11 Best Scalp Scrubs That Your Curly Hair Will Love

Curl Love

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Nothing compares to the feeling of a gentle scalp massage after a long day. Whether you get one from your favorite salon stylist or a friend who just wants to help you relax, your head and scalp deserve to be pampered and feel amazing. When you have curly hair, it can be difficult to trust anyone to tangle their fingers in it – especially since wash day can already take an entire day to complete. But, there’s hope to get a clean scalp and a head massage all at once – win-win!

For your curls to look their best, you need a clean scalp. One of the best ways to get there is by using a scalp scrub which can help you remove dead skin cells, bust through product build-up, and leave a healthier skin barrier to prevent dandruff, flaking, itching, and even hair loss. A good scalp scrub increases blood flow to the scalp, which promotes hair growth and gives us the lusciously thick and bouncy curls we all want. Choosing the right scalp scrub comes down to effective exfoliation, gentle cleansing, and moisturizing ingredients. Here are some of the best scalp scrubs for curly hair that you’ll keep in your next wash day routine in no time.

What do you get when you combine moisturizing aloe, purifying pink clay, and cleansing peppermint oil? According to Rizos Curls, their highly popular Detox Scalp Scrub is packed with all-natural ingredients that refresh your scalp and rejuvenate your curls. Aloe vera soothes and hydrates your scalp, while pink clay absorbs impurities and grime. The peppermint oil keeps your scalp microbiome balanced and promotes healthy blood circulation (and you know it feels fantastic!). You also get healing arnica extract that strengthens hair follicles, moringa oil to nourish your scalp, and hydrated silica to gently lift product buildup and dead skin without fragrance, silicones, or sulfates. 

With a clinical study that showed a 120% increase in scalp hydration, how could I not put Briogeo’s Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-Exfoliating Scrub Shampoo on the list? With their products emphasizing the importance of healthy hair using natural ingredients, Briogeo combines purifying Binchotan charcoal and moisture-boosting coconut oil to help you remove impurities and dead skin with micro-exfoliating beads. This scrub shampoo is sulfate-free, won’t strip your hair of its natural oils, and has a cleansing of peppermint, spearmint, and tea tree essential oil complex for a refreshing wash day treat. Panthenol fortifies the root to the tip of your hair with nutrients so you can get some strength back into those coils.

When you want to create an oasis for your wash day, check out the Innersense Organic Beauty True Enlightenment Scalp Scrub to start your curly hair routine. The natural scents across their products are clean, bright, and refreshing. Apple fruit extract brings a dose of hydration to your scalp. At the same time, Hawaiian Red Salt gently exfoliates impurities from product buildup, and the peppermint oil encourages healthy blood circulation to the scalp with a cooling and refreshing sensation. Together, all these ingredients nourish and rejuvenate curly hair, leaving it looking and feeling its best while preventing dryness and promoting healthy growth.

If you’re looking for an affordable 100% vegan scalp scrub that delivers hair nourishing ingredients that are gentle on your curls, Pacifica’s Rosemary Detox Scalp Scrub is an excellent product that helps maintain a healthy scalp and beautiful hair. Rosemary is a superstar ingredient here because of its known hair growth and natural anti-inflammatory properties. The exfoliating blend of sea salt and charcoal gently loosens product buildup, reduces excess oil, and removes impurities. Jojoba oil keeps moisture and nourishes your scalp, leaving you feeling soft and refreshed after each scrub. The fresh mint scent invigorates your senses and leaves a light scent you can enjoy during an at-home spa day every time.

If you prefer a softer whipped texture that envelops your curls with moisture while cleansing your scalp with specialty ingredients, the Ceremonia Papaya Scalp Scrub Shampoo was designed for you. It effectively exfoliates your scalp with Bolivian Mountain Salt for optimal physical exfoliation, along with papaya and prickly pear extract for enzymatic exfoliation that removes product buildup and nourishes hair for smooth, frizz-free results. This shampoo scalp scrub is perfect for elevating your curls with a unique blend of natural ingredients curated from recipes at the heart of Latin America. Ceremonia’s signature essence will take you on a cultural journey with blooms of soft woody notes, a delicate hint of lemon zest, South American tonka beans, and subtle whispers of violet, black tea, vetiver, and brown sugar.

