A man using a scalp scrub

A man using a scalp scrub (Photo by Alona Siniehina on Shutterstock)

There’s nothing better than going to your favorite salon for a haircut and enjoying the experience of a professional scalp rub. It’s a service that’s both relaxing and beneficial for scalp health. But, you don’t need to rely solely on salon visits for this level of care. Home scalp scrubs are gaining popularity. The best scalp scrubs help exfoliate and rejuvenate the scalp and bring a touch of salon luxury into your home. Did you know you needed this product? We didn’t either until we started doing some research and now we’re sold!

Proper Scalp Scrub Care:

When choosing a scalp scrub, consider buying one with natural exfoliants like sea salt or sugar and hydrating ingredients like coconut oil. Ensure the product is sulfate-free and has soothing elements like tea tree oil for the best scalp care. It’s important to use a scalp scrub correctly to avoid over-exfoliation or irritation. Here are some expert tips:

  • Use once a week to remove buildup without over-stripping the scalp of its natural oil
  • Always use before shampooing
  • Use when experiencing flakiness or itchiness
  • Use during seasonal changes when the scalp can become too dry or oily.

Which scalp scrubs truly address the fundamental issues of scalp health? We have gone to the root of the matter and have a list of the best scalp scrubs on the market according to the consensus among eight expert reviewers. Did we skip one you love? Let us know in the comments below.

➡️ How Our “Best Of The Best” Lists Are Created

StudyFinds’ “Best of the Best” articles are put together with the idea of taking the work out of common consumer research. Ever find yourself searching for a product or service on Google and reading multiple reviews to find items listed across many of them? Our Best of the Best lists are created with that process in mind, with each item ranked by how frequently it appears on expert reviews or lists. With Best of the Best, you are getting consensus picks — making them truly the best of the best!

A man shampooing his hair
A man taking a shower (Photo by Alena TS on Shutterstock)

The List: Best Scalp Scrubs, According to Experts

1. Christophe Robin Purifying Scalp Scrub with Sea Salt

Christophe Robin Purifying Scalp Scrub with Sea Salt
Christophe Robin Purifying Scalp Scrub with Sea Salt

This is both a scrub and a shampoo and tops just every list we found. According to Byrdie, this scrub packs a punch with natural sea salt for exfoliation and sweet almond oil for soothing. It’s suitable for all scalp concerns, hair types, and textures, leaving users with a rejuvenated and squeaky-clean feeling. Reviewers especially appreciate its ability to balance oil without stripping color-treated hair, and its creamy, frothy texture makes application a breeze.

InStyle likes how this “gritty but gentle” scrub offers a deep cleanse without harming your strands. It feels like a massage right in the comfort of your own home!

While not for everyone, Good Housekeeping says this scrub shines for those battling dandruff. Users love the scent, but some found rinsing out the scrub crystals a bit time-consuming. Additionally, it might be too abrasive for delicate scalps.

2. Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Happi Scalp Scrub

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Happi Scalp Scrub
Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Happi Scalp Scrub

For those seeking a natural and clean approach to scalp exfoliation, Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Happi Scalp Scrub seems like a promising option. This scrub prioritizes natural ingredients, dissolving dead skin cells and product buildup with biodegradable exfoliating beads. For an extra boost, leave it on for 10-15 minutes like a hair mask (InStyle).

What makes it so great? Self has the scoop: This scrub uses a 10 percent blend of AHAs (glycolic, tartaric, and lactic acid) for an effective yet gentle exfoliation. Additionally, marula oil keeps your hair feeling nourished and prevents dryness after scrubbing.

According to Pure Wow, the T.L.C. scrub lives up to its name (“Tender Loving Care”). Your scalp will feel refreshed and renewed after incorporating this product into your routine.

3. Oribe Serene Scalp Exfoliating Scrub

Oribe Serene Scalp Exfoliating Scrub
Oribe Serene Scalp Exfoliating Scrub

If you’re looking to indulge in a premium scalp scrub, Byrdie crowns Oribe’s Serene Scalp Exfoliating Scrub the “best splurge.” They highlight its dual-action formula that combines both chemical and physical exfoliation. Alpha-hydroxy acids dissolve dead skin, while soft polymer beads gently buff away surface debris. Additionally, the inclusion of plant-based extracts adds a layer of antioxidant protection and soothes the scalp.

InStyle echoes this sentiment, praising the scrub’s effectiveness as a powerful “punch” thanks to its dual-exfoliant approach. Their review emphasizes the deep penetration of AHAs for clearing dead skin and impurities, while still being gentle. They assure that despite the potent exfoliation, hydrating flower extracts prevent irritation and dryness, leaving hair feeling clean and nourished.

PureWow also joins the chorus of praise, highlighting the scrub’s ability to remove dirt, oil, and buildup while prioritizing nourishment. You will be left feeling clean and refreshed without having to worry about potential irritation.

