Rachel Maiman, MD, FAAD, board-certified dermatologist at Marmur Medical says that salicylic acid gives the most benefits to the scalp rather than the hair itself. Since it improves scalp health, however, salicylic acid may also support hair growth since it’s creating a better environment for hair to grow in.
When it comes to scalp health, salicylic acid is particularly useful if you struggle with dandruff. “Because salicylic acid is a keratolytic agent, meaning it exfoliates dead skin cells by breaking cell-to-cell adhesion, it can remove scaly, flaky skin and thus improve the appearance of dandruff,” says Maiman. Since buildup of dead skin cells can cause your scalp to itch, salicylic acid can also help relieve itchiness.
“Salicylic acid significantly benefits the scalp,” says Shab Reslan, NYC trichologist and hair expert “Having a balanced scalp is the first step to having healthy hair, and can impact hair growth and loss.”