a lot of pollution as you go about your day. Not to mention if you're a big styling gel user, there's going to be plenty of leftover product coating your scalp. 


All these factors contribute to your scalp getting grimy and unbalanced, leading to issues like skin irritation and dandruff. Hair grows out of hair follicles, which are embedded in the scalp. The hair follicles need a healthy scalp with balanced pH levels to produce luxuriant hair. Over time, the sebum and skin flakes clog hair follicles leading to hair loss and hair thinning.


This is where the importance of a scalp scrub comes in. It's either a gritty or chemical formula that removes the dead skin, styling product and oil from your scalp.

Top 10 Best Scalp Scrubs

Below we have curated a list of our top favorites of scalp scrubs, each of which has its own unique properties. While the goal is to shed the unwanted layer of detritus on the top of our scalps, we can give our skin a much desired boost by carefully selecting our salt scrub!

1

dpHUEApple Cider Vinegar Scalp Scrub with Pink Himalayan Sea Salt

$38.00

Formulated withApple cider, pink Himalayan salt, avocado oil, aloe vera
HighlightsVegan; cruelty-free; and free from parabens, gluten, and sulfates
Suitable forOily and dandruff prone scalps, colored hair
Amount11.2 oz
2

Christophe RobinCleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt

$49.55

Formulated withSalt, sweet almond oil, treemoss extract
HighlightsFree from parabens, silicones, and colorants
Suitable forSensitive and oily scalps
Amount8.3 oz
3

Head & Shoulders Royal Oils Water Activated Scalp Scrub

$8.97

Formulated withInfused with coconut oil, sulfate-free and paraben-free
HighlightsFree from dyes and sulfates
Suitable forDry and dandruff prone Scalps
Amount3.4 oz
4

NatureLab TokyoPerfect Shine Clarifying Scalp Scrub

$16.00

Formulated withGrape stem cell extract, pearl extract, hyaluronic acid
HighlightsCruelty-free; free of gluten, phthalates, parabens, sulfates, and mineral oils
Suitable forDull skin and hair
Amount8.1 oz
5
AROMATICA Rosemary Scalp Scrub 1

AROMATICARosemary Scalp Scrub

$18.42

Formulated withRosemary, eggplant, pine extract, dead sea salt particles
HighlightsVegan; free from parabens, sulfates, artificial fragrances, mineral oils, and more
Suitable forOily and sensitive scalps
Amount5.8 oz
6

ORS HAIRestoreScalp Scrub with Nettle Leaf and Horsetail Extract

$11.04

Formulated withNettle leaf and horsetail extract
HighlightsContains sulfates and parabens
Suitable forScalps with thinning hair
Amount6 oz
7

RenpureBeauty Tea Tree Lemon Sage Refreshing Moisture Scalp Scrub

$7.99

Formulated withTea tree oil, argan oil, shea butter, Himalayan sea salt and coconut oil
HighlightsFree from parabens, sulfates, gluten, dyes, phthalates, and propylene glycol
Suitable forOily, dry, and dandruff prone scalps
Amount4 oz
8

Yes To Tea Tree Gentle & Soothing Pre-Shampoo Scalp Scrub

$7.98

Formulated withTea tree oil, apple cider vinegar, witch hazel, sage oil
Highlights99% natural ingredients; Leaping Bunny certified; free from parabens, SLS, and silicones
Suitable forDry, oily, and itchy scalps; colored Hair
Amount6 oz
9
Formulated withSugar, coconut oil, probiotic blend
HighlightsFree from parabens, sulfates, and phthalates
Suitable forAll skin types
Amount8.8 oz
10

BriogeoScalp Revival Charcoal and Coconut Oil Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo

$42.00

Formulated withBiotin, tea tree oil, coconut oil, keratin, peppermint
Highlights98% naturally-derived ingredients; cruelty-free; vegan; free from silicones, phthalates, gluten, sulfates, parabens, and artificial dyes
Suitable forDry and itchy scalps; treated hair
Amount8 oz

Compare the Best Scalp Scrubs

Image
1
dpHUE Apple Cider Vinegar Scalp Scrub with Pink Himalayan Sea Salt 1

dpHUE

2
Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt 1

Christophe Robin

3
Head & Shoulders  Royal Oils Water Activated Scalp Scrub 1

Head & Shoulders

4
NatureLab Tokyo Perfect Shine Clarifying Scalp Scrub  1

NatureLab Tokyo

5
AROMATICA Rosemary Scalp Scrub 1

AROMATICA

6
ORS HAIRestore Scalp Scrub with Nettle Leaf and Horsetail Extract 1

ORS HAIRestore

7
Renpure Beauty Tea Tree Lemon Sage Refreshing Moisture Scalp Scrub 1

Renpure

8
Yes To  Tea Tree Gentle & Soothing Pre-Shampoo Scalp Scrub 1

Yes To

9
Ouai Scalp & Body Scrub 1

Ouai

10
Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal and Coconut Oil Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo 1

