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How to Detoxify Your Scalp

Restore shine, healthy growth, and a happy scalp

Written by: 100% PURE ®
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We’ve all heard of detoxes. They’re good for social media, diet, and skin – but what about a scalp detox?

Any time you’ve left the salon with your hair feeling softer, bouncier, and healthier, it’s very likely because your stylist detoxified your scalp.

A scalp detox might not be one of the most talked about hair treatments, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need one. In fact, if you a.) use hair products or b.) go outside, chances are you need one at least once a month.

We’ve already talked about clarifying the hair strands and exfoliating the scalp, but we haven’t really gone into the root of the problem. So let’s take a quick look at what makes scalp detoxes a little different from other treatments, and how you can do your own scalp detox at home!

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Scalp Detox Vs. Scalp Exfoliation

You might have heard the terms “scalp exfoliating” and “scalp detoxifying” and wondered: are these two treatments the same? In short: not quite, but they’re quite similar.

When we’re talking about scalp exfoliation, we’re referring to the process of gently removing dead skin cells and surface debris through the use of a treatment product. Similar to exfoliating the skin, scalp exfoliation is something everyone should try regularly, as it can help expel dead skin cells to foster better cell turnover. This helps promote hair follicle health and in turn, healthier hair growth.

Scalp exfoliation also invigorates circulation in your hair follicles, while removing any oil or bacteria that could be damaging your hair or contributing to hair loss.

Meanwhile, a scalp detox is a process more targeted toward eliminating the pollutants in your scalp – especially from pollution in your environment, and daily product buildup. If you feel like your scalp’s been really feeling the weight of dry shampoos, heat protectants and styling products, it may be very much in need of a detox.

So how do you detoxify your scalp? Let’s dive right in!

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How to Detoxify Your Scalp

Our favorite way to enjoy a purifying, nourishing scalp detox is from the comfort of our own home. No salon needed! Perform this routine once a month, or whenever your hair follicles are feeling especially clogged with product residue.

Step #1: Start with Wet Hair
This method requires your hair and scalp to be wet, so thoroughly saturate your hair in the shower. The water should be warm, but mild enough that it doesn’t scald your skin. Water that’s too hot can irritate your scalp!

Step #2: Shampoo
Before your scalp detox, you’ll want the scalp to be freshly cleansed.

Wash your hair with a lightweight shampoo: one that’s gentle on the skin and suitable for your hair type. Using a clarifying shampoo can also be fantastic for this purpose, as it will help remove buildup from excess product and hard water minerals.

Keep an eye out for shampoos meant to promote scalp health with ingredients like neem, calendula, and peppermint. Peppermint is a game-changer for soothing and reinvigorating a stressed scalp!

Step #3: Detox with Steam
Steam can do wonders for detoxing the scalp, and its benefits can be unlocked in your own shower!

We’ve already covered that the scalp needs a detox when hair follicles are congested with pollutants – but sebum plays a part, too. Sebum is the skin’s natural moisturizer, and while we tend to focus on excess sebum, we don’t always discuss insufficient sebum levels.

Steam supports scalp detox by relaxing and opening the pores. This helps them clear out the oil glands and ducts to expel impurities from your scalp’s dermis and subcutaneous tissue. This doesn’t just help clear out pores, it introduces circulation and helps stimulate the follicles by encouraging healthy sebum production.

To enjoy your own scalp detox steam, all you really need is a shower cap and a nice warm shower. This should be enough to create a mild hypothermic effect, which boosts scalp stimulation. Not only can this help prevent hair loss, but this rejuvenates the follicles and encourages the repair of keratin proteins and hydrogen bonds for more nourished, healthier hair.

Step #4: Apply a Detoxifying Treatment (Optional)
We briefly touched on the warning not to use any chemical products when scalp detoxing. With many treatments, they may only lead to more of the same product residue that’s congesting your hair follicles.

But if your scalp needs more than a cleanse and steam, a natural DIY treatment can make a great option. These ingredients will break down with the water once they’re done detoxifying – no one will overstay their welcome!

You will need:

  • ½ cup bentonite clay powder

  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar

  • ½ cup aloe vera gel

  • 1 cup white vinegar


  1. Combine all ingredients (except white vinegar) in a medium bowl.

  2. Spread generously throughout the hair and scalp. For natural hair, use an applicator with a pointed nozzle and ensure hair is detangled prior to treating.

  3. Put on a shower cap and allow the detox treatment to sit for 20-30 minutes. Don’t wait so long that your scalp dries out!

  4. Rinse your hair with the white vinegar, and leave your hair alone for 2 minutes, then finish with your gentle clarifying shampoo.

Step #5: Follow with Conditioner
Whether you go with the DIY treatment or not, make sure that you finish your scalp detox with a hydrating conditioner. This will help re-introduce moisture to your hair and soften the strands.

For more information on healthy hair:

We carefully hand-select products based on strict purity standards, and only recommend products we feel meet this criteria. 100% PURE™ may earn a small commission for products purchased through affiliate links.

The information in this article is for educational use, and not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should not be used as such.

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