4. Philip B. Peppermint Avocado Scalp Scrub

Philip B. Peppermint Avocado Scalp Scrub
Philip B. Peppermint Avocado Scalp Scrub (philipb.com)

While Philip B. products come with a premium price tag, reviewers at Byrdie assure that “a little goes a long way” with their scalp scrub, making the large jar cost-effective. The key lies in its unique formula:

  • Effective Exfoliation: Sea salt granules provide a noticeable, yet gentle, exfoliation without scratching.
  • Invigorating & Soothing: Peppermint, avocado, and eucalyptus oils cool and stimulate the scalp, offering a spa-like experience without being too intense. Witch hazel further balances and energizes the scalp, especially beneficial for those prone to oiliness.
  • Nourishing & Calming: Self highlights the inclusion of avocado oil for hair nourishment, chamomile extract and arnica for scalp soothing, and aloe vera for hydration and inflammation reduction.

PureWow agrees that the ingredients alone justify the price tag. The scrub combines sea salt for exfoliation, aloe leaf juice for hydration and nourishment, witch hazel and arnica for scalp balance and soothing, and a refreshing essential oil blend (avocado, peppermint, eucalyptus) for a tingling sensation.

5. Kristin Ess Instant Exfoliating Scalp Scrub

Kristin Ess Instant Exfoliating Scalp Scrub
Kristin Ess Instant Exfoliating Scalp Scrub

Struggling with dandruff and product buildup? Kristin Els Instant Exfoliating Scalp Scrub might be your answer, according to PureWow. This scrub tackles both issues simultaneously, removing residue and flakes while leaving your scalp feeling refreshed and hydrated. Its secret lies in the sugar complex that hydrates without stripping your natural moisture. Additionally, glycerin, sweet almond oil, and squalene strengthen and protect your strands.

Byrdie echoes this sentiment, highlighting reviewer praise for its effectiveness in combating itchy, flakey scalps. Many users credit this scrub with finally eliminating their dandruff woes.

But the benefits go beyond its powerful cleansing action. InStyle loves it for being the “best budget scrub,” praising its mess-free tube with a pointed tip for precise application. This clever design allows you to target hard-to-reach areas for a truly deep clean.

TPH by Taraji Never Salty Sugar Hair & Scalp Scrub
TPH by Taraji Never Salty Sugar Hair & Scalp Scrub

Ditch the salt, embrace the sugar! This scrub from TPH by Taraji uses gentle sugar crystals to buff away dead skin and flakes, leaving your scalp feeling clean and refreshed, according to reviewers at Byrdie. They particularly appreciate the “duo-tubed applicator that helps you ensure the formula is targeted straight onto the scalp.”.

While designed for natural hair, reviewers at PureWow and Prevention agree that this scrub works wonders on all textures. The apple cider vinegar clarifies and soothes, while sugar crystals remove buildup, as noted by both sources. Coconut oil keeps things hydrated, and peppermint oil delivers a cool, invigorating tingle.

7. Ceremonia Papaya Scalp Scrub Shampoo

Ceremonia Papaya Scalp Scrub Shampoo
Ceremonia Papaya Scalp Scrub Shampoo (Sephora.com)

This is not just a scrub, but also a shampoo. The Ceremonia Scalp Scrub promises a luxurious and refreshing experience for your scalp. According to Self magazine, the scrub boasts ingredients like prickly pear and guava leaf extracts, which help retain moisture in your hair. Additionally, avocado and castor oils provide deep nourishment, leaving your scalp feeling healthy and pampered.

InStyle praises the scrub’s gentle yet effective exfoliation, thanks to Bolivian mountain salt and papaya enzymes. These ingredients work together to remove buildup and dead skin cells without irritating even sensitive scalps. The scrub also boasts a delightful and hypoallergenic fragrance, making it a pleasant experience for everyone.

A Sephora reviewer, featured on PureWow, couldn’t be happier with the results. They expressed disbelief at achieving a “squeaky clean scalp feeling without chemicals,” and declared themselves “obsessed” with the product.


Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This article may contain affiliate links in which we receive a commission if you make a purchase.

About Amy Chodroff

Amy Chodroff is a recovering Morning Radio Show Host and award-winning broadcaster who recently retired from DFW’s Morning News on KLIF in Dallas. Fondly known as the “Chief Googler” by her friends, it was a seamless transition for StudyFinds to enlist her expertise for their “Best of the Best” franchise. Amy has an innate curiosity and a penchant for thorough research before any purchase and she’s constantly on the hunt for top-notch products. Outside of her digital explorations, Amy loves to explore the world with her husband and is the proud mother of two adult daughters. You can also find Amy on the pickleball court, perfecting her dink and drop shots.

Our Editorial Process

StudyFinds publishes digestible, agenda-free, transparent research summaries that are intended to inform the reader as well as stir civil, educated debate. We do not agree nor disagree with any of the studies we post, rather, we encourage our readers to debate the veracity of the findings themselves. All articles published on StudyFinds are vetted by our editors prior to publication and include links back to the source or corresponding journal article, if possible.

Our Editorial Team

Steve Fink


Chris Melore


Sophia Naughton

Associate Editor