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 • Hair  • Haircare Guides  • Want to Know How Often to Use a Scalp Scrub? The Experts Weigh in

Want to Know How Often to Use a Scalp Scrub? The Experts Weigh in

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Main image – Ohlamourstudio/Stocksy

You’ve heard of a facial scrub, a body scrub and a foot scrub. But what about a scalp scrub

We know what you’re thinking – this sounds awfully messy. And what can it really do for my scalp with all that hair in the way? We couldn’t agree more.

So we asked cosmetologist and CEO and founder of Naprim Naturals Stefanie Lendzian and Sian Quinn, colour ambassador for Headmasters, everything from why we need a scalp scrub to how to use it.


What actually is a scalp scrub?

It’s just how it sounds. A scrub for the scalp. Much like a body scrub or physical exfoliator for the face, it’s gloopy and grainy in texture and aims to do the same job too.

There are also chemical exfoliators just for the scalp too, which use acids like salicylic acid to unclog pores and exfoliate the skin.

After all, your scalp is skin so why treat it any differently? “Creating a healthy scalp is the foundation for healthy hair,” says Quinn.


How do I know if I need a scalp scrub?

According to the experts, a scalp scrub is particularly useful for anyone with product buildup or a flaky scalp. “A scalp scrub removes product build-up whilst also stimulating hair growth and removing bacteria and excess oil,” explains Quinn. Woah. Anything else?

A scalp scrub could be the answer for those experiencing a flaky scalp too; “it can help to exfoliate dead skin on the scalp and remove dandruff,” she adds. 

They’re not for everyone though and it depends on your skin’s sensitivity and how often you need to wash your hair. “If you have a sensitive scalp, I would not recommend using one,” warns Lendzian.

She says that everyone else should still be choosing a gentle scrub rather than going for harsh, gritty textures, explaining, “a charcoal scrub is good and gentle.”


How do you use one?

It’s actually easier than it sounds so there’s no need to over-complicate it. Yes, your hair might get in the way, but you should use it similarly to how you use your shampoo (only with less vigor!)

Take a medium to large sized ‘dollop’ into the palm of your hand, making sure your hair is wet first; “rinse it thoroughly, apply your scalp scrub and gently massage it into your scalp without using your nails,” Quinn explains. 

Lendzian says it shouldn’t have to sit on the scalp for too long – “massage it in for three minutes,” she advises. Rinse it out with warm water, making sure you’re not left with any grains on your scalp or hair, “then shampoo as normal to clarify,” says Quinn


How often should you scrub your scalp?

Usually, scrubbing your scalp weekly is frequent enough to keep on top of scalp issues like dryness and getting rid of dead skin. But Quinn recommends you go to the salon to address these issues every 12 weeks too.

“It’s important to prevent product build-up with an in-salon treatment as well, such as the Nixon Microdermabrasion treatment (,” she says. “It acts as a deep cleansing facial for the scalp to unclog pores and promote hair growth.” 

In between scrubs, try not to touch or play with your hair to fend-off any bad bacteria. Easier said than done, we know, but you may notice a difference in how often you need to wash your hair.


Image – Annatabakova/Stocksy


The takeaway

It’s easy to forget that scalps are made up of skin too. The experts always say, an unhealthy scalp results in unhealthy hair. So, treating yours with the same dedication as any other area of your body will give your scalp the best chance of being at its healthiest. 

Whether you’re experiencing flakiness; hair that’s stuck in a growth rut; or you need to start giving your scalp and hair an intensive wash, put a scalp scrub at the top of your shopping list.


Meet the experts

Stefanie Lendzian was a cosmetologist for 20 years before creating NAPRIM Naturals, a range of natural skin and haircare products.


Sian Quinn is colour ambassador for Headmasters. The first Headmasters salon opened in Wimbledon Village in 1982 and has grown into one of the UK’s biggest salon groups, consisting of 54 salons and 2 academies, employing over 700 Stylists, 200 Apprentices and 100 Front of House Team.


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Beauty Editor

The former Beauty Editor of Glamour UK, Philippa has been a beauty and lifestyle journalist for over 16 years, picking up countless tips and tricks from makeup artists, hair stylists, dermatologists and celebrities. In that time she’s written for names like Cosmopolitan, The Sunday Times Style, The Telegraph, Grazia, Refinery 29 and Byrdie. Philippa lives in the UK with her husband, two children and their hyperactive cockapoo, Paddy.

Expertise: Makeup, hair care
Education: Oxford Brookes University

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