Best Scalp Shampoo Brushes

Updated August 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

18 Models Considered
5 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
213 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Buying guide for best scalp shampoo brushes

Last Updated August 2019

A healthy scalp makes for a healthy head of hair. Exfoliating your scalp is just as important as exfoliating your skin, especially if you suffer from dandruff. Using a scalp shampoo brush is an effective and inexpensive way to buff your scalp and break up dandruff and oily buildup for a squeaky-clean scalp and shiny hair.

Just like your face, your scalp produces sebum. This natural oil keeps hair shiny and hydrated, but when sebaceous glands produce too much oil due to a number of factors, such as a change in the weather, your scalp can get oily and dull, causing dandruff or flare-ups of a skin condition called seborrheic dermatitis. It can also cause hair to thin. Hair products add to the buildup that dulls hair and clogs follicles.

Unlike regular hairbrushes, scalp brushes are designed to be used in the shower on wet hair. The better ones have flexible bristles that produce enough scrubbing pressure without scraping your scalp. Some consumers use these brushes just for the pleasure of a head massage. If you’d like to try a scalp shampoo brush, read our guide for more information. We’ve also recommended several brushes, too.

Clogged follicles from a buildup of dandruff, sebum, or hair products can lead to hair loss or hair thinning. Regularly exfoliating your scalp will unblock follicles and keep them clear for fuller hair growth.

Key considerations

How to use a scalp shampoo brush

If you’ve got a flaky scalp or just want to give yourself a head massage, using a scalp shampoo brush in the shower is an easy and affordable way to give yourself a salon treatment at home. Most of these brushes have a circular, bristled head that you hold in the palm.

To use, rinse hair with water, then pour the shampoo or scalp treatment directly on the bristles. Massage the shampoo into the scalp with tight, circular motions (rather than combing it through the hair). This should give you the sensation of a head massage performed by someone pressing their fingers firmly. Rinse out the shampoo and rinse off the brush. The result is an exfoliated scalp.

Bristle material

Scalp shampoo brushes are made of a variety of materials. Pay attention to the material in the bristles, which isn’t always the same as the material in the handle or grip. You want to select a material that’s hard enough to provide the necessary pressure to scrub but not so hard that it will damage your scalp.

Rubber: You’ll find many scalp shampoo brushes with rubber bristles. Rubber tips are hard, to provide a firm massage, but they won’t scratch the scalp like some plastic bristles can.

Silicone: This is another common material used for bristles in scalp shampoo brushes. Like rubber, silicone won’t scratch the scalp. It has a little more give than hard rubber while also providing enough pressure to scrub. Silicone bristles tend to be longer and triangular.

Plastic: This is the cheapest material used in scalp shampoo brushes. While this keeps the price low, the bristles themselves tend to be longer and sharper, which doesn’t yield as deep a massage. Plastic bristles can also potentially scratch delicate scalps.

Shape and handle

Most scalp shampoo brushes aren’t shaped like regular hairbrushes, which have a long handle extending from the brush head. Instead, scalp brushes are circular and contoured to fit in the palm of your hand. In many, an ergonomic knob-like handle in the center of the base fits between your fingers. Some brushes have a strap-like handle that goes over the back of the hand when the brush is held in the palm. Others have a long handle like a traditional hairbrush. Be aware that if you use a scalp shampoo brush shaped like a regular hairbrush, it might be harder to achieve that circular massage motion necessary to stimulate the scalp and banish dandruff.

EXPERT TIP

Use a scalp shampoo brush to save your manicure or long nails, which can get damaged by vigorously scrubbing your head.


Staff  | BestReviews

Scalp shampoo brush features

Vibration: Brushes that vibrate take the elbow grease out of scrubbing your own scalp, but they require batteries. These brushes also work as self-massagers with pulse and massage settings. Select one with a timer if you want to relax for five minutes without worrying about when to shut it off. Only select a vibrating brush that’s completely waterproof if you want to use it in the shower.

