Scalp massage for healthy hair

Strengthen your hair with a scalp massage

by Christoffer Thorsager on Aug 30, 2022

Read through by Dorthe Kristensen

Hairdresser and former co-owner of the award-winning hairdressing chain Zoom by Zoom
With many years of experience in the hairdressing industry, Dorthe has advised many customers about hair and hair care. Dorthe has read through this blog entry to ensure high quality and professionalism. This blog post is professionally updated on April 26, 2024.

Table of contents

Get healthy hair with a scalp massage

Who doesn't love a delicious scalp massage? It's great for you, but really for your hair too! If you've ever tried a deep scalp massage, you know there's hardly any better!

Why is scalp massage good?

But why is scalp massage so good? Scalp massage helps the body secrete the hormone oxytocin, which is also called the "love hormone". This hormone provides a feeling of happiness and well-being. It is a kind of reward system in the body, like dopamine, which makes you achieve a state of well-being (source).
However, it is not only extra energy and joy that you get from the massage. Scalp massage also helps to reduce tension in the body and has a relaxing effect.

Relaxation and stress reduction

A scalp massage can be very relaxing and soothing. It can help reduce stress levels and promote a sense of wellbeing. Scalp massage is good for stress reduction for a number of reasons, and there is scientific research to support this:

Stress-reducing hormones: Scalp massage can stimulate the release of certain hormones, including serotonin and endorphins, which are associated with feelings of relaxation and well-being. According to a study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience, massage in general can help reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the body, leading to a sense of calm and relaxation.

Increased blood circulation: Massage increases blood circulation in the scalp, which can help reduce tension and release muscle tension. This can help relieve headaches and migraines often associated with stress.

Mindfulness effects: Scalp massage can also act as a form of mindfulness practice, focusing on moment-to-moment sensations and presence. Paying attention to the physical sensations during the massage can help alleviate stress and anxiety.

Lowering blood pressure: A study conducted by the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine found that regular massage, including scalp massage, can be effective in lowering both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in people with hypertension.

What does scalp massage do for the hair?

Not only does the body generally love a scalp massage, your hair loves it too! When you massage the scalp, you also stimulate the blood supply to the hair follicles. It sends important oxygen and nutrients into circulation, which thereby helps to strengthen your hair and hair growth. 

Scalp massage has several benefits for both the hair and scalp:

  • Increased blood circulation: The massage helps stimulate blood circulation in the scalp, which can lead to a better supply of nutrients and oxygen to the hair roots. This can help promote healthy hair growth and strengthen the hair from the root.
  • Removal of dead skin cells and accumulated dirt: The massage helps to loosen and remove dead skin cells, excess oil and accumulated dirt from the scalp. This can prevent clogging of the hair follicles and reduce the risk of dandruff and other scalp conditions.
  • Moisturising effect: By massaging the scalp, you can also stimulate the production of natural oils that help moisturise both the scalp and hair. This can help prevent dryness and dandruff.

Overall, regular scalp massage can be a simple yet effective way to care for both your hair and scalp, while allowing you to relax and savour the moment.

We can recommend using a Deep Scalp Brush, which with its silicone spikes gives a lovely soft massage, while also cleaning the scalp very effectively. It can be used on both wet and dry hair.

How to get started with a scalp massage

The most important thing to get started with scalp massage is to adapt it to your needs. It shouldn't take more than a few minutes. It can also take place when you feel like it, for example before you have a shower, if you have a hair treatment or if you are just relaxing on the sofa.

Here's how you do it

Here's our guide to getting a good scalp massage.

  1. Brush the hair through well. In this way, you ensure that your fingers or a scalp brush can slide better through the hair. It is important to use a good, gentle brush or wide-toothed comb. We can recommend the Curved Paddle Brush, which, with its combination of nylon spikes and boar bristles, combs the hair gently, while also distributing the hair's natural oils throughout the length of the hair.
  2. You can use a small amount of hair oil to make your hands or brush glide better. Otherwise, it is important to start gently.
  3. Now comes the actual massage, here there are several ways to do it. Here it is important to find the method that feels best for you. We have collected 2 methods here:
Kvinde der giver sig selv en hovedbundsmassage

Circular movements

The easiest method is the circular movements. Basically, this involves massaging the scalp in circles. If it is done with the fingers, it is a good idea to use all fingers to hit the largest area. It is important to start with small, fine movements and apply light pressure to the scalp. From here you can work your way from the forehead up through the whole head down towards the neck. However, you must take care that your nails do not scratch the scalp, as this can cause irritation.

Zig-Zag movements

This method requires a little more from you. You start by placing your fingers on either side of your head. Then you let them slide up and down the head, where your fingers intertwine when they meet at the top. You can also advantageously combine the 2 methods, where with zig-zag movement you also get some rotating movements in.
Your scalp massage can be advantageously concluded with a more area-specific massage of the neck.

If you have used oil in connection with your scalp massage, it is important that you wash it out again with a shampoo. Here you can advantageously use the shampoo twice to ensure the most optimal cleansing of the hair. After this, you must use a conditioner to close the hair strand. When you rinse out, it should preferably be cold water so that the hair strands close.

Scientific evidence for the effect of scalp massage on hair

There is limited scientific evidence for a direct link between scalp massage and increased hair growth. While scalp massage may have certain benefits for the hair and scalp, such as improved blood circulation and removal of dead skin cells, there are not enough robust clinical studies that have specifically investigated its effect on hair growth.

However, some studies have suggested that massage in general may have a positive effect on hair growth through indirect mechanisms. For example, a study published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science shows that massage can improve blood circulation in the scalp, potentially promoting hair growth. Another study in the International Journal of Neuroscience suggests that massage can stimulate the release of growth hormones and improve nutrient transport to hair follicles.

While these studies suggest possible links between massage and hair growth, more research is still needed to confirm these findings and understand the specific mechanisms behind any benefits. It's also important to note that other factors such as genetics, hormonal levels and lifestyle also play a large role in hair growth and the overall condition of the hair.

Therefore, it cannot be guaranteed that scalp massage alone will lead to increased hair growth, but it can still be part of a holistic approach to scalp and hair care.

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