As I continue to strengthen my protective style game, I’m looking more and more at root rinses and scalp refreshers that A.) Prevent itching from product build-up or dryness and B.) Give me an excuse to treat myself to a regular scalp massage during the weeks that I’m not regularly manipulating my hair so that I can nurture my new growth while I protect my ends.

Main takeaway here is that I’m intentionally stepping it up, and I decided to start with Briogeo’s Scalp Revival treatment!

It won one of NaturallyCurly’s Best of the Best this year, and it hits a goal I was already aiming at, so why not, right?

Well...

Right off the bat, I was nervous about this product. I’ve had very very bad results from some charcoal scrubs on my face; with deep, painful, long lasting breakouts resulting from the charcoal lines of even my favorite bougie brands. After week four, it’s not ‘the impurities coming to the surface’ anymore...your skin just doesn’t like it. I learned that the hard way.

Fortunately, I didn’t get any scalp pimples, but because you can never quite tell what’s going to happen, I made sure to spot test before I did my whole head.

charcoal

So what did happen?

Well, when I opened the box, I was delighted at the little spa-looking glass bottle that was in it! I’m a sucker for non-plastic, and it’s an issue (especially when I drop things), but I firmly believe that packaging aesthetics are a part of what gets a spot on my shelf. Not the most important part, by any means but I’m not going to lie to y’all and say it doesn’t play a role.

Functionally speaking though, I LOVE that this product has smart packaging! At $32 dollars per 1 fl oz bottle, I wasn’t trying to waste not one speck of this mix, and there’s a little rubber insert in the bottle does my product scraping for me every time I pull the dropper out.

The dropper is also in a ‘bent bulb’ style, rather than being 100% vertical, and that also saves product from gravity induced waste as you alternate between dips and squeezes.

That’s all incredibly cool, and I love that they thought of it!

That wasn’t the only area they were considerate.

Because the reviver is sulfate, silicone, phthalate, DEA, AND artificial dye free, the ingredients will satisfy most curlies’ requirements for what can and can’t go on their hair.

The smell is cool earth and mint, with neither element being too overpowering, and being fragrance-free as well, this scent is sure to please.

Sadly, this is where my ‘pro’ list stops.

It’s unfortunate, but the Revival not being right for me was apparent fairly quickly.

Although it went on feeling softening, and certainly contains quite a few humectants, my coils need way. More. Moisture.

I need oils and butters, y’all, the heavier the better. I’m one step away from getting a dedicated jar of scalp lard.

Scalp Revival left me high, dry, and wanting to follow it up with some castor oil. But I have a problem with needing to use this product in conjunction with something else!

I do struggle with breaking the instinct to product junkie my way into happiness. This wouldn’t be the first time I’ve dropped a (saved) chunk of change on a product this small and this expensive.

But because my hair is dense, and super porous, I ended up using about 1/3rd of the bottle in one go. I think my new growth soaked most of it up before it even touched my scalp, actually. That’s just not a smart buy for something I’m meant to use after every wash.

No use throwing good money after bad.

So why did I try this in the first place?

Why is it when I KNOW I need to follow up my washes with coating my scalp in Crisco to avoid dryness that I thought the Scalp Revival would do anything for me?

Well, curlfriend, I got caught up in the hype!

I was excited about this product because I read reviews, rather than the actual instructions. I thought it was another scalp SCRUB to help get rid of build up before you wash your hair.

As a matter of fact, it’s billed in the Allure article (a 2017 piece which this product features on its packaging) that features it as such!

But in actuality, this serum is intended as a preventative measure.

To quote the box it came in: “The treatment should be applied after washing and before styling”.

Talk about your mixed messages.

I can’t judge Briogeo harshly for my mistake, and it’s not right to review something based on what you thought it was for, but having used it as intended? It’s gonna be a ‘no’.

So who CAN use it?

This is for the fine-haired, low-porosity curlies and wavies with naturally oily and/or flaky scalps!

The outer packaging mentions “absorbing impurities to help diminish scalp and hair buildup”, and my advertising degree and I are 100% sure that’s a fluffier way of saying ‘dandruff’.

And hey, I get it. If you’ve got other people all up in your hair-care stuff, it can be nice NOT to have some big, medicinal looking ‘for treatment of chronic Corn Flakes scalp’ kind of bottle in your maintenance arsenal.

But because that’s not an issue I actually have, this was not a product I actually needed.

If you’re the type of curly who needs a wash every other day to keep from looking like you’ve been swimming in a deep fryer, or if you need a break from your skin’s aggressive peeling, break out the toast, because this is YOUR jam!

Do you have any charcoal-based products that you like? Tell me about them in the comments section, and stay tuned for more BOTB reviews!