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ALMOST EVERY hair problem you’ve ever had originated on the scalp: dandruff, hair loss, dry hair and limp locks are all due to an imbalance in the scalp. In fact, the roots of your hair are the only part of your hair that is actually alive – the rest of your hair is dead. It sounds crazy, but it’s true, and understanding how your hair grows can provide valuable insight into treating and preventing conditions such as thinning hair or hair loss.
Healthy hair starts with a healthy scalp, and if you want a healthy scalp, it’s time you start treating it right. While using a nourishing shampoo and conditioner can help, adding a targeted scalp treatment to your hair care routine can make an even bigger difference in the health and appearance of your hair.
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Scalp treatments often offer a deep-cleansing scalp scrub, which can help unclog hair follicles and remove product buildup from your daily gels and pomades, dead skin, and dandruff.
According to dr. Kari Williams, a board-certified trichologist and licensed esthetician, the benefits of a scalp treatment can dramatically improve overall hair health. “[T]hey can promote healthy blood circulation in the scalp which promotes healthy hair growth; reduces inflammation in the scalp; relieves scalp discomfort in the form of itching and flaking and also balances the pH of the scalp.”
Some scalp treatments are used before or in the shower before your usual washing routine, while others are treatments that are not used to reduce inflammation that often results from scalp irritation.
“A scalp treatment usually includes some form of exfoliation to rid the scalp of excess buildup, flakes, and debris that can cause discomfort or hinder hair growth,” says Dr. Williams. “Scalp treatments keep the skin healthy and create a healthy environment for hair growth.”
Dr. Williams says anyone can benefit from a scalp treatment, even if you don’t experience any symptoms of scalp discomfort. But if you suffer from dandruff or a chronic itchy scalp, you will benefit most from regular scalp treatment.
If an itchy scalp is causing problems, a soothing scalp treatment has what you need to relieve the itch. We’ve done the work for you by finding the best scalp treatments below to heal your scalp and encourage healthy hair.
Best overall scalp treatment
Cold Processed Scalp Detox
|Active ingredients||Salicylic acid and peppermint|
|Measure||3 fl oz|
ACV Daily Scalp Serum
|Active ingredients||Apple Cider Vinegar, Apple Stem Cells, Peptides, Organic Maca Root|
|Measure||1.7 fl oz|
Best exfoliating shampoo
Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo
|Active ingredients||Coconut oil, charcoal, panthenol and tea tree oil|
Best leave-in scalp treatment
Flaky Scalp Toner
|Active ingredients||Piroctone olamine, camphor and benzalkonium chloride|
Best scalp treatment for damaged hair
Topical scalp supplement
|Active ingredients||Alpha Keratin 60ku®, B vitamins, peptides, ceramides, hyaluronic acid|
|Measure||2 fl oz|
Best affordable scalp treatment
The INKEY list
Salicylic Acid Exfoliating Scalp Treatment
|Active ingredients||Salicylic acid, fluidipure, panthenol|
|Measure||5 fl oz|
Best scalp treatment for oily hair
Naturaltech REBALANCING Shampoo
|Active ingredients||phytoceuticals extracted from lemon|
Best scalp treatments for hair growth
The scalp treatment
|Active ingredients||TFC8®, watercress and cress extracts, hazel leaf extract, peppermint extract, bamboo extract|
Best scalp treatment for dandruff
Scalp Treatment Duo
|Active ingredients||Piroctone olamine, climbazole, rosemary oil, salicylic acid and ginger extract|
|Measure||1.7 fl oz|
Best scalp treatment for curly hair
SCALP PURI(pH)Y Easy-Rinse exfoliating spray
|Active ingredients||Glycolic Acid, Glycerin, Castor Oil, Cetrimonium Chloride, Acetic Acid, Allantoin|
What to pay attention to during a scalp treatment
The best scalp treatment is one that is tailored to your specific scalp conditions. Persistent conditions such as dandruff may require a more concentrated formula with dandruff-fighting ingredients. If you only experience occasional itchiness, a weekly scalp treatment could be just what you need to remove product buildup and give your scalp a much-needed reset.
“Effective active ingredients for a scalp treatment are salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and coal tar,” says Dr. Kari Williams, Board Certified Trichologist & Licensed Cosmetologist. “These ingredients gently exfoliate the scalp.”