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5 Great Reasons You Should Know How to Exfoliate your Scalp

How to exfoliate your scalp

Do you know how to exfoliate your scalp? Like, really, really get in there and exfoliate? One of the biggest mistakes I see my curly hair clients make is not scrubbing their scalp with intent. Imagine if you wore the same shirt for three days… and then you threw it in the wash machine on the delicate cycle. How would that shirt look? How would the fabric feel after only a quick wash? Your curls do not need to be on the delicate cycle, and neither should your scalp. Here’s 5 reasons you should scrub your head like you mean it.

1. Your hair is no different than that day three shirt.

Sadly, our curls are exposed to environmental pollutions every day. Smog, dust, dirt, allergens, odors and chemicals in the air and in our clothes can lead to lackluster hair, hair loss and more. Then add in everything else, like our sweat, our body oils, the curly haircare products we use (even if they are clean and green, overuse or incorrect product use can lead to buildup), the residue from our hands (you know you touch your curls though we don’t like anyone else to!). The delicate cycle just won’t do it when it comes to the scalp.

You’ve got to get in in there and really, really scrub it up. This is why it’s so important to know how to exfoliate your scalp.

2. You’re ignoring your hairline.

So, you don’t think you need to know how to exfoliate your scalp because you’re doing everything right… right? Wrong! Here’s what’s happening:

  • You ignore your hairline when shampooing your hair.
  • Then you go to sleep on your satin pillowcase (which is great, but…)
  • You don’t wash that satin pillowcase nearly often enough.
  • Then you wonder why your head has a “scent” or is flaky.

So, yes, you aren’t paying enough attention to your hairline. By the way, very rarely do scalps produce their own dandruff, most of that is human-made! It’s actually product buildup, lack of exfoliation, etc. See numbers 3 and 4 below!

3. You (really) don’t know how to exfoliate your scalp.

Exfoliating your scalp is important, especially if you have thick hair. You don’t have shampoo brush, you say? Be inventive and use a Wet Brush to exfoliate your scalp! I have fine hair, but I still exfoliate the heck out of my scalp. After detangling, I use a fine tooth comb to gently scrape. Knowing how to exfoliate your scalp gets that loose stuff up, it feels good, it stimulates the scalp and it nourishes the health of the scalp. Try it!

4. It’s not dandruff! It’s something else. 

Want to know a secret? Scalps rarely produce their own dandruff. In reality, dandruff tends to be buildup and/or shedding skin due to other reasons. I see this a lot in the summer, when clients see what they think is dandruff through their parts or along their hairlines. Know what that really is? It’s sunburn! It’s totally sunburn from sitting on the beach, or sitting in the stands… it’s your scalp flaking off the damage. It’s just skin.

Just like we exfoliate our skin for a healthy glow, it’s vital to know how to exfoliate your scalp.

This also might be a good time to make a note to put sunscreen on your scalp when you’re outdoors!

5. You’re probably not scrubbing the back of your head.

Do you think you’re the best shampoo-er around? Props to you! You really do give your hairline extra attention when you cleanse? Even better. However, while you might scrub okay in the front, you have to scrub the back of your head like you mean it. If your little ones are playing outside all day, are you going to just rinse them off or are you going to give them a 360 workup, crack to crevice?

Even if you don’t have kids, think about that 3-day shirt again. The delicate cycle isn’t going to really get the fibers clean is it? Exfoliating your scalp is a commitment and it should be an important part of your curly hair routine.

Now you know how to exfoliate your scalp like you really, really mean it

Think about how long it takes your stylist to scrub your head and wash your hair (and how much you love being at the shampoo bowl!). You’ll often hear me tell you to get back to the basics. You can use all the right products, you can follow your routine perfectly, but none of it will work the way it should if you don’t know how to exfoliate your scalp properly. Your hair won’t be clean. It won’t be hydrated. And you won’t be happy.

Now that you know how to exfoliate your scalp, you are set up for curl success! 

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