Exfoliating Scalp Scrub Recipe with Bentonite Clay
Build up giving you the hair care blues? Itchy scalp? Drab hair? Give this natural exfoliating scalp scrub recipe with bentonite clay a try! Not only does it remove product buildup on your scalp, it also promotes scalp health and can ease itching and hair fall out.
Formulating a scalp scrub recipe.
I recently mentioned on instagram last week that I was working on a scalp scrub recipe. Having heard others rave, I ventured into developing my own recipe. After first trying a commercial scalp scrub, I came away with doubts. I kept finding grit from the exfoliants in my hair afterwards throughout the course of the day. It wasn’t fun. And I really did (cross my heart) shampoo my hair after using the scrub. Twice in fact.
For my next attempt I tried a homemade scalp scrub recipe from the internet. It consisted primarily of oil and salt. That scalp scrub recipe was a bigger fail than the first. As my hair is normal to oily, I ended up with greasy hair that just looked dirty. Not even dry shampoo could resurrect that disaster. I literally washed my hair three times and still couldn’t get all the oil out. So I worked on creating my own version of a deep cleansing scalp scrub recipe.
My first attempt left my hair greasy feeling. Much like the simple scalp scrub recipe I’d previously tried. The second version was better. It worked fine on Greg’s dry hair without any issue. However, it was still a bit much for my hair type. It did make a really sweet body scrub though. The kind that feels like you just put on lotion.
My initial thought was to use cera bellina wax for sort of a suspension base. As cera bellina forms a gel when combined with carrier oils, my thinking was it would support the addition and equal distribution of both the salt and bentonite clay in my recipe. I was also hoping it would give my scalp scrub recipe more slip. Unfortunately, the wax made the end product feel heavy. It also made it harder to rinse out. Which in end defeated the purpose of removing product build up.
Therefore, on my second attempt, I added witch hazel and an emulsifying wax to try to counteract this. I kept the cera bellina wax. I also used a bit of foaming bath butter to give it a bit of cleansing power. Unfortunately, it still did not favor normal to oily hair. So I scrapped the cera bellina wax completely on my third attempt as it really was too heavy for healthy hair.
My final scalp scrub recipe consisted of more witch hazel as well as foaming bath butter. My thought being that these ingredients would work together to remove build up while also clarifying the scalp. And while the third time’s a charm, that was not so in this case. My emulsion failed (which is 90% of why I don’t make homemade lotion.) I considered a fourth attempt, but to be honest, I was feeling completely burnt out. (I’m sure many of my fellow formulators have felt the same way.)
They say when you get knocked down to get back up and do it again. At some point however, you’re kind of just like F this and stop torturing yourself. I may come back around to an emulsified scalp scrub recipe later down the road. Just not anytime soon. (This is also why you’ll find most bath and beauty artisans aren’t willing to share their recipe formulations. It’s time consuming and can get expensive fast.)
Regardless of my lack of success, I will leave you with more than simply my admission of failure.
Instead I’m sharing two recipes with you. The first is my second attempt at an exfoliating scalp scrub recipe. It’s a great starting point for a salt scrub. And who knows? If you have dry hair you may just dig it for its original intended purpose. I’m also sharing a simple, single use (wax free) scalp scrub recipe. It does basically the same thing I was trying to achieve, but without complicated ingredients or emulsions to contend with.
Keep in mind that as these recipes call for bentonite clay. Therefore you should refrain from using metal utensils and equipment as these deactivate the wonderful detox properties of the clay.
Skin Soothing Salt Scrub/Scalp Scrub Recipe
.2 oz. castor oil
.25 oz. cera bellina wax
.25 oz. jojoba oil
.5 oz. emulsifying wax
1.5 oz. fractionated coconut oil
1 oz. Stephenson’s foaming bath butter
1.5 oz. witch hazel
1 oz. bentonite clay
1.5 oz. fine sea salt
12 drops lemon essential oil
6 drops tea tree essential oil
3 drops peppermint essential oil
3 drops rosemary essential oil
preservative, of choice
I have a full on grocery list of ingredients for this recipe. So I won’t feel bad if you don’t try it. However some of the habitual makers out there probably have everything on hand. In which case you may find you enjoy the thrill of the experiment.
You will need to weigh out all the ingredients for this salt body/scalp scrub recipe.
Weigh out the sea salt and bentonite clay first. Combine in a medium to large glass bowl. Mix to combine then set aside.
Next, weigh out the carrier oils. Then combine the carrier oils with both the cera bellina wax and emulsifying wax in double boiler. Heat until all the ingredients have melted. Then stir in the foaming bath butter until melted.
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Tip: Choose carrier oils based on your hair type! Learn more about the unique properties of over 40 different carrier oils in Cari Dunn’s book, Carrier Oils: A beginner’s guide to using over 40 carrier oils in bath and beauty recipes. Buy it here. Or read it free with your kindle unlimited subscription. (If you don’t have a kindle unlimited subscription, you can sign up for a free trial here.)
. . . . .
In the meantime, slowly heat the witch hazel to bring it to the same temperature as the carrier oil and wax mixture. (You will need a digital thermometer for this. This laser thermometer is the absolute bomb for soapmaking and skin care recipes.)
Remove both from heat then pour the witch hazel into the carrier oil and wax mixture. Add the essential oils then mix with an immersion blender or hand mixture for two minutes.
Allow the salt scrub to cool then add your preservative of choice per manufacturer’s recommendations at or below the recommended temperature. (Keep in mind that most preservatives are heat sensitive.) Mix again.
Once the salt scrub starts to thicken, mix in the sea salt and clay mixture. Mix well to ensure all the ingredients are thorough incorporated, then pour into a 4 oz. jar.
To use as a scalp scrub for dry hair, massage onto wet scalp and massage in with your fingertips. Follow with a clarifying shampoo and conditioner.
Alternately, you can use this formulation as a body scrub. Simply massage onto wet skin in the shower in a circular motion. Then rinse off. Your skin will feel like you’ve just put on lotion!
Exfoliating Scalp Scrub Recipe
3 Tablespoons fine sea salt
1 Tablespoon bentonite clay
1/4 teaspoon citric acid
1 drop each lavender, tea tree & rosemary essential oils
aloe vera gel or witch hazel
Measure out the sea salt, clay and citric acid. Then combine in a small glass bowl.
Add the essential oils, then enough aloe vera gel or witch hazel to form a thin paste.
Massage onto your wet scalp using your fingertips for 1 to 2 minutes. Then wash and condition your hair with a clarifying shampoo.
Explore more hair care recipes.
Not quite sure about the whole scalp scrub thing? You can also make an apple cider vinegar rinse to remove build up on your hair and scalp. My yerba mate hair rinse recipe with apple cider vinegar not only removes product build up, it also helps to strengthen hair and improve luster. You can learn how to make it here.
Alternately, if you have coarse, curly or dry hair, then you’ll love my coffee shine spray recipe. You can find two versions of this recipe – one with and one without silicone – here. Or try my favorite essential oil hair mask recipe with aloe here.
For a healthy alternative to sulfate based shampoos try my sea salt shampoo bar recipe with milk and egg. I also recommend the book, Homemade Natural Hair Care with Essential Oils, for beginner hair care gurus. (It’s also a free read with a kindle unlimited subscription.)
To discover more homemade hair care recipes, be sure to follow my DIY Bath & Body board on Pinterest here.
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