A scalp massage can be the worst or best experience that you can get from a hair salon. It can be the best if your stylist massages your scalp in a gentle and calming way, or it can be the worst when your stylist has no idea how to give a scalp massage at all.
If it is done by experienced stylists, you’ll feel relaxed and comfortable. On the other hand, if it’s done by newbie stylists, you can even hurt your scalp and feel irritation.
On the whole, a massage should be a fun and relaxing experience for the person receiving one. It should aim to promote increased blood circulation that will make your skin, nails, and hair healthier. A scalp massage, if not done properly, may give a disastrous result such as pain and further hair loss.
Hair Loss Problems
The worst hair condition to have is hair loss. You can hide dandruff from afar, but not the thinning of hair. Hair loss may be a result of various hair conditions such as dandruff, dry hair, and psoriasis. To prevent hair loss, you have to cure all the underlying conditions of your scalp.
According to the American Hair Loss Association, at least 40 percent of women in America are suffering from hair loss. Different companies have taken this opportunity to promote products that promote hair growth. Commonly, these products are costly, and not all people can afford it.
Thankfully, a scalp massage is a cheaper alternative to these products. It promotes hair growth by helping to solve the underlying problems of the scalp. However, if you want to do this cheaper alternative, make sure that you’re doing it right.
Benefits of a Scalp Massage
Massaging your scalp, if done the proper way, provides lots of benefits to your hair and your whole body. Your hair will become shinier and thicker. Additionally, you’ll feel relaxed. The following are the other benefits of massaging your scalp:
- Equally Distributes Your Natural Oils
Your hair produces natural oils daily, and while some parts of your scalp are more active at producing natural oils, there are some parts that are not so active. One of the ways to distribute the natural oils to the other parts of your scalp is by massaging your scalp.
- Promotes Blood Circulation
Massaging your scalp increases the blood circulation in your hair follicles. The hair follicles are the only part of your hair that is considered “alive.” If you want to flaunt your shiny and healthy hair, you want to allow blood circulation in this area.
- Promotes Hair Growth
Because massaging your scalp promotes circulation to the hair follicles, the hair that will grow out of your scalp is healthier. Massaging provides an ideal environment on your scalp to promote hair growth.
- Helps To Remove Dandruff
Dandruff is also one of the factors that can cause hair loss. Experts recommend a scalp massage for people who are suffering from seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis.
- Reduces Stress
Stress reduction is the known benefit of every kind of massage. It reduces the tension not just in your head but also in the whole body. Because a good massage promotes the production of happy hormones like serotonin and endorphins, you’ll feel calm and relaxed after a session.
That’s why if you’ve noticed, when your stylist is good at doing his or her job, you’ll see yourself dozing off because of the proper massage techniques that they used. Moreover, it helps in getting rid of headaches and pains caused by stress. It works by stimulating the pressure points of your head to help get rid some of the pains in your body.
Tips for Massaging Your Scalp
There is no strict rule in giving a scalp massage except that you should not use your fingernails. You should also avoid applying too much pressure on sensitive areas like the temple and nape.
When or where you want to massage your scalp is at your discretion. You can massage your scalp whether your hair is dry or wet. However, make sure to remove the tangles of your hair first before massaging wet hair because it is more prone to breakage.
It is also up to you whether you want to use an essential oil or not when giving a scalp massage. Essential oils are not necessary for a massage, but most people prefer to give massages with these products. But the added benefit of essential oils is they add to the relaxing effect of the massage and it even helps moisturize dry hair.
It is recommended that you massage your scalp regularly. Three minutes is enough for an effective massage.
How to Massage Your Scalp
- Prep Your Hair
The first thing that you have to do is to make sure that your hair is clean and free from products like gel or hairspray. Also, remove the tangles because you don’t want any hair to fall during the massage.
- Massage Techniques
There are two techniques in giving your hair a scalp massage, the effleurage and the petrissage. The effleurage technique uses stroking, circular movement of your hands. The petrissage involves the lifting and kneading of the scalp.
The effleurage technique is the most recommended. Remember to use the ball of your fingers in massaging your hair. Don’t use your fingernails because this can hurt.
Start stroking from the hairline towards the crown. Apply consistent and gentle pressure. It is better if you stroke your scalp sideways. Simply follow the shape of your hairline. Take deep breaths as you massage your scalp. This will increase the oxygen flow in your body, thus increasing blood circulation.
If you want to use an essential oil, apply a nickel-sized amount or two to three drops of the essential oil of your choice. Here are the lists of oils that you can choose from:
- Cedar wood
- Tea tree
The nickel-sized amount is enough to cover the whole area of your scalp. Essential oils are perfect for massages, and most people enjoy using various kinds of oils. According to the experts, essential oils helps in treating the patients with alopecia. It is also used as an effective remedy for dry hair.
However, if you have the oily type of scalp, it is best to consult an expert. Ask which oil will go with your scalp.
If you don’t have an essential oil, some conditioners are incorporated with essential oils. You can use the conditioner in place of an essential oil.
After applying the oil, cover your scalp with a warm cloth. Let the oil sit for at least 10 minutes. If you have dry hair, it is recommended to leave the oil for a much longer time.
Rinse the oil with your shampoo and conditioner. You don’t have to cover your hair with a warm cloth if you’re already using a conditioner for the scalp massage or if you’re just simply massaging your hair without using an essential oil. Whether you’re using an essential oil or not, it is recommended to massage your hair for 3 to 5 minutes.
Tools for Scalp Massage
The balls of your fingers are enough for an efficient scalp massage. However, there are tools available if you’re scared that you might irritate your scalp if your fingers are callous or if you have long fingernails. You don’t have to worry about the price because these tools are not expensive.
The first tool that you can use is a soft-bristled brush. You can use it either when your hair is wet or dry.
The other tool is a scalp massager. The scalp massager has metal prongs that have plastic ends that are rounded. You don’t have to worry about the looks of metal prongs because they are flexible and gentle.
When you use the scalp massager on your scalp, you’ll feel that only a small pressure is applied. You’ll realize that the prongs’ tips smoothly glide along with your hair, but it is still effective enough to stimulate blood circulation in your scalp.
How to Enhance the Effect of a Scalp Massage
Experts recommend the use of masks that contain salicylic acid and aloe vera to those who are suffering from dandruff and scalp conditions like psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis. Consult an expert such as a professional hair stylist or dermatologist before using any product.
Ask about the products that are suitable for your hair type. You may also ask an expert about the right essential oil for you to use. Not all essential oils are the same. Each of them has its own benefit to offer.
For people who have oily hair, the experts recommend that they use hair products with zinc. Zinc helps in regulating the production of sebum in your scalp.
Scalp steaming also enhances the benefits of the massage. The moist heat increases the supply of oxygen in your scalp which makes your skin supple.
Most of all, eating a balanced meal and having a proper lifestyle contribute the most for healthy hair growth. Eat foods that are rich in healthy oils like fish and nuts. You can also eat foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals. Exercise will help as well because it also allows faster blood circulation.
However, you must keep in mind that a scalp massage doesn’t work like magic. Its role is to stimulate blood circulation so that the nutrients that you get from your food can effectively reach your hair follicles.