Summer Specials – Scalp Scrub for Indian Tresses

The concept of scalp scrub is not new in India. Our traditional hair cleaning methods of using dry herbal powder also cleans the build-up on the scalp. Here are some cost effective scalp scrubs coming out of kitchen wastes which suit Indian locks, provides shine, boosts scalp health and also cover greys to some extent over a period of time. Use of these scrubs reduces shampoo usage and can gradually help one to have a no poo life style. These are better substitute for soda wash (harms scalp as its alkaline) which generally people use when moving to a no-poo lifestyle. Do read the do’s and don’ts section at the end before starting the scalp scrubbing.

Coffee and Cinnamon scrub

Filter coffee is very popular in southern Indian states. Coffee grounds coming from the filter after the decoction has been consumed can provide a fantastic scalp scrub, giving a wash of deep-chocolate tone with a high-gloss finish.

It’s also a very good body scrub having caffeine which is one of the ingredients in many anti cellulite scrubs. It can be used as a midweek cleanser to avoid excessive use of shampoos.

 Multiple ways to use it . Mixed with a light conditioner or with shampoo and messaged lightly on scalp. I find the following one best for Indian scalp in summers. Mix a heaped table spoon of used coffee ground with quarter tea spoon of cinnamon powder and a few drops of virgin coconut oil for dry hairs. Massaged into damp scalp with light circular motions and left for five minutes gives glossy frizz free hairs which look like ‘just stepped out of a saloon’.

Tea and Lemon

Used tea leaves are excellent for hairs. Tea being acidic in nature matches scalp’s PH and removes build-ups. Tannin in tea also prevents hair loss and strengthens hair roots if applied externally. Therefore, many people wash their hair with black tea. Over a period of time it covers greys naturally. Save used tea leaves in an airtight container in refrigerator.

Before use grind two table spoons of tea-leaves with a used lemon rind and make thick slurry. Message on wet scalp and leave for five minutes before rinsing it out. Best for oily hairs.

Green Gram and Curd

This requires a little preparation but results are seen to be believed. Wash and dry green gram completely. Grind a coarse powder. Mix with very little curd and water to make it a thick coarse paste. Message on dry scalp and leave for 15-20 minutes before rinsing.

Brown Sugar and Honey

This scrub is well known and cleans dry hairs very well as honey attracts moisture leaving the hair well-conditioned. Honey and sugar have to be organic as regular honey can irritate scalp. Two table spoons of sugar and one table spoon of honey mixed and messaged for 5 minutes gives clean and shiny hairs.

Aloe Vera and Clay

Fresh Aloe Vera gel and Clay (multani mitti) mixed in a thick paste messaged into scalp and left on for 15 minutes cleans scalp of oil dirt and grime leaving it soft and supple. My favorite for summers.

Do’s and Don’ts of Scalp-Scrubbing

None of the above scrubs require shampooing afterwards but if one cannot resist shampooing use a mild chemical free shampoo.(natural shampoo recipe)

Massage the scrub into your scalp with your fingers. Be gentle while you massage your scalp.

Wash off the scrub with cool water instead of hot. Hot water will wash away the beneficial oils, making the scalp dry.

To avoid excessive use of water in removing scrub particles comb hair before free applying scrub. This makes hair free of tangles on which scrub particles stick.

Use a separate towel to wrap your hair after rinsing. Especially for first two scrubs as it can stain the towels.

Don’t use a scalp scrub more than once a week.

Never use anything that irritates your scalp. If it is, discontinue using it and find something a little gentler.



A physicist turned green living advocate.

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