Are Scalp Massages Worth It?
Full-body massages are great and all, but have you ever had a scalp massage? Compared to our face and body, we often don’t give our hair or scalp the TLC it deserves. Rumor has it, though, these massages may provide some beauty benefits in addition to feeling oh-so-relaxing. To find out the truth about scalp massages, we tapped trichologist Penny James from Penny James Salon and Kerry E Yates, founder of Colour Collective. Here, we’re breaking down some of the benefits of a scalp massage and why it might be worth adding to your weekly beauty routine.
What Are the Benefits of a Scalp Massage?
There is some evidence to suggest that scalp massages can help address hair loss. From various hormonal imbalances, medical conditions or even genetics, there are many different causes for hair loss. One often overlooked cause, though, is stress, and that’s something that a scalp massage could help with. “Scalp massages can be very beneficial to relax the scalp muscles that can get very tight due to stress,” James says. There are three main muscle groups on the scalp known as the temporalis, frontalis and occipitalis. It’s important to stimulate these muscles to help relieve stress. It also improves blood circulation, which James says can be helpful in improving certain scalp conditions, including everything from an oily scalp to dandruff. “As a trichologist, I like to incorporate active ingredients and steam treatments to scalp massages to help my clients who produce excess sebum on their scalp,” she says. “If a client has pityriasis capitis (dandruff), though, they can benefit from a medicated cream paired with the massage and the steam treatment.”
How Do You Perform a Scalp Massage?
While a scalp massage performed by a professional with knowledge of the muscles in the scalp is ideal, there are ways to perform a scalp massage from the comfort of your home. Yates says it’s best work in sections. “Start at the nape of your neck and gently press your fingers directly into the scalp area while working the hands in a circular motion,” she says. Apply a light pressure to help loosen up the scalp, and after about 45 seconds slowly move from your nape up to the crown area. Massage the crown area moving from the center of your head to the sides. Spend roughly one minute in the area. Next, massage in the front of your hairline in small circles focusing on the center part down to the temples, which he says is the area holds the most tension. Yates recommends focusing on this area for about two minutes to relieve some stress and tension. Finish off with a final sweep combing your fingers from the front to the back of your head.
There are also different tools that you can use to help you get the job done at home. One of our favorites is this scalp massaging tool from Amazon. It’s so easy to use and feels incredible. If you haven’t tried using one of these yet, we highly recommend doing so, ASAP. You can also use this Vanity Planet Rejuvenating Scalp Massager, which is used in the shower and has flexible rubber tips so you can rub it on your scalp while lathering your shampoo or distributing your conditioner. James says you should give yourself or receive a scalp massage at least every week for about 10 to 20 minutes to really experience the true benefits.