These Natural Scalp-Care Products Are the Secret to Healthier Hair — Editor Reviews

We asked three Allure beauty editors to test out two of Playa’s star scalp care treatments: California Salt Shampoo and Healing Hair Masque. Both standouts from the clean hair-care brand are inspired by California’s laid-back spirit, making healthy hair effortless.

At the core of the clean hair-care brand, Playa, is a California-cool ethos inspired by the West Coast. That goes for its approach to treating your scalp (and your senses) to a beach vacation with each use and making healthy hair effortlessly attainable.

The Playa collection includes a range of styling products (hair oil and leave-in conditioner) and shower staples (shampoo and conditioner). While each formula works to bring out the best version of your hair — whether it’s fine, thick, curly, or something in between — you’ll find that the California Salt Shampoo and Healing Hair Masque stand out. In line with the brand’s minimalist aesthetic, these two products use less to do more. Both jars — made with post-consumer recycled plastics — are filled with thoughtfully chosen natural ingredients.

A weekly treatment, the California Salt Shampoo, incorporates California sea salt (to scrub away buildup) and detoxifying tea tree oil (a natural antiseptic). “Sea salt is great for exfoliating,” says cosmetic chemist Ginger King. “Unlike table salt, it's full of natural minerals that can help balance sebum production.” Just like your skin, your scalp benefits from these hardworking ingredients. “Tea tree oil provides the same benefits to the scalp as it does to the skin on your face,” explains cosmetic chemist Ron Robinson. “It can help soothe irritation, and given its anti-inflammatory benefits, it also helps clean out the hair follicles.”

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The granular yet gentle formula of the California Salt Shampoo is the perfect upgrade from a liquid shampoo, adding exfoliation without compromising the health of the hair. “This treatment’s delicate sand-like texture works to eliminate product buildup and flakes from my wavy, highlighted hair, and the sensorial experience doesn’t stop there,” says Allure beauty writer Angela Trakoshis (middle). “I knew the moisturizing tea tree oil was working from the refreshing cooling sensation on my scalp.”

This goes for all hair types: “Some abrasive scalp scrubs I’ve tried do more damage than good to my fine, color-treated hair,” says Allure beauty editor Paige Stables, “but the shampoo’s salt added texture to my fine strands without making my hair feel parched, just voluminous and shiny.” The fact that the formula is non-drying was particularly important for beauty writer Siraad Dirshe’s (right) super curly 3B hair, which is already chronically dry because she spends so much time surfing in the ocean. “The salt provides just the right amount of friction for me to deeply massage my scalp and scrub away conditioner buildup,” Dirshe explains. “It isn’t drying at all and leaves my scalp and hair feeling clean without stripping.”

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Similarly, the Healing Hair Masque prioritizes scalp health while also deeply moisturizing strands thanks to purifying kaolin clay and shine-boosting amla oil. “Kaolin clay helps provide a healthier, less clogged environment on the scalp for hair to grow,” notes King. At the same time, “amla oil has a strong anti-inflammatory effect, making it a helpful treatment for dandruff, a form of scalp inflammation,” she says.

The intensely hydrating mask is nourishing enough for thick hair without being too heavy for those with fine hair. “The biggest test for me is how soft and juicy my curls feel when I rinse the mask out. Instantly my hair feels revived with this product, and I get that it’s-going-to-be-a-good-hair-day feeling,” says Dirshe. The same was true when our editors tried it on their fine, wavy hair. “Since it's designed for the scalp and hair, I am able to spread the love — like the hydrating amla oil — from roots to ends,” says Stables. And not only does it add moisture, but it also absorbs buildup. “Oftentimes, my hair gets oily, but the kaolin clay — an ingredient often found in face masks to decongest and balance the skin — in this mask extends the life of my clean hair,” says Trakoshis.

With these two products as the first steps in our beauty editors’ varied hair-care routines, good hair days were the common thread. No matter your hair type, the secret is to prep your strands with powerful products and maintain a well-balanced scalp. The nourishing ingredients and elevated formulations of the Playa California Salt Shampoo and Playa Healing Hair Masque eliminate concerns of irritation and dryness, and everything else follows — healthy hair, frizz-free styles, and high shine.

Playa California Salt Scalp Scrub Shampoo

Playa Healing Hair Masque