Bottom line: seeing some hair loss when exfoliating your scalp isn't reason for worrying and is totally normal. An exception to that, however, is if you're using a scalp scrub that's too rough. "It is important to look at the ingredients of the scalp scrub and make sure it is not abrasive and unhealthy for the scalp," Dr. Adams said. Some of the most common exfoliating ingredients in scalp scrubs are salt, sugar, and coffee, and there is a different between each one. "Salt can be very abrasive to the scalp and can actually alter the pH," he said.
Sugar formulas — Dr. Adam's go-to exfoliator — is a non-drying exfoliant and natural humectant that helps seal in moisture while gently buffing away dead skin cells and product buildup from your scalp. That's why he recommends the Thicker Fuller Hair Purifying Sugar Scalp Scrub ($13).
Just like any form of exfoliation, you don't want to overdo it. "Once a week would be ideal, but realistically once a month would still provide great results," said Dr. Adams. Good news for anyone who's already overwhelmed by the number of steps in their shower routine. (Me, I'm referring to myself.)