By Sali Hughes
While moisturising helps, unless dead skin is removed, you are basically gluing down flakes
Sunday nights throughout childhood were spent on a kitchen chair in front of Esther Rantzen’s That’s Life! as my father rubbed olive oil (bought in tiny bottles from the chemist) into my dry, flaky scalp. It was enjoyable until the next day, when my greased hair drooped and the itchiness and flakes crept back. It wasn’t until later I learned that while moisturising helps a dry scalp, unless dead skin is removed at the same time you are basically gluing down flakes pending their resurrection.
While the afro hair industry has always understood this, the caucasian and mainstream brands have been slow to catch up. Only recently have effective – and weirdly satisfying – scalp-soothing exfoliators become available. Among them is Bumble & bumble’s Scalp Detox (£25, 150ml), a mousse containing micellar water and salicylic acid to exfoliate away dry flakes and remove itchy-product buildup (if you are a devout dry shampoo user, this one is for you). You apply weekly, pre-shampoo, direct from the nozzle, and work into the scalp. Instantly you hear the fizzy, sizzling sound of it dissolving what feels like months’ worth of product. It is an odd sensation, but it works within minutes – my hair was spotlessly clean and fuller, while my clearer scalp felt neither oily nor dry.