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Composition gomme cuir chevelu.

What is a scalp exfoliant composed of?

The skin of the scalp also suffers from dandruff, pollution, dust, overload of hair care products, or dead skin cells. Defined as a complementary treatment to shampooing, hair scrubbing involves gently massaging the scalp to purify it and help remove all these impurities at the root level of the hair. Apart from exfoliating micro-grains, several ingredients are used in the production of hair scrubs.

The ingredients of a scalp exfoliant.

Hair scrub products provide gentle exfoliation to the scalp, the principle of which is to lift off flaking corneal cells and eliminate other impurities that accumulate between two shampoos by rubbing micro-grains on the skin (dust, pollution residues, traces of hair products used, etc...). However, when these impurities remain on the scalp surface, they tend to clog the pores and impair the overall health of the scalp (dandruff, itching, excess sebum) and hair (lack of volume, slowed growth). The exfoliating agents also activate the blood flow to your scalp during the massage. This not only softens the scalp but also improves your hair growth. Conditioned on an emulsified or gelled base, these active ingredients are either of plant origin (like jojoba micro-beads, crushed apricot kernels...), or of mineral origin (like silica powder).

Once upon a time, the polyethylene microbeads were commonly found in such products, favored for their gentleness on the skin, low cost, and ease of manufacture. Banned since January 1, 2018 in cosmetics, they are accused of harming the ecosystem (made from petroleum, resistant to biodegradability, accumulation in marine waters).

Some scalp scrubs provide a dual exfoliation that is both mechanical and chemical, meaning their composition includes acid agents such as AHA like the glycolic acid, BHA like the salicylic acid or PHA like the gluconolactone. They work on the bonds between dead cells for optimal exfoliation. The micro-grains, which vary in abrasiveness depending on the size and shape of the granules, are typically combined with soothing and moisturizing agents like aloe vera, propanediol, etc... in varying amounts.

Other substances are also essential to the composition of a hair exfoliant such as the gelling agents (ex: sclerotium gum, xanthan gum, etc...) which have the property of giving the product consistency by increasing its viscosity, pH regulators (ex: citric acid, sodium hydroxide, etc...) to stabilize the preparation and adjust the pH of the hair scrub to that of the scalp, emulsifiers (ex: polyglyceryl-4 caprate, etc...) used to slow down instability between two immiscible liquids by reducing the surface tension between these two liquid phases, fragrance/flavoring agents (ex: essential oils, limonene, linalool, lyral etc...) which allow to give a scent to the product by creating a pleasant smell and/or masking a bad smell, and one or more agents with bacteriostatic activity (ex: sodium dehydroacetate, potassium sorbate, etc...) which serve to inhibit the proliferation of bacteria by altering the cellular membrane of microorganisms and thus preserving the microbiological cleanliness of the product at the time of their use. Indeed, exfoliating creams or gels are mainly composed of water, a medium conducive to the development of bacteria.

Analysis of the INCI list of Typology's scalp exfoliant.

The scalp exfoliating gel by Typology is to be used before the shampoo. Its benefits? To purify, hydrate, soothe, and reoxygenate the scalp. Indeed, it acts as a scrub thanks to jojoba beads, silica powder, and gluconolactone. These active ingredients promote cell renewal, stimulate blood micro-circulation, normalize sebum production, and revitalize hair growth. Scalp exfoliation also enhances the effects of the hair treatments that follow. Thus, the benefits of the shampoo will be multiplied as the scrub will have lifted dead skin and impurities at the hair roots.

The formula also containseucalyptus globulus essential oil for its strengthening and vasoconstrictive properties, andpeppermint essential oil for its antiseptic and soothing actions, in addition to giving the product a subtle fresh and aromatic scent. After applying it to dry hair, part by part, and massaging it over the entire scalp, wait about ten minutes before rinsing with warm water. Freed from these impurities, your hair will then regain its shine, strength, and volume.

INCI NameOriginFunction(s)
Aqua (Water)/Base Substance (Solvent)
Hydrated SilicaMineralAbrasive Agent
GluconolactonePlant-based (derived from corn sugar and beet/sugar cane)Active Ingredient
PropanediolPlant-based (derived from corn sugar)Solvent, Humectant
Polyglyceryl-4 CapratePlant-basedEmulsifying agent (non-ionic surfactant)
Sclerotium GumMicrobiological (produced by the Sclerotium rolfissii bacterium)Gelling Agent
Xanthan GumPlant-based (derived from corn sugar)Gelling Agent
Sodium HydroxideInorganicpH Regulator
Jojoba EstersPlant-basedAbrasive agent, soothing agent
Aloe Barbadensis Leaf JuicePlant-basedActive Ingredient (Aloe Vera Juice)
Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) OilPlant-basedActive ingredient, fragrance agent (peppermint essential oil)
Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf OilPlant-basedActive ingredient, fragrance agent (eucalyptus globulus essential oil)
Citric AcidPlant-based (derived from corn and beet sugar)pH Regulator
Sodium CitratePlant-based (derived from corn and beet sugar)pH Regulator
Sodium DehydroacetateSyntheticPreservative
LimonenePlant-based Fragrance Agent


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