Bye, Bye Dandruff: Scalp Scrubs Galore

I've been cursed with dandruff ever since I was a preteen. I've seen derms about it and have tried a bagillion and one different shampoos with varying degrees of success. Something I didn't try until 2 or 3 years ago is a good scalp scrub! I mean think about it-- you exfoliate your face and body to rid yourself of flaky skin, why not apply the same methodology to your scalp?

And even if you don't suffer from dandruff, scalp scrubs can still be useful to get rid of dry spots and product buildup. Even when I'm using a very effective dandruff shampoo, I still have a scalp scrub in rotation. Especially for those days where I don't wash my hair for 4 or 5 days straight and load up on all the dry shampoo... my scalp is never in a good condition after and a solid scalp scrub helps remedy the situation!

Unfortunately, there aren't too many options out there, and most of them are not super affordable. Over the past 9-ish months I've tested 5 different formulas and have found a favorite! Read on to find out more ๐Ÿ˜‰

A note! There is a learning curve when it comes to applying scalp scrubs. You won't have much luck if you apply them like a regular shampoo-- in fact, you'll probably just end up tangling your hair. Rather, you need to wet your scalp and then part your hair and apply it section by section. Sometimes I'll even rub it in with a soft, used toothbrush.

Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub With Sea Salt

$19.00- $53.00 for 2.7 to 8.33 oz via Sephora, Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom, Saks, Neiman Marcus, & Net-A-Porter
Exfoliant: Sea salt
Ingredients: Sodium Chloride, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Water, Butylene Glycol, Cocamide Mea, Glyceryl Stearate, Peg-100 Stearate, Saccharide Isomerate, Hydrated Silica, Bisabolol, Menthyl Lactate, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Salicylate, Linalool, Limonene, Citronellol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Evernia Furfuracea (Tree Moss) Extract, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate.

This is a cult favorite but I HATE IT. I used it 3x and have given up-- it's never touching my head again.

Upon application, everything is fine and dandy. It has a good consistency-- not too thick that it's difficult to rub in not too runny that it washes away before you can properly scrub it in. It lathers up reallll nice and is definitely the easiest to apply out of the 5 reviewed in this post. BUT when I rinsed it out, my hair felt like straw. It's so so drying I have to apply conditioner twice to my hair to help revive it somewhat.

It did its job in scrubbing away my dandruff, but at a high cost. Not only did it strip my hair, but it also stripped my scalp. I noticed my hair got oilier more quickly every time I used this scrub.

If you're not sensitive to SLS perhaps it will work for you. If you've stepped away from SLS haircare products, beware that this may strip your scalp and hair too.

Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-exfoliating Shampoo (PR Gift)

$11.00 - $42.00 for 1.0 to 8.0 oz. via Sephora, Dermstore, Nordstrom, Cult Beauty, & the Detox Market
Exfoliant: Vegetabe derived microexfoliators (not really sure what that means?)
Ingredients: Water, Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate*, Cocamidopropyl Betaine*, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate*, Glycerin*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Glyceryl Stearate*, Sodium Methyl Oleoyl Taurate*, Microcrystalline Cellulose*, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Lithium Magnesium Sodium Silicate, Panthenol*, Xylitylglucoside*, Charcoal Powder, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Oil, Mentha Viridis (Spearmint) Leaf Oil, Anhydroxylitol*, Bisabolol*, Menthyl Lactate*, Xylitol*, Polyquaternium-7, Fragrance. *Coconut, vegetable, plant, or sugar derived.

Total disclosure, I purchased a mini of this during the Sephora VIB sale last year. Then because I liked it so much I ordered it off Octoly (a platform where bloggers can choose products to try from brands in exchange for an honest review.)

This is hands down my favorite out of the ones I've tried. I've tried searching for drugstore alternatives but there are no dupes (at least not yet.) The good thing is, even if it has a hefty price tag 1) there's a travel size which you can try first 2) a little goes a long way so the tub will last a while.

The scrub itself is very fine. At first, I thought it would be too gentle to be effective but that's not the case at all! It actually makes it easier to apply. The consistency is almost liquidy and it's very easy to spread out.

It doesn't foam up but there is a sort of lather. It rinses out easily and doesn't strip my hair or scalp! Win and win! And ofc, it also helps scrub away my dandruff.

If you want to try it out but are not ready to commit to the full size, the mini is only $11 at Sephora!

My tub looks a little bit gross because the lid cracked when it was shipped. It isn't a design flaw, but rather a packaging error. I had it shipped to be in a paper envelope with no padding.

Dp Hue Apple Cider Vinegar Scalp Scrub With Pink Himalayan Sea Salt

$38.00 for 9.0 oz. via Sephora, Ulta, Anthropologie, Nordstrom, & Urban Outfitters
Exfoliant: Sea salt
Ingredients: Sea Salt, Water, Apple Cider Vinegar, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Lauroyl/Myristoyl Methyl Glucamide, Coco-Betaine, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Glycerin, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Linoleamidopropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate Dimethicone, Rapeseedamidopropyl Ethyldimonium Ethosulfate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Quaternium-96, Dipropylene Glycol, Propanediol, Steareth-100, Steareth-2, Mannan, Xanthan Gum, Polyquaternium-70, Sodium Lactate, Sodium PCA, Glycine, Fructose, Urea, Niacinamide, Inositol, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Lactic Acid.

