Sometimes, your hair and scalp just feel dirtier than usual. A build-up of sweat, oil, and products can make you want to take drastic measures to get clean, piling up on scrubs and clarifying shampoos. But before you break out the big guns, consider using a pre-shampoo treatment like The Mane Choice H2Oh! Scalp Toning Micellar Water ($11), a favorite of Brooklyn-based celebrity hairstylist Ursula Stephen.
“I consider this product the makeup remover for hair,” says Stephen, who has styled celebs like Zendaya, Tessa Thompson, and Jodie Turner-Smith. “It helps to break up that layer of dirt and oil on the scalp and hair, prepping the hair for a thorough and hydrating shampoo, like how makeup remover is to the face before cleansing the skin.”
You probably recognize micellar water from the skin-care world, where it’s commonly as the first step in a double cleansing routine. This type of formula is excellent for cleansing because it contains microscopic oil molecules, called micelles, suspended in water, which effectively remove dirt and oil without stripping your skin. “Think of micelles as little warriors that surround a dirt particle to break it down,” says Connecticut-based dermatologist Mona Gohara, MD. Additionally, the water in the solution adds a hydrating element, making micellar water particularly helpful for dry, irritation-prone skin and scalps.
The Mane Choice micellar water pairs its micelle technology with a detoxifying blend of seaweed, kelp, and algae, which are rich in minerals that improve your overall hair health. These ingredients work together to deep clean your hair and scalp before you go in with your standard shampoo.
“One of the reasons I really love the H2Oh! Scalp Toning Micellar Water is because it makes a wash day so much easier,” says Stephen. “The fluidity of the product moves through the hair easily. There is instant gratification as you see the dirt coming off the hair and how it brings shine to the hair.”
Once you hop in the shower and wet your hair, use the pointed nozzle to apply the micellar water directly to your scalp, massage thoroughly, and work it through to the ends of your hair. Rinse and follow up with the brand’s Deep Cleansing Shampoo ($11) and Moisturizing Conditioner ($10) or your usual go-to products. You’ll be left with a clean scalp and no stripped skin in sight.
Learn more about cleansing your scalp:
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