Got a dry, flaky or itchy scalp? Stylist’s beauty director Shannon Peter has discovered a new serum from The Body Shop that might be right up your street.
In the last few years we’ve seen a vital switch in the way we think about hair. Rather than focusing so heavily on the strands themselves, we’ve finally figured out how to get to the root (pardon the pun) cause of so many of our hair concerns: the scalp.
Now more than ever we appreciate the importance of the scalp, and how keeping it balanced, hydrated and fundamentally, clean is vital if we’re ever to grow the healthy strands we so desire. We understand how product and pollution can build up and wreak havoc and how – just like our face – our scalp can often do with a little cosmetic intervention to keep both oil and hydration levels at their optimum.
For someone with a perpetually dry scalp like me, this microscopic focus on our follicles is especially welcome, as it brings with it a flurry of new scalp remedies to try. And it wouldn’t be hyperbolic to say I’ve tried them all. I’ve basked under dollops of creamy scalp masks, I’ve pummeled my head with grainy scalp scrubs and I’ve lovingly doused my roots in Ayurvedic hair oils, all in a bid to rid my head of its incessant flakiness.
One product I always turn to when my dry scalp is raging is The Body Shop’s Ginger Shampoo, £7.50. One bottle of this stuff sells every four minutes, and I think we can safely peg that popularity on its ability to annihilate dandruff in one or two washes. As the name would suggest, the key ingredient is ginger, which despite being fiery on the tongue, feels exceptionally soothing on an irritated scalp. There’s also birch bark, white willow extracts and honey which help dislodge flakes and nourish the stressed skin beneath. Quite frankly, I love the stuff.
And that’s why my interest was definitely piqued at the news The Body Shop has turned this much-loved shampoo into a new serum. Especially considering this heatwave has left my scalp extra itchy, flaky and stressed.
The Body Shop Ginger Scalp Serum, £15, is the latest recruit to the ginger range, and promises to nourish the scalp, soothe dryness and rebalance tricksy skin. Exactly what I’m after.
It contains the same roll-call of dry scalp-corralling ingredients as the shampoo, but in a stronger concentration, and given you don’t wash the serum out, they also have longer to work their magic. In texture terms, it’s a little gloopier than a face serum, which is helpful in that it doesn’t simply drip down your neck as you apply.
I was worried I’d end up with incredibly greasy roots, but given my scalp is so dry, the formula seemed to sink in quickly, leaving little to no trace. And it would be remiss not to mention just how refreshing it was to apply during this heatwave: not only did the ginger essential oil calm my itchy scalp, but I’ve taken to popping my bottle in the fridge for an extra jolt of iciness each time I apply it. I’m calling it: it’s the new face mist!
As for the scalp dryness? There wasn’t that instant effect I saw with this scalp oil, but after a few uses, there are definitely far fewer flakes. I guess I’d liken this serum to applying a rich balm onto a patch of dry skin: it cossets it in nourishment, but it takes a deep, frothy cleanse (ideally with the matching shampoo!) to rinse away those flakes for good. Even so, I’ll no doubt be pulling my bottle out from the fridge on those between-wash days.
Main image: The Body Shop