Color: Scalp shampoo brushes come in an assortment of colors. Rubber ones tend to have either white or reddish-brown bristles. The housing may be rubber or hard plastic of various colors. Silicone bristles are either a translucent white or the same color as the housing. Plastic bristles typically are the same color as the housing and handle. Black, pink, teal, blue, and purple are just some of colors you can find in scalp shampoo brushes.

Mildew resistant: Select a scalp shampoo brush made from mildew-resistant materials like silicone to keep unwanted fungus away from your head.

Nontoxic: If you want to use only nontoxic materials in your household, select food-grade silicone. Unlike other plastics, it won’t leach chemicals into the environment. Also, rubber is a 100% natural and safe material.

DID YOU KNOW?

Massaging your scalp with a scalp shampoo brush increases blood circulation to the scalp and is very relaxing, especially before bedtime.

Scalp shampoo brush prices

Scalp shampoo brushes range in price from $3 to $20.

Inexpensive: For a low-priced plastic scalp shampoo brush, you can expect to pay between $3 and $6.

Mid-range: You can expect to pay between $6 and $10 for a rubber or silicone brush.

Expensive: For a vibrating scalp shampoo brush, you can expect to pay between $10 and $20. Batteries are not usually included.

Tips

  • Rinse the brush after each use. Allow it to air-dry.
  • Massage your head any time. You don’t have to use a scalp shampoo brush only in the shower. Anytime you feel like relaxing and giving yourself a little head massage, use a scalp shampoo brush on dry hair. This will also help break up dandruff.
  • Try a wooden brush. Wooden dry scalp brushes are also available for banishing dandruff and invigorating the scalp. Do not use a wooden brush in the shower.
  • Pair the brush with dandruff shampoo. For a dandruff-busting double whammy, use a dandruff shampoo or scalp scrub with your scalp shampoo brush in the shower.
  • Try the brush on your pet. Your scalp shampoo brush can double as a grooming brush for your pet. We recommend cleaning it thoroughly after each use if using it across species!
  • Use the brush with dry shampoo. After applying dry shampoo, try a scalp shampoo brush on your dry scalp to spread the product evenly at the roots.
EXPERT TIP

A vibrating scalp shampoo brush will save your fingers by doing the scrubbing for you.


Staff  | BestReviews

Other products we considered

If you’re looking for an inexpensive silicone scalp brush, we love the MAXSOFT Scalp Care Brush, which is wildly popular for its thick and soft bristles. The ergonomic brush comes in three pastel colors — teal, pink, and purple — and fits easily in the palm of your hand. This affordable brush works wonders on seborrheic dermatitis and dry, flaky scalps. Even though it provides soft and gentle pressure, this manual scalp shampoo brush gets the job done. For an added perk to your scalp treatment, the Rolencos Scalp Massager contains tourmaline in the silicone bristles to stimulate and detoxify the scalp. The unisex black brush can be used on all hair types and fits nicely in the palm. Users are surprised by the quick and dramatic improvements to scalp and hair after using the brush.

Many scalp shampoo brushes claim to help stimulate hair growth. There is reason to believe that unblocking clogged hair follicles by exfoliating the scalp can help hair grow.

FAQ

Q. Is there anyone who shouldn’t use a scalp shampoo brush?
A.
We don’t recommend using a scalp shampoo brush if you have psoriasis or eczema on the scalp because all the scrubbing can cause more scalp flakes to form. Also, if you have cuts or sores on your scalp, avoid using a scalp shampoo brush or any type of exfoliating product. 

Q. Isn’t shampooing my hair with a dandruff shampoo enough?
A.
There’s a difference between shampooing your hair and exfoliating your scalp. Shampooing, even with a medicated shampoo, won’t remove everything, especially deeply embedded debris. Only physical exfoliation will.

Q. I wear my hair in braids and sometimes weaves. Can I use a scalp shampoo brush?
A.
Using a scalp shampoo brush can be a great way to keep your scalp clean if you wear braids, weaves, or extensions. Just look for a brush with long bristles.

The team that worked on this review
  • Ana
    Ana
    Writer
  • Austin
    Austin
    Writer
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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