The DevaCurl Blog

The Ultimate Scalp Detox: How to Exfoliate Your Scalp

Exfoliation. You’ve heard about it for your face and body, so why not your scalp?

The answer is simple – most people don’t think about scalp health until there’s a reason to. I mean let’s get real, the skin on your head is covered by hair anyway, so what’s the big deal?

Well, turns out it’s more important than you may think.

Just like the skin on the rest of your body, your scalp needs to be exfoliated, cleansed, and moisturized. Otherwise, the scalp gets oily which can lead to irritation and a bunch of other nasty things like hair thinning and dullness. Healthy hair starts at the root (literally), so taking care of the skin underneath of your hair is vital. In other words, scalp detox = major key.

I know what you’re thinking, “I don’t have dandruff, so I don’t need to exfoliate my scalp.” That’s where you’re wrong my friend, very wrong.

If you have a head (which if you’re reading this, I would hope you do), you should be exfoliating your scalp!

A scalp detox is a great way to help remove buildup, oils, and dead skin cells. And if you’re suffering from dull locks or itchiness, chances are exfoliating every two weeks (to a month) can totally change the game.

Why detox at all?

Chances are you’ve heard of hair build up or scalp build up. But what does it mean? Basically, all the stuff that should be rinsing out of your hair is having a tough time fighting its way out from behind your curls. Sweat, product, dead skin, excess oils, and other grossness can build up on the hair strands.

Besides being icky to think about, build up can weigh down your curls, making them harder to style, and make them look dull. Discomfort comes around when build up makes your scalp dry and/or itchy, causes flaking, or makes your hair look greasy, even when you’ve just washed it. Luckily, buildup can be washed out, with the right cleanser and a little elbow grease! Exfoliating every two weeks (to a month) can totally change the game.

What should you use to exfoliate your scalp?

By now, I know you’re already searching your product stash looking for something you can use to start scrubbing but hold your horses.

Just as you wouldn’t use a rough body exfoliator on your face, you wouldn’t use any old scrub on your scalp. The skin on our scalp is different than the rest of our body so it needs a little extra love.

There are a ton of great scrubs and exfoliators on the market but if you’re not ready to splurge just yet, it’s really easy to make your own (with a few of your favorite DevaCurl products 😉 ). We asked DevaChan UWS stylist, Eladia Lebron, to share her three favorite DIY scrub recipes.

How to make your own scalp detox scrub:

Scrub #1: Mix a heaping squeeze of Build Up Buster with a tablespoon of baking soda. Add in a few drops of peppermint oil to stimulate the scalp and avoid extreme tangles.

Scrub #2: Mix equal parts of your favorite conditioner (like One Condition Original) and brown sugar. Mix in some lavender oil to moisturize the scalp. Bonus: It smells amazing.

Scrub #3: Mix two tablespoons of coarse sea salt, two tablespoons of white vinegar, and a squeeze of Original No-Poo to really get the detox going.  

Keep in mind, ingredient measurements will differ based on hair thickness, simply add more as needed.

How to exfoliate your scalp:

Exfoliating your scalp is much simpler than you think, and it doesn’t take long at all – I promise.

  1. Take a teasing brush and lightly (this is key as too much pressure can cause more issues than it solves) buff away at the scalp. This helps to loosen any dead skin cells and prepare for the actual scrub.
  2. After cleansing your hair of any product, gently massage the scrub into your scalp and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Rinse out the scrub with cool water instead of hot to trap in all those nourishing oils.
  4. Follow with a rich or deep conditioner to keep the hair hydrated.

Keep in mind that this is a scrub, so it’s important to rinse your hair thoroughly to ensure there’s no product left behind. If your shower has low water pressure, it’s easiest to flip your head over and rinse so the water can be easily distributed.

To maximize results, you should exfoliate the scalp every few weeks but no more than once a week.

I know it’s an added step to your already tedious routine, but a scalp detox every once in a while is essential (if you couldn’t already tell) for reviving your curls and growing healthy locks. Seriously, who wouldn’t want that?!

Have you tried scalp exfoliation yet? What is your favorite scrub and what were the results? Let us know in the comments below!


Dermatologist Tested -


Sulfates Free


Silicone Free


Paraben Free