I Tried a $10 Scalp Brush for Better Hair—And It Worked

Could a silicone scalp brush improve my scalp health and make my hair grow faster? I tried one for two months to find out.

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I don’t spend a lot of time or money styling my hair. After washing, I either let it air dry or use Revlon’s one-step hairdryer and dry shampoo if I need more polish. But like a lot of people, I experience greasy roots between wash days and the occasional flaky scalp when the weather gets dry. Switching up shampoos didn’t really help—I even tried rinsing with apple cider vinegar and adding a scalp oil to my routine but didn’t see results.

Recently, I noticed a social media trend that piqued my interest. Women were uploading videos on how to use scalp brushes. They claimed the little silicone tools stimulated hair growth, relieved dandruff, removed product buildup, and allowed shampoo and hair oil to better penetrate the scalp. Some users just stated using the scalp brush felt good and helped them to relax. The before and after results were pretty inspiring. I wanted a scalp brush.

I reached out to Hairstory, to see if they would send me their scalp brush to try. Though their scalp brush is marketed to be used with the company’s hair wash, it’s a similar design to the other scalp brushes I researched. I’ve used my scalp brush for two months. Here’s how it went. (You might also want to learn about this $8 frizzy hair product with nearly perfect reviews, too.)

Scalp brush review

What is a scalp brush? First of all, the name is misleading. A scalp brush isn’t designed to be used like a hairbrush, where you brush your hair from root to tip. A scalp brush is more like a scalp exfoliator. Scalp brushes go by a lot of names: shampoo brush, scalp and shampoo brush, scalp exfoliator. But they’re all the same concept. Look for a circular silicone or rubber brush with a knob-like handle, and short bristles you rub along your roots and scalp.

Have you ever noticed how much cleaner your head feels after someone else washes it at the salon? Using a scalp brush is kind of like that. The bristles are far more effective than my fingertips, and since using the brush feels incredible on the scalp I slow down and do a more thorough job washing my hair.

My hair hasn’t grown a crazy two inches in one month, but I notice a dramatic difference in how easy much better and cleaner my scalp feels. Scalp massagers can help increase blood flow—which brings more nutrients to the hair follicle, but there’s no scientific evidence they make hair grow faster. I don’t have any tightness or itching that I tend to associate with winter in general. I can also go a day or two longer between washes without excessively greasy and flat roots, which I think comes directly from exfoliating my scalp and removing product buildup. Ahem, dry shampoo residue.

How to use a scalp brush

You can use a scalp brush on wet or dry hair, in the shower, or out of the shower. Since a scalp brush can be used for different things, it can be used in different ways. Regardless, brush or comb through your hair first with your hairbrush to get out any tangles before using the scalp brush. I like to mist my roots with a little water about 20 minutes before I get in the shower. I then apply argan oil to my scalp and massage it in with the scalp brush. This process is sort of like a dry brush, in that it removes dead skin, stimulates the scalp, and opens up the pores to let the oil moisturize and soften my scalp and roots. Argan oil is believed to stimulate hair growth and cell production. Using hair oil without a scalp brush seems like a waste of hair oil.

woman using the scalp brush in the showervia hairstory.com

Once I’m in the shower, I lather up my shampoo as usual (and wash out the hair oil). Then I go in again with the scalp brush, using a back and forth motion to avoid tangling and help the shampoo lather and penetrate my scalp. The massage feels especially good around my neck. Admittedly, I was probably missing the base of my head and neck quite a bit before I got the scalp brush.

Other than on my hair wash days, I use the scalp brush once in a while just when I feel like it. Using the scalp brush on dry hair feels like a mini-head massage, and it brushes away any product residue or dead skin I accumulated between washes. “Silicone brushes tend to have soft silicone or synthetic bristles that help massage the scalp and buff away dry, flaky skin,” explains Michelle Blaisure, certified trichologist for Bosley Professional Strength, to Cosmopolitan.com.

How does my hair look? It’s more voluminous and shiny for sure, which I partially attribute to the argan oil—but I don’t think the argan oil would work as well without first exfoliating my scalp and getting a more thorough shampoo. Here are 12 drugstore hair products stylists swear by.

Where to buy a scalp brush

The scalp brush I reviewed is available for $10 from Hairstory. Similar scalp brushes range between $5 and $20 and are available on Amazon, Walmart, Sephora, and Ulta. It’s a lot cheaper than a professional head massage!

Scalp brush pros

  • It feels really good! Using one is kind of like getting ahead massage at the hair salon.
  • Affordable. Scalp brushes run between $5 to $20
  • Scalp brushing stimulates blood flow to the scalp, which could help with hair growth.
  • The silicone bristles remove product build up and flakes, allowing oil or shampoo to penetrate better.
  • They make your scalp healthier and cleaner, which is good all around.

Scalp brush cons

  • Using a scalp brush is another step in your hair care routine.
  • No scientific evidence they make hair grow faster or lusher.

Best Hairstory scalp brush verified user reviews

I’m not the only one who had a positive experience with the Hairstory scalp brush. Here’s what other users had to say.

Rebecca S., “Great tool, my hair is so much healthier and no greasy roots with this little piece of magic.”

Amy D., “Maybe you think your time at the shampoo bowl is the best part of your hair appointment? Well, this is just like having your hairstylist’s hands in your shower with you! This little guy will make all your scrubbing efforts so easy and relieve the stress on your arms.”

Devyn H., “I am so impressed with how much impact this brush has in effectively distributing product through the hair and scalp. I myself suffer from psoriasis, and this scrub brush is a game-changer!”

Hairstory Scalp Brush

Hairstory Scalp Brush via hairstory.com


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Megan Wood
As Deputy Affiliate eCommerce Editor, Megan Wood helps Reader's Digest readers find the best products to make their lives better, easier, and more joyful. She has 10 years of service journalism and product review experience across a variety of national websites. When she’s not tracking down the best sales and deals, you can probably find her walking her dog.