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Can Scalp Scrubs Be Bad For Your Hair?

The benefits of scalp scrubs are well-known, but can they also damage your hair? We looked into it.
Updated: November 9, 2022
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While it’s easy to sometimes forget, your scalp is a big part of your skin and needs regular maintenance. One of the best ways to do this is by using an exfoliator like a scalp scrub.

The benefits are widely acknowledged, but what are the disadvantages? Can scalp scrub damage your scalp or hair?

The benefits of scalp scrub

Before we get to any potential downsides, it’s important to reiterate the big positives of using a good scalp scrub regularly. In no particular order, here are some advantages.

It removes build-up

Sometimes, the remnants from multiple hair products can form a grimy build-up on your scalp and hair. This can trap dirt and gunk, and just make the hair look unappealing. Scalp exfoliator works to thoroughly remove this build-up and leaves your roots looking and feeling clean.

Effective scalp treatment

Massaging exfoliator into the scalp can encourage better blood circulation to the skin. This then creates a healthy and fertile environment, which stimulates hair growth. Pretty awesome, right?

It balances oil

Your skin/scalp naturally produced oil. This is normal, but sometimes, especially in combination with certain products, that oil can get to be too much. Excess oil can clog pores and lead to breakouts and other forms of irritation. Scalp scrub rebalances this oil to a healthy and manageable level.

Does scalp scrub have any negatives?

Unfortunately, nothing is perfect. While scalp scrub is a fabulous product in general, some people may experience some downsides when using it. Here are a few possibilities.

It can get stuck in the hair

Depending on the condition of your hair, scalp scrubs can sometimes become stuck between your strands, which can lead to unpleasant tangling. Furthermore, trying to forcibly wash it out may actually cause more harm by damaging hair follicles and even pulling hairs out.

It can irritate dry skin

While one of the benefits of scalp scrub is its ability to rebalance the oils on your head, this can actually be a detrimental quality if you have naturally dry skin. In this case, the scrub may have the opposite effect and cause excessive dryness of the scalp, which can lead to further itchiness and flaking. If you suffer from a dry scalp, you might want to look into more moisturizer-heavy alternatives.

Final word

Yes, there are some potential negatives associated with using scalp scrub, but overall it is an excellent product for keeping your hair and head in a healthy condition.

We’d recommend trialing a scrub for a few weeks to see how your body reacts to it. Finding a scrub that works for you is the first step in giving your scalp the longevity it deserves.

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