How to Exfoliate the Scalp – A Comprehensive How-to Guide for You

The skin naturally goes through epidermal turnover to replace dead skin cells with new ones. Exfoliating the skin helps to get rid of dead skin cells to prevent them from clogging the pores. The scalp is part of the skin and you need to learn how to exfoliate the scalp.

When dead skin cells remain on the scalp for too long, they clog up the follicles and can cause dandruff and flakiness on the scalp. Therefore, it is important to slough off dead skin cells from the scalp. 

This article provides a step-by-step guide on how to use different exfoliants on your hair to slough off dead skin and solve other skin concerns.

How to Exfoliate the Scalp With Brush

Instead of using your fingernails to scrub your scalp, a scalp brush is a better alternative. Using a scalp exfoliation brush is one of the easiest ways to exfoliate the scalp.

All you need is a shampoo and your brush and you are good to go. A scalp brush is often covered in soft bristles that can help to gently massage and scrub off dead skin cells from your scalp. 

Using a shampoo with your scalp brush will help to ensure even distribution of the product all over your hair to cleanse it. A scalp brush is an essential tool to keep around for your hair care routine.

You can use the brush to exfoliate your scalp while your hair is dry or wet. However, a scalp brush is best used on dry hair. Nonetheless, you need to be careful not to break your strands no matter the process.

For wet hair

  • Dampen your hair and wash it using your favorite hair cleanser
  • Proceed to use the scalp brush to gently massage your head
  • Do this gently in a circular motion to get the product all over your hair and scalp
  • Add enough pressure to help you slough off the dead skin cells on your scalp.
  • Keep water running while you rinse the cleanser off your hair
  • Use the brush to ensure that all the impurities in your hair are gone by brushing from the root of your strands to the bottom.

For dry hair

  • Use the scalp brush to massage your scalp
  • Do this gently in small circular motions
  • Avoid brushing from the root of your strands to the top
  • apply light pressure while you do this

SEE: Grow and Shine Your Hair With Top-Rated Hair Serum

How to Exfoliate the Scalp With Baking Soda

Baking soda is one of the best exfoliants to use on your scalp. It works to maintain your skin’s pH level of your hair while it gets rid of all the dirt and dead skin cells clinging to your scalp. 

One of the best ways to use baking soda on your scalp is by mixing it with coconut oil to make a DIY treatment. Coconut oil will help to nourish and moisturize your scalp while baking soda works to slough off dead skin cells. 

How to make a DIY baking soda and coconut scrub

What you need:

  • 3 tablespoons of baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • Water, in proportion

How to use it:

  • Mix the coconut oil with a few drops of water
  • Add your baking soda to create a paste
  • Use the mixture to scribe your entire scalp
  • Once you have covered the whole scalp area, allow it to work for about 12 to 20 minutes
  • Wash your scalp thoroughly with shampoo to get the treatment out

How to Exfoliate the Scalp With Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar scalp scrub naturally works to unclog the follicles to allow for healthy hair growth. Using apple cider vinegar on your scalp will help to slough off the buildup of hair care products from your hair. 

The anti-inflammatory properties of apple cider vinegar will help to rid dead skin cells from clogging your pores, as well as soothe redness.

SEE: How to Use Anti-Frizz Serum for Smooth and Shiny Hair

How to use an apple cider vinegar scrub

Step 1: Wash your hair to remove dirt and product buildup from your hair and scalp. Rinse with clean water and move on to the next step.

Step 2: Use your fingertips to take out about two teaspoons of the scrub from the jar. Squirt it on your palm and rub your palms together.

Step 3: Apply the scrub on your scalp Starting from your hairline and working your way to the back of your head. Start to massage the scrub into your scalp.

Step 4: When you get to the back of your head, work your way back to your hairline.

Step 5: If your hair is long and getting through is difficult, you can try to flip your hair over to be able to work the scrub all over your scalp. 

Step 6: Allow the scrub to sit on your hair for about 5 minutes before rinsing it off. Rinse your hair thoroughly with clean water. Follow up with your shampoo and condition to complete the process.

How to Exfoliate the Scalp With Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is a skincare ingredient that helps to gently exfoliate the skin by removing dead skin cells and flakes from the scalp. It will also help to regulate oil production and soothe redness. 