I've used this so much that I've been conditioned into liking the apple vinegar scent. It's weird.

This stuff is exactly what it sounds like… a scrub in a ACV rinse. I've used this so much that I've been conditioned into liking the apple vinegar scent and now associate it with a clean scalp. It's weird.

This scrub is like the love child of the Christophe Robin and Briogeo scalp scrubs. It has the thinner, runnier consistency of the Briogeo but the larger chunks of salt of the Christophe Robin. I would have to say it’s my second favorite scalp scrub behind the Briogeo!

It doesn’t really lather but because it has such a runny consistency, it’s very easy to apply and rinses out relatively easily. Because the chunks are so large, not all of them rinse out. Some of them eventually melt and then dissipate.

Personally, this did not dry out my hair or scalp! It made my hair clean but not stripped. I like that this scrub is basically a scrub and lightweight ACV rinse all in one.

Another plus about this scrub is that it goes on sale occasionally at Ulta! I’ve seen it be featured in their 21 days of beauty event as well as other specials—usually at a discount of 30- 50% off.

SheaMoisture Green Coconut & Activated Charcoal Exfoliating Hair Mud

$11.49 for 11 oz. via Ulta
Exfoliant: Sugar
Ingredients: Sucrose (Sugar), Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Chloride, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Glycerin (Vegetable), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Juice, Charcoal Powder, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Water, Melissa Officinalis Extract, Triethyl Citrate, Caprylyl Glycol, Benzoic Acid, Fragrance (Essential Oil Blend).*Certified Organic Ingredient. Fair Trade Ingredient.

The whole charcoal + coconut line from Sheamoisture is a newbie. It ranges from haircare to body care to skincare—basically a lil’ bit of everything. When I saw the scalp scrub I pretty much bought it right away because I’d never seen a scalp scrub at the drugstore (I like to pretend this L’oreal one doesn’t exist cause I’ve heard nothing but horror stories.)

Seeing that it’s a charcoal scrub, I thought perhaps it would be an affordable dupe for the Briogeo scalp scrub. Alas, once again my hopes and dreams of saving $$ were crushed like a fat kid sitting on her glasses (me, I am the fat kid.)

The consistency is of this is awful. It’s like dried out honey. Except you can’t put this in the microwave to revive it. It’s soo thick and difficult to scoop out. And once you do scoop it out, it’s even harder to apply to your roots. It lathers up a little bit, making it a teensy bit easier to apply, but not that much. Because it’s such a hassle to apply, I don’t get very good results with it. My scalp, for the most part, is still flakey and itchy afterward.

So despite the relatively affordable price tag, I would not repurchase or recommend this. I’m not even sure how I’m going to finish up the jar I’m currently using.

R+Co Crown Scalp Scrub

$38.00 for 5.5 fl. oz via Dermstore, Nordstrom, Urban Outfitters, Space.NK, Neiman Marcus, & Bluemercury
Exfoliant: Sugar
Ingredients: Sucrose, Aqua/Water/Eau, Methyl Gluceth-20, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Lauramidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Silica, Phytelephas Aequatorialis Seed Powder, Equisetum Hiemale Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Yucca Schidigera Leaf/Root/Stem Extract, Kaolin, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Quaternium-91, Amodimethicone, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Disodium Coco-Glucoside Sulfosuccinate, PPG-3 Benzyl Ether Myristate, Salicylic Acid, Glycerin, BHT, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Parfum/Fragrance, Limonene, Linalool.

If I were to take away the fact that this scrub had pretty packaging and came from a verified cool girl brand… I would have to admit that I don’t like this scrub all that much.

It’s not as thick as the Shea Moisture scrub, but it’s still not a user friendly consistency.

It’s a little bit difficult to spread onto my roots because it’s thick and barely lathers up. I can get it to work but it’s a long process that takes a lot of time. If I spend the 20 minutes to properly apply it across my whole head, my scalp does feel clean. But most of the time I’m simply too lazy and leave the shower with some itchy spots across my scalp.

It rinses away *relatively* clean, but again, the thick texture makes it a somewhat time-intensive process (like 2 minutes instead of the 30 seconds it usually takes me to rinse out shampoo.)

In one category, it is a winner. Out of all the scrubs I tried, I think this has the best packaging! A squeezey tube is easy to use with one hand, and you don’t have to worry about getting water into the open jar of product while in the shower. Getting water into a jar of scalp scrub isn’t the end of the world, but at the same time you never know how adding hot water to a product is going to affect a product’s shelf life. Mold is no fun and it’s better to be safe than sorry!

The End!

Annnd those are all the scalp scrubs I've been trying out over the past few months. And I still have more on my wishlist to try out in the future. The Ouai recently came out with a scalp + body scrub and it's jumped to the top of my list!

Have you tried out any scalp scrubs? Which are your favs?

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