Scalp Serum Is The Post-Scrub Step We’ve All Been Skipping

Exfoliation and hydration always belong together

The idea of exfoliating your face without applying a serum immediately afterwards seems like a skin sin for good reason.

The rejuvenating refresh may have rid the surface of dead skin and debris, but it’s likely taken a decent dose of moisture with it, and replenishing this lost hydration is vital to maintaining balance.

Well, the same goes for your scalp. As while scalp scrubs are all the rage right now (as they should be – clearing congestion is vital for both comfort levels and hair health), they should only account for half of the process.

Let’s not forget that the skin beneath our hair relies on a constant cycle of exfoliation and hydration just like any other area. In other words, yes, you should absolutely be following your scrub with a serum, the same way you would in the case of your complexion.

Here, Dr. Barbara Sturm, the aesthetics doctor behind one of Hollywood’s favourite skincare ranges, explains why the step is so vital for your scalp…

What is scalp serum?

“Scalp serum is one of my favourite [products]”, explains Dr. Sturm. “I use it everyday [as does] my husband, because we’re all addicted. [Our offering is] a hyaluronic serum so it doesn’t make your hair greasy,” she says of her brand’s beloved scalp-soothing option.

Why is scalp serum important?

“The scalp gets so stressed from the sun, from pollution, from blow drying, from dying your hair, [and] all the shampoos and conditioners [applied to it],” she explains. “[All of these factors] really stress out the skin on your scalp, and [so] we need to take care of it.”

What are the benefits of using a scalp serum?

“It helps to enhance the circulation on your scalp, [while also aiding] with exfoliation and the nutrition of the skin. [Plus], it’s cooling, it’s hydrating and it feels so good on the scalp. We get such amazing feedback on this product [around how it helps with] dryness and creates the best environment for your hair roots.”

How should scalp serum be applied?

“[To apply, I use it to] slick my hair back. You can use it on dry hair, on wet hair, before going to bed; [just] leave it in, don’t wash it off.”

The best scalp serums to shop


Dr. Barbara Sturm Scalp Serum, $151 at


Hair Rituel by Sisley Revitalising Fortifying Serum, $260 at


Noosa Basics Scalp Serum, $28.95 at

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