Shopping·6 min read

10 Products You Need for a Healthier Scalp & Hair

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Design: theSkimm | Images: Mielle Organics, Amazon, Ulta
August 22, 2023

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We’ll let you in on a little secret: The key to better hair is a better scalp. Flowers can only bloom if they’re growing in healthy soil, right? The products below make it easy to incorporate basic scalp care into your regular hair routine. Whether you’re hoping to target a specific scalp issue — be it dandruff, oiliness, or the like — or you’re after simple upkeep, these tools and products will give you (and your roots) a little lift.

scalp massager brush

A scalp massaging tool that feels like a total treat…

Regularly massaging your scalp works twofold: It can help exfoliate your scalp of dead skin cells and product build-up that clog your pores, and it can stimulate blood flow to the hair follicles, resulting in faster hair growth overall. Plus, it just feels so good. These scalp brushes are made with conical, silicone bristles for that just-right amount of pressure. Use it in lieu of your fingers to work your shampoo into your scalp. More to love? You can save 15% with the code 15SKIMMSCALP until August 25. ($12.99/2-pack, Amazon

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crave naturals detangling brush

A cult-favorite brush that effortlessly unravels knots…

We don’t need to tell you that tugging at knots is straight-up bad for your hair and scalp. With the right brush, that’ll never happen. This Crave Naturals detangling brush is a firm fan-favorite on Amazon, where it’s earned almost 80,000 ratings to date. The signature flexible bristles are designed to pass through hair horizontally, rather than vertically, to alleviate stress on the follicle and glide more easily through knots. They’ll give you a little scalp massage, too. Psst…through August 27, save 15% with the promo code 15SKIMMCRAVE. ($19.99/2-pack, Amazon)

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nutrafol scalp care products

A complete line of scalp care products from a trusted brand…

If you’re looking for a targeted solution to scalp care, turn to Nutrafol. Their suite of scalp products includes a balancing shampoo and conditioner; an exfoliating mask; a hydrating essence; and supplements that encourage thicker hair growth. Pick and choose the product that works best in your routine. Whichever one you use, you’ll see results. ($44+, Nutrafol)

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JVN pre-wash scalp oil

This pre-shampoo treatment that encourages a happier scalp…

We love everything from Jonathan Van Ness’ hair-care line, but this prewash scalp oil is one of our faves. The vegan, sustainable formula is made with turmeric, hemisqualane, and rosemary extract, which work together to clarify, calm, and hydrate your scalp. Before you hop in the shower, massage a few drops into your scalp and roots, leave it on for up to 15 minutes, and shampoo it out. Easy. ($29, JVN)

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misel boar bristle brush

An HQ’r-approved boar bristle brush that feels more expensive than it is…

Don’t want to spring for a Mason Pearson? This $30-ish boar bristle brush works just as well, according to one HQ’r whose longtime hair stylist recommended it. Boar bristle brushes work to evenly distribute the oils in your scalp through the hair shaft, which’ll make it look extra-shiny and feel strong. Scalp-wise, it’ll help with exfoliation and loosening dandruff and debris. Add this handy brush cleaner to your cart to keep yours in tip-top shape. ($32.77+, Amazon)

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mielle organics scalp oil
Mielle Organics

The scalp oil that went viral on TikTok…

This Mielle scalp oil has earned a cult following on BeautyTok. It’s made with all the ingredients your scalp and hair will love, including biotin and 30 plant oils, like zingy rosemary and peppermint to soothe itchy scalps. Customers swear by this for hydrating dry scalps, alleviating damaged hair, and so much more. You can use it daily or put it to work as an intensive treatment, depending on how much product you use. ($8.95, Amazon)

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briogeo scalp revival spray

A spray that’s a godsend for itchy, oily scalps…

If you’re dealing with dandruff, oiliness, or lots of product build-up, work this Briogeo spray into your routine STAT. In here, charcoal sops up excess oil, and chemical exfoliants scrub your scalp of impurities that contribute to discomfort. A healthy dose of hyaluronic acid rehydrates, without adding any extra weight. Spray it on before you wash your hair for a deep, satisfying cleanse. ($26, Sephora

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coola scalp & hair sunscreen mist

A sunscreen formulated specifically for your scalp…

Your scalp is just as susceptible to burns as the rest of your skin, so why not give it the protection it needs? This scalp sunscreen from COOLA is formulated to play nicely with your hair, so it’ll feel a lot less greasy and sticky than your usual spray-on sunscreen would. It even has antioxidant-rich ingredients that protect against UV-induced color fading. This is a must for the summer months or beach vacations. ($22.40, Ulta)

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dpHUE Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse

An apple cider vinegar rinse that actually smells good…

Apple cider vinegar rinses have long been an at-home remedy for detoxifying your scalp, clearing dandruff, and making your hair look next-level shiny. If the idea of dumping pure ACV on your head is a turn-off, opt for this cult-fave ACV hair rinse instead. Use it in lieu of your typical shampoo on no-wash days for a cleanse that won’t strip your scalp. The best part? It doesn’t smell a thing like salad dressing. ($35, Dermstore)

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sachajuan scalp shampoo

A clarifying shampoo from a salon-quality brand…

This scalp shampoo from Scandinavian salon brand Sachajuan is ideal for targeting specific scalp issues, including dandruff, psoriasis, or oiliness. It uses salicylic acid to exfoliate and wheat protein to strengthen — and it’s free of stripping agents, a must for color-treated hair. Customers say it’s best used once a week as an intensive treatment. ($32, Dermstore)

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