12 Best Scalp Scrubs of 2020 for Oily Hair and Build Up

scalp scrubs

Courtesy Image/Khadija Horton

Listen, even if you don’t douse your roots in dry shampoo or hairspray every AM, scalp scrubs are still a must-have. Sorry, but a dollop of shampoo every few days isn’t enough to cut through layers on layers of sweat, oil, and product buildup—and all that gunk can make its way into your roots and your follicles, resulting in pretty blah hair. That’s where scalp scrubs come into the equation.

You know how you exfoliate your face to get rid of dead skin cells, leaving your skin brighter and smoother? It’s a similar thing with scalp scrubs—by using ingredients like sugar, salt, and charcoal, these formula are able to gently exfoliate dead skin cells and oils from your scalp, making your roots cleaner and shinier. Use them about once a week and you’ll get healthier and more hydrated hair in no time. Now that you’re on the scalp scrub bandwagon, it’s time to find your perfect match. Ahead, the 12 best scalp scrubs for a much-needed detox.

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1

Best Natural Scalp Scrub

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Happi Scalp Scrub

FYI: Just because this scalp scrub is formulated with natural ingredients doesn’t mean it isn’t powerful AF. The highlight of the formula is the AHA/BHA acid blend (yes, the same acids you put on your face) that break down dead skin cells and melt away your dry-shampoo buildup. And in case you’re wondering if the acids will leave your scalp tight and dry, don’t worry—the scrub is also filled with marula and mongogo oils to boost hydration levels.

2

Best Scalp Scrub for Curly Hair

Ouidad Heavy Lifting Bubbling Scalp Mask

For anyone with curly hair, the words “scalp scrub” would usually have you running in the opposite direction. But I promise: This one won’t leave your curls dry or limp. The gel-to-foam formula cleanses without stripping, the white charcoal clears out any buildup, and the hyaluronic acid and vitamin E soothe and hydrate—all without effing up your curl pattern.

3

Best Drugstore Scalp Scrub

Nexxus Clean and Pure Scalp Scrub

Just because you can’t spend a ton on a scalp scrub doesn’t mean you have to settle—this drugstore option checks off all the boxes. It gently exfoliates your scalp, while also infusing it with elastin protein and marine minerals to help strengthen and moisturize your hair. 

4

Best Scalp Scrub for 4C Hair

Madam C.J. Walker All The Feels Scalp Restoring Scrub Treatment

Even though 4C hair may not see the same level of oil buildup as finer hair types, you can definitely still benefit from using a scalp scrub. This one will eliminate the growing edge control stockpile along your hairline without drying out your hair. Plus, the azalea in the formula will have your curls looking sleek and smooth.

5

Best Scalp Scrub for Color-Treated Hair

DpHue Apple Cider Vinegar Scalp Scrub With Pink Himalayan Sea Salt

This scalp scrub has a mash-up of sea salt, ACV, avocado oil, and aloe vera to soothe your scalp, get rid of dandruff, and cancel out build up. And the formula’s hair-dye friendly, so you won’t have to stress about your color fading down the drain.

6

Best Lightweight Scalp Scrub

Virtue Exfoliating Scalp Treatment

This scalp scrub might feel light and airy on your head, but trust—it’s putting in work. The BHAs and the fruit enzymes shed flakes, while the coconut and jojoba oils hydrate your scalp without weighing it down.

7

Best Scalp Scrub for Fine Hair

Ouai Scalp and Body Scrub

Fine hair compiles product buildup more quickly than other textures, so you want to opt for a scalp scrub with grittier exfoliants, like this sugar-based one. It’s filled with coconut oil to ease dryness and also has a slight lather that helps you massage it through your roots. The biggest bonus? You can use it on your body, too.

8

Best Scalp Scrub for Oily Hair

SheaMoisture Green Coconut & Activated Charcoal Exfoliating Hair Mud

The charcoal in this scrub soaks up excess oil, while the added white tea and green coconut work to hydrate and balance out your greasy scalp. The consistency is thick, but once you work it in with your wet hands and massage it into your roots, you’ll get a lather that feels almost like a shampoo.

9

Best Scalp Scrub for Dry, Flaky Hair

Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo

A scalp scrub with hydrating oils is a major key if you have dry hair, otherwise you risk making the dryness even worse. This one from Briogeo is formulated with coconut oil to increase moisture levels, along with micro-exfoliators that work to gently remove flakes.

