Hair Loss

5 Scalp Massage Benefits for Longer, Thicker Hair

The benefits of scalp massage extend to hair growth, thickness, and even stress relief. Learn why you shouldn’t overlook your scalp to achieve the hair of your dreams.

What makes a good head of hair? Most of us look solely to our strands for length, volume, and shine to answer that question. But when’s the last time you thought about your scalp?

It turns out that scalp massages and customized treatments can help remedy popular hair concerns, as well as promote overall wellness.

Here’s a closer look the benefits of scalp massages and what they entail.

What is a scalp treatment?

There are several types of scalp treatments, including those you can do at home with massaging devices and/or topical products. There are also customized treatments you can get at a salon or from a licensed specialist.

Still, each type of scalp treatment is guided by the fact that scalp health is essential for hair quality and growth.

Just as you can exfoliate regularly and/or get facials to promote skin health, you can think of a scalp treatment in similar terms as a deeper, dedicated clean.

Types of Scalp Treatments

Some of the best scalp treatments include:

  • scalp scrubs
  • speciality shampoo, serums, and masks
  • handheld scalp massage devices
  • massaging combs and brushes
  • massage with hands

There’s also the Japanese method as detailed below, which prizes scalp health just as much as the quality of your locks.

Japanese Scalp Treatments

“Scalp treatments are like cleansing the soil,” says Keiko Uehara. Keiko is the owner of blow me away, an organic hair salon and head spa in Los Angeles that specializes in the revered Japanese method of scalp revitalization.

The Japanese scalp treatment at Keiko’s salon begins with a detailed consultation, followed by a scalp massage with oil using pressure points. They then use a micro-mist treatment to open follicles, followed by a shampoo, second massage, and conditioning.

This offering works, Keiko says, due to the combination organic products and the Japanese shampoo technique. “It includes a very thorough massage that takes six months to master, and is unique in the US,” she explains.

5 Impressive Scalp Massage Benefits

Now you know about the variety of treatments available. But what are the benefits of scalp massage?

Whether you’re into DIY scalp treatments, specialty products, massaging tools, or salon-quality offerings, the fact is that scalp massages benefit nearly every aspect of hair health.

Here are five reasons why you’ll want to give your scalp more TLC, stat.

1. Improves Hair Thickness

Whether you’re concerned about thinning hair or simply yearn for thicker locks, start massaging your scalp.

In a 2016 study, nine Japanese men used a scalp-massaging device for four minutes a day. After 24 weeks, the researchers concluded that the stretching forces of massage changed the gene expression in dermal papilla cells.

Simply put, a noticeable increase in hair thickness can result as a major benefit of scalp stimulation.

2. Fights Dandruff

An estimated 50 million Americans experience dandruff. If you’re in this population, you can promote dandruff relief by improving scalp health.

Research shows that when you take measures to improve your scalp condition, you’ll lessen your dandruff symptoms. While you implement the best ways to get rid of dandruff naturally, add in a scalp massage for even greater results.

3. Combats Hair Loss

Did you know that scalp health and hair loss are intertwined?

Part of the reason is due to oxidative stress, which can negatively impact both hair growth and hair loss. However, in addition to combatting oxidative stress with a healthy lifestyle, you can mitigate its effects on hair loss through scalp massage.

In fact, a 2019 study tracked the effects of self-administered scalp massages in 327 participants. With a median daily massage time of 11 to 20 minutes over half a year, an impressive 68.9 percent of people reported a stabilization of hair loss and even regrowth.

Woman with beautiful long hair blowing in the wind as a result of good scalp health and massage

4. Removes Buildup + Encourages Hair Growth

Sweat, sebum, and products can all lead to scalp buildup—an excess of which can impact hair growth.

Further, cells on the scalp eventually shed. They require regular exfoliation to unblock clogged hair follicles. Otherwise, the quality of hair growth will take a hit. So what should you do?

A scalp massage can thoroughly remove buildup to promote hair growth. Additionally, you should focus on washing your hair better—though not necessarily more often.

Keiko says it’s essential “to shampoo very well, not with your nails but with your fingers. Rising thoroughly is also key.” She adds that such detox methods alienate clogged hair follicles to stimulate the scalp, thus promoting healthy growth and overall quality.

5. Relieves Stress + Promotes Well-Being

Hair aside, scalp massages simply feel good. After all, who doesn’t love getting shampooed at salon visits? As Keiko explains, the wellness benefits of scalp massage are similar to those of standard rubdowns.

“Scalp massages are relaxing, relieve stress, and promote better sleep,” she says. They can help you unwind from daily stressors, as well as counteract physical manifestations of stress.

Lastly, Keiko shares a surprising scalp massage benefit her clients love: a temporary facelift of sorts. “The head has many pressure points. By massaging the scalp, it somehow lifts the face for up to a week,” she explains. (A worthy bonus if you ask me.)

Three girlfriends with different hair types having fun, illustrating that scalp massages are good for all hair types

Are scalp treatments suitable for all hair types?

Whether your hair is fine or thick, straight or curly, or dry or oily, you can still benefit from scalp massages and other treatments. You’ll simply need to tailor the products to use based on your hair type and concerns.

However, Keiko warns that people with hair extensions should avoid scalp treatments until they’re taken out.

Further, if you suspect that deeper issues are at play, discuss your options with a dermatologist or trichologist.

The Bottom Line

In sum, there’s more to great hair than shampoo-commercial quality locks. In fact, regular scalp massages can help get you to that level of hair glory.

So let your hair down! Step up your shampoo game and massage your scalp like you mean it. Rest assured that you’ll have lust-worthy locks in no time (and a relaxing new ritual to boot).

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You can follow a few hair hygiene tips to make your hair less likely to fall out: Avoid hairstyles that pull on the hair - Avoid high-heat hair styling tools - Don't chemically treat or bleach your hair - Use a shampoo that's mild and suited for your hair - Use a soft brush made from natural fibers - Try low-level light therapy.

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