REBOOT RECOMMENDS | How to exfoliate your scalp at home

I haven’t given much thought to the texture of my hair before last Tuesday. It just grows, I cut it - rinse and repeat. But the other day at the hairdressers I was asked if I wanted to experience their famous scalp purifying massage, and always up for something I have never done before, I instantly agreed.

I wasn’t expecting much, though I got the logic of what I was being offered. Many of us regularly exfoliate our body, but do you reach right up to the top of your head and thoroughly scrub?   

You may, but me? It had never even crossed my mind.

Apparently, however, even a few weeks of using commercial shampoos and conditioners can build up a thin skin on the surface of your hair, dulling its shine and eventually causing a similar layer on your scalp. Invisible of course, but added to daily by the pollution in the environment. Slather on the rest of the ‘product’ everyone sells you - hair gels, sprays and dry shampoo - and that layer gets deeper and your scalp flakier. It takes more than just water to wash it all away and let your scalp breathe again. 

The treatment started with a thorough soaking of my hair, which was then sprinkled liberally with three tablespoons of baking soda. Then the magic bit: A special scalp brush - plastic and spiky - was run through my hair 100 times, all over. Made in China and looking like it cost all of 50p, it transported me back in time: straight into the pages of ‘Little Women’.

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 Next, my hair was thoroughly rinsed and then drenched again with one of those ironing board essentials - the white bottle with the spray top - filled with apple cider vinegar. Then another stint of 100 brushstrokes with the special brush. All wonderfully relaxing – despite the slight overtones of vinegary crisps. A freezing cold rinse to get the blood circulating and tighten up the pores followed, and that was it. Done and dusted in less than 10 minutes.

The reason why this slightly strange procedure gets this month’s REBOOT RECOMMENDS slot is because, much to my amazement, it left my hair shinier, softer and smoother than anything any ‘product’ has ever come close to, despite the fluent promises on their bottles. And it stayed feeling fabulous for the following two weeks.

I am now a convert and if there was a Clean Scalp Club I would be applying for membership. Try the spikey brush, get your scalp circulation going, and report back - perhaps we should simply start one!

Scalp massage and shampoo brushes can be bought from: and



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Written by health advocate Sara Davenport, founder of one of the UK's leading breast cancer charities, Breast Cancer Haven. With over twenty years' experience in holistic health, Sara's digital dose of wellness teaches you to listen to your body, tweak your lifestyle and improve your health. 

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