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How To Exfoliate Your Scalp: A Step-by-Step Guide

Written by Ross Goodhart
How To Exfoliate Your Scalp: A Step-by-Step Guide

Exfoliation is a part of our skincare routines, but did you know it is equally important to exfoliate your scalp? Scalp exfoliation removes product buildup, flaky skin, unclogs hair follicles, and may lead to more lustrous, shinier hair. 

Set your loofah aside, we will give you the scoop on how to exfoliate your scalp for healthy, beautiful hair you’ll love.

What Is Scalp Exfoliation?

Scalp exfoliation involves the use of a specially formulated scalp care product and/or tool. These are either physical or chemical exfoliants that are designed to remove dead skin cells, flaky dandruff, and excess oils from the scalp. 

Your body is designed to remove dead skin cells naturally. However, sometimes it needs a little extra help. That’s where exfoliants come into play. Scalp exfoliants are explicitly designed for use on the delicate scalp area. We’ll explain more in a bit.

Why Should You Exfoliate Your Scalp?

Anyone can exfoliate their scalp, but it’s especially beneficial for those with dandruff, dry scalp, or excessively oily hair. There are also a few specific reasons why scalp exfoliation may be necessary:

  • Product Buildup - Use of hair care products may cause product buildup on the scalp. This buildup results in excess oil, flakes, and may affect hair growth due to follicle blockage.

  • Dandruff - Dandruff causes itchy, dry, irritated scalp and white flakes. It is a common scalp condition. Flakes can also stick together and build up on your scalp, leading to further irritation.

  • Seborrheic Dermatitis - A more severe form of dandruff. Thick, greasy, scaly rashes on the scalp caused by the overgrowth of Malassezia yeast can also lead to a buildup of oily sticky flakes on your scalp.

Benefits of Scalp Exfoliation

There are many reasons why scalp exfoliation is a good idea. Like exfoliating the skin on your face or body, scalp exfoliation removes dead skin cells and invigorates the scalp by adding increased blood circulation to the area. 

Stronger, longer hair grows when the scalp is healthy and its hair follicles remain unblocked from foreign debris such as oils and flakes, the way nature intended them to be.

Supports Hair Growth

Consistent use of scalp exfoliants creates a healthy environment for hair growth. Removing dead skin cells from your scalp encourages new cellular turnover. This turnover means that new cells emerge, creating a healthy scalp environment for new hair growth.

Additionally, stimulating blood flow to the scalp during physical exfoliation can also support healthy hair growth.

Supports Healthy Scalp Environment

Scalp exfoliation allows your natural scalp oils to do their job the way nature intended - to nourish the hair and moisturize the skin. By exfoliating your scalp, you are helping to keep your scalp clear of debris which supports a healthy environment. 

Promotes Shinier, Fuller Hair

Exfoliating your scalp cleans up the buildup around the hair follicles that may be blocking your new hair growth. Scalp buildup removal results in new, healthier hair growth, providing the appearance of shinier, more lustrous hair.

Types of Scalp Exfoliants

There are different types of scalp exfoliants: physical and chemical, as well as manual tools. Each serves the same purpose, but they all perform somewhat differently. 

Physical Exfoliants

Physical exfoliation is the process of massaging the scalp with specific ingredients that scrub or create friction on the scalp. Physical exfoliants work diligently to provide a cleaner scalp because they are designed to loosen dirt, oil, and buildup. 

However, some physical exfoliants can include abrasive ingredients that may irritate your scalp if not used properly. Always check the label to avoid harsh ingredients and ensure your physical exfoliator is both effective and safe for use.

Chemical Exfoliants

Chemical exfoliants are specially formulated to break down and dissolve excess sebum, flakes, and buildup without physically scrubbing the scalp. Chemical exfoliants work by introducing ingredients that clarify your scalp to rid it of pore-clogging buildup.

Exfoliating Tools & Buffers

Scalp brushes are more than a luxury massage item. Tools such as scalp brushes and massagers work alone or with an exfoliating formula to remove product buildup, excess sebum, buff away dead skin cells, and unclog hair follicles.

A scalp brush supports scalp health and circulation, while providing a relaxing and feel-good at-home massage. Simply dry brush your hair in circular motions, or use the tool along with your shampoo and conditioner.

Consistent use of scalp exfoliants creates a healthy environment for hair growth.

How To Remove Buildup Through Exfoliation

Our Purifying Mask contains luxe ingredients like volcanic ash designed to eliminate excess buildup and dead skin cells, while biotin and argan oil work together to promote gorgeous, frizz-free hair. Use once per week to maintain a healthy, clear scalp and healthy hair. 

