The Lowdown on Korean Scalp Care

The Lowdown on Korean Scalp Care

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Korean haircare has become popular for its involved 10 step routine and focus on botanical ingredients, but it’s the focus on scalp care that really sets it apart. In South Korea, haircare takes on a more holistic approach, focusing on the overall wellbeing of your hair rather than just its appearance.


But having a healthy and well-cared for scalp also has other benefits. It can help create a good foundation for hair growth and soothe irritation and itchiness and keep flakiness away. A good scalp care routine can also help balance your sebum which means less oiliness.


But scalp care is also about self-care. Treatments and care aimed at taking care of your scalp can feel indulgent, giving your scalp some relief as your make it healthier and set a foundation for healthier, more beautiful hair. Taking care of your scalp is worthwhile whatever your reason is, and incorporating even a few of these Korean scalp care steps will give your scalp some of the TLC it deserves.


How Scalp Care Fits Into the Korean Haircare Routine

The typical 10 step Korean haircare routine dedicates at least half of its steps to scalp care. A properly cleansed and balanced scalp is key to overall hair growth, so making sure to cleanse, treat, and protect it is vital.


Beyond cleansing with a gentle shampoo, scalp care is practiced by exfoliating, hydrating the scalp, using scalp massage, and protecting the scalp from external aggressors like heat, the environment, or smoke. We’ll go over this steps in more detail to see how you can incorporate them into your routine.


Scalp Scaling: What It Is And Should You Do It?

While exfoliating is something you can do at home with a scalp scrub, scalp scaling is a similar but more intense process that are typically done by a professional. Both involve a deep cleansing of the scalp to rid it of excess sebum and product buildup.


Using a gentle scalp exfoliator is great for managing dandruff and soothing irritation, but it also helps to unclog hair follicles and improve circulation in the scalp which provides a good foundation for hair growth.

 scalp scaling

Anyone can try scalp scaling, especially those with dandruff, irritated scalps, or those struggling with an oily scalp.


If you decide to exfoliate your scalp, it’s best to use a gentle product with soothing ingredients that won’t inflame or irritate your scalp. Doing it once a week will give you noticeable results without drying out or irritating your scalp.


Scalp Treatments To Soothe, Balance and Hydrate

Scalp treatments come in many forms and can be used to soothe, balance and hydrate. Some common scalp treatments are:


Scalp Toners

scalp tonics korean

Scalp toners are lightweight, liquid-y products that soothe irritation. They use soothing ingredients like aloe vera or tea tree oil and are often applied right after cleansing to damp hair.


Scalp Essences

Scalp Essences are lightweight serums that hydrate the scalp. They are great for those struggling with dryness and can often be paired with hair growth ingredients to help stimulate hair growth.


Scalp Masks

Scalp masks give the scalp deep hydration and can be creams or even sheet masks. They are left on the scalp for a certain amount of time to hydrate and soothe.


Scalp Massage

Scalp massage has a very key part in the Korean haircare routine for its impact on scalp health and its role in stress relief. Whether with a scalp massager tool or just with your fingers, massaging your scalp is a great way to release tension.


But scalp massaging is also useful for the better absorption of scalp treatments. It makes them more effective by helping them absorb better into the scalp and maximizing their effectiveness.

korean scalp massager


And lastly, scalp massage is thought to contribute to hair growth by helping unclog hair follicles and stimulate scalp circulation. The science here is not yet proven, but there have been promising studies in this area.


Scalp Protection

Protecting one’s scalp takes on more importance in this routine to reduce exposure to the elements which can age and damage the scalp and hair. Some methods of protecting the scalp are:


Wearing a hat

hair and scalp protection hat

It is very common to wear a hat or some other headwear to protect the scalp and hair (and face) from the sun.


Hair and Scalp Sunscreen

Sunscreens that are formulated for the scalp and hair protect hair from sun damage as well as protect color from fading. These sunscreens are lightweight and protect the scalp from both short and long-term damage.



Umbrellas are more common not just as protection from the rain but also from the sun. They help protect the seal from UV rays on sunny days.



Using accessories such as headbands or scarves can help protect hair from other environmental aggressors like pollution or cigarette smoke.


What Koreans Use For Hair Loss

Many Korean hair products in the form of scalp tonics and essences contain ingredients that are designed to stimulate hair growth. Ingredients like ginseng or minoxidil can help with hair growth and are often used in these scalp treatments. Regular use of these products over time can help with hair growth.

How Often Koreans Wash Their Hair

How often Koreans wash their hair naturally varies by hair type, scalp condition, and other personal factors, but it’s really a matter of how often the hair feels it needs to be washed. There is no hard and fast rule here because everyone is different. While some of these treatments  are meant to be used once a week, giving your scalp a gentle cleanse and conditioner can be done more frequently if needed.


The Lowdown on Korean Scalp Care Conclusion

Scalp care is only growing in popularity as a way to mange your health, beauty, and well-being all at once. Promoting your scalp’s health is a great way to feel healthier from inside out, and it can help to promote healthier, shinier hair and even hair growth! Incorporating a few of these products or steps into your routine is a good start for taking your scalp health seriously and getting beautiful, healthy-looking hair.

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