10

Best Scalp Scrub for Sensitive Skin

R+Co Crown Scalp Scrub

This product has a natural component—Ecuadorian ivory palm seed powder—that provides light, yet powerful exfoliation for the most sensitive of scalps. The formula is also loaded with kaolin clay to soak up grease (and, in turn, leave hair fuller) and argan oil to moisturize your scalp, so your skin will never feel stripped or tight.

11

Best Scalp Scrub for Intense Buildup

Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt

So, it’s been a while since you’ve given your hair a good clean. No worries—this ultra-powerful sea-salt scrub breaks down the most severe buildup in one use, making it a powerhouse for treating gunky scalps, fast. Use it in place of your regular shampoo twice a week (don’t worry; it’ll still get your roots clean).

12

Best Scalp Scrub for Thick Hair

Omorovicza Revitalizing Scalp Mask

The nozzle applicator on this scalp scrub helps target your roots more easily, which is a savior for thicker-hair types. Just apply it to your wet roots in sections, leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes (or, realistically, for the time it takes for you to shave your legs), then rinse it out. The result? Soft, silky, and super-shiny hair—and a perfectly moisturized scalp. 

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10 thoughts on “12 Best Scalp Scrubs of 2020 for Oily Hair and Build Up

  • January 17, 2021 at 10:33 pm
    Permalink

    Too many people have no knowledge of the fact that fast growth shampoos (obviously with no sulfates, no parabens, no DEA) are even a thing. People are now able to possess longer hair and achieve more alternatives. Undoubtedly worth searching.
    When you’re assessing hair loss, hair damage, preventing scalp disorders, hair growth, hair health in general, the same principles become relevant.
    In general, you will want to steer clear of hair products and treatments that use chemicals such as parabens, DEA or sulfates.
    What is healthy for your hair is beneficial for your skin also.
    For obvious reasons the content on this page hits the nail in the head for multiple reasons. It steers away from the common traps and mistakes most fall into: utilizing horrible alternatives. Thank you!

    Reply
  • February 9, 2021 at 9:26 am
    Permalink

    Too many are not aware that fast hair growth shampoos (obviously with no sulfates, no parabens, no DEA) are even a thing. We all are now able to have longer hair and possess more alternatives. Certainly worth checking out.

    If you’re discussing hair loss, hair damage, avoiding scalp disorders, hair growth, hair and scalp health normally, similar thoughts become relevant.

    Generally, you should try to stay away from hair treatments and products that contain chemicals such as parabens, DEA or sulfates.

    What’s healthy for your hair is good for your skin all the same.

    For obvious reasons your content here is so useful for various reasons. It stays away from the common errors and errors too many fall into- getting defective alternatives. Thank you!

    Reply
  • February 12, 2021 at 11:09 pm
    Permalink

    People in my area don’t know that shampoos that grow your hair faster and longer (obviously with no sulfates, no parabens, no DEA) are a thing. People now may experience longer hair and have more possibilities. Undoubtedly worth looking up.

    When you’re studying hair loss, damaged hair, preventing hair disorders, fast hair growth, hair and scalp care more often than not, almost the same ideas actualize.

    For the most part, you want to steer clear of hair treatments and products that use chemicals such as parabens, DEA or sulfates.

    What’s good for your hair is healthy for your skin also.

    It goes without saying your content on this page is spot on for so many reasons. It steers away from the usual mistakes and pitfalls so many fall into- purchasing ineffective alternatives. Thank you so much!

    Reply
  • April 3, 2021 at 11:58 pm
    Permalink

    Too many people don’t know that shampoos that grow your hair faster and longer (of course with no sulfates, no parabens, no DEA) exist. Persons are now able to achieve longer hair and attain more alternatives. Certainly worth looking up.

    When you’re examining hair loss, damaged hair, avoiding skin disorders, hair growth, hair care in general, the same principles actualize.

    For the most part, you have to avoid hair products and treatments that include chemicals such as parabens, DEA or sulfates.

    What is healthy for your hair is beneficial for your skin all the same.

    Obviously your content here is so useful for multiple reasons. It avoids the accustomed traps and errors too many fall into: getting defective alternatives. Keep it up!

    Reply

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