Hair exfoliators: a step too far?

Chances are you’ve got your shower regime down. You’ve allocated time for shampooing – maybe twice if you feel your hair needs an extra deep clean – conditioning. Heck, you may have even factored in a five minute leave-in treatment. What if we were to tell you that there’s an extra step that hair brands are now asking you to consider. Exfoliating. That’s right, scrubbing your hair and scalp. Some require application before shampooing, some instead of, but is it really necessary? We got three Layered team members to try some out to give their honest insight. Here’s what they thought…

Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt , £29.95

Tested by Amanda

“I’m stood in the shower with a salty, seasidey scrub in my palm but my hand is heading up to my head, not down to my legs…using this scrub shampoo is incredibly alien. It promises to soothe sensitive scalps, and with a full head of bleach nowadays, my poor scalp must take a helluva beating. The mixture feels very odd and I patiently work it into my roots and onto my scalp. Before long, the scrubby element has dissipated and I have a very rich, almost oily shampoo that feels luxurious and lovely. And then my hair starts to matt up into a ball and I know its time to rinse. It even squeaks a bit, its so clean! A good dollop of Christophe Robin’s Regeneration Mask, five full minutes and a Tangle Teezer Aqua Splash brush later, and my locks feel properly fabulous. The styling products I pop on sink in quicker. I only wash my hair twice a week (because of the bleach) but I can imagine doing this once every three weeks to give my scalp some much needed TLC.”

Matrix Biolage Sugar Shine Polishing Hair Scrub, £14.99

Tested by SJ 

“The Matrix scrub is a sugar based scrub, and smells of exactly that – a burnt, bubblegum sugary sweetness. Nothing makes me happier, but if you’re not keen there’s no getting away from it. You apply the scrub on dry hair – which did feel odd to start with – and work it through from roots to ends, then rinse thoroughly before shampooing and conditioning. Whilst I loved the results – my hair felt thoroughly clean afterwards – it is another step in my haircare regime that I’m not entirely sure I have time for. However on second use, I found out it can be used on the body too. Game changer. I have now swapped my regular body scrub, which I try and use once a month, for this and just add in a few extra minutes to incorporate my hair. It may not be a totally necessary step for everyone but as I could really tell a difference after just one use, I’ll happily make extra time for it.”

Aveda Invati Exfoliating Shampoo, £22.50

Tested by Alison

“I pinned myself as a prime candidate for a hair scrub in the hope that it would keep excess oil production at bay.
 As per the instructions, I wet my hair down and applied a small amount of product at my roots, targeting my scalp rather than strands.  While not unpleasant, the sensation of massaging the product into the roots of my shoulder-length hair was certainly… odd, and I found it quite hard to tell whether I’d haphazardly reached some areas. I had to wash, rinse and repeat before I felt confident that I’d got it all out.

 Overall my hair was left feeling squeaky clean, but I’m not sure whether that was down to the scrub itself or the more concentrated washing it took to rinse it out fully. I’ve resolved to give it another go, grit my teeth through the massaging in stage but at the moment, it’s just not something I could see myself reaching for routinely.”

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