13 best scalp scrubs for your thickest, healthiest hair yet

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How do scalp scrubs work, and what are the benefits?

Scalp scrubs work by exfoliating the scalp using chemical or physical exfoliants, or sometimes both. The scalp treatment clears away all the pesky dead skin cells on the scalp and removes product build-up from hair follicles, which even a purifying shampoo (or two) can’t always do. But how do they benefit hair?

“The benefits of a scalp scrub are exactly the same as using an exfoliator on your skin. A scalp needs exfoliating to promote healthy skin cell turnover, leading to healthier and happier strands. It’s also a great way of cleansing product builds up on the scalp, as well as encouraging healthy hair growth,” international stylist and ARKIVE founder Adam Reed explains.


“A clean scalp promotes good cell turnover, leading to super healthy strands. When your hair and scalp aren’t covered in the build-up – whether it be dead skin ceslls or product, your hair products are able to penetrate your scalp better and easier, leading to more effective results. So when using nourishing products with key ingredients such as biotin, and keratin – like the Viviscal Thickening Serum your hair will get the full benefits,” trichologist and Viviscal ambassador Hannah Gaboardi explains.

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“I have spent my whole career encouraging people to look after their scalp,” says Adam, who created his own The Crown scalp scrub after suffering from a dry scalp for years. “A scalp scrub for me is the must-have key product for looking after your scalp and encouraging healthy hair growth,” Adam tells us.

Do scalp scrubs make hair grow faster?

We all want to know whether scalp scrubs actually make your hair grow faster and how? (plus, why somebody didn’t tell us this sooner?) “Practising scalp exfoliation helps to create a healthy environment for the hair to grow by cleaning out anything that might be clogging or blocking the follicles. When you exfoliate, you’re removing dead skin cells quicker than if they were to shed naturally, allowing your hair to have a healthier environment to grow – resulting in thicker, longer and healthier hair in the long run,” Hannah explains.

How to use a scalp scrub? And how often?

“It’s best to start using a scalp scrub once a week, right before you shampoo and condition to avoid over-exfoliating. If you have oily hair, you can increase this to twice a week if you don’t experience any scalp sensitivity or dryness. For drier scalps, only use a scalp scrub when necessary, perhaps once every few weeks to avoid product build-up.” says Hannah.

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The best thing about using a scalp scrub is that it gives us the excuse to indulge in self-care and make bath time an at-home spa. “While exfoliating, I would also practice regular at-home scalp massages helps to stimulate blood vessels to supply more oxygen and nutrients to your hair follicles…making them grow longer,” says Hannah. “Poor blood circulation implies inadequate nutrition to the hair follicles – ultimately meaning failure to function properly, which can lead to the production of short, brittle hair strands,” Hannah explains.

Even though using a scalp scrub can help boost blood circulation and, in turn, hair growth, you don’t want to overuse scalp scrubs. It will be hard once you experience the post-scalp scrub fresh feeling, but it can do more harm than good. “Over-exfoliating your scalp can sometimes cause an increase in irritation, making your scalp more sensitive, which can dry out your strands and remove the natural oils throughout your scalp and hair,” says Hannah. “I would recommend starting by exfoliating twice weekly, then if your scalp feels too sensitive, only do one. Over-exfoliating can cause irritation and itchiness, so you need to be careful,” she explains.

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