A scalp massage can help stimulate hair follicles, promote hair growth and add volume. But how long do you actually need to massage your scalp to see results? We’ve got the answer.
Written by Nicola Sloan
For increased hair growth and thickness, it’s best to massage the scalp at least twice a day, for a duration of about five minutes each time. This will increase blood flow to the hair follicles, and it’s also great for relaxing and de-stressing!
Why Is Scalp Massage Important?
There’s no denying it – a healthier scalp equals healthier hair. Regular massaging of the scalp will improve scalp health by removing dead skin flakes and oil build-up. It may even help your hair to grow faster and thicker.
Better scalp health is the fertile base from which healthy hair can grow. A healthy scalp will grow longer, stronger hair and result in decreased hair loss.
Does Scalp Massaging Stimulate Hair Growth?
A couple of recent scientific studies have suggested that scalp massages may help to stimulate hair growth, create thicker hair and decrease hair loss.
To get the best results, it’s best to do scalp massages at least twice a day, for 5 minutes at a time.
Benefits Of Scalp Massages
Along with the potential for an increase in hair growth and thickness, other benefits of massaging your scalp can include:
Decreased Stress Levels
Let’s face it: any kind of massage is relaxing. Giving yourself a daily scalp massage of 5 minutes or so in the evening will help to relax you after a busy day. It can be a daily ritual to help you unwind.
Improved Sleep Quality
The relaxing nature of a scalp massage can mean that you’ll find you’ll sleep better. Any kind of relaxing ritual has the potential to give you a sounder night’s rest (especially if you use calming essential oils as part of the routine).
Helps To Remove Product Build-up And Dandruff
This applies if you do your scalp massages in the shower. Massaging the scalp while washing your hair will help to remove dead skin flakes and product buildup, leaving a healthier scalp behind. A healthier scalp will in turn grow longer, stronger hair.
How Long Should I Massage My Scalp?
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to how long scalp massages should last. It depends on the reason why you’re doing it. A general rule is a scalp massage should last between a minute to five minutes.
If you’re massaging your scalp while washing your hair, a minute or two should be enough to remove product buildup from your roots, which will help promote a healthier scalp.
If you’re doing a scalp massage on dry hair, you can do a five-minute scalp massage. This is good for relaxation in the evenings before going to bed and is also great if you’re trying to promote hair growth.
No matter how long you’re doing your scalp massage, always use light to medium pressure and don’t press too hard. Also, use the pads of your fingers instead of using your nails, as you don’t want to damage the scalp.
How Often Should I Massage My Scalp?
It’s safe to massage your scalp every day if you like, but if this seems unrealistic, every other day is fine. It depends on your personal preferences and routine.
If you want to improve hair growth or the thickness of your hair, you may find doing scalp massages twice a day, for about five minutes each time, will produce the best results.
You can massage your scalp every wash day while you’re shampooing your hair to effectively remove grease and product buildup.
If you just want to massage your scalp to relax, then you can do it whenever you want!
How Essential Oils Can Help
Essential oils can level up your scalp massage routine. You can put a few drops of your favorite essential oil into your shampoo while massaging your scalp during washday.
Alternatively, you can dilute your chosen essential oil with a carrier oil to do a hot oil treatment for your hair and scalp.
Oils like lavender, rosemary, and peppermint can help boost hair growth (if this is a goal), and/or will just help make your scalp massage extra relaxing.
Always mix essential oils with a carrier oil first to avoid irritation to the skin.
Also, make sure you do a patch test before using an essential oil on your scalp to be sure you’re not allergic.
4 Ways To Massage Your Scalp
There are a few options when it comes to scalp massages, depending on your circumstances and hair goals. Find the technique that works best for you.
The traditional way to give yourself a scalp massage is on dry hair, using your fingertips. This is a popular technique to stimulate hair growth, or just to relax and unwind.
1. To give yourself a fingertip scalp massage, just rub the pads of your fingers in circular motions on the scalp. Do not use your nails as this will scratch and damage the scalp.
2. Repeat the process over the entire scalp, using light to medium pressure. To not rub too hard as this can damage the hair and scalp and even pull your hair out and cause snagging.
If you’re doing this technique to encourage your hair to grow faster, do it at least twice a day for about five minutes each time.
You can ask someone else to give you a hand or visit a licensed massage therapist if you have some free time.
While Washing Your Hair
Another good way of doing scalp massages, and one that’s easy to fit into your routine, is to massage your scalp while shampooing your hair.
This is a good way to effectively clean your scalp and remove product buildup, while stimulating hair growth right at the follicles.
1. As you’re shampooing, rub your scalp in circular motions, making sure you cover your entire head. Don’t rub too hard. Do this for about two minutes or so for the best effect.
2. Then rinse out your shampoo and condition as normal.
Hot Oil Treatment
Using essential oils as part of your scalp massage makes it more of a luxury. Why not set the ambiance by lighting some candles and putting on relaxing music as well?
Adding certain essential oils can help make the experience more relaxing and you can benefit from the unique properties of the oil you’re using.
Some popular essential oils you could use as part of your scalp massage include:
- Tea tree
Remember that these oils should not be applied neat as they can cause skin irritation.
Instead, they should be diluted with a carrier oil of your choice. Popular carrier oils include:
Always do a patch test first with your chosen oils to be sure you’re not allergic.
You can repeat a hot oil treatment once or twice a week, but no more than this, as doing so will attract dirt and make your hair greasier, causing buildup on the scalp.
1. To use the hot oil method when massaging your scalp, warm the mixture and apply to your roots (making sure it’s not too hot!).
2. Gently massage the oil into your scalp in circular motions, making sure to cover your whole head.
3. Massage your scalp for about five minutes. Then you can work the treatments through the lengths and ends of your hair.
4. Leave in for up to 20 minutes, then shampoo out.
You can flip your head upside down while massaging your scalp to increase blood flow to the area.
While this method hasn’t been scientifically proven, anecdotal evidence suggests it may help boost hair growth due to extra blood flow to the follicles.
Just don’t do this method for more than a few minutes, as hanging your head upside down can cause dizziness and strain on the back and neck.
Also, the inversion method isn’t recommended if you’re pregnant or have any of the following conditions:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Detached retina
- Ear infection
- Back pain or spinal injury
How Long Before I See Results?
If you’re massaging your scalp in the hopes of speeding up hair growth and getting thicker hair, be patient.
Even if you’re massaging your scalp at least twice a day for 5 minutes, it could take a few months before you see results.
The good news though is that massaging your scalp will instantly relax you, and if done in the shower, will ease problems that come with product build-up, such as an itchy or greasy scalp.
Is A Scalp Massager Necessary?
A scalp massager is a synthetic, brush-like device you can use to massage your scalp instead of your fingers.
You can get scalp massagers designed for dry hair (like those antenna-style ones) and also ones for use in the shower.
In-shower scalp massagers are becoming very popular, due to their ability to exfoliate and stimulate the scalp, remove excess oil and product build-up while shampooing.
There is no consensus over whether a scalp massager actually works better than using your fingertips though. It all comes down to personal preference.
Scalp massagers do feel great so go ahead and get one if that is your personal preference.
When it comes to choosing one, make sure you choose a type that is gentle so it doesn’t do any damage to your scalp.
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