What Are the Best Tips for Exfoliating the Scalp?

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  • Written By: A. Pasbjerg
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 02 December 2019
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Some of the best tips for exfoliating the scalp may be done easily with common household products. A variety of food products including brown sugar, oatmeal, and crushed almond may be mixed with an oil like olive or jojoba, or with regular shampoo or conditioner, and then massaged onto the scalp to loosen and dead or flaking skin. Rinsing afterwards with a mixture of vinegar and water can help completely rinse away any debris that is loosened from the scalp. For those who prefer a commercial product, there are a number of over-the-counter treatments designed for scalp exfoliation.

Exfoliating the scalp can usually be done simply with products that may already be on hand around the house. It is first necessary to find something that is slightly abrasive to help loosen any dead skin or debris from the scalp; some good options are brown sugar, oatmeal, or almonds that have been crushed into small pieces in a blender or food processor. These can then be added to an oil such as olive, jojoba, or almond, or they can simply be added to a small amount of shampoo or conditioner. The mixture should then be applied to the scalp and massaged in a circular motion for several minutes, which will loosen buildup on the scalp.


In order to ensure all of the debris is cleared away when exfoliating the scalp, it is important to make sure the scalp and hair are thoroughly rinsed and cleaned afterward. After exfoliating, one should continue to massage the hair and scalp while rinsing it with running water, usually for around 10 to 15 minutes, as this will help clear away any skin or other particles. Though not always necessary, it may also help to shampoo the hair again. Another step to ensure all exfoliant and debris are cleared away is to pour a solution of one part vinegar to two parts water through the hair several times.

For those who prefer to purchase a premade product, there are many of them available over the counter designed for exfoliating the scalp. There are shampoos, masks, and scrubs all made to be used specifically on the scalp. In some cases, these products may have other benefits as well, such as stimulating circulation or clearing away toxins, that can promote overall scalp health or help with conditions like eczema or psoriasis that lead to flaking of the scalp.


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Post 3

Brown sugar or coarse sugar are good exfoliants. But I just want to mention that it can aggravate scalp yeast or fungi infections since both love and feed on sugar. If something like this is going to be used, it's a good idea to mix it with natural anti-fungal ingredients. For example, tea tree oil is antiseptic and anti-fungal. So adding a drop or two of tea tree oil to a carrier oil and then mixing it with brown sugar will make a both effective and safe exfoliant. Tea tree oil will also kill any fungi or yeast on the scalp.

Before using any natural oil though, check it on the arm first to make sure that one is not allergic. If the scalp burns and hurts from a product, it should be rinsed out immediately with water.

Post 2

@turquoise-- Those with dandruff will benefit from a scalp exfoliation as it gets rid of the flakes. There are also scalp conditions like psoriasis that cause scalp plaques and flakes. Exfoliation can also help with mild hair loss since it improves blood circulation. But of course, too much exfoliation or exfoliating too harshly can cause problems too. If one exfoliates so hard that it causes scabs or bleeding, it can lead to infections.

I think it's better to use a ready-made product for exfoliating the scalp. It's unlikely to be too harsh.

Post 1

Why does anyone need to exfoliate the scalp? Isn't brushing through and rubbing with the hands in the shower while washing enough? I had never heard of scalp exfoliation before.

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