scalp exfoliation

happy wednesday, crunchies!

today i’m posting on my way to ICELAND! i can’t wait to share pictures with you on instagram (@alexraye_ae). have any of you ever been? any suggestions?

well, today’s post is all about scalp exfoliation! washing your hair less can mean you need to focus more on getting the sebum and oils worked down the hair shaft, and keeping your scalp clean. scalp scrubbing has been an absolute MUST for be lately in my ROM routine, besides scritching and preening.

DIY scalp exfoliation

these scalp scrubs are all no-poo/low-poo/ROM/water-only friendly, aka, they won’t mess with your hair ‘washing’ routine (whatever that entails for you).

these mixes can be repeated weekly, if needed.

feel free to mix and match scrubbing ingredients with moisturizing and/or problem-solving ingredients. everyone’s different, but i’ve included a few of my favorite recipes below the ingredients list:



  • MSM powder – stimulate hair growth and follicle strength
  • salt – normal to oily hair only
  • ground almonds (almond meal)- all hair types; gentle


  • pure aloe (like Lily of the Desert) – soothing for all hair types; increases shine and softness
  • raw honey – soothing for troubled and/or dry scalps; increases shine
  • organic conditioner – if you use conditioner


  • essential oils – wide variety of types of uses (ex: rosemary and sandalwood for growth stimulation; tea tree oil for dandruff; lavender for irritation; etc)
  • apple cider vinegar – soothes dandruff, ph-balancing (detangler), helps clear product build-up, helps with dry scalp, helps with itch
  • witch hazel – clarifying, helps with itchy, dry, irritated scalps


no matter which ingredients you mix and match, you’ll want roughly these overall ratios (of course you can play around with them):

    • 1 part exfoliators
    • 1.5 part moisturizers
    • 1/3 part acv/witch hazel
    • 5-10 drops EOs

mix all ingredients together in a bowl and apply to scalp before washing (or can be used indepently between washes). let sit for 10-15 minutes and rinse very well with warm water.


dry, itchy, flakey scalp

  • 3 spoonfuls ground almonds or MSM powder (whichever you have handy)
  • 1.5 spoonful raw honey
  • 2 spoonfuls pure aloe
  • 1/2 spoonful ACV
  • 5 drops tea tree oil EO and/or 5 drops lavender EO

oily scalp

  • 3 spoonfuls salt (i have the Real Salt brand and really like it)
  • 2 spoonfuls raw honey

product build-up

  • 2 spoonfuls ground almonds
  • 1 spoonful salt
  • 3 spoonfuls aloe
  • 1 spoonful acv

stimulate hair growth

  • 3 spoonfuls MSM powder
  • 2 spoonfuls pure aloe
  • 5 drops rosemary EO
  • 5 drops sandalwood EO

AR’s current favorite

  • 3 spoonfuls MSM powder
  • 1 spoonful raw honey
  • 1 spoonful pure aloe
  • 1/2 spoonful acv
  • 10 drops lime EO

leave ingredient additions below, as well as your favorite recipes!

see you back in the states next week!



24 thoughts on “scalp exfoliation

  1. Hey Alex!
    First, I cannot thank you enough for sharing all your insight and knowledge on your blog! I having been (sloooowly) moving toward the green and natural life the past several years, trying to convince my friends and family I’m not crazy 😉 Work like yours is invaluable and so encouraging when you feel so alone in trying the unconventional. On one of your ROM posts, a commenter mentioned a company called Terressentials and how their line of mud shampoos made a drastic difference in helping her with her transition period to ROM. I have been using their Cool Mint Pure Earth Hair Wash for 2 days now, and it has changed my life! I had been ROM for over 2 months (attempt #3) before now and was about to give up for the sake of my marriage lol. I normally never comment or post anything online but felt compelled to express my gratitude and perhaps pay it forward in my plug for the mud hair cleanser (which happens to be an insanely luxurious, spa-like scalp scrub) 🙂

  2. Hey Alex,
    Have you tried ground oatmeal? It seems like it would gently cleanse and maybe exfoliate, but I have to work up the nerve to try it!

  3. Does this help with sebum build up too? I use shea moisture 1-2 times a week (with the occasional use of homemade dry shampoo) but it seems that no matter how much I scrub my scalp, there’s always a ton of sebum left over.

  4. The ‘horses’ of Iceland are incredibly unique, they are actually ponies with ridiculous amounts of hair. Once they leave Iceland they can never come back so they are rather rare in the rest of the word. I think it would defiantly be worth the time to try to find a mounted excursion on some Icelandic ponies!

  5. Ah, thank you for this. I’ve just been using baking soda in water when the oil build-up gets too bad (I wash with water only), but it doesn’t seem to help with my dandruff. I was getting a little desperate and was *considering* starting to use Head and Shoulders. You’ve just saved me from making a huge mistake. Can’t wait to try some of these!

    1. Hi Alara! I had the SAME problem for like a year, I kept hoping it would go away and it didn’t. I found this low-poo shampoo, Alex approved 🙂 that really helped. It’s called Shea Moisture African Black Soap Deep Cleansing Shampoo. You can get it BOGO sometimes at Walgreens, or on Amazon here. It’s got charcoal in it, which really helps. It smells like bananas, which is a bit strange, but it works so well I don’t care! I mix it with water and only wash my scalp with it, only when I need it. Shea Moisture African Black Soap Deep Cleansing Shampoo – 13 oz.

  6. I was in Iceland in February! Be sure to book a day at The Blue Lagoon and rent a car for The Golden Circle. There are excursion offices everywhere in Reykjavik to help with activities!

    1. hey maria! most health food/supplement/all-natural stores should carry the powder. you can also purchase it online 🙂 my last batch was from the dr vita website.

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