Over the past few years, skin care has become !-- react-text: 142 --"> in our culture. Blame the Internet, blame the !-- react-text: 145 --">, blame it on the Goose, whatever. But if an extensive skin-care routine just isn't enough to satisfy your beauty junkie inclinations, it may be time to apply such obsessive practices to your hair. And lucky for you, we've got the case (and the game plan) for a hair-care routine as sophisticated as your skin-care regimen — sheet masks, peels, serums, and all.
1. Exfoliate weekly.
Chemical peels for your scalp sound bananas but they make good sense. Dead skin cells linger on your scalp between washes, which can lead to breakouts at your hairline and flakiness at your roots. “Plus, there’s the oil from hair follicles, [buildup from] the products you’ve used. If you don’t take all of that away, your scalp and your hair won’t be as healthy,” says cosmetic chemist Kelly Dobos. Handily, there are peels and scrubs specifically for the scalp, and you can simply massage them from your hairline to the nape of your neck once or twice a week. Chemical peels with alpha and beta hydroxy acids “speed up cell turnover on the scalp like they would for your face, which helps manage flakes,” says Dobos. You can find both acids in !-- react-text: 152 --"> and !-- react-text: 155 --"> (a version of the cult facial toner with added pine bark and nettle extract to balance sebum). Grittier scrubs are better for removing product and oil buildup — we like !-- react-text: 158 --">, whose graininess comes from sea salt, and !-- react-text: 161 --">, which has apricot-seed powder.
2. Switch to a micellar shampoo.
There are 5 bajillion (give or take) micellar products for your face, and now hair care is catching up. And for good reason. Micelles are gentle cleansers whether they’re in a makeup remover or a shampoo. “They don’t strip away as many of your natural oils as traditional surfactants,” says cosmetic chemist Ni’Kita Wilson. “In shampoos, they get your hair clean without drying it out.” They do take some getting used to, however: “Micellar shampoos don’t lather much, but the lather is never what cleans hair anyway,” says Wilson. “They make your hair bouncier by cleansing it without stripping, and they’re good for all hair types — curly, straight, coarse, fine.” Try !-- react-text: 196 --">, !-- react-text: 199 --">, or !-- react-text: 202 --">. And on no-shower days, there are micelles in !-- react-text: 205 --">.