The CLOUD NINE 9-Day Detox

Day 4: Scalp Care Rituals: A Guide

Ever feel like your mane has a mind of its own? However you try to style, tame, or treat them, your locks just won’t cooperate. Here’s the thing: hair can only flourish if your scalp is getting the TLC it deserves. Read our complete guide on scalp care so you can fall head over heels with your hair all over again. Finally, a detox we can get on board with…

About the author

Mathilde Heather is a hairstylist and salon owner operating in Bath, UK. She specialises in short hairstyling and regularly shares tutorials about how to achieve healthy, great-looking hair. Follow Mathilde on Instagram.

Today’s Task: Exfoliate the Scalp

1. Use a scalp rub or a mix of sugar and conditioner to exfoliate the scalp.

2. Massage in a circular motion to remove dead skin cells and promote blood flow to the scalp.

3. Follow with a gentle shampoo and conditioner and sleep on a silk pillowcase.

What you’ll learn:

  • Why is scalp care important?
  • What are the benefits of a healthy scalp?
  • How can I tell if I have a healthy (or an unhealthy) scalp?
  • How do I take care of my scalp?
  • How often should I exfoliate my scalp?
  • Key takeaways

Why is scalp care important?

Regular cleansing and exfoliating are key for achieving a glowing, healthy scalp.

Aside from the fact it can contain over 80,000 hair follicles, your scalp is no different from the rest of your skin when it comes to the need for gentle exfoliation.

The sebaceous glands in each of these follicles produce sebum (your natural hair oils) to keep your locks nicely moisturised. Each hair strand is attached to a follicle, meaning a healthy scalp and healthy locks go hand in hand.

What are the benefits of a healthy scalp?

Stronger hair, minimal buildup, maximum shine… scalp care is quickly becoming the new self-care, and we’re here for it.

Here are just a few of the benefits that come with embracing a regular scalp cleanse:

Promote stronger hair growth

Sure, you can apply all the strengthening products you want. But if your scalp isn’t thriving, neither will your hair.

That’s because the scalp and hair follicles share the same micro-organisms – both of which impact how much (or little) your locks grow. Nailing down a regular scalp treatment ensures both hair and scalp are working in perfect harmony.

Minimise product buildup

Imagine going several days without cleansing your face – not even a measly makeup wipe. Suffice it to say, the pore blockage wouldn’t be pretty. 

Hair follicles are similar to the pores on your skin. Sebum, sweat dirt, and products can all get clogged inside. The result? An itchy scalp. 

Scalp treatments work to remove excess debris and bacteria, so the follicles can breathe and flourish in a clean environment.

Reduce discomfort and itching

Feeling uncomfortable in your skin (or in this case, your scalp) is something most of us experience from time to time.

Flaking, itching, irritation and redness are all common symptoms of an imbalanced scalp. While there’s no single cause, frequent scalp treatments can provide a soothing relief to help protect your hair from the roots to the very tips. 

Balance sebum production

Ever find your hair gets greasy within a day, or that no amount of hair oil makes your strands shine?

It’s most likely because there’s an imbalance in your scalp microbiome. Setting aside some time to give your scalp a little extra TLC can help solve your hair dilemma, hydrating the scalp to regulate sebum production. 

Learn more about sebum in our post about The Science of Hair Detox.

How can I tell if I have a healthy scalp (or an unhealthy

If this is all going over your head, take a moment to gently massage your scalp. Notice any discomfort or irritation?

Scalp red flags include:

  • A burning sensation
  • Noticeable tenderness
  • Redness or inflammation
  • An increase in dandruff 
  • Oiliness or dryness
  • Psoriasis
  • A flaky scalp 

If you can’t relate to any, your scalp is in check.

But if you’re experiencing at least one of them, you’ll know it’s time to step up your scalp care routine. 

Feeling concerned? Don’t sweat it. 

Getting the perfect balance of sebum production can be tricky. Plus, when you factor in the damage our scalps face daily, sensitive scalps are more common than you might think.

Sun exposure, seasonal changes, pollution, heat, and chemical products can all wreak havoc with our hair. Thankfully, there are plenty of things you can do to take back control and care for your scalp.

How do I take care of my scalp?

Despite the science-heavy points we’ve covered so far, there’s nothing too technical about scalp care. It fits into your wellness routine just as easily as a simple hair wash. From detox-friendly shampoos to DIY treatments you can do at home, step up your scalp with these simple methods.


We talk a lot about opting for sulphate, silicone, and paraben-free shampoos. And this remains true when it comes to choosing a product for your scalp. The goal is to gently cleanse the scalp without stripping it of its natural oils – think moisturising, hydrating formulas that nourish your hair from the very roots.

As always, check that the shampoo works for your hair type before use to ensure the best results – that includes your curl pattern, and whether your hair has been bleached or coloured.

Scalp treatments

Make your wash work harder with a post-wash scalp tonic. These are ideal for stimulating blood flow in the hair follicles, promoting hair growth, moisturising the scalp and minimising breakages. The result? Bouncy locks brimming with shine.

DIY techniques

Feeling creative? Try whipping up a scalp-soothing mask. Most of the ingredients that nourish the scalp are easy to grab - you may already have them readily stocked at home. 

The goal is to enrich, not irritate, your scalp – so just be sure to research exactly which ingredients will benefit you before slathering them on.

Sun protection

SPF is key for maintaining supple skin and minimising damage. Even on gloomy days, a layer of sun cream is a key part of every skincare routine. So, why not do this for your scalp, too? Your best bet is to invest in a sunscreen product formulated for the hair to protect your scalp from harmful UV rays. This means no nasty residue and more peace of mind. 

Going somewhere sunny? Keep your hat on and try to stay in the shade during the hottest times of the day.

Scalp massage

A scalp massage is a surefire way to boost the blood circulation in your scalp. It’s not only relaxing, but it also ensures all the nutrients from your scalp treatments can flow to the hair follicles and stimulate healthier locks. 

Applying light to medium pressure, use your fingertips to massage your scalp in circular motions, making sure to cover all areas. Aim for around five minutes of bliss. You can do this any time of day or during your hair wash for a simple but effective scalp boost.

How often should I exfoliate my scalp?

Scalp scrubs might be a growing hair care trend, but a healthy scalp will never go out of style.

Exfoliation helps to remove dandruff, dead skin cells and excess oil to promote strengthened and lengthened strands.

However, it’s important to note that you can have too much of a good thing. The scalp is incredibly delicate, and just like the skin on your face, over-scrubbing can cause more harm than good. Stick to exfoliating your scalp every one or two weeks so your follicles can flourish.

Scalp care rituals: Key takeaways

  • A happy scalp means happy hair, and vice versa - Get to the root of your hair struggle by making scalp care a new priority in your wellness regime.
  • It’s all about balance - Restoring balance in your natural oil production will ensure strengthened locks to make you feel unstoppable - day after day. 
  • Tune in to your scalp - If you start to notice any new signs that your scalp could use some love, you know it’s time to get your clean on.
  • Less is always more - Don’t feel the need to overload your scalp with products it doesn’t need. Instead, focus on your specific hair type and create a routine that works for you.
  • DIY is your new BFF - Save your budget for a girls' night out and enjoy a pamper night in with homemade masks. Your scalp (and your purse) will love you for it.

Life isn’t always Insta-worthy. But your hair can be. 

Follow the CLOUD NINE 9-Day Detox to get all the insider tips and tricks you need to amplify your hair health journey. 

Go back to Day 3: Hair Detox Routines

Learn about the CLOUD NINE 9-Day Detox

Go forward to Day 5: The Importance of Hair Hydration