How To Detox Your Scalp: Cloud Nine’s Ultimate Guide

A scalp detox can help improve overall scalp health and boost hair growth, and if you’re wondering about how to do a scalp detox, you’re in the right place. Read on for our top tips on how to achieve a healthy, happy scalp – the basis for unstoppable hair.


  • Look out for signs your scalp might need a detox such as redness, itchiness or extra dandruff.
  • Start with a clarifying shampoo to remove buildup and impurities from the scalp.
  • Incorporate a scalp scrub or exfoliant to gently remove dead skin cells and boost blood circulation.
  • Try using natural remedies like apple cider vinegar or essential oils.
  • After a scalp detox, don't forget to moisturise your scalp with a lightweight oil or serum.
  • Avoid over-exfoliating or using harsh chemicals that can irritate the scalp.
  • Stick to a regular scalp care routine to maintain a healthy balance and prevent future buildup.



Think of your scalp as the fertile soil in which your hair grows. Just as plants thrive in nutrient-rich soil, your hair flourishes when your scalp is clean and healthy. A scalp detox can help eliminate buildup from products, oils, and dead skin cells, paving the way for stronger, shinier hair.

If you’re dealing with hair loss or changes in hair texture – whether due to menopause, a health condition, or just the natural ageing process – you might be hesitant to try something new. Rest assured, a properly done scalp detox is gentle and beneficial. It’s designed to boost hair growth and overall hair health, not hinder it. You can ask for a scalp detox at your hair salon, but we’re going to focus on how you can achieve a healthy scalp detox at home using home-made, store cupboard or shop-bought ingredients.



Scalp detoxing boosts hair growth by clearing follicles and reducing buildup. It helps tackle dandruff, itching, and balances sebum production, preventing hair and scalp issues. Plus, a clean scalp promotes shinier, softer hair, providing the perfect foundation for your hair to thrive.



Look out for signs like increased dandruff, oiliness or dryness, redness, tenderness, or a burning sensation. Factors like infrequent washing, excessive use of dry shampoo, or overuse of silicone-based products can also bring on the need for a scalp detox.



Hair products like gels, sprays, and conditioners can leave residues, clogging follicles over time. Environmental factors such as pollution and hard water can also leave particles on the scalp, leading to buildup and irritation. Your body’s natural oils and sweat mix with dirt and dead skin cells, contributing to this buildup.

Check out our 9-Day Detox guide for more information about the benefits of scalp care.



By incorporating a few techniques and ingredients into your routine, you can effectively remove buildup and create a healthier scalp. From clarifying shampoos to scalp scrubs and natural remedies like apple cider vinegar and essential oils, we'll explore each method's benefits and how to use them safely and effectively. 

Clarifying shampoo

Start with a clarifying shampoo for fresh, clean hair. Before rinsing, make sure to lather up and leave it on your hair for about 3-4 minutes to give the shampoo’s surfactants enough time to work their magic, lifting dirt and buildup from your scalp.

Scalp scrubs and exfoliation

From simple sugar and olive oil scrubs to coffee grounds and honey concoctions, there’s a recipe out there for everyone. Just massage it gently into your scalp, and then rinse thoroughly.

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) rinse

ACV is a natural wonder that helps restore pH balance, remove product buildup, and even combat dandruff. Simply mix equal parts ACV and water, pour it over your scalp after shampooing, let it sit for a minute or two, and then rinse thoroughly.

Essential oils

Tea tree, peppermint, and eucalyptus are all known for their scalp-soothing and cleansing properties. Just mix a few drops with your shampoo or natural oil of choice, massage it into your scalp, and let those natural wonders work their magic

Scalp massage

Not only does it feel amazing, but a massage also helps stimulate blood flow and healthy hair growth. So, take a few extra minutes in the shower to really work those fingertips into your scalp, and let the stress – and buildup – melt away.



Everyone’s approach to scalp detoxing will be slightly different, depending on whether you have curly, straight, natural or chemically-treated hair. Below you’ll find our top tips for each hair type to ensure the healthiest detox for your hair type.

Scalp detox for curly hair

  1. Choose a clarifying shampoo: Curly hair tends to be drier, so opt for a gentle clarifying shampoo that won't strip away natural oils.
  2. Focus on the scalp: Massage the shampoo into your scalp using your fingertips, ensuring to lift away buildup without disturbing your delicate curls.
  3. Use a nourishing scalp oil: After cleansing, apply a lightweight scalp oil like argan or jojoba to hydrate and soothe your scalp without weighing down your curls.

Scalp detox for black (type 4) hair

  1. Pre-shampoo with a moisturising oil: Before shampooing, apply a moisturising oil like coconut or avocado oil to your scalp to soften and loosen buildup.
  2. Choose a clarifying shampoo: Use a cleansing and hydrating shampoo specifically formulated for type 4 hair to clean your scalp while retaining essential moisture.
  3. Follow up with a hydrating conditioner: After shampooing, apply a rich and nourishing conditioner like our Magical Remedy to your scalp and hair to replenish moisture and promote scalp health.

