“Scalp care is skin care” is a phrase that dominates the hair-care world. And now, the scalp-love trend is going one step further, with skin-care brands tossing their latest formulas into the shampoo and conditioner ring. This week, Neutrogena—the number-one dermatologist-recommended skin-care brand in the U.S.—launched its first-ever line of non-medicated, scalp-forward hair care as a response to what they call the “skinification of hair care.”
“We’ve seen the importance of the ingredients we put on our skin, not only in regards to how they make our skin look and feel but also how they make our skin function. If you want to have healthy, beautiful skin, it has to function properly, and ingredients help that,” said board-certified dermatologist Michelle Henry, MD, at the digital launch event. “Your scalp is literally the extension of your facial skin, so it’s a very natural leap to understand that if those ingredients are important for the optimal functioning of your facial skin, then your scalp shouldn’t be excluded.”
There are four different shampoo and conditioner combos, and each product is formulated with skin-friendly ingredients (plucked from Neutrogena’s line) meant to nourish the scalp’s specific needs while also nourishing your strands and scalp with ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, micellar waters, tea tree oils (I could go on).
While Neutrogena is bringing skin-friendly shampoos at a cost-effective price point to drugstores, it’s not the only skin-care brand to make a move to hair care. Earlier this year, Drunk Elephant partnered with celebrity stylist Chris McMillan to launch a line of skin-friendly hair products that founder Tiffany Masterson calls “the essentials everyone needs for a healthy scalp and great hair.” The hero product is an AHA (alpha hydroxy acids) scalp exfoliant that uses the same gentle acid as the brand’s cult-fave night serum to slough dead skin cells and product buildup off of the scalp. And that’s just the beginning: Sunday Riley recently released its own acid-based scalp serum, Venn launched a pH-balancing shampoo, Odacité has a soap-free shampoo bar, and Sol de Janeiro now has a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner duo inspired by its Bum Bum cream.
The reason this is happening? A healthy scalp leads to healthy strands. “The first thing I think about when someone talks about their hair is what’s going on at the follicle, which lives at the scalp. If the follicle is disrupted in any way, it’s going to prevent the scalp from functioning optimally,” says Dr. Henry, adding that keeping your scalp healthy is “sacrosanct.” And how do we do that? By using skin-friendly ingredients to reduce inflammation, which causes all kinds of issues, including hair loss. “Reducing inflammation is important, and we do that by keeping our scalps free of debris with a cleanser that allows us to cleanse, hydrate, and treat the scalp so that we can wash our hair as frequently as we need to for our hair type,” she says.
Scroll through for some skin-ified hair-care products that will keep your scalp happy, healthy, and inflammation free.
The chemically exfoliating combo of glycolic, tartaric, lactic, and citric acid in this scrub removes any and all nasties from your scalp. Leave it on for 20 minutes before you shampoo, and they’ll be down the drain in no time.
Buildup is no match for this AHA and BHA-infused serum, which can be used as a pre-shampoo treatment to cleanse your scalp thoroughly. Plus, it’s packed with niacinamide, which promotes healthy hair growth.
Instead of soap or sulfates, this bar uses coconut oil to wash away buildup and balance your scalp. It’s also made with argan oil, cupuaçu butter, and castor oil to leave strands shiny and moisturized.
Clinically tested to reduce scalp sebum, reduce dead skin, and improve scalp elasticity—while also cleansing your scalp—this shampoo is formulated with pH-balancing synbiotics (AKA, a combo of pro and prebiotics) to keep your scalp healthy and happy.
The brand that’s famous for hydrating your bum now wants to do the same for your hair. It’s made with Keratin, Brazil nut, and Buriti oil to moisturize and strengthen strands.
Need more proof that your scalp deserves some extra TLC? Check out the video below.