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Homemade DIY Scalp Scrub for Your Healthiest Hair Ever

Why Are Scalp Scrubs Popular?

DIY scalp scrubs are a trend that resurfaces every so many years, including recently. Hair specialists, professionals, and stylists love scalp scrubs because they help to keep your skin clear of dirt and oils, while also removing dead skin cells.

Exfoliants are good for the face, body and scalp.

Scalp scrubs work the same way that facial exfoliation scrubs and body scrubs do. So, while it is another box to check off on your skincare routine, it’s also easy to do, and you don’t have to exfoliate the scalp as frequently.

Another reason why scalp scrubs are so popular is that you don’t have to go to the store to buy a new product; you can make one at home! There are many DIY scalp scrub recipes out there, so you can mix and match ingredients to create the perfect customized scrub for your hair specifically.

How to Know If You Need a Scalp Scrub

Scalp scrubs can be used for a variety of reasons, but in general, they are used for deep cleansing.

Skin conditions may benefit from the use of a hair scrub

But if you tend to struggle with dandruff, a flaky scalp, an oily scalp, or excess oil, or you style your hair with products, any of these reasons can justify using a DIY scalp scrub.

Dead skin cells, product buildup, and oil can build up and weigh down your hair, leading to hair damage, dry skin, and extra oil production.

How to Use a Scalp Scrub

The first thing to know before using scalp scrubs is the frequency with which you should use them. Because scalp scrubs are a method of exfoliation, they deep clean the skin on your head and around your hair follicles.

There are many recipes to try when making your own scrub

To start, professionals recommend only using DIY scalp scrubs once a week to test the waters. You may notice that after your first use, your scalp may feel a bit raw and exposed, even a bit sensitive, depending on the ingredients you use.

This is partly why it’s recommended to only use scrubs once a week. However, if you notice that the scalp exfoliation didn’t accomplish as much as you had hoped, then you can bump use up to twice per week.

Avoid using your DIY scalp scrub back-to-back in this case, though. Over-exfoliation of the scalp can lead to your scalp’s oil glands overproducing natural oils and can even lead to dry skin.

Start With Your Favorite Scalp Scrub

If you don't have a favorite, it's time to make one!

Using either a DIY scalp scrub or a store-bought scalp scrub, start by choosing a scrub that will benefit your hair the most.

If you don’t have any favorite DIY scalp scrubs, then you can skip further down to some recipes we’ve compiled for your convenience!

Using only enough to fill the palm of your hand, rub the scrub into your scalp and exfoliate using small circular motions. Make sure that you get every inch of your scalp, including behind the ears and along the edges of your hairline.

Working in sections can make this process easier and ensure that you’re being thorough.

Wash Your Hair With Shampoo

Try switching to a gentler shampoo as well!

Once the exfoliation process is complete, next, you will want to wash your hair. Be sure to take your time to avoid leaving any traces or residue of the scalp scrub behind.

Thankfully, DIY scalp scrubs are often created with a base comprised of sugar, which dissolves easily in water.

Use Your Preferred Conditioner

Hair masks are great for moisturizing too but shouldn't be used as frequently.

This step is typically optional, since most scalp scrubs can be incredibly moisturizing already. However, you can use conditioner on the ends of your hair to prevent dryness and breakage.

You can also opt for a hair mask that includes moisturizing ingredients instead. Hair masks are also something you can make at home, and DIY versions can work just as well as store-bought or salon-grade masks.

The best hair mask recipes include coconut oil, yogurt, tea tree oil, manuka honey, olive and avocado oils, coconut milk, and brown sugar.

Can Any Hair Type Use a Scalp Scrub?

Yes, scalp scrubs can be for all hair types! In order to keep a healthy scalp and healthy hair, though, creating a DIY scalp scrub will offer the most flexibility and allow you to accommodate your specific hair needs.

Everyone has a unique texture and hair type

Before using a scalp scrub, though, you will want to figure out what type of scalp you have. Many people have normal skin without complications, but other people may have experiences with an oily scalp, a dry and flaky scalp, or an irritated and itchy scalp.

It’s also important to take into consideration if you have sensitive skin and what hair type you have.

Different ingredients will benefit different hair types better. Fine hair is more prone to product buildup, so those with finer hair might consider using a coarser scalp scrub.

Thick and coarser hair types, especially those with curly hair patterns, might consider a scalp scrub that addresses oiliness and dryness.

Lastly, for those with colored hair, you will want to steer clear of harsh chemical scrubs. Home-made scrubs will let you easily bypass harsh sulfates, parabens, and silicones that can dull color and damage your hair.

Differences Between a Scalp Scrub and a Clarifying Shampoo

The difference between these two products is the focus of their purpose. Neither product is intended for daily use.

An exfoliation scrub for your scalp is used to gently massage and exfoliate the skin in hopes of promoting a healthy scalp and can stimulate hair growth.

Oatmeal is a great exfoliant to include in your scrub recipe

A clarifying shampoo is meant to offer a deep clean to the hair. Clarifying shampoo is also less intense than an exfoliation scrub.

There are also scrubs made with clarifying shampoos.

Both products should be used sparingly and properly to avoid overstimulation of the scalp. This can disrupt the natural oil production process. Instead, you should use them with a mindset similar to that of a spa day.

Once a week, you can use with product and can treat it as a step of self-care for yourself and your hair or scalp.

