Scalp Scrub Showdown Round 1

By Sunday, October 18, 2020 , , , , , , , ,

My hair has been a soar point recently, and you may have read about it here on the blog. During the lockdown, I lost 50% of my hair to traumatic stress (something called Telogen Effluvium ). 

Moving forward I am trying to be nice to my hair and scalp. Part of this is using scrubs on my scalp to try to clear away buildup and dead skin and prompt blood circulation.

I have four different scrubs that I am going to test out, one scrub a week. The catch, I am not washing my hair in-between. That is right, one full week of buildup.

While testing the products out I am going to be following the instructions as well as using my new Sephora Collection Scalp Massager

Amika Reset Charcoal Detoxifying Scalp Cleansing Oil & Reset Exfoliating Jelly Scalp Scrub Shampoo
Re-set your scalp with French pink clay, charcoal, and oxygen. Reset Pink Charcoal Scalp Cleansing Oil is a gentle cleansing, pre-shampoo scalp treatment that detoxifies and invigorates to encourage a balanced, healthy scalp. Attract dirt like a magnet to draw out impurities and remove product build-up, without stripping away skin’s essential oils. Water transforms this into a milky texture and creates a light foam that washes away clean.  
Hit reset and detoxify your scalp with this weekly treatment. An innovative cleanser for your hair and scalp, the gentle shampoo in jelly consistency uses charcoal, pink clay, and sea salt to deep clean, purify, rebalance, and soothe sensitive, itchy, or oily scalps. Hair is left feeling ready for another week of to-dos.
I am using some deluxe samples that I got for trading in some Sephora points. A full-sized of each will run you $33 (so $66 Cad for the two of them).

First off before I even opened it I liked the idea of a double cleanse for my scalp. The oil gets rubbed into a dry scalp and wait a few minutes before rinsing and applying the shampoo. I also liked the bottle for the oil having a tip to it.

Once I tried it I found out I was way less impressed. I snipped the cap and started to question if I should use it all in one go or if it was for more than one use. Being a deluxe sample it was hard to figure out. The hole for the tip was also a way to thin for the thickness of the oil. The bottle is also very stiff. I don't know if that was just because it was a deluxe sample or if the full size is better, but either way, this was not easy to get onto my scalp when it should have been
The oil was easy to rub into my dry scalp and rinsed easily. The shampoo felt nice on my scalp as well, but left my hair stripped and matted. My hair never mattes in the shower so I was mildly horrified. My hair felt awful. I decided quickly that I would use Aussie 4 Minute miracle on my hair.

The end result was my hair felt incredibly light and fluffy, similar to if you used a clarifying shampoo. My scalp felt pretty great until the end of the day. At the end of the day, I had noticed my scalp was feeling a bit dry and a little flaky in a few places (very minor compared to before).

  • Has a spout
  • Double cleanse concept
  • Smells nice
  • Vegan
  • Deluxe sample size oil bottle was actually terrible 
  • Left scalp feeling dry 
  • Dried hair out/matted hair 
The Body Shop Reset Exfoliating Jelly Scalp Scrub
Introducing a nature-inspired approach to hair care, our invigorating scrub shampoo blends Japanese green tea, mint menthol, salt crystals and Community Fair Trade honey from Ethiopia. Massage onto the scalp to help stimulate blood flow and whisk away impurities like dust, smoke, sweat and styling residue. This purifying scrub will make your scalp feel instantly refreshed, help reduce build-up on hair and leave you feeling revitalized with a healthy-looking shine. 
This is a scrub and shampoo in thick gel-paste. It feels like a thick jelly when you scoop it out with large chunks of salt incorporated throughout.

I applied to my wet hair, but it wasn't easy. I ended up using way more than I thought and as I slathered it on I felt I wasn't really getting it down to the scalp until I got really on my hair and added some more water.
The salt is quite coarse and feels nice when rubbing it around. I feel my hands wouldn't be good enough on their own so I am glad that I am using a massage tool for each of these products. I really felt like I did a better job cleaning my scalp with it.

I made a point of not washing the rest of my hair with the scrub-shampoo, instead, I washed it out and rewashed it followed by conditioner.
The scrub rinsed out pretty easy as the salt dissolved pretty quickly with hot water. My hair didn't feel stripped or matted. After conditioning my hair it felt great.

My hair felt light on the scalp when it dried. Lots of body manageable, overall fluffy and soft.
A lot of people talk about how this tingles the scalp, I didn't find that until after I was done with washing altogether. I noticed a light minty – cooling type feeling. My scalp only felt mildly dry and only at the end of the day.

