Humble brag alert: I get a lot of compliments on my hair. But the truth is, lately I feel like it's going through a major funk. Thanks to major heat and humidity, it's crazy greasy at the top, and thanks to bleach-heavy dye jobs, it's bone-dry at the bottom. It never feels clean, you know? On my quest to enhance my hair health, I started considering how my scalp played a role in my greasy roots, and decided to see if the new Ouai Scalp + Body Scrub could be the quick fix my head of hair was craving.
As I said, my top hair concerns are oily roots and dry ends, along with a difficult-to-maintain blonde balayage. On my haircare journey so far, I've managed to find solutions to two of the aforementioned issues. The Shu Uemera Color Luster Cool Blonde Shades Reviving Balm ($58, shuuemuraartofhair-usa.com) has been my recent go-to for toning my blonde when it starts to go too yellow, and it's one of the quickest and easiest color-balancing products I've found on the market to date. As for my dry ends, I've found solace in the Coco & Eve Like A Virgin Super Nourishing Coconut & Fig Hair Masque ($45, cocoandeve.com), a mega-hydrating mask with a consistency I can only describe as silky yogurt for your hair — this is no doubt the best moisturizing hair mask I've tried yet.
But with two out of three of my hair issues solved, I'd begun desperately experimenting with a variety of products in an attempt to fix my greasy hair, too. However, I only really figured out how to remedy my roots when I determined why they were so oily in the first place.
For a long time, I saw no success in fixing my greasy roots because I was focused on the follicles themselves, not the scalp from where they were growing. It turns out, scalp health directly impacts hair health, which I admit seems obvious now that I think about it... but for a long time, it never even crossed my mind. If the sebaceous glands on your scalp are over-producing oils, your hair will look greasy no matter what, so maintaining a healthy scalp is the only way to prevent oil build-up near the roots. Additionally, as someone who washes her hair just once a week, I tend to load up on dry shampoo to keep my hair looking fresh. On the outside, my strategy was effective, but what helped my hair look better in the moment was actually weighing down my roots and clogging the pores on my scalp in the long run. To solve my hair woes, I knew I needed to find a way to really detox. When I heard that Ouai was launching a new Scalp & Body Scrub ($38, sephora.com) to exfoliate and deep-cleanse, I knew it would be worth it to take this product for a test-drive.
Fast forward to me in my bathroom, embarrassed but determined to show you just how bad the buildup and oil at my roots can become:
Here we are, after a few days sans-washing. See how the bottom of my hair is totally normal, but the top looks wet and weighed down? I was never comfortable with how this looked — or how it felt.
Behold, a closer look at my greasy roots! My poor pores!
Yikes. Before we get right into the nitty gritty (and like any good scrub, this one will hopefully be gritty), allow me to share a little more information on this product. The Scalp & Body Scrub uses sugar granules as a gentle but effective exfoliant, as well as coconut oil to nourish and a probiotic blend to protect the scalp against bad bacteria. As a bonus, the product can also be used like a traditional body scrub. As a bonus bonus, the scrub is scented with Ouai's signature fragrance, Ouai No.5.
If you're wondering what a sugar scrub looks like up close, behold:
Once in the shower, I divvied my hair into several parts and focused on massaging small amounts of the scrub into each area. I focused only on my scalp and roots, not the shafts or ends of my hair, which is how a scrub should always be applied. Once I felt I'd thoroughly worked the product in, I flipped my head over and gave it one final massage before rinsing like normal and following up with my Coco & Eve conditioning mask. (Side note: I also used a bit of the scrub on the body, and I'm happy to say it was equally gentle and effective on my bod! 10/10 would scrub again.)
This is what my hair looked like during the scrubbing process: (Yes, I took my phone into the shower, in the name of scalp health research.)
Post-shower, I let my hair air dry for a bit as usual before brushing, then used a blow-dryer to finish things up. When my scalp is super clogged, sometimes even my freshly washed hair feels stiff at the roots, but after using the scrub, my hair felt salon-level good. My roots felt clean and oil-free, but not stripped or dried out. With my newly non-greasy roots complementing my Shu Uemura toned dye job and Coco & Eve hydrated ends, I honestly felt like my hair was living its best life.
Behold, run-your-fingers-through-'em, healthy, clean roots:
How about a before-and-after to see some volume, shall we?
Yes, my roots are technically still dark, but that's between me and my next balayage appointment, so mind your business. It might be hard to see in a photo, but the scrub definitely helped to de-gunk whatever was clogging my pores and making my scalp produce excess oil. In fact, my roommate walked in right before I took the photos, totally unaware I was in the midst of my "research," and complimented me on how good my hair looked. That's proof, people! Take it or leave it! What's more, my roots normally get greasy thanks to the humidity within a couple of hours, but I was able to walk a few miles and run some errands without ending up with an unintentional wet-look style.
Let's look once more at the before-and-after:
If you're itching to get your hands on this scalp scrub for yourself, it launches on the Ouai website and Sephora.com, as well as in-stores at Sephora, on Aug. 21. I definitely plan to continue using my scrub on both my roots and my body as well, as I barely made a dent with just one use.
I'm glad I've got this new scrub from Ouai to add to my collection of must-have scalp saviors, and I hope my journey into the world of scalp health has inspired you to show your own scalp some love — it just might be the starting point for your next great hair day!