I Got a Scalp Consult From a Celebrity Hair Stylist, and Now I Tell Everyone to Buy This 1 Product

The award-winning scalp exfoliator is finally back in stock.

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Act+Acre Scalp Consult
Photo: Instagram @actandacre

When I was offered a scalp consultation with Helen Reavey, celebrity hairstylist and Act+Acre founder, I didn't hesitate to accept. Did I have any idea what a scalp consult entailed? No. Was I a little anxious to find out what was up with my scalp health? Yes. But now, my hair routine has totally changed — and for the better.

In case you're not familiar with Act+Acre, here's the TL;DR: It's a scalp-focused haircare brand with silicone-free and plant-based formulas that uses a cold processing method to extract ingredients so they stay fresh and potent. During my consult, Reavey exclusively used Act+Acre products, and I immediately noticed a difference in the way my scalp and strands felt compared to my normal haircare routine. The hero product? Act+Acre's award-winning scalp treatment that uses salicylic acid and peppermint to gently exfoliate the scalp, in turn promoting healthy hair growth. (But more on that later.)

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The first thing Reavey did when she sat me down in Act+Acre's quaint Chinatown studio in NYC was pull out a wireless scalp microscope that was connected to a camera app on her phone. Once she placed the microscope on my head, my hair follicles and scalp appeared super magnified on her phone screen (and yes, it was horrifying).

Reavey, who is also a trichologist — AKA, a scalp expert — took me through what we were seeing. She pointed out that my scalp actually wasn't "that bad" (which I took as a compliment); she noticed some inflammation, buildup, and flakiness due to various reasons like dry shampoo usage and NYC's soft water (she recommended buying a shower filter ASAP). All of that was mostly noticeable at the back of my scalp, where most people (myself included) don't shampoo properly, I learned.

She explained that many of us tend to focus on the top of our head but then miss the back, so she recommends emulsifying the Act+Acre Cold Processed Hair Cleanse in your hands first and then starting at the back of your head and working your way up. (She says she'll even wash her hair upside down to really "get in there.") In addition to a cleaner scalp, Revey says that this shampoo trick can keep hair cleaner for about a day longer, too.

After examining my scalp, Reavey took me through an ideal Act+Acre routine for my hair, including the Scalp Renew, which has made the most impact on my hair so far after I implemented it into my routine. The scalp treatment works to remove product buildup, calm scalp irritation, and balance oil production. You can use it whether or not you have scalp conditions like psoriasis and dandruff — in fact, Reavey recommends it for anyone, especially if hair growth is a goal.

"Scalp Renew is just like a facial but for your scalp," she tells InStyle. "Exfoliating the scalp ensures we remove dead skin cells and buildup that can inhibit healthy hair growth."

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My favorite part about the Scalp Renew is how soothing it is; massaging it in my scalp twice a week has become a treat for me. After using it for over a month, I've noticed a lot less oil production and hair fallout. I'm not the only one who loves it, either. The product is an Act+Acre best-seller and was recently restocked after amassing a 22,000-person waitlist; plus, it has celeb fans like Kourtney Kardashian and Alana Hadid, according to the brand.

After washing out the scalp treatment, Reavey double-cleansed my hair (just like you would your skin, she says) with the brand's hair cleanse and added just a bit of the Cold Processed Conditioner to my ends. Once my hair was towel-dried, she also applied the Stem Cell Serum, which is formulated to hydrate (she compared it to hyaluronic acid) and combat the scalp's "natural aging process." Last but not least, Reavey applied Act+Acre's latest product, a styling oil, to my strands for shine and heat-protection, as well as a few pumps of the Plant-Based Dry Shampoo for volume after blow-drying.

I learned a lot of things from Reavey's scalp consult that have changed the way I treat and think about my hair — so if you're unhappy with your hair's appearance, the key might just be the way you treat your scalp.

"I've enjoyed really educating people on scalp health because before people thought they just had to live with an itchy scalp or limp hair," Reavey previously told InStyle. "We're not saving lives, but we're making people feel good about their hair, which is important."

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