Uses thick teeth to dig deep into many styles and types of hair. Works shampoo in more thoroughly than fingers and brushes alone. Easy to use and operate. Comes with two speeds for different styles of massages.
Difficult to replace batteries as the brush comes apart.
Uses a specially designed ergonomic handle that provides superior comfort. Extra-long plastic pins are soft to the touch without bending with thicker hair styles. Natural rubber pad adds grip. Flexible plastic is highly durable.
Plastic bristles can be too soft for a true, deep massage.
Comes in a unique brush design with a long handle that is comfortable to grip in the shower. Provides a good, simple massage that is gentle on the skin and damaged hair. Good for thin and thick hair styles.
Bristles can be too flexible for a deep massage.
Has a large surface area filled with long, pliable bristles to dig into the scalp in a gentle manner. Easy to massage the scalp in circular motions to get the most shampoo coverage. Removes dandruff. Brush is contoured to fit your hand.
Lacks an ergonomic handle.
Uses a set of silicone teeth that push deeper into the scalp and around its pores to remove debris. Handle is designed for single-handed use. Lightweight but highly durable. Provides a relaxing scalp massage.
Lacks the number of teeth that more traditional scalp brushes use.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Use a scalp shampoo brush to save your manicure or long nails, which can get damaged by vigorously scrubbing your head.
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.
Massaging your scalp with a scalp shampoo brush increases blood circulation to the scalp and is very relaxing, especially before bedtime.
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.
A vibrating scalp shampoo brush will save your fingers by doing the scrubbing for you.
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.
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.
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