The Key Haircare Step You’re Skipping (But Shouldn’t)

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how to clean your scalp
Photographed by Tamara Williams

We exfoliate our faces and buff our bodies, but most of us are guilty of neglecting our scalps. Yes, that’s right – your scalp, a.k.a. one the most forgotten body parts when it comes to beauty. Although talking about scalp scrubbing doesn’t sound particularly appealing, it’s actually a key step in a healthy haircare routine. Hair is dead, scalps aren’t, so it’s where you can make some serious magic happen.

“Your scalp is simply an extension of your facial skin,” explains Justina Mejia-Montane, Vice President of Global Product Development at Aveda. “And just like your face, your scalp needs cleansing, balancing, and protection. Consider your scalp the soil from which your hair grows. Once you think of it that way, it shouldn’t be hard to understand why you might need to be giving it a little extra care.”

Bet we’ve got your attention now.

scalp exfoliation benefits
GIF: Courtesy of Giphy

“Exfoliating the scalp on a regular basis is a must as it helps to remove any build-up of pollutants, dead skin, oil, and products,” explains George Daly, Senior Stylist at Pastels Salon in The Ritz-Carlton Dubai. “It also helps to regulate the blood flow, promoting new hair growth and a healthier scalp, as well as stimulating the scalp to produce natural oils that will condition the hair and give it a healthy shine.”

This makes total sense as dead skin cells and product build-up end up sitting on the scalp, blocking hair follicles. This not only prevents healthy hair growth, but also causes scalp irritation and dryness, resulting in itchiness, dull locks, and the dreaded ‘d’ word: dandruff. “A healthy, clean scalp is the optimal environment for healthy hair growth as it improves blood flow to the scalp,” agrees Ruksher Malik, co-founder of Pastels. “Improved blood circulation brings more vitamins, minerals, and other vital nutrients to hair follicles, via the bloodstream, to nourish healthy hair growth. It also makes the scalp and hair receptive to receive treatment benefits.”

scalp scrubs exfoliators
Photo: Courtesy of @TheOuai

In fact, scalp scrubbing is becoming such a big beauty trend that hairstylist to the stars Jen Atkin has just launched her brand new Ouai ‘Scalp & Body Scrub’, and almost every leading haircare brand now boasts a buffer of some sort. “In the past, people focused on face and body exfoliation, but as the quest for shiny hair grew exponentially, beauty-savvy clients began to realize the important connection between a healthy scalp and healthy hair,” explains Malik. “With this came the demand for products that optimized scalp exfoliation. Once these products arrived, stylists started to speak to more clients about scalp exfoliation and so the trend grew.”

Armed with this knowledge, Savoir Flair has uncovered some of the top products that tend not only to your scalp, but also your tresses. Discover them below, and say hello to a happier, healthier head of hair in no time.

Ouai ‘Scalp & Body Scrub’

Sugar, sugar, how you get so fly? With Ouai’s new sugar scrub, of course. It’s bursting with big sugar crystals to gently exfoliate the scalp, unclog skin, and increase micro-circulation. It also boasts a delicious nutty scent thanks to fatty acid-rich coconut oil that nourishes and moisturizes, not to mention its exclusive probiotic blend, which supports scalp health and aids natural defenses of skin’s microbiomes. The added beauty bonus? You can use it on your body, too, so you’ll literally be silky soft from top to toe.

The Key Haircare Step You’re Skipping (But Shouldn’t)

Ouai ‘Scalp & Body Scrub’

AED166

Revolve

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Christophe Robin ‘Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt’

“The health and beauty of hair starts with a balanced and healthy scalp,” claims celebrity hair guru Christophe Robin, who swears by using salt to exfoliate the scalp. “Salt shampoos are cleansers that contain salt, such as my ‘Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt’. They are excellent for naturally detoxifying the scalp of grease, grime, and product build-up, removing chemical residues left on the scalp that can cause itchiness after a coloring treatment. More commonly, they also help to rebalance and soothe greasy, irritated scalps.” This scrub does just that while encouraging healthy hair growth.

The Key Haircare Step You’re Skipping (But Shouldn’t)

Christophe Robin ‘Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt’

AED204

Net-a-Porter

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Briogeo ‘Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo’

The perfect pick for anyone suffering from scalp flakiness or irritation, this deep-cleansing shampoo contains a cocktail of natural ingredients to tackle all your scalp and hair woes. There’s Binchotan charcoal to draw out impurities from the scalp and hair follicles and coconut oil to load locks and skin with moisture alongside spearmint, tea tree, and peppermint oils to combat itchiness and inflammation. The panthenol within helps strengthen the hair, while vegetable-derived micro-exfoliants remove dead skin cells and product build-up. It also has the added bonus of feeling wonderfully cool and refreshing on the scalp – perfect for a hot summer’s day.

The Key Haircare Step You’re Skipping (But Shouldn’t)

Briogeo ‘Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo’

AED142

Net-a-Porter

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Aveda 'Pramāsana Range'

Inspired by Ayurveda, Aveda’s ‘Pramāsana’ range embodies the concept that a clean, healthy scalp helps position your hair for great beauty. Start with the ‘Exfoliating Scalp Brush’, which features flexible, looped bristles that – when combined with dry-brushing techniques – work to loosen impurities and build-up on the scalp. This is the perfect prep for the ‘Purifying Scalp Cleanser’, which gently but deeply cleanses the scalp thanks to a blend of plant-derived cleansing agents and wintergreen-derived salicylic acid that invigorates the scalp whilst balancing sebum levels.

Philip Kingsley ‘Exfoliating Scalp Mask’

You know when top hair and scalp specialist Philip Kinglsey – otherwise known as “The Hair Doctor” – turns his hands to something, it’s going to work wonders. And this mighty scalp mask does just that. Designed to be used before you shampoo your locks, it works to tackle dandruff and irritation by soothing and exfoliating skin with zinc and betaine salicylate. It also hydrates and soothes stressed scalps while boosting hair suppleness thanks to emollients, while promoting healing and the creation of new cells through the use of bioactive enzymes.

The Key Haircare Step You’re Skipping (But Shouldn’t)

Philip Kingsley ‘Exfoliating Scalp Mask’

AED96

Basharacare

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