Loosen Up Tight Scalp
BY: Judith Rasband • Jun 30, 2019
“Your scalp is as tight as a drum!” is a familiar cry in hair salons for both men and women. “Loosen up,” is often the accompanying advice. “Your scalp should move.”
Your hairdresser is right. A scalp is tight to the skull inhibits blood flow and oil gland activity. The hair root doesn’t receive enough oxygen and nutrients, so waste products accumulate and the hair root suffers. Existing hair falls out, new hair is no longer formed, and thinning becomes apparent.
A good massage will loosen tense muscles in the scalp and neck. (Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?) A scalp massage is a marvelous way to soothe your nerves and promote relaxation. For some, it even relieves tension headaches.
A massage is an excellent exercise for the scalp, because it creates friction, stimulates circulation and generally improves hair growth. It also helps to normalize oil gland secretions and loosen dandruff flakes that can then be removed with brushing and shampooing.
Scalp massage procedures vary only slightly. The major difference lies in whether you start at the back or the front of the head, and that’s merely a matter of preference.
One of the real luxuries of life is a scalp massage by a hairdresser during a shampoo. But those who indulge their patrons in this pleasure are unfortunately few and far between. Most of us are on our own, so here’s how to do it.
1. Begin at the hairline between the front of the ears and the temples. Slip the fingers of both hands up through and underneath the hair to ensure close finger-to-scalp contact. Be sure to use the pads of your fingertips, not your nails, or you may scratch your scalp. Move the scalp around in a slow, gentle, circular motion.
2. Gradually work your fingers up to the crown (top of the head) and back down. Repeat this three to five times. Your scalp should feel warm and tingly.
3. Shift your fingertips to the back or nape of the neck along the hairline. Again, move the scalp around in a circular motion.
4. Slowly work your fingertips upward, over the bones behind each ear and up to the crown. Cover all areas on the back of your head. Reverse and work back down. Repeat this three to five times.
5. Return your fingertips to the hairline at forehead and temples. Gradually work back toward the crown, covering the entire top of the head. Again, repeat this procedure three to five times.
6. Next, pick up small bunches of hair and pull very gently to lift the scalp. Cover the entire head in a gradual front-to-back movement.
7. Finally, finish with gentle circular motions using the heel of the hand (the fleshy part of the palm just above the wrist). Again, use a front-to-back movement to cover the entire head.
Prior to shampooing, whip up a massage solution. Mix two parts with hazel (a stimulant) with one part of baby oil (a lubricant) and apply the mixture to the scalp with a cotton swab.
Use just enough to coat the scalp but not saturate it. Massage the scalp as directed above and allow the solution to remain on the scalp for an additional five minutes before shampooing. If fingertips massage doesn’t appeal to you, or if it doesn’t do the job satisfactorily, you may want to invest in an electric scalp vibrator. Some are equipped with a heating unit to increase the effects of the massage.