Simply follow these steps for use:

  1. Massage Jupiter’s Purifying Mask onto dry hair and scalp. This massage will improve circulation, invigorate the scalp, and move the product around on the scalp to break down buildup.

  2. Allow it to work its magic for up to five minutes. The ingredients work to exfoliate the scalp while cooling and clarifying.

  3. Rinse away the product and loosen buildup with water. 

  4. Follow with shampoo and conditioner to cleanse the scalp and wash away the impurities brought out by the exfoliant. Conditioner will rehydrate the scalp and hair, leaving it smooth and silky.

Who Should Not Exfoliate Their Scalp?

Certain conditions may require a visit to your doctor or dermatologist. Do not exfoliate your scalp if you have lice, an infection such as ringworm, sunburn, or an open cut or wound. 

People with sensitive skin should also practice caution when seeking scalp exfoliation options. Consult with your doctor before using products with ingredients you may question.

Signs You Should Exfoliate

Your scalp and hair may be calling out for an exfoliation session without you even realizing it. Here are some signs that it may be time to break out the scalp exfoliant.

  • You can feel the gunk. If your hair feels oily frequently and your scalp feels waxy or sticky, don’t fret. It’s just a natural combination of buildup of skin cells and leftover product debris. It’s time to exfoliate.

  • Your scalp itches. An itchy scalp usually indicates product buildup that can easily be remedied with an exfoliating scalp massage or treatment.

  • Your scalp “hurts.” Yes, this is a real thing. If your hair hurts when you move it around, this may be a sign of inflammation at the scalp due to buildup from product, flaking, or excess oil.

  • You have flat hair. Lifeless, weighed-down hair caused by product buildup, excess sebum, and dead skin cells needs exfoliation to bring it back to full, lustrous life.

  • You see flakes. Flakes are a result of dry scalp, dandruff, or buildup. Exfoliating your scalp as part of your regular scalp care routine (along with using a Zinc Pyrithione based shampoo) will help keep flakes at bay.

Is It Possible To Over-Exfoliate?

Yep! Your scalp is sensitive, just like the skin on your face. Your face cannot handle daily exfoliation, and neither can your scalp. We recommend exfoliating 1-2x per week.

Be cautious when exfoliating and pay attention to the way your scalp feels. Over-exfoliating may cause irritation, redness, swelling, and disrupt the microbiome. The microbiome is the scalp’s natural habitat of good bacteria and organisms working together to create a healthy environment.

Follow With Moisture

Ask any esthetician, and they’ll tell you that a quality moisturizer always follows a facial peel to rehydrate the fresh, new skin. Treat your scalp the same way. Use a high-quality, Nourishing Conditioner to hydrate the scalp and replenish moisture after a healthy exfoliation (and regularly after washing).

Products For Scalp Renewal

Scalp exfoliation is just one important part of maintaining a healthy scalp and lustrous hair. Jupiter hair care products are designed with your scalp and hair health in mind. Our high-quality, luxe ingredients are thoughtfully combined to deliver healthy, beautiful hair while maintaining a balanced scalp.  Formulated without parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and dyes, you’ll indulge your hair in products you trust. 

In addition to our Purifying Mask and Scalp Brush for exfoliation, our line includes everything you need for shiny, nourished hair as well:

  • Balancing Shampoo: Medicated with 1% Zinc Pyrithione, this soothing shampoo addresses flaking and scalp discomfort while cleansing your scalp and hair.

  • Nourishing Conditioner: Our daily conditioner is formulated to leave hair feeling smooth and silky, while keeping your scalp soothed and moisturized.

  • Restoring Serum: Our leave-on serum controls dandruff, itching, and scalp discomfort between washes.

The Takeaway

Scalp exfoliation is something you may not have thought of doing before, but the results are beneficial. Buildup from styling products, sebum, and flakes often leads to limp, lifeless hair that won’t style the way you desire and an irritated scalp.

Revive your scalp and your hair through scalp exfoliation with Jupiter

The Purifying Mask will enliven your senses and leave your hair refreshed and shiny again, and the Scalp Brush will gently loosen buildup while giving you a relaxing and feel-good scalp massage. You deserve to feel your very best, and we are here to help you achieve that goal. 

Purifying Mask
Purifying Mask

Our clarifying foaming scalp mask eliminates excess build-up, gently clears away dead skin, and feels like an at-home exfoliating spa treatment. Designed for use once a week before you wash. the mineral-rich volcanic ash pulls out impurities, while other high-end ingredients nourish the scalp, leaving you cool, calm, collected, and smelling sublime.

The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice, nor is it a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician with any questions you may have about the information contained herein, as well as the risks or benefits of any treatment.