Briogeo

Name

Apple Cider Vinegar Scalp Scrub with Pink Himalayan Sea Salt

Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt

Royal Oils Water Activated Scalp Scrub

Perfect Shine Clarifying Scalp Scrub

Rosemary Scalp Scrub

Scalp Scrub with Nettle Leaf and Horsetail Extract

Beauty Tea Tree Lemon Sage Refreshing Moisture Scalp Scrub

Tea Tree Gentle & Soothing Pre-Shampoo Scalp Scrub

Scalp & Body Scrub

Scalp Revival Charcoal and Coconut Oil Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo

Features

A Refreshing Scrub That Vitalizes Your Scalp

A Hydrating and Soothing Cleanse for the Scalp

A Moisturizing Yet Exfoliating Treatment

Scrub Technology That Balances Your Scalp

A Purifying Scrub Full of Herbal Goodness

A Deep Cleanser for Thinning Hair

A Gentle Cleanser That's Free from Harsh Chemicals and Bad Vibes

A Mild and Natural Scrub That Soothes Irritated Scalps

An All-In-One Experience for Scalp Health

Charcoal Technology Giving Your Scalp the Boost it Needs

Price$38.00$49.55$8.97$16.00$18.42$11.04$7.99$7.98$38.00$42.00
Formulated withApple cider, pink Himalayan salt, avocado oil, aloe veraSalt, sweet almond oil, treemoss extractInfused with coconut oil, sulfate-free and paraben-freeGrape stem cell extract, pearl extract, hyaluronic acidRosemary, eggplant, pine extract, dead sea salt particles Nettle leaf and horsetail extractTea tree oil, argan oil, shea butter, Himalayan sea salt and coconut oilTea tree oil, apple cider vinegar, witch hazel, sage oilSugar, coconut oil, probiotic blend Biotin, tea tree oil, coconut oil, keratin, peppermint
HighlightsVegan; cruelty-free; and free from parabens, gluten, and sulfatesFree from parabens, silicones, and colorantsFree from dyes and sulfatesCruelty-free; free of gluten, phthalates, parabens, sulfates, and mineral oilsVegan; free from parabens, sulfates, artificial fragrances, mineral oils, and moreContains sulfates and parabensFree from parabens, sulfates, gluten, dyes, phthalates, and propylene glycol99% natural ingredients; Leaping Bunny certified; free from parabens, SLS, and siliconesFree from parabens, sulfates, and phthalates98% naturally-derived ingredients; cruelty-free; vegan; free from silicones, phthalates, gluten, sulfates, parabens, and artificial dyes
Suitable forOily and dandruff prone scalps, colored hairSensitive and oily scalpsDry and dandruff prone ScalpsDull skin and hairOily and sensitive scalpsScalps with thinning hair Oily, dry, and dandruff prone scalpsDry, oily, and itchy scalps; colored HairAll skin typesDry and itchy scalps; treated hair
Amount11.2 oz8.3 oz3.4 oz8.1 oz5.8 oz6 oz4 oz6 oz8.8 oz8 oz
Link

How to Choose a Scalp Scrub - Buying Guide

With so many scalp scrubs to choose from, we have compiled some important points to keep in mind when you select a product.

Choose Between Physical and Chemical Scrubs

Choose Between Physical and Chemical Scrubs

There are two types of scrubs: physical scrubs and chemical scrubs. Physical scrubs have tiny particles to exfoliate the skin of the scalp. These particles can be salt, sugar, clay, or even nut and fruit pits. The gritty particles dislodge the matter around your follicles as you massage them into your scalp, which also has the benefit of boosting circulation to the root of your hair.


Many of these scrubs have oils such as olive oil, tea tree oil, or avocado oil to add nutrients to the scalp, giving you healthy shiny hair.


On the other hand, chemical scrubs don't need as firm a rub, as they use active ingredients like salicylic and glycolic acid. These ingredients act against excess sebum and remove dead skin cells and also stimulate the production of new cells. Chemical scrubs also contain nutrients to boost the health of your scalp.

Match Your Scrub to Your Scalp's Skin Type

Match Your Scrub to Your Scalp's Skin Type

Much like the rest of your body, your scalp can be oily, dry, sensitive, or a combination. It gets a little trickier due to the density of hair on the top of your head.


If your scalp feels oily and easily gets sweaty, select scalp scrubs that have ingredients with absorbing quality such as kaolin clay. Oily scalps also benefit from chemical exfoliates that contain zinc and BHA, as both of these combat excess sebum.

Match Your Scrub to Your Scalp's Skin Type

If you have a dry scalp that has flaky skin, scalp scrubs that have moisturizing nutrients such as argan oil or jojoba oil can provide some extra nourishment while removing the skin flakes that are choking the hair follicles. If you experience itchiness, soothing oils such as tea tree or spearmint can help.