You can use salicylic acid as a scrub or serum to exfoliate your scalp. Either way, you decide, below is a guide to help you.

To use salicylic acid scrub:

  • Wash your hair with a gentle cleanser and massage your scalp and hair gently to remove dirt
  • Rinse the cleanser off your hair with clean water
  • Apply the salicylic acid scrub on your scalp and massage it gently in a circular motion
  • Let it sit on your scalp for about 5 minutes before rinsing your hair thoroughly with clean water
  • You can now condition your hair to restore moisture to your scalp

To use salicylic acid serum:

  • Cleanse your hair to remove dirt
  • Shampoo and condition your hair after
  • Apply your serum to damp hair as a leave-in treatment overnight
  • Wash your hair the next morning to slough off the dead skin cells

SEE: Are Serums Good for Your Hair? Here’s Why You Need at Least One

How to Exfoliate the Scalp With Glycolic Acid

Glycolic acid is a gentle exfoliator that can be used physically or chemically to exfoliate the scalp. Using glycolic acid on the scalp will help to unclog your hair follicles by removing dirt and dead skin cells. It will help to protect your scalp from dirt and keep the follicles clean.

To use glycolic acid scrub:

  • Wash your hair to remove dirt and product buildup using a cleanser
  • Rinse out the cleanser using clean water
  • Massage the glycolic acid scrub into your scalp
  • Ensure even distribution of the scrub all over your scalp
  • Let it work on your scalp for about 5 minutes
  • Rinse the scrub off thoroughly and condition your hair

How to Exfoliate the Scalp With Coffee Grounds 

The caffeine in coffee grounds works as a good exfoliator for the scalp. Aside from that, it also helps to relieve inflammation and smooth skin. 

You can make and use a DIY coffee exfoliator with coffee grounds and other nourishing ingredients to get the best result. 

What you need: 

  • 3 tablespoons of fresh coffee grounds
  • 1 tablespoon of any natural oil such as coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

How to do it:

  • Pour the coffee grounds into a bowl
  • Add the sugar
  • Mix the sugar and coffee with the oil
  • Stir all the ingredients till you can create a blend
  • Apply the mixture to your scalp and massage it in circular motions. 
  • Rinse the treatment off with warm water.

SEE: Protect Your Hair’s Natural Oil With Sulfate-Free Shampoo

How to Exfoliate the Scalp With Epsom Salt 

Epsom salt can help the scalp in different ways. Not only does it nourish the scalp to stimulate hair growth, but it also exfoliates the scalp to remove dead skin, dandruff, and flakes from the scalp.  

What you need:

  • Epsom salt
  • 3 teaspoons of avocado oil or shea butter
  • Conditioner
  • Shampoo

How to do it: 

  • Massage a few tablespoons of Epsom salt on your damp scalp
  • Do this gently in small circular motions
  • Allow it to sit for a couple of minutes
  • Rinse your hair thoroughly with clean water
  • Apply a moisturizing shampoo to nourish your scalp and prevent it from getting dry.
  • Apply your oil or Shea butter after that.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should you exfoliate your scalp?

Once or twice a week. Exfoliation shouldn’t be done too often as this can damage your hair and cause your scalp to lose its natural oils.  

If you are new to exfoliating the scalp, start by using it only once weekly and you can upgrade to using it twice a week as time goes on.

Does exfoliating the scalp cause hair loss?

No, it doesn’t. Exfoliating the scalp properly does not cause you to lose your strands. It will help to promote blood circulation to your follicles and that can promote hair growth.

It is important to use your scalp scrub or exfoliant properly as this will help you avoid any form of damage to your hair and scalp.

Can exfoliating the scalp help hair growth?

Yes, it can. Exfoliating the scalp can help to promote hair growth. 

The removal of dead skin cells will allow your hair care products to work well to nourish your scalp. This will help to stimulate hair growth and prevent hair loss.

Conclusion

Exfoliating the scalp is just as important as exfoliating the skin. Using exfoliants on your scalp will help to remove whatever is clogging your follicles. 

When the follicles become clogged with dirt and dead skin cells, there will be no room for hair growth. Sloughing off dead skin cells from your scalp may help to promote hair growth. Asides from that, it will help to reduce the risk of dandruff invasion on the scalp.

Thanks for reading.

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