Treat yourself to a at-home spa day when you exfoliate your scalp!

How to Create a Scalp Scrub

A DIY scalp scrub can be made with a wide variety of ingredients. First, you will need an exfoliant base, then pair it with an oil base and complimentary ingredients fit for your specific hair type and exfoliant needs.

The most common exfoliants you can use include granulated sugar, brown sugar, bentonite clay, and activated charcoal. You can use a select few salts, if you prefer, including Himalayan Sea salt or any type of sea salt. However, avoid overly coarse ingredients for exfoliating purposes, including some salt and walnut shells.

Sea salt contains essential minerals which are more beneficial to your skin than store bought salt scrubs

Using exfoliants that are too coarse can lead to tears in your scalp, which can lead to infection.

For an oil base, you can choose from sweet almond oil, coconut oil, argan oil, or jojoba oil. In this same category, you can also use honey or aloe vera, both of which are great options for those with an irritated scalp.

Can I Use Olive Oil As a Scrub Base?

Yes, olive oil is also a safe and acceptable oil base to use in your exfoliating scrub. Coconut oil and olive oil are two of the most accessible oils you can use, too. An olive oil scrub is also great for a dry scalp, as the oil is packed with antioxidants.

Use oils sparingly to avoid offsetting your natural oil production

For complimentary ingredients, you can use diluted essential oils and some spices to help maintain hair color. The most common ingredients used in scrub recipes for colored hair include charcoal for dark hair, cinnamon for brown and red hair, and lemon juice for lighter and blonde hair.

Popular choices of essential oils to use include tea tree oil, lavender oil, rosemary essential oil, peppermint oil, and eucalyptus oil. You only need to use a few drops in your scrub, and the oil will act as the dilutor.

DIY Scalp Scrub Recipes

Avocado Oil Based

With avocado oil, you can create a salt scrub by taking one tablespoon of sea salt, one teaspoon of sugar (brown or granulated), one tablespoon of oil, and one teaspoon of coconut oil and mixing these ingredients other.

You can opt to add tea tree oil if you want to focus on creating an antibacterial scrub. The two types of oil will help to leave your hair feeling soft and infuse your scalp with the antioxidant properties of olive oil.

Coconut Oil Based

Coconut oil is a soothing oil base to use and is great for healthy hair. It is better suited for thicker and coarser hair types because it is deeply moisturizing.

To create a coconut oil scrub, start with 1/4 cup of coconut oil (liquid) and combine it with 3/4 cup of sugar (brown or granulated).

You can include one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar for normal skin cleansing purposes, but its’ best to avoid this addition if you struggle with any skin conditions.

Lastly, mix in one tablespoon of honey and an optional five or six drops of peppermint oil for a refreshing, cooling feeling on the scalp.

Olive Oil Based

For a deeper cleansing scrub that focuses on removing dead skin cells, try mixing olive oil with sea salt.

Take one or two teaspoons of oil and one or two tablespoons of sea salt and combine them. At this point, you can opt to include lemon juice for a hair lightener or cinnamon or activated charcoal for color-treated hair.

Instead of lemon juice, you can also choose to use rosemary essential oil, which is a great addition to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use a Hair Rinse With DIY Scalp Scrubs?

Yes, but not at the same time. Hair rinses are commonly made with diluted apple cider vinegar, which can be irritating and drying to a scalp that has been freshly exfoliated.

Freshly exfoliated skin leaves the pores open and exposed, so hair rinses can actually be counter-productive and lead to dry and flaky skin.

However, if you also want to incorporate a hair rinse into your routine, alternate using them with your exfoliating scrub. Apple cider vinegar is a great option for rinses because it is cleansing and packed full of nutrients. In addition to apple cider vinegar, you can also try using green or black tea.

Tea is a gentle cleansing rinse option

The caffeine in tea can help to stimulate hair growth as well! If you use hair rinses and exfoliating scrubs, however, you will want to use a good moisturizer, or use moisturizing products in your DIY scalp scrub recipe.

Other ingredients you can use as a hair rinse include rice water, rosemary and lavender oils diluted in lukewarm water, and baking soda diluted in warm water.

How Often Should I Use My Scalp Scrubs?

To keep your scalp healthy, you should only use your DIY scrub once per week to avoid over-exfoliation. At most, if you do not wash your hair every day or that often, you can exfoliate twice per week.

It’s advised to avoid exfoliating more than twice a week to avoid irritating your scalp and creating additional issues, such as excess oil, dry scalp, dry hair, and inhibited hair growth.

Why Are DIY Scalp Scrubs Better Than Store-bought Scrubs?

The primary issue with store-bought scalp scrubs is that most scrubs contain a base comprised of salt-based ingredients. These salt ingredients can dry hair out and lead to drying and flaky skin on the head.

Making your own scalp scrub allows you the option to use sugar as the base, which is easier on the scalp. You can also create a fully custom scrub that is fit for your exact needs and hair type. On top of that, you will also know what exactly went into the creation of your exfoliation scrub!

Should I See a Dermatologist Before Trying Scalp Exfoliation?

If you have a sensitive scalp or have a skin condition that impacts the scalp or your hair growth, you may want to speak with your doctor or dermatologist before you start to use an exfoliator.

Skin conditions can already impact your hair follicles and create a dry scalp or other complications that can be irritated more by using a scalp scrub. Instead of scalp exfoliation, your doctor may want to prescribe a topical treatment instead.

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