How To Exfoliate Your Scalp & Why You Should

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At one point or another, everyone has wondered what it’s like to be famous. Whether it was your childhood dream of becoming a pop star or a fleeting thought while watching The Ellen Show, our society remains fascinated with life in Hollywood. We simultaneously love and envy the glamorous life of a celebrity. In fact, today’s pop culture climate is heavily influenced by our desire to be like celebrities. This is why wellness magazines and social media platforms are filled with celebrities sharing their daily routines. Some popular trends include: what I eat in a day, my skincare routine, get ready with me, and my workout routine.

These four trends seem to dominate the social media content of this industry. While these videos can be entertaining, important wellness practices like scalp exfoliation are underrepresented in today’s media. This would explain why you don’t stumble upon any “exfoliate your scalp with me” videos on TikTok. Exfoliating the scalp is essential for maintaining clean and healthy hair. Exfoliation frees the scalp of dead skin cells, excess oil, product buildup, and dandruff.  Let’s take a deep dive into some salt scrub benefits! 

Top 3 Salt Scalp Scrub Benefits Explained 

Salt is an excellent exfoliator for the scalp. The rough and grainy texture is great for scraping away dead skin cells. Scalp exfoliation can reduce dandruff, detox the scalp, and promote hair growth. Scalp exfoliation should be done after the shower on wet hair. You can either apply the salt scrub with an exfoliation brush or with your fingertips, both methods of application are equally effective. 

1. Salt Scalp Scrub For Dandruff

women with dandruff

exfoliate your scalp to prevent dandruff

Clogged pores in the scalp is a common cause of dandruff. Exfoliating with salt can reduce the buildup of dead skin by scraping away loose flakes. Removing the dead skin helps cleanse the scalp and unclog the pores; thus reducing dandruff. 

Another common cause of dandruff is an oily scalp. Oil forms on the scalp through the sebaceous glands which are tiny glands in the skin. Their primary function is to lubricate the skin and hair by producing sebum, an oily substance, into the hair follicles. Having too much or too little sebum can irritate the scalp. A scalp that is lacking sebum may feel dry and itchy, whereas a scalp with excess sebum may feel greasy and clog your pores. Exfoliating the scalp with salt can help absorb any extra sebum and unclog the pores to eliminate dandruff. 

2. Salt Scalp Scrub For Detoxing Scalp

Many people don’t realize that the scalp can house a large variety of toxins. For example, exposure to humid conditions can lead to fungal growth in the scalp. This is because the scalp is in a constant state of moisture. Exfoliating the scalp with a salt scrub will soak up extra moisture in the scalp, thus fending off fungal growth. 

Product buildup is another common issue in the scalp. While many products promote scalp and hair health, overuse can result in greasy hair and product buildup. Exfoliating the scalp with salt can help eliminate oil and product buildup by unclogging the pores and removing dead skin cells.  

3. Salt Scalp Scrub For Hair Growth

Woman running hands through hair on pink background.

Exfoliate the scalp with salt to unclog hair follicles and stimulate hair growth.

Exfoliating the scalp with salt can promote hair growth and prevent future hair loss. When the scalp experiences a buildup of dandruff and sebum, the hair follicles clog up. If possible, this is something you want to avoid. A clogged hair follicle not only delays hair growth but can also lead to hair loss if ignored for too long. 

On average, each hair follicle grows between 1 and 3 hairs. However, a hair follicle shrinks when it’s clogged for too long, which decreases the number of hairs growing per follicle. Luckily, exfoliating the scalp with salt can help clear these blockages – thus preventing hair loss and stimulating future hair growth. If you want to prevent hair loss with scalp exfoliation, you can invest in a salt scrub on the market or try a DIY recipe at home! 

Scalp Exfoliation DIY Natural Recipe & Guide  

Spoon with salt on it.

Exfoliate the scalp with salt to eliminate dead skin and product buildup.

There are many great products on the market for scalp exfoliation, but making your own is often a cheaper and more fun experience. The DIY Oatmeal scalp scrub has lots of benefits and only requires four ingredients! 


  • 2 tsp powdered oatmeal                                                      
  • 2 tsp salt                                                                                               
  • 7 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 2 tsp conditioner 

Oatmeal and salt are the acting exfoliants in this scrub. The grainy textures are perfect for removing dirt and dead skin from the scalp and unclogging the pores. Oatmeal also has a soothing quality that calms irritated skin on the scalp. Tea Tree essential oil has antibacterial and antioxidant properties that promote healthy hair by reducing dandruff, dry scalp, and itching. 


Combine ingredients in a small bowl. Lightly wet your scalp and apply one tablespoon of the oatmeal scrub. For each tablespoon, focus on one section of the scalp at a time. Use your fingers to massage the scrub deep into the scalp. Take another tablespoon of the scrub and apply it to a new section of your scalp. Repeat this process until your entire scalp is exfoliated. Let the scrub sit for 10-12 minutes and then rinse. Finish this process with a quality shampoo and conditioner.  

How To Exfoliate Scalp Without Damaging Hair Growth

While exfoliating the scalp stimulates hair growth, overdoing it can result in hair loss. Ironic, right? This is because exfoliation clears the scalp of excess oils. When this happens too often, the scalp may try to compensate for this loss by overproducing oil which clogs pores and prevents hair growth. For this reason, you shouldn’t exfoliate the scalp more than two or three times per week. 


When creating your wellness routine, there are many aspects to consider. Practicing yoga or taking nutritional supplements both examples of good habits. When choosing what works best for you, identify your goals and budget your free time accordingly. However, if you don’t have a lot of free time and are looking to start with an easy commitment, you might want to to consider exfoliating your scalp with salt! 

Exfoliating your scalp with salt is a great first step in creating your wellness routine because it is not practiced daily. As I mentioned above, you should only exfoliate the scalp two to three times per week. This makes it a feasible addition to your schedule and allows you to ease into the commitment. Similar to most beauty and wellness practices, staying consistent is key to seeing the benefits of scalp exfoliation. While you may see minimal benefits from exfoliating the scalp monthly, they do not compare to those that are produced from a weekly regime. Once practicing scalp exfoliation feels inherent, you can slowly integrate other wellness practices into your busy lifestyle. Keep up the dedication and you will have a perfect routine in no time! 


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