Asian woman with clean hair posing for a scalp detox concept

Scalp Detox: What Is It and How to Do It in 6 Easy Steps

Say goodbye to excess oil, dirt, and product buildup. Here's how to deep cleanse your scalp at home.

For your hair to stay healthy and beautiful, you should also pay attention to your scalp. A lot of times, we tend to focus on pampering our hair, and we forget that our scalp needs TLC, too. One of the ways to give it some love is to do a scalp detox. Also called deep scalp cleansing, a scalp detox helps in removing dirt, grime, and product residue that have been trapped on your scalp and hair follicles.

In this article, we’re going to you how to do it properly right in the comfort of your own home. But first, it’s important to understand what scalp detox is all about.

What Is a Scalp Detox?

Scalp detox or deep scalp cleansing is essentially the process of massaging your scalp and using an exfoliating scrub or oil to help remove dead skin cells, unclog the pores, and wash away dirt and product buildup from the hair follicles. It’s like getting a facial. Even if your wash your face every day and night, you still need to deep-cleanse it once in a while. The same goes for your scalp. Even if you wash your hair on a daily basis, your scalp will still need that deep cleansing treatment every so often.

Keeping your scalp clean is important in keeping your hair healthy. It’s like laying out the foundation for the overall health of your hair by tending to the environment where it grows. And by doing so, you’re also preventing a lot of other serious hair concerns from popping up, like scalp itching and irritation due to dirt and product buildup.

How often you should deep cleanse your scalp depends on the condition of your scalp and hair, plus your habits and lifestyle, among other factors. However, if you’re looking for a more general answer, most experts recommend doing it at least once a month or every four to six weeks.

How to Do a Scalp Detox in 6 Easy Steps

1. Rinse your hair.

Asian woman with long wet hair ready to deep cleanse her scalp
Do a preliminary cleansing by washing your hair and scalp with water. Credit: Hariono Halim

Wash your hair thoroughly with water first. Massage your scalp and finger-comb through your hair while rinsing to remove dirt and product buildup.

2. Apply oil to your scalp.

Closeup shot of an Asian woman deep cleansing her scalp
Tea tree oil can help remove impurities from your hair and scalp. Credit: Dennie Ramon

Massaging oil onto your scalp helps get rid of the buildup on your scalp and roots. Don’t know what oil to use? Go for tea tree oil, which has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Mix 10 drops of tea tree oil with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and apply it to your scalp. Cover your head with a shower cap to allow the oil to be properly absorbed by your scalp.

Bottle of Love Beauty and Planet green shampoo

Editor’s tip: Want to include tea tree oil into your daily hair care routine? Try Love Beauty and Planet Tea Tree Oil & Vetiver Radical Refresher Shampoo. It is infused with Australian tea tree oil, which has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. This shampoo gently cleanses and detoxifies your hair and scalp. It even leaves your hair with an earthy and energizing vetiver scent. 

Bottle of Love Beauty and Planet green conditioner

For best results, pair Love Beauty and Planet Tea Tree Oil & Vetiver Radical Refresher Shampoo with Love Beauty and Planet Tea Tree Oil & Vetiver Radical Refresher Conditioner.

3. Steam your scalp.

 Asian woman doing a scalp detox by putting a shower cap on her head
Steaming your scalp can help unclog pores. Credit: Dennie Ramon

Steaming your scalp helps open your pores and unclog them. You don’t need fancy equipment for this. To steam your scalp at home, all you need to do is soak a towel in warm water, wring it to squeeze out water, and heat it in your microwave oven for two minutes. Wear a potholder or gloves when taking out the towel to protect your hands. Put the towel over your shower cap and cover it with another shower cap or a piece of plastic. Leave it on for 30 minutes. If your towel loses heat, you can put it back in the microwave oven to warm it again.

4. Shampoo your hair.

Asian woman shampooing her hair and doing a scalp detox
Use a shampoo that can help bring back lost nutrients to your hair. Credit: Dennie Ramon

After steaming your hair, rinse to remove excess oil, then apply an exfoliating shampoo. Gently massage your scalp as you shampoo to promote good blood circulation and stimulate hair growth. Shampoo your hair thoroughly from the roots to the tips for a more effective hair cleansing.

Bottle of Tresemme Detox & Nourish Shampoo

Editor’s tip: Wash your hair with TRESemmé Detox & Nourish Shampoo to remove impurities from your hair and replenish lost nutrients. It has tea tree oil, green tea extract (which has antioxidant properties), and Hawaiian ginger root extract (which has soothing, anti-irritant, and moisturizing properties). This shampoo also doesn’t have parabens, colorants, or dyes, and it gently cleanses your hair.

TRESemmé Detox & Nourish Serum Conditioner

When using this shampoo every day, it’s best to use it with TRESemmé Detox & Nourish Serum Conditioner, which coats and nourishes each strand without weighing your hair down. 

5. Apply a conditioning mask.

Closeup shot of an Asian woman wearing a white robe and putting hair mask on her long hair
Don’t forget to treat your hair with a hair mask to keep it nourished and moisturized. Credit: Natasha Estelle

End your scalp detox session with a hair mask treatment to keep your hair deeply nourished and moisturized. Apply the mask, then cover your hair with a warm towel for the nutrients to be absorbed better. Leave it on for five minutes, then rinse out the mask with water.

Tub of TRESemme Keratin Smooth KERA10 Smoothing Mask

Editor’s tip: Keep your hair deeply moisturized with TRESemmé Keratin Smooth KERA10 Smoothing Mask. It is formulated with KERA10 Protein Complex that goes up to 10 layers deep into your hair. It gives your hair 10 salon benefits in just one wash, and these include making your hair soft, smooth, and shiny, detangling your hair, and keeping it from getting frizzy.

6. Bonus tip: Use a clarifying shampoo!

If you often use styling products like hair sprays, setting lotions, and hair gels, you may need to use a clarifying shampoo to help remove product buildup more effectively. It’s also helpful for oily hair because a clarifying shampoo removes excess sebum and keeps your hair and scalp from becoming overly greasy.

Some clarifying shampoos, though, may have harsh cleansers that can strip away your hair’s natural oils, leaving it dry and rough. Use one with a gentle formula like Dove Botanical Silicone Free Shampoo for Fresh Hair Clarify. It is made with 100% botanical oil with white tea blossom which deep cleanses your hair and leaves it fresh. It even has floating petals that dissolve when you lather, and these help in giving your hair more nourishment.

Bottle of Dove Botanical Silicone Free Shampoo for Fresh Hair Clarify

This shampoo’s silicone-free formula also makes it a good choice for those who are shifting to a clean beauty routine.

Healthy Scalp Equals Healthy Hair

And there you have it! Doing a scalp detox is easy. Schedule a session at home once or twice a month, and you’ll be on your way to a clean and purified scalp and healthier hair.