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11 Scalp-Care Products You Need in Your Hair Routine

Don’t let buildup and irritation get in the way of shiny, healthy hair.

By: Hannah Baxter

For as many hours (days, weeks) we spend obsessing over the skin on our faces, it’s sort of baffling to consider how little we think about the skin on our heads by comparison. Why don’t we tend to our scalps in the same way as we do our complexions? It’s time we changed that. Hair- and skin-care brands are starting to hear our calls for more products to nourish, exfoliate, and generally baby our scalps and follicles with a range of clarifying products. Whether you prefer a glycolic acid wash or a clay-based scrub, these are the 11 scalp treatments we’re stocking in our showers this season.

Oribe Serene Scalp Exfoliating Scrub, $52

A combo of alpha hydroxy acids, soft polymer beads (that will disintegrate after you wash them away, so there’s no harm to the oceans), and glycolic acid gently exfoliates the scalp while also nourishing and softening your hair. Added peppermint oil provides a nice cooling sensation.

Marc Anthony Instant Miracle Mask Volumizing Clay Hair Mask, $11

A blend of three refined clays—Moroccan lava, bentonite, and kaolin—detoxifies your roots and scalp while simultaneously removing excess oils and buildup. The price can’t be beat.

DPHUE Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse, $35

Apple cider vinegar is the original scalp cleanser, and for good reason—it really works to clear your scalp of dead skin and product buildup. Just apply on wet hair before you shampoo, and work it into your roots to reset and revive your skin.

Josh Rosebrooke Serum Spray, $28

While you might typically use this serum spray to treat the hair itself, when applied directly to the scalp, it works to nourish and stimulate the follicles (via herbal ingredients like oregano, chamomile, thyme, and more) while promoting overall scalp health.

Amika Reset Pink Charcoal Scalp Cleansing Oil, $25

If you want to cleanse your scalp of toxins while simultaneously removing buildup and dirt, invest in this pre-shampoo treatment. The combo of pink french clay and charcoal will have you feeling squeaky-clean without stripping your hair in the process.

Verb Reset Clarifying Shampoo, $32

Traditional clarifying shampoos are extremely drying for your hair, but this paraben-free formula is gentle enough even for color-treated hair. Wash as you normally would to remove leftover buildup and to clarify your scalp. Follow with your favorite mask for an extra dose of hydration.

Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 Capillaire Purifying Scalp Lotion, $108

You might already be familiar with the cult-favorite P50 toner from Biologique Recherche, but you should also make room on your shelf for their scalp treatment. Active ingredients like horseradish, sage, and witch hazel balance the scalp’s pH while purifying and moisturizing for exceptionally healthy hair. It’s recommended for particularly oily scalps.

Kérastase Fusio Scrub Scrub Apaisant, $50

If your scalp is on the sensitive side, don’t worry—this Kérastase scrub is for you. Featuring mandarin zest and amber along with jojoba seeds to reset your scalp and remove lingering buildup, your skin and hair will feel refreshed and healthy after just one wash.

Hair Rituel by Sisley-Paris Pre-shampoo Purifying Mask with White Clay, $95

The white clay of this mask absorbs excess sebum that is clinging to your hair strands, while celery seed and java tea extract prevent damage from pollution and external irritants. Your itchy scalp is soothed, and your hair is finally able to breathe again.

Philip Kingsley Trichotherapy Exfoliating Scalp Mask, $28

This weekly mask uses BHA and zinc to reduce excess sebum as well as wash away dead skin cells. It’s ideal to clarify your skin if your scalp is especially oily or if you don’t wash your hair that often. Dry shampoo addicts, we're talking to you.

Rahua Elixir, $175

For a truly glamorous scalp-care experience, this rahua oil elixir cannot be beat. It strengthens weak hair while delivering antioxidants and antibacterials to the scalp, helping to rebalance and soothe. It also smells divine.

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