Head massage has been used for thousands of years in traditional healing systems such as Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine. It helps to release stress and tension from your scalp area.
Since it lets you relax and wind down after a busy day, a head massage just before bed can help you sleep better.
And head massage also has plenty of benefits for our hair. Because it boosts the circulation to our scalps, massage is thought to bring more oxygen and other nutrients to our hair follicles, helping them stay healthy. Studies show head massage can increase hair growth and thickness too.
Today, I’m going to run through a short and simple head massage sequence you can easily do on yourself at home.
While the main aim of this massage routine is to help you release tension and boost your hair’s health, head massage also has benefits for your face. That makes it a perfect complement to face yoga.
Head massage is often used in traditional Japanese culture as a natural facelift. Known as a head spa in Japan, practitioners say head massage works the muscles around the face and forehead, lifting and toning the whole area.
Head massage also helps with lymphatic drainage, removing toxins from your skin and reducing puffiness.
You don’t need any special equipment for this massage, just your hands. The whole sequence only takes about five minutes, so it is easy to fit into your routine.
Just a warning – your hair will get a bit messy! Especially if your hair is longer, like mine. So, you might want to do this head massage at the end of the day or first thing in the morning before you’ve done your hair.
It doesn’t matter what length your hair is, however. You can do this routine with long hair, short hair, or no hair at all. If you want to use hair oil that’s great too.
Find somewhere comfortable to sit and take a few long, deep breaths to relax. Then we are ready to begin.
1. Wiggle Fingers
Start by taking the fingertips of both hands to the point where your forehead meets your scalp.
Using a little wiggling motion, work your fingers over your scalp towards the back of your skull. Lift your hands off, replace them at the top of your forehead, and repeat the move a couple more times.
Use a pressure that feels comfortable to you. I always encourage you to work intuitively and to your own pace with any of my routines. What your body needs will change from day to day, so don’t be afraid to vary what you do each time, depending on how you are feeling.
Returning your fingers to the front of your scalp, rake them back over the top of your head and down to the base of your skull. If you have long hair, you can continue the movement down the length of your hair too.
You can use your nails lightly here too if that feels good to you.
Repeat this move several times to increase the blood flow to your hair follicles and relax the muscles of your head and face.
This next move is very energising and is excellent for waking up your circulation.
Form your hands into fists and then lightly pummel them over your scalp.
Work over the entire area, including the sides and back of the skull. As always, choose a level of force that feels right to you. There’s no need to go too hard here.
Continue to pummel your scalp for thirty seconds or so. As someone commented when I shared this routine on YouTube, it is a good workout for your arms too!
4. Circular Massage
Next, bring your fingertips back to the top of your forehead. Using a circular, lifting motion, massage back over your entire scalp.
The movement you are using here is almost like when you are shampooing your hair. But with a little more attention to your scalp.
Don’t forget to use your breath here to help you relax and get oxygen to your cells. Concentrate on lengthening your inhale and exhale as you continue to massage your scalp.
5. Base of Scalp
Our final move is a lovely deep massage that is wonderful for releasing tension.
Take your thumbs to the base of your scalp. The bone here is called the occipital – it is the one that makes up the lower portion of your skull and connects your head to your spinal cord. Releasing the tension here can help relax your head, face, and neck.
Starting just behind your ears, use your thumbs to massage in a small, circular motion. Work along the base of your skull until your thumbs meet in the middle, then replace them at the ears and repeat the movement.
If you encounter any areas that are feeling especially tight, you can spend a little longer there to release the tension further.
That’s the end of this simple head massage routine. As I say, it should only take you around five minutes. Hopefully, that makes it easy to fit into your day. You could even do it in front of the TV in the evening or just before you go to bed.
Although it is short, this head massage can make a noticeable difference in how your scalp feels. After you finish, you should find your head seems lighter and more relaxed.
Massage helps to unblock any stagnant energy and get your circulation flowing freely. Done regularly, it can boost your hair’s health and help it grow well.
If you prefer to follow along with a video guide, this full head massage routine is available on the Face Yoga Expert YouTube channel. Don’t forget to subscribe – I regularly share short Face Yoga and massage sequences you can use at home.
And if you would like to learn more about Face Yoga, facial massage, and head massage, please take a look at some of the other resources I have available on my website. My apps and DVDs are perfect for anyone wanting to start a regular Face Yoga practice. When you are ready to dive deeper, I also offer teacher training courses in both Face Yoga and Facial Gua Sha.