Scalp detox for natural hair

  1. Start with a gentle exfoliating scalp scrub: Use a homemade or shop-bought scalp scrub to remove dead skin cells and buildup from your scalp.
  2. Use a clarifying shampoo: Look for a clarifying shampoo free of harsh chemicals that can strip your natural hair of its oils.
  3. Finish with a balancing ACV rinse: Mix apple cider vinegar with water and pour it over your scalp as a final rinse to restore you scalp’s natural pH balance and remove any remaining buildup.

Scalp detox for coloured hair

  1. Choose a colour-safe clarifying shampoo: Look for a clarifying shampoo specifically formulated for coloured hair to remove buildup without fading your colour.
  2. Only detox when you need to: Since coloured hair can be more prone to dryness and damage, limit scalp detox treatments to once or twice a month to avoid stripping away colour or moisture.
  3. Follow with a hydrating mask: After detoxing, apply a hydrating hair mask to replenish your scalp’s natural moisture.

Scalp detox for oily hair

  1. Use a clarifying shampoo: Reach for a clarifying shampoo with ingredients like tea tree oil or salicylic acid to deeply cleanse the scalp and regulate oil production.
  2. Focus on the roots: Concentrate the shampoo application on your scalp and roots, where oil tends to accumulate, and massage it in thoroughly.
  3. Avoid heavy oils: After cleansing, steer clear of heavy oils or styling products that can weigh your hair down or add more oiliness.



Taking care of your scalp all year round isn't just about having good hair days, it's about getting into good routines, so every day is a good hair day. Whether you’re battling winter dryness or summer sun, don't forget to give your scalp some TLC with our top tips:

  • Give your hair a moisture boost: After giving your scalp a detox, show it some love with a hydrating boost. Reach for a lightweight scalp oil or moisturising serum to keep your scalp happy and hydrated post-detox.
  • Go easy on the products: Keep your scalp in tip-top shape by regularly washing with a gentle shampoo and go easy on the styling products to ensure your scalp can breathe freely. 
  • Eat a healthy diet: What you eat can also impact your scalp health. Load up on nutrient-rich foods like fruits, veggies, and lean proteins to support a healthy scalp from the inside out. For more information about nutrition, check out our article on how to nourish your hair from the inside out.
  • Be sun safe: Protect your hair and scalp from the harsh rays of the sun with some UV protection. Whether it's with UV hair protection sprays or simply wearing a stylish hat, shielding your scalp from sun damage is key to keeping your hair healthy and happy all year round.
  • Beat the sweat: When the weather heats up, it's natural for our scalps to get a little sweaty. Keep your scalp as fresh as possible by tying your hair up, using a sweat-wicking headband during workouts, or rinsing your hair with water after exercise.



While a scalp detox is a great way to refresh your scalp and promote healthy hair growth, there are some common pitfalls you need to keep in mind to get the best results possible.

  • Over-exfoliation: While scrubbing away buildup might seem like a good idea, too much exfoliation can actually do more harm than good by stripping away your scalp's natural oils, leaving it dry, irritated, and prone to damage. Scrub gently and stick to a scalp detox routine that’s right for your scalp.
  • Harsh products: Using products loaded with chemicals can strip your scalp of its natural oils and disrupt its delicate balance. Instead, choose gentle, natural ingredients like coconut, eucalyptus and tea-tree oil that nourish your scalp without causing any harm.
  • Too many products: Less is more when it comes to scalp care. While it might be tempting to pile on the products, using too many can actually backfire. Even if they're scalp-friendly, overloading your scalp with products can lead to buildup, clogged pores, and even more scalp issues. So, keep it simple and stick to a few key products that work for you and your scalp.
  • Inconsistent routine: Consistency is key when it comes to scalp care. Skipping your routine or constantly changing products can disrupt your scalp's balance, leading to buildup, dandruff, and other issues. So, make it a habit to stick to a regular scalp care routine to keep your scalp happy and healthy. 



How often should I detox my scalp?

It really depends on your scalp type and lifestyle. For most people, once a month is a good rule of thumb to keep things balanced. However, if you have a particularly oily scalp or use a lot of styling products, you might benefit from detoxing more often. Pay attention to the signs your scalp might need a detox – symptoms such as redness, itchiness or excess dandruff.

Is scalp detox safe for all hair types?

Scalp detoxing can benefit all hair types, from straight to curly and everything in between. Just be sure to choose products and methods that are gentle and suited to your hair's specific needs. Whether you have fine, thick, coloured, or natural hair, there's a scalp detox routine out there that's perfect for you.

For more information about scalp detox, head to our 9-Day Detox hub. We’d love to hear from you on our socials, so head to TikTok, Instagram or Facebook and get involved.