There was once a time when soap was all one needed for washing their body, hands, and even hair. Soon enough, shampoo, conditioner, mask, and scalp scrub for hair growth flooded the bathroom shelves. It’s true that the scalp skin doesn’t get as much attention as the skin on your face (you probably have twice as many skincare products than haircare ones). However, times are changing. We’re becoming more and more aware of all the suffering that our scalp experiences on a daily basis.
And so, many people have come to believe that they need a scalp scrub for hair growth, but do they? Scalp scrubs are kind of a luxury product. They’re certainly not cheap. Most people think of them as add-ons and not a hair care essential because, of course, shampoo doesn’t hold a candle to scalp scrubs when it comes to a satisfying wash. It’s the perfect pampering material. But is it worth spending money on them? Let’s find out.
What Are Scalp Scrubs, Anyway?
Unlike shampoos that mainly work the hair strands, scalp scrubs target the hair follicles on the skin of the scalp. There, it helps loosen up and break down any residual product build-up, environmental pollutants, oil (sebum) and dead skin cells.
Together, all of these make the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and fungi. Clogged pores don’t allow your hair to grow normally; the hair follicles don’t get ample oxygen, making it difficult for them to “breathe.”
And so, by getting rid of the debris, scalp scrubs promote hair growth in different ways. These are quite helpful for those people who are dry shampoo enthusiasts and pile on different products on their scalps, such as setting or volumizing sprays. Also, this kind of scalp exfoliation is helpful for those people who sweat a lot and/or work outdoors, where more dust settles onto the scalp.
Many people are also staving off the use of shampoos too frequently and using scalp scrubs instead. They find that scrubs can also provide a deep clean without doing as much damage to the hair follicles as frequent shampooing would. Realizing that, many companies have come out with products that double as shampoo and a scalp scrub for hair growth. You can also find a scalp scrub that can also serve you as a body scrub.
Types of Scalp Scrub for Hair Growth
When thinking of a scalp scrub for hair growth, you’re reminded of the gritty, grainy texture of beads and other granules, but that’s not all the kind of scrubs that are available these days.
These are the ones that use nutshell powder, sugar crystals (brown or white), salt (sea salt or Himalayan pink salt), and charcoal to physically dislodge the residue on the scalp. You can also do physical exfoliation with special combs that are intended to massage and exfoliate the scalp at the same time.
Instead of breaking the residue with force, chemical exfoliants dissolve them. This type of scalp scrub for hair growth contains beta- and alpha-hydroxy acids, well known as AHAs and BHAs. These usually have glycolic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid, and fruit extracts (grapefruit, orange) in them.
For What Conditions Can Scalp Scrubs be Helpful?
This scalp treatment promotes hair growth by taking care of some conditions that affect the skin of the scalp. These are as follows:
For many, it’s simply a nuisance. Rather than bracing any more snow on the shoulders jokes, they can benefit from a scalp scrub for hair growth. Now, before you start scrubbing your scalp aggressively, make sure to understand the cause of dandruff.
Dandruff can result from the overgrowth of the fungi “Malassezia.” However, this happens because of an overproduction of oil or sebum. When this happens, you’ll end up with flakiness, itchiness and inflammation of the hair follicles. Before using a scalp scrub in this case, you need to get the infection treated and get that sebum under control. Here, scrubs can only prevent the clogging of the pores by the extra build-up of dead skin cells.
Another cause of dandruff is scalp dryness, which can result from moisture-stripping shampoos, frequent washing or scalp psoriasis. However, to avoid hair loss from this condition, you can use a scalp scrub to keep the skin clean and unclogged. In addition, you need to make sure that you deal with the root cause of this problem to get the maximum benefit from a scalp scrub for hair growth.
Other than allowing the pores to breathe, a scalp scrub can prevent hair loss by bringing an end to intense itching sessions, which can also weaken and damage the hair strands, making them prone to breakage.
If you have too much Malassezia yeast on your scalp, you can have inflammation which is called seborrheic dermatitis. This also results in dandruff, itchiness, and even pain. Now, before using any kind of scrub for this condition, you must consult your doctor. That’s because some say that it can help relieve this condition by getting rid of the excess build-up. However, others believe that it can further aggravate it, so you should not use a scalp scrub for hair growth.
If you have an oily scalp, it’s easy enough to end up with clogged pores. For some people, it’s just genetic, and there’s no way around it other than using some special hair care products. To avoid build-up from the sebum and dead cells, you can consider using a scalp scrub. That’s because it does unblock hair follicles and allows for the normal hair growth cycle to continue.
Other Ways It Can Help the Hair
You should not underestimate the power of a good scalp massage. It can feel divine both physically and mentally. Not only do scalp scrubs partly take care of stress hair loss, but also improve blood circulation to the scalp through massage. In addition to that, most scalp scrubs contain ingredients that nourish the follicles and give you healthy hair.
How To Prepare A Scalp Scrub for Hair Growth At Home?
To have a healthy scalp through exfoliation, you can prepare a natural scalp scrub at home rather than spending a ton of money on the “best scalp scrubs”. There’s a bunch of ingredient combinations that you can try out.
One usually needs to have sugar, salt, or coffee grounds for the scrubbing action with coconut oil, honey, avocado oil, jojoba oil, argan oil, tea tree, and apple cider vinegar mixed in it for further nourishing the hair and soothing the skin. Many of the ingredients have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Once you prepare the DIY scalp scrub for hair growth, you should take some of it in your hands and use your fingertips to gently rub the salt, coffee, or sugar scrub in. Do not use your nails to do any of the scrubbing. Leave this for 10-15 minutes, and then wash it.
If you’re looking to save time (since DIY scalp scrubs require preparing them (after buying the ingredients), putting them on and shampooing them), you should simply buy a scrub from a store. You can find charcoal or coconut oil micro-exfoliating shampoo scrubs that have everything in one package.
How Frequently Should You Use A Scalp Scrub for Hair Growth?
Whether you’re using a purifying scrub with sea salt, sugar, a nutshell or the one with AHA or BHA in it, you need to make sure that you’re not overdoing it. Usually, these are to be used once a week. You leave them on for a few minutes and then wash them off, most definitely following it up with a conditioner to moisturize the hair.
However, if you have a sensitive scalp, you should use a scalp scrub for hair growth only once a month. You won’t get the results any faster if you use it more often. In fact, you may end up damaging your skin quite badly if you do so. It’s best to consult your doctor on its frequency of use if you’re suffering from a health condition.
What Are Some Risks of Using A Scalp Scrub for Hair Growth?
As far as exfoliation is concerned, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends mild chemical exfoliation for people with sensitive skin and physical or chemical exfoliation for people with oily, thicker skin. Scalp scrub for hair growth works if you do it right.
However, if you apply too much pressure or use it too frequently, you can end up with a dry, irritated scalp. This will result in more flakiness. In addition, your scalp will also feel sore and painful. If the scalp skin isn’t healthy, you can’t expect healthy hair to sprout from it either.
The deep and satisfying cleanse from a scalp scrub can be helpful for the normal growth of your hair if you have overly dry or oily skin. It dislodges or dissolves the oil, skin cells, dirt, and products built up on the scalp, leaving it clean and healthy.
Whether you’re using a chemical or physical exfoliant, you should make sure to not overuse it or apply too much pressure. This will end up having the opposite effect. In addition, if you have eczema, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, folliculitis, or any other skin condition, make sure to consult your doctor before using a scalp scrub for hair growth.
Reviewed and Approved by Dr. Hassan Soueid.