A scalp scrub is a great way to start your week on the right foot. Sunday II Sunday’s Signature Scalp Balancing Scrub brings that gentle papaya extract to help dissolve those proteins that bind dead skin cells to your scalp, giving that itchy sensation. Sugar crystals bring you some hydrating humectant love while gently loosening product buildup. You’ll love the cooling sensation from the peppermint oil that soothes the scalp and reduces flaking. This gentle scrub strengthens your scalp’s natural protective barrier and reduces scalp inflammation caused by sweat, so it’s an excellent scalp treatment for after those heavy sweat gym sessions. It’s vegan and not tested on animals, so that you can feel good about it on your curls and the environment.

If you suffer from a dry scalp, this Christophe Robin Pre-Shampoo Hydrating Scalp Scrub is formulated to provide the moisturizing ingredients you need for thriving curly hair. Aloe vera provides a healthy pH balance with deep hydration, and jojoba particles gently exfoliate with the antioxidant vitamin E. The superstar hydrating ingredient is fermented agave juice to soothe and comfort your scalp with probiotic properties to repair your skin’s microbiome. This pre-wash scalp treatment richly lathers for a luxurious experience and reduces visible redness to heal your skin. It also relieves parched scalp skin for less itchiness and better curly hair performance.

Glycolic acid has been making its rounds online as a scalp health hack to get your curls clean and growing. One scalp scrub that has all the elements of the ultimate exfoliation treatment is The INKEY List Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Scalp Scrub. It removes product buildup and dead cells using physical and chemical exfoliants like 7% Glycolic Acid to remove dead skin and product buildup, 2.5% Symcontrol® Scalp to reduce sebum over-production for less oily hair, and 2% Castor Beads for a gentle exfoliation that supports healthy natural hair growth. With a good balance of moisture and exfoliation – and at an affordable price point – this scalp scrub is a definite winner.

Who doesn’t want gorgeous curls? Grow Gorgeous created this Scalp Care Detox Scrub to help you get closer with each wash day. The unique formula includes white willow bark extract for its naturally softening salicylates to promote a healthy scalp, grapefruit extract provides gentle AHA exfoliation to stimulate cell renewal, and pomegranate enzymes to loosen dead skin cells and remove product build-up. The caffeine stimulates blood circulation at the root hair follicles to rejuvenate your hair, while the Bamboo particles physically remove excess sebum, dirt, and impurities. Clinical study results show that over 90% of users felt their scalp was cleaner and better exfoliated. 

This scrub has dual use for your scalp and your body. OUAI Scalp & Body Scrub for curly hair is a must-have for those looking to exfoliate and nourish their scalp and body gently. The sugar in the scrub gently exfoliates to increase microcirculation while coconut oil’s essential fatty acids nourish your skin. Water-binding plant sugar improves your skin’s moisture barrier for soft and supple skin. The velvety-rich rosy scent of their signature Melrose Place is infused with notes of champagne, pink peppercorn, amber, sandalwood, white musk, and more. Basically, this scrub smells as good as it feels and you can have it from head to toe! 

Though every hair texture can use it, TPH BY TARAJI’s Never Salty Exfoliating Sugar Scalp Scrub is a godsend for thick curly hair. The duo-touch applicator allows you to put that scrub-to-balm exfoliant directly on your scalp, so it’s easy to use – aka, no messy shower floor! It stimulates circulation, detoxes buildup, and cleanses your scalp of dead skin cells. The addition of Apple Cider Vinegar helps to clarify your curls and make room for new growth while balancing your ideal pH balance. Peppermint oil adds a refreshing scent that invigorates the scalp while adding body to hair follicles. Sugar crystals gently exfoliate and dissolve easily for healthier hair and less shower buildup. 

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