I strongly believe that the key to healthy hair is a healthy scalp, and the key to a healthy scalp is to treat it as an extension of our face. I already use a scalp exfoliant weekly and love scalp oils as a pre-shampoo treatment, so scalp toners? Why not! So when asked if I’d like to try the Younghee Essential Rinse Purifying Scalp & Hair Toner, of course I said yes.
- The brand
- Created by Younghee Kim, a master stylist with 30+ years of experience and her own salon in NYC. After realizing that her clients’ favorite shampoos/conditioners were leaving residues on their scalps and causing all sorts of issue for their hair, she wanted to find a gentle yet effective solution to their problems.
- The product
- A scalp toner used after shampoo and before conditioner to remove residue, balance the scalp, and leave your hair fresh and shiny. Can also be used in lieu of dry shampoo to refresh your scalp between washes.
- How I use it
- 10 pumps after shampoo and before conditioner to the scalp, massage it in, and then rinse it out.
- Best suited for
- All scalp types, especially those who feel like their scalp is dry, congested, unbalanced, or just problematic in general.
- Plastic shower-safe bottles with pumps (because no one needs broken glass in their shower)
- The Clarifying version smells sour, while the Refreshing version smells like artificial mint. Neither are very pleasant, but luckily the scent washes out and you can’t smell it afterwards.
- Available At
- Essential Rinse for $29/4 oz (free US shipping for orders $35+ and get 10% off your first order), or at Younghee Salon in New York City
From the product’s purpose to their application and even ingredients, they are literally toners for your scalp. I also like that Younghee developed 2 versions, Clarifying and Refreshing:
- Essential Rinse – Clarifying features apple cider vinegar as its key ingredient, and helps gently exfoliate and balance the pH level of the scalp. It also contains lavender + rosemary essential oils, both are great for stimulating the hair follicles, as well as honey to help nourish the scalp. (full ingredients)
- Essential Rinse – Refreshing contains spearmint + peppermint essential oils to stimulate hair follicles and improve blood circulation. Both oils are also known for their antibacterial properties, making this great for those who suffer from dandruff. (full ingredients)
I’ve used both and while I didn’t notice much of a difference with the Refreshing, the Clarifying Essential Rinse’ effects were almost immediate: my hair looked shinier and my scalp felt cleaner, like just-had-my-hair-washed-at-a-salon kind of clean. This made me think, are my shampoos leaving residue in my hair without me realizing? Which is ironic, because shampoo should be the one removing residue from your scalp, but like face washes, some can leave a film on your skin or may not remove all the dirt completely.
Much like facial toners, you can debate on whether or not scalp toners are really necessary in your routine, or if you can DIY your own. But as someone who’s very much not about DIY skincare (ain’t nobody got time for that), I’d rather leave it to a professional to formulate something safe and effective.
Toners for your head? Using one can help rebalance your scalp, remove residual impurities, and provide nourishment to the hair follicles.
However unlike toners which are super easy to apply to the face, applying the Essential Rinse to my scalp was trickier than I thought. For one, the spout is super short, so it’s hard to aim the opening accurately, especially under running water. Second, it’s hard to tell whether or not the product has dispensed when I’m standing under running water (which I will not turn off because I don’t want to freeze my ass off), so I’m forced to apply the product very liberally just to make sure I’m actually getting enough on the scalp.
Despite using at least 10 pumps per wash for several weeks, you can see there’s still a lot of product left, and suddenly the $29 doesn’t look too bad. While I won’t be purchasing the Refreshing Essential Rinse anytime soon, I definitely like the results I’m getting with the Clarifying one, which I suspect is due to the apple cider vinegar. If I don’t purchase the Clarifying Essential Rinse, I’d definitely want something comparable to add to my hair care routine!
Younghee Essential Rinse Purifying Scalp & Hair Toner - Clarifying
Overall a great scalp care product that I'm happy to add to my routine, and I do appreciate the instantly noticeable results. While I don't think that everyone needs a hair toner, I do think that a lot of people can benefit from one, especially if you have any type of problematic scalp. I'd love to see if Younghee will release additional versions in the future, or perhaps improve on the dispenser design, and then we'd have a real winner here!
Have you tried a scalp toner before, or used apple cider vinegar in your hair care routine? Would love to hear your thoughts! As always, thank you so much for reading, and I hope you have a great rest of the week!