If you use a lot of dry shampoo or styling products, using a physical scalp scrub is better than using a chemical one. Physically rubbing in the gritty formula of the scrub is more efficient in removing particles of products that are sticking to the base of your hair.

Take Your Hair Type into Consideration as Well

Your hair type is also going to affect the type of scalp scrub you should use. Usually, scrubs are not as different from each other as shampoos. But by carefully selecting the scrub, you can give your hair an extra boost of nutrients.

Salicylic Acid and Clay Ingredients for Oily Hair

Salicylic Acid and Clay Ingredients for Oily Hair

People with oily hair should use scrubs that contain our good friend salicylic acid, which will remove oil at the root. Oily hair types should also use scrubs that have kaolin clay, which is good at absorbing excess sebum the scalp produces.

Hydrating Oils for Dry Locks

Hydrating Oils for Dry Locks

An excess of bacteria around your scalp causes dandruff. If you have a dry, flaky scalp, a scrub with the detoxifying and hydrating ingredient of coconut oil will make your hair luxurious. Also look for ingredients like mint, aloe vera, or chamomile, which will soothe and cool the scalp.

Sea Salts for Fine Hair

Sea Salts for Fine Hair

Fine hair is prone to be more gunked up by pollution. People with this hair type should opt for sea salt scrubs. This type of scrub will not only rejuvenate your scalp, but the massaging action will boost circulation to your hair follicles to make them stronger and less prone to breakage. Also, sea salt has a volumizing effect on hair.

A Balance of Cleansers and Moisturizers for Thick Hair

A Balance of Cleansers and Moisturizers for Thick Hair

If you have thick, curly hair, you run the risk of having an oily scalp with dry hair tips. In this case, you'll need a scrub that will cleanse your scalp without stripping your hair of their natural oils. Look for scrubs that have moisturizing ingredients like coconut with an absorbing ingredient like activated charcoal to suck up that scalp debris.

Sulfate-Free Scrubs for Color-Treated Hair

Sulfate-Free Scrubs for Color-Treated Hair

People with colored hair need to ensure that the scrub they use won't remove or damage their processed locks. Try to aim for exfoliants that are not harsh and without sulfates, which could potentially damage your hair color.

Keep Your Skin Condition in Mind Before Using a Scalp Scrub

Keep Your Skin Condition in Mind Before Using a Scalp Scrub

When your scalp is happy and clean, your hair will grow silky and strong. However, just like putting other creams or products on our skin, we need to be careful. If you suffer from a pre-existing skin condition like eczema, a scalp scrub will aggravate rather than soothe, creating more irritation and inflammation. Also, be careful if you have allergies, and check the ingredients before use!


A flaky scalp and dandruff are two different conditions. While a scalp scrub can reduce flakiness and be a preventative measure against dandruff, it is not the solution. If you do suffer from dandruff, it is better to consult a dermatologist rather than solely rely on scalp scrubs as a solution.


Dermatologists also caution against the overuse of scalp scrubs, as the chemicals within them may lead to skin irritation. A scalp scrub typically should not be used more than once per week. Excessive exfoliation will make the scalp produce more sebum than usual, causing the opposite of the cleansing effect of the scrub.

Consider Going the DIY Route

Consider Going the DIY Route

You can make your own DIY scalp scrubs at home. Depending on your skin and hair type, you can pick and choose the individual ingredients that will help your unique skin and hair type. A DIY scalp scrub has basically two components.


The first is the gritty substance. You can use sea salt, sugar, baking soda or even brewed coffee grounds. This gritty substance provides the physical friction needed to slough off the unwanted material layered on the scalp.


The second is a nourishing agent. This can be coconut oil, argan oil or aloe vera. This component not only provides nourishment to the hair, but also makes it easier to spread the gritty substance around your scalp. You can add a drop or two of essential oils like rosemary, peppermint or chamomile to soothe and cool the skin of your scalp.

Here's a video by ComfortLifeChannel that shows you how to make three different scalp scrubs using ingredients you probably already have in your house!

Treat Yourself A Little More

Treat Yourself A Little More

Salt scrubs are a gateway to healthy, shiny hair, but there are other ways to take care of your hair! Below we have some more recommendations to help you unlock the secrets to great hair.

Summary

Right next to shampoo and conditioner, a scalp scrub should be a mainstay in your hair care regime. By removing the unwanted layer of dead skin cells, product buildup, and natural sebum that the scalp produces, the hair follicles are free to grow.


Scrubs are available for different skin types and the extra nourishment provided by the scalp scrub also adds to the hair's health. Consider your skin type and your hair type when you select your scalp scrub as they both affect your scrub selection. Your hair will be shining and luxurious!


Author: Amena Rahman


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    Cosmetics and skincare
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