Much like your skincare routine, both are important and play different roles in your hair care routine.
With the skin-ification of hair popping off, we wanted dive a little deeper and get into the nitty-gritty about physical and chemical exfoliants for your scalp.
Scalp exfoliation is one of the best ways to optimise your hair care routine and helps remove product buildup as well as helps combat irritation and dryness. Not exfoliating your scalp can cause clogged follicles and in turn, itchy, flaky scalp skin as well as dull hair. However, implementing scalp exfoliation into your hair routine can cause naturally denser, glossier Straands.
We spoke to trichologist Chelcey Salinger at the Australian Trichology Centre, Sydney and Adelaide, who says "exfoliants can be useful on the scalp to assist the removal of flakiness and any product build up on the scalp".
Why Should You Exfoliate Your Scalp?
Think of the product build up that can occur from the dry shampoos, sebum and other styling products you're applying. Your scalp skin is just an extension of your facial skin, if you're exfoliating your face, why not also exfoliate your scalp? Debra Jailman, Sans Ceuticals founder, speaks to Byrdie, “scalp exfoliation makes way for fresh skin and hair follicles to grow healthy hair. Many people pay more attention to their hair rather than their scalp, but the truth is that a healthy scalp will produce healthy hair."
Chemical exfoliants help break down the skin cells buildup and can be more gentle than physical exfoliants. There are a range of chemical exfoliants, the two most common being AHAs, alpha-hydroxy acids (think of lactic acid), and BHAs, beta-hydroxy acid (think of salicylic acid).
For a chemical scalp exfoliant, we recommend our Crown Fix Scalp Serum that contains lactic acid which helps break down the dead skin cells gently. Hannah English, beauty based content creator with a background in pharmaceutical science, uses our serum to kill any bacteria and sebum produced after a workout.
Physical exfoliants contain grainy ingredients, such as salt or sugar (we like ours salty ;)), and help scrub away buildup. They can “be very helpful for those with [a very flaky] scalp” according to Jeanine Downie, owner of Image Dermatology. Not only does it feel amazing, physical scrubs are excellent as they boost circulation and increase cell turnover.
Chelcey reminds us that "when looking for a physical exfoliant it is important to use one specifically designed for the scalp. This will ensure it is not too abrasive and damaging to the skin."
For a physical scalp exfoliant, we recommend our Miracle Worker Scalp Scrub once a week to remove excessive build up before cleansing your scalp with the Crown Cleanse Shampoo. The salt helps loosen and remove flakes while the salicylic acid acts as an anti-inflammatory and helps gently break down product build up.
Which Exfoliant Is Right For Your Scalp?
Well, both are necessary for creating a healthy, balanced environment for your hair follicles to thrive in. It also depends what you’re in the vibe for. We recommend using our Crown Fix Scalp Serum for on-the-go treatments, maybe after a workout ;), and our Miracle Worker Scrub for a more intentional, deep cleanse.