This $28 Scalp Serum Stops Flaking in Its Tracks

Updated: May 22, 2023

Our editor never goes anywhere without this serum. See how she uses it to balance her scalp's microbiome and reduce flaking from sun damage.

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As a teen, I struggled with oily hair and skin. Now in my late 20s, I’m experiencing the opposite: dry, itchy scalp and crunchy ends. Being a frequent dyer also doesn’t help—my beauty routine is a constant battle between flakes, frizz and my fine hair. I thought I was destined to fight with my delicate, sensitive scalp forever—until I found the Crown Fix scalp serum from Straand.

What is Straand’s Crown Fix scalp serum?

Co-created by founder Meagan Pate, Crown Fix scalp serum’s main purpose is to prevent product build-up, soothe dryness and balance the scalp’s biome. Like the editor-approved Mielle rosemary mint oil, the Crown Fix scalp serum promotes hair growth and thickness as a result of reduced flaking, itching and build-up.

“There are a few common culprits that can leave you with an itchy, uncomfortable scalp or ‘scalp stressors’ as we like to call them,” says Pate. “Varying ‘scalp stressors’ can be from:
  • Environmental factors, for example, changes in temperature and harsh weather conditions can lead to dryness and irritation. 
  • Seasonal changes can also wreak havoc on your scalp—think indoor heating during the colder months and excess sweating and oil production during the summer.
  • Let’s not forget about those hot tools! Frequent use of hair dryers, straighteners and curling irons can damage the scalp and hair, causing dryness and breakage. 
  • Using hair care products that contain harsh chemicals or fragrances can also irritate the scalp, leading to dryness and itching. 
  • And finally, chemical treatments like bleaching and coloring can damage the scalp and hair, leading to sensitivity and dryness.
A thriving scalp microbiome acts as ground zero for scalp and hair health. If your scalp microbiome and skin barrier are compromised then heavily fragranced and chemical-based hair-care products will likely cause irritations. Signs of a compromised scalp include itchiness, redness and excessive oil production. You may also notice that your hair looks dull, dry and brittle,” Pate notes.

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How to use it

Those wondering how you apply scalp serum are in for a treat—it’s as easy as using a hair mask. Per the instructions, simply use the cleverly targeted applicator to apply the serum directly to the scalp. I do this by starting at my forehead and squeezing a small amount out as I move toward the back of my head. A few passes over the sides of my head and down my natural part is enough to ensure even coverage.

After that, simply massage the serum in with your fingers or a scalp massager and comb it through. While the serum isn’t noticeably greasy after it dries down a little, those with fine hair like me may prefer to apply it at night and wash it out in the morning. It’s also a good spot treatment for particularly itchy or flaky areas.

My Crown Fix scalp serum review

I received the Crown Fix scalp serum right before the weekend and decided to take advantage of that by testing it for the entire day on Saturday and Sunday. While my dandruff isn’t super aggressive, the occasional flake does rear its ugly head, and next to my naturally dark hair, they’re pretty noticeable. My hope was to see reduced flaking and less of the dry, tight feeling my scalp experiences on wash days.

On Friday night I administered the serum as directed, focusing on the top of my head which sees the most sun damage and tends to be the driest part of my scalp. The serum melted really well into my scalp after a light massage despite a heavy hand during application. My hair also felt less weighed down than it does after using other products. That night I slept on a silk pillowcase and didn’t notice any stains or product transfer, even though I tend to toss and turn.

In the morning, my chemically treated hair strands were far softer and less frizzy. Even better, I noticed far fewer flakes on my pillow and on my part than I typically do in the morning.

I washed the serum out using a mild shampoo, conditioned my hair as usual and added another round of serum to my scalp before blowdrying my hair with my Revlon One-Step dryer. The results? Zero noticeable flakes, no tight or dry feeling and silky, smooth hair.


  • Not greasy
  • No added fragrance
  • No sulfates or silicones
  • Suitable for color-treated hair
  • Reduces flaking and itchiness
  • Softens the length of hair
  • Easy to wash out


  • The bottle is rather small at only 1.5 ounces
  • A bit pricey at $28


Is scalp serum good for hair?

Those looking to care for their hair and scalp can’t go wrong with a scalp serum. Unlike treatments like Olaplex No. 3, scalp serums tackle the root (get it?) of hair problems, providing a healthy base for new growth. They usually contain ingredients like oils that have added benefits for the mid-length and ends of hair, too.

How long do you leave scalp serum on?

The amount of time to leave on the scalp serum depends on the product. While some treatments only stay on for a few minutes before being rinsed out, others apply during styling and stay on all day.

Use Straand’s Crown Fix daily, overnight or leave it on for a few hours to fight flaking before washing it out. That’s especially helpful for folks who use products that serums can reduce the effectiveness of, like curling creams.

How often should you use serum on your scalp?

Like facial serums, scalp serums are most effective when used on a regular basis. Serums like the Crown Fix that contain prebiotics and balance the scalp’s biome take a little time to show improvements in the scalp’s condition. The brand recommends using it daily to see the best long-term results.

Final verdict

The Crown Fix scalp serum is a good solution for those seeking relief from dry, itching and flaking scalps. It makes a noticeable difference in the condition of the scalp, which in turn provides a healthy base for hair growth. While it’s difficult to say whether the serum really reduces damage to the hair strand itself, using it does add a nice sheen and softness to hair once combed through.

Where to buy the Crown Fix scalp serum

The Crown Fix Scalp Serum Ecommvia Straandvia merchant

Shoppers can buy the Crown Fix scalp serum on Straand’s website or on Amazon. It retails at around $28 for a 1.5 ounce tube.

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