The vital step missing from your hair care routine

It’s so simple, you’ll wonder why you haven’t been doing it for years

In our quest for luscious and shiny locks, there aren’t many ingredients, products and techniques we’re not willing to try. As a result, we’ve lathered our locks in Kourtney Kardashian’s DIY hair mask, dunked loose hair strands in water to test its health and switched up our hair brush to perfect our chosen style on the regular.

While all those methods will assist in boosting the health and look of your hair, there’s one simple hair care step that has eluded our routines up to this point that promises to boost our mane’s health, lustre and sheen.

That step is none other than hair exfoliation. Yep! You read that right. While it sounds odd (and may be a little over the top), exfoliating your hair is essential to remove any product and mineral build-up that sits at the roots of your strands, which often leaves your tresses looking dull and flat.

To find out more about the hair exfoliation technique, why it’s important and the best ways to go about it, we spoke to Pure Hair Food’s brand ambassador, Jenny Kim, who revealed all.

Why we need this step

According to Kim, exfoliating your hair and scalp is good for different reasons. “It’s important to exfoliate your scalp from time to time because we often put so much focus on the hair and not the skin the hair is growing out of. If the skin on your scalp is healthy, it creates a better environment for healthy hair to grow,” she explains.

Additionally, Kim revealed the numerous treatment and styling products we often apply after each wash can “at times cause the pH levels in your scalp to ‘freak out’ and either overproduce oil or dry out, which is where we come into issues of a dry itchy and flaky scalp or even greasy breakouts.”

The best way exfoliate hair

Thankfully, the process of exfoliating your hair is pretty simple. Kim recommends using a good deep cleaning shampoo that will gently cleanse your hair and scalp. “I personally think products with mostly natural ingredients that are sulfate/paraben free are a must. While we have all become accustomed to a rich foamy lather playing a necessary role in having clean hair, it can do more damage in the long run by leaving your hair and scalp completely stripped of its natural oils. In response, your skin freaks out and over-produces oils to compensate,” Kim reveals. She also stresses the importance of choosing products that feature moisturising ingredients “to balance out the deep clean and support your hair – such as wheat proteins and B vitamins.

Her top pick is Pure Hair Food’s Detox Your Hair Clarifying Shampoo as it works to balance pH levels and alleviate common scalp conditions such as psoriasis and dandruff. We also recommend Oribe The Cleanse Clarifying Shampoo and kms California Hair Stay Clarify Shampoo.

Pure Hair Food Detox Your Hair Clarifying Shampoo

Oribe The Cleanse Clarifying Shampoo

kms California Hair Stay Clarify Shampoo

How often should you exfoliate?

Kim claims that how often you should be exfoliating your hair depends on your lifestyle. “If you go to the gym often, if you use lots of hair products, if you have over-processed porous hair – these are all factors to consider.” She says the best way to schedule in your hair exfoliation is by thinking about “how often you wash your hair and maybe throw in a deep cleaning session once every three or four times you wash.”

If you’re already exfoliating your hair and your strands are still lacking volume and shine, check out our top hair mask picks for eight different hair concerns.

Image credit: Getty

Kate has worked for BEAUTYcrew since early 2016, first as a contributor, before being named Beauty Writer in 2017. She loves picking the brains of the industry's top experts to get to the bottom of beauty's toughest questions. Bronze eyeshadow palettes are her weakness and she's forever on the hunt for the perfect nude nail polish to suit her fair skin. Her words can also be found in Men's Health magazine.