  • Large tub
  • Is also a shampoo
  • Rinses well
  • Affordable for size ($22 Cad)
  • Fairtrade
  • Vegetarian
  • Awkward to apply / thick constancy
  • Large chunks of salt could be smaller
Head And Shoulders Supreme Exfoliating Scalp Scrub Treatment 
Beautiful hair starts with a healthy scalp. Exfoliate yours with Supreme Exfoliating Scalp Scrub, brought to you by Head & Shoulders, Canada’s #1 choice of dermatologists brand. Infused with vitamin E and argan oil, this scrub detox helps to remove product build up and dead skin cells for healthier hair. It’s like a gentle buildup remover and scalp treatment all in one. To use it, massage the scrub into your scalp before shampooing to renew your skin’s surface. Follow it up with Head & Shoulders Shampoo.
This is the only scrub that comes in a tube. It comes out super smooth and looks just like a conditioner.

I applied it to wet hair and used my hands and scalp massager to work it in before washing it out and doing my usual shampoo and conditioner routine.

This one doesn't feel as scrubby as the first two, it is much more smooth and polished feeling. It also hasn't left my scalp feeling dry as the day goes on. My scalp feels nice and hydrated. 
Sadly the photos on this one are not that great for the after. You can see quite a bit of buildup still there on my scalp and hair. This is a bit disappointing since I really felt it did a great job during the lockdown of getting bumpy buildup off my scalp.

  • Easy to find at drug stores and grocery stores
  • Inexpensive at about $9 Cad
  • Doesn't irritate or dry my scalp out
  • Mess-free tube
  • Not as effective as the others
  • Contains silicone
Briogeo Detox + Restore Kit ft. Scalp Revival Scalp Scrub Shampoo + Don’t Despair Repair Hair Mask 
Because healthy hair starts with a healthy scalp, begin your wash day with the detoxifying, exfoliating, and bestselling Scalp Revival™ shampoo. Winner of the 2018 Allure Best of Beauty award, this scalp scrub is clinically shown to hydrate, reduce flakiness, and calm irritation. Follow up with the four-time Allure Best of Beauty Award winner and cult-favorite Don‘t Despair, Repair!™ Deep Conditioning Mask to repair, strengthen, and prevent future damage to your hair.
I picked a mini version of this duo up as my birthday gift from Sephora this year. I had heard quite a bit of hype about it so it got me pretty excited. You get a tub of scrub and a tub of hair mask. A full-size set will set you back $67 Cad.

You apply the scrub to wet hair and massage in before rinsing. I found it exceptionally hard to get this one into my hair effectively, but easier than The Body Shop scrub. It isn't too thick, but it isn't very grainy. It smells like white chocolate to me, and I have no clue why (it does have coconut oil high up on the list of ingredients). 
After massaging it in with my hands and then with my scalp massager I rinsed it out (I will note I did not wash my whole length of my hair with it, just my scalp and surrounding area). I found it rinsed out pretty easily and my hair felt OK afterwards. After a quick shampoo I went on to use the mask.
I found the mask a little runny to be in a tub but very nice to use. My hair feels super soft and pretty darn hydrated.

I am a little disappointed with my after photos with this one. This was so hyped up that I assumed it was the best one out there, but instead just see it is a pricey option that works pretty well. My scalp looks good but not great.

My hair felt great after using it, super soft and manageable, far more than the other scrubs, I am equating that to the mask though. My scalp to the touch feels great and not dry at the end of the day. r

  • Rinsed out well
  • Scalp feels nice after
  • Scalp doesn't feel dried out
  • Conditioner feels amazing
  • Vegan
  • Pricey!!! $54 for just the scrub, $46 for the mask or $67 for the holiday set (limited edition).
  • Didn't do the best job for the money, but did a good enough job.
Overall observations:

Having a dry skin type and therefore scalp type and dry damaged hair, these scrubs leave my scalp feeling dry and tight as the day goes on. I wish this wasn't the case. Applying a scalp serum helps a lot with restoring hydration to my scalp.
More expensive isn't always better. The cheapest and only drug store/grocery store option left my scalp feeling the best after using it, never once in the months, I used the Head and Shoulders did my scalp once feel dry or tight. That being said it didn't do the best job cleaning the build-up off my scalp.


Left my scalp feeling the best: Head and Shoulders - My scalp feels actually better after using it, never dry or itchy.

Left my scalp feeling the worst: Amika – My scalp was very dry and irritated after using it.

Best at removing buildup off scalp and hair: The Body Shop – The large chunks of salt really did a great job of scuffing my scalp clean.

Left my hair feeling the best: Briogeo – The scrub and mask together left my hair feeling so soft.

Left my hair feeling the worst: Amika - It took a lot of conditioner to try to reverse the matting it caused.

Ok, so there you go. Scrubs! That took 4 weeks to do so I hope it helped some of you. I going forward am going to continue to use up all these scrubs and most likely repurchase the Head and Shoulders as well as The Body Shop's scrub.

Have you tried any scalp scrubs? What do you think of them?

*This post features products purchased by me. This post includes affiliate links.