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6 Exfoliating Scalp Scrubs That Refresh & Revitalise

Healthy hair starts with a healthy scalp
Ashley Graham

Exfoliating our face and body is a regular part of our self-care practice, but for some reason the skin on our scalps rarely gets the same level of care.

Despite being the often forgotten child of our overall skin care routines, it’s worth taking a little extra time to nurture the very place where the hair on your head starts to sprout. Fact: An unhealthy scalp bears unhealthy strands. The best way to curb your hair’s arrested development is to remove product build-up, and encourage blood flow and the turnover of dead skin cells with regular exfoliation using a scalp scrub.

But before you get nervous that this extra step will somehow add another 30 minutes to your in-shower routine, let us reassure you, using a scalp scrub doesn’t have to be a daunting or lengthy process. In fact, most scrub scalps are formulated to include clarifying chemical exfoliants (think: glycolic and lactic acid) and physical exfoliants (such as sugar and salt), which melt away with water or are easily washed out of hair with a bit of shampoo.

To make things even simpler, we’ve taken the guesswork out of shopping for a scalp scrub to add to your hair washing routine. Here, explore marie claire’s top picks in the scalp scrub category…

2024’s top scalp scrubs

  1. OUAI Scalp & Body Scrub, $66.77, REVOLVE
  2. Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt, $65, Amazon Australia
  3. georgiemane Scalp Scrub, $26.24, Look Fantastic

The best scalp scrub 2024

01

OUAI Scalp & Body Scrub

from $66.77 at REVOLVE

Best for: Streamlining your scrubs

Designed to be used on the scalp and body, this gently exfoliating pick utilises sugar crystals to slough away dead skin cells, remove product build-up and soften skin, whilst probiotics have been added to the mix to strengthen the skin’s microbiome.

Sizes: 250g

Key features:

  • Can be used on the scalp and body
  • Exfoliates dead skin
  • Removes product build-up
  • Softens and strengthens skin
  • Contains sugar crystals and probiotics

Available at:

02

Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt

from $65 at Amazon Australia

Best for: Oily and congested scalps

Formulated for oily and congested scalps, this exfoliating shampoo targets excess oil and sebum, as well as product build-up, which can lead to greasy strands or irritation.

Sizes: 75ml / 250ml

Key features:

  • Contains gently exfoliating sea salt crystals
  • Natural carbohydrate complex rebalances and rehydrates
  • Brazilian candeia tree-derived bisabolol helps to calm
  • Purifies the scalp of build-up
  • Promotes healthy, shiny strands

Available at:

03

georgiemane Scalp Scrub

from $26.24 at Look Fantastic

Best for: Encouraging air growth

This multitasking scalp scrub combines sugar granules, caffeine and coconut oil to address scalp flakiness, build-up and an accumulation of excess oils, whilst encouraging the blood flow and nourishment required for new hair growth.

Sizes: 150ml

Key features:

  • Sugar granules exfoliate and minimise flakiness, build-up and excess oil
  • Caffeine stimulates circulation
  • Coconut oil nourishes for long, thick and healthy hair
  • Suitable for dry, flaky scalps
  • Helps with hair growth

Available at:

04

The INKEY List Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Scalp Scrub

from $26 at Sephora

Best for: The time poor

Infused with AHAs (glycolic acid), 100 per cent biodegradable castor beads and sebum-regulating Symcontrol® Scalp complex, this pre-shampoo treatment chemically and physically exfoliates the skin on your noggin in just 10 minutes.

Sizes: 150ml

Key features:

  • Glycolic acid encourages cellular turnover
  • 100 per cent biodegradable castor beads gently slough away dead skin
  • Symcontrol® scalp complex controls excess sebum production
  • Bioecolia® complex reinforces microbiome function
  • Fragrance free

Available at:

05

SACHAJUAN Scalp Scrub

from $88 at Adore Beauty

Best for: Scalp scrub beginners

If you’re new to scalp scrubs and want to start incorporating one into your hair washing routine on a weekly basis, this pick from Sachajuan is one to try. It gently removes dead skin cells and product build-up, whilst helping to encourage cellular turnover and the growth of healthy new cells for lush strands and a happy scalp.

Sizes: 250ml

Key features:

  • Maintains a healthy scalp
  • Deeply exfoliates
  • Removes product build-up, excess oils and sebum
  • Sloughs away dead skin cells
  • Promotes new and healthy cell growth

Available at:

06

Body Blendz Scalp & Hair Scrub Shampoo

from $29.99 at Body Blendz

Best for: Taming unruly strands

Did you know using a scalp scrub could help you to combat frizz and tame unruly strands? Well, that’s exactly what this hybrid scalp scrub shampoo does, using guar bean, which also helps to boost volume. There’s also pink Himalayan salt to remove product residue from the scalp, abyssinia oil to promote new growth and a conditioning formula to hydrate the scalp and hair too.

Sizes: 150ml

Key features:

  • Guar bean smooths frizz, tames unruly strands and boosts volume
  • Pink Himalayan salt removes product residue
    Abyssinia oil promotes new hair growth
  • Conditioners hydrate the scalp and hair
  • Hybrid scalp scrub and shampoo formula

Available at:

Which scalp exfoliator is best?

The best scalp exfoliator utilises gentle physical scrubs (such as salt and sugar) or chemical exfoliants (think: glycolic acid), which help to slough away dead skin cells without irritating the delicate microbiome of the scalp. Physical exfoliants that melt under water (again, sugar and salt) are also a better option as they are easier to wash out of the hair after you’ve treated the scalp — personally, we’d steer clear of coffee or shell micro-particle based scrubs for this very reason.

Are scalp scrubs good for your hair?

Scalp scrubs are an excellent way to remove product build-up and dead skin cells, as well as helping to invigorate blood flow, which can be beneficial for the health and growth of the hair. Regular exfoliation of the scalp can also help to reduce hair fall and thin hair, as it helps to reinforce and strengthen the natural processes of the scalp for optimum scalp and hair health.


Looking to save money on a scalp scrub? Check out our coupon codes for Sephora, MECCA and more.


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Main image credit: @ashleygraham

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