Hair wellness starts with a healthy scalp -- and scalp massages are a simple way to kickstart your journey to your best strands yet. Apart from feeling amazing, scalp massages have a load of benefits well beyond your hair. Here, we break down everything you need to know about scalp massages and why they’re so beneficial.

1. A Calm and Uplifted Mood

Massages are connected to the idea of relaxation more than they are for easing muscle tension, which is why retreat brochures will almost always include a serene photo of someone getting blissfully massaged. But what’s more is scalp massages might help make you feel better, too. Hairstylist Triana Francois tells that scalp massages are said to release serotonin, a hormone that plays a role in improving your mood [1]. Any time you can decrease tension is a good thing for your entire body (and hair!), so add scalp massages to your anti-stress arsenal stat.

2. Convenience (and Community!)

One of the main benefits of a scalp massage is that you can give yourself one whenever you’d like. As a matter of fact, in some cultures it’s custom to give family members scalp massages to promote overall wellbeing, relaxation, and joy [2]. If you’re not feeling too crazy about giving yourself one or getting a scalp massage from a friend, you can always add one on as an additional service at your next hair appointment.

3. Reduces Muscle Tension

Yes, scalp tension is a thing -- and your hairstylist can usually tell right off the bat if your head is stressed. You won’t really feel it yourself until someone (or yourself) starts running their fingers through your hair. Hairstylist and expert colorist Christophe Robin tells, "We tend to hold a lot of tension across our hairline, behind our ears and in the neck; this is mostly due to stress and partly to posture."[3] He suggests scalp massages on the regular, whether you do it yourself or ask someone else to. Focus on your temples and behind the neck and ears.

4. Improves the Nervous System

You’d be shocked by the amount of benefits that a simple scalp massage can bring to your central nervous system. It goes well beyond the therapeutic effects. Some of the ways a scalp massage can improve the nervous system [4] is through promoting healthy blood flow and circulation, optimizing your body’s natural healing abilities, and helping your body better balance and harmonize.

5. Promotes Hair Growth

There’s been reports of scalp massages possibly promoting hair growth, and now there’s the science to back up the claims. In a 2016 study, regular scalp massages did lead to thicker hair after massaging for about four minutes per day over a 24 week period. [5] A 2019 study with 340 participants supported those original findings. The participants each massaged twice per day to improve hair loss and 69 percent of the participants said the massages improved their alopecia. [6] 

To encourage even more hair growth, try adding a hair serum for fuller, thicker hair before you start massaging. Combine the power of a scalp massage with ingredients that encourage natural hair growth for added benefits.

With supported research and both therapeutic and general health benefits, there’s no reason to not regularly massage your scalp. Now get kneading!