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The Ultimate Guide to Scalp Scrubs: Benefits, Ingredients & DIY Recipes!

Scalp scrubs are becoming increasingly popular in hair care routines—and for good reason. Just like the skin on your face and body, your scalp can benefit from regular exfoliation. Here are some of the key reasons to love a scalp scrub:

1. Removes Buildup: Over time, products, oils, and dead skin cells can accumulate on your scalp. A good scrub helps to remove this buildup, leaving your scalp feeling clean and fresh.

2. Promotes Hair Growth: Exfoliating the scalp can stimulate blood circulation, which can promote hair growth by delivering more nutrients to the hair follicles.

3. Reduces Dandruff: Regular exfoliation can help keep dandruff at bay by preventing the buildup of dead skin cells.

4. Balances Oil Production: For those with oily scalps, a scrub can help balance oil production by removing excess oil and preventing clogged pores.

5. Soothes and Relieves Itching: A good scrub can soothe the scalp and relieve itching caused by dryness or dandruff.

Choosing the Right Ingredients for Your Hair Type

As I dive deeper into research on DIY haircare and experiment with my own different recipes at home, I am learning that not all scalps & hair-types will love the same thing. Makes sense though, right? As such, different hair types will benefit from different ingredients in a scalp scrub. Here are some suggestions based on your hair type:

  • Oily Hair: Look for ingredients that can help control oil production without stripping your hair of its natural oils. Sea salt, tea tree oil, and lemon juice are excellent choices.

  • Dry Hair: Choose moisturizing ingredients that can hydrate your scalp. Coconut oil, honey, and aloe vera are great for adding moisture.

  • Dandruff-Prone Hair: Opt for ingredients that have antifungal or antibacterial properties. Apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil, and baking soda can help combat dandruff.

  • Sensitive Scalp: Use gentle ingredients that won’t irritate your scalp. Oatmeal, chamomile, and honey are soothing options.

Benefits of Essential Oils in Scalp Scrubs

Obviously I am a lover of essential oils, and they are an ingredient you don't want to leave out when it comes to your DIY haircare products - scalp scrub included. Here is a list of some of my faves for hair & scalp health, and don't forget you can purchase your essential oils and get a 25% discount (and access to my private customer resources) by clicking here (yes, you can shop worldwide!)

  • Tea Tree Oil: Known for its antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties, tea tree oil is excellent for treating dandruff and soothing an itchy scalp.

  • Peppermint Oil: This invigorating oil stimulates blood circulation, which can promote hair growth. It also has a cooling effect that can relieve scalp irritation.

  • Rosemary Oil: Rosemary oil is known to stimulate hair growth, improve hair thickness, and prevent hair loss by enhancing blood circulation to the scalp.

  • Geranium Oil: This oil balances sebum production, making it suitable for both oily and dry scalps. It also has antimicrobial properties that help maintain a healthy scalp.

  • Cedarwood Oil: Cedarwood oil can help reduce hair loss and promote hair growth by balancing oil-producing glands in the scalp. It also has antifungal properties that can help prevent dandruff.

  • Clary Sage Oil: This oil contains phytoestrogens that promote hair growth and strengthen hair. It also regulates oil production, making it beneficial for both dry and oily scalps.

  • Ylang Ylang Oil: Known for its moisturizing properties, ylang ylang oil is great for dry scalps. It also helps balance oil production and stimulates hair growth.

  • Lavender Oil: Lavender oil has antimicrobial properties that help maintain a healthy scalp. It also balances oil production, has a soothing effect on the scalp and can help with hair growth.

DIY Scalp Scrub Recipes

Recipe 1: Revitalizing Sea Salt Scrub (for Oily Hair)


- 2 tablespoons sea salt

- 1 tablespoon coconut oil or sweet almond oil

- 5 drops essential oil (like tea tree, rosemary, peppermint, geranium, cedarwood)


1. Mix the sea salt, coconut oil and essential oil in a bowl until well combined.

2. Part your hair and apply the scrub directly to your damp scalp.

3. Gently massage in circular motions for about 5 minutes.

4. Rinse thoroughly and follow with your regular shampoo and conditioner.

Recipe 2: Nourishing Honey and Oatmeal Scrub (for Dry or Sensitive Scalp)


  • 2 tablespoons finely ground oatmeal

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 2 tablespoons aloe vera gel

  • 5 drops essential oil (like lavender, tea tree, ylang ylang, cedarwood)


1. Combine the oatmeal, honey, and aloe vera gel in a bowl.

2. Apply the mixture to your damp scalp, parting your hair as needed.

3. Massage gently in circular motions for 5 minutes.

4. Rinse thoroughly and follow with your usual shampoo and conditioner.

Recipe 3: Sweet Sugar and Avocado Oil Scrub (for All Hair Types)


2 tablespoons raw sugar

1 tablespoon avocado oil

5 drops essential oil (like rosemary, peppermint, lavender, geranium)


1. Mix the brown sugar, avocado oil, peppermint oil, and coconut milk in a bowl until well combined.

2. Part your hair and apply the scrub directly to your damp scalp.

3. Gently massage in circular motions for about 5 minutes.

4. Rinse thoroughly and follow with your regular shampoo and conditioner.

Recipe 4: Create your own!

  • 2:1 ratio of salt/sugar to carrier oil

  • then add your essential oils

  • optional: add a little bit of honey, aloe vera gel or vitamin E oil

How to Use a Scalp Scrub

1. Frequency: Use a scalp scrub once a week to start. If you find your scalp benefits from more frequent exfoliation, you can increase to twice a week. Avoid over-exfoliating, as this can cause irritation.

2. Application: Apply the scrub to a damp scalp. Part your hair in sections to ensure even distribution. Use your fingertips to gently massage the scrub into your scalp in circular motions.

3. Massage: Spend about 5 minutes massaging the scrub into your scalp. This helps to stimulate blood flow and ensures that the scrub effectively removes buildup.

4. Rinse Thoroughly: Make sure to rinse out all the scrub from your scalp and hair. Follow up with your regular shampoo and conditioner to ensure your hair is completely clean and conditioned.

5. Moisturise: If your scalp tends to be dry, consider using a lightweight, leave-in conditioner or a scalp serum after exfoliating to keep your scalp hydrated.

I hope you love these recipes - if you give them a try make sure you share & tag me on Instagram @itscourtneydow

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