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How to make an exfoliating scalp spray with salicylic acid

Monday, March 05, 2018
Scalp Spray with Salicylic AcidI read long ago that if you want to give your hair a healthy environment in which to grow more dense and full, you need to exfoliate the scalp. Much like exfoliating the skin, it allows the scalp cells to breath, take in nutrients, keep the hair follicles healthy, and hopefully grow more hair.

The book I read talked about physically exfoliating the scalp by scrubbing it with a toothbrush and baking soda. I never tried that, but it sounded like a good idea. Just a bit time consuming and cumbersome to do. So instead of physically exfoliating my scalp, I opted to chemically exfoliate with salicylic acid.

I started using the Neutrogena T/Sal shampoo, which has salicylic acid in it to help remove the build-up of dead skin on the scalp. I only use it once every week or two. And although my scalp seems healthier after using it, I feel like its not really enough to get all the skin buildup off the scalp. Some people shed this dead skin as dandruff. Some people, like me, just get that itchy scalp feeling, like you just want to scratch it off.

I usually use a hydrating spray for my scalp every night before bed. The same solution that I use as a toner for my face. It consists of water, witch hazel, plankton extract, and an anti-aging peptide. It has done well for my face and scalp. However, I decided I wanted to add an exfoliant in the spray to help remove the build-up on my scalp instead of using it in the shampoo. I figured the daily use of a small amount of exfoliant will be good for removing my scalp build-up.

I chose salicylic acid as the chemical exfoliant because it seemed to work well in the Neutrogena T/Sal. If this doesn't work, I may try hibiscus extract because it has natural AHA, which is also a chemical exfoliant that I use in my body lotion.

I am beginning this experiment with a plain water solution and a low percentage of salicylic acid. My target is a 0.5% salicylic acid solution in distilled water. I always use distilled water instead of tap water because I know it is pure water, without any additional minerals or chemicals in it (like fluoride, chlorine, lime etc.). If this solution works well on my scalp, I may add in my other favorite ingredients, like witch hazel, plankton, and peptides. I will test this first salicylic acid solution for about a week.

Materials:
Distilled Water (jug from grocery store)
Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda)

Equipment & Supplies:

Calculations for 100mL solution:
.5% salicylic acid = .5g
the rest distilled water = 100mL

Procedure:
  1. Weighed out .5g of salicylic acid
  2. Placed powder into 250mL glass beaker
  3. Added about to 100mL of distilled water
  4. Add stir bar and place on stirring machine
  5. Stir and turn on a little heat
  6. After about 20 mins, about 70% of the powder dissolved.
  7. I measured the pH to be about 1.5
  8. Since salicylic acid doesn't dissolve well in water, and I need to titrate the solution to a higher pH, I added about .3g of sodium bicarbonate (which does both)
  9. This allowed the salicylic acid to fully dissolve, and it brought the pH to about 3 to 3.5. This was about as low as I would go, so I left the solution as is. I could have, and maybe should have added a little more sodium bicarbonate, but I didn't this time. Hopefully I don't burn my scalp off!

Observations:

I'll let you know how this works for me :-)


Update 4/6/2018

This didn't seem to do the trick as far as keeping my scalp any healthier. So I have resorted back to using my DIY plankton & peptide scalp spray, witch hazel, and the Neutrogena T/Sal shampoo. I use the shampoo once or twice a week, and leave it on for a couple of minutes to do the exfoliation. The other days, I spray witch hazel into my hair and rinse it off in the shower. Twice a day, I use my homemade plankton & peptide scalp spray. It really seems to do the trick, in addition to adding a little extra bounce to my hair. I will post the formula for my DIY scalp spray soon.



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