Head Spa: The New Go-To Place For Scalp Health That Influencers Are Loving

From the Alix Earle-inspired rush to stock up on Mielle's Rosemary Hair Oil to the tons of jade rollers influencers had us buying, TikTok has become an indispensable resource for every beauty lover. Whether it's a new pink undereye technique or a hack to apply eyeliner, you can be sure that the TikTok algorithm will expose you to things you didn't even know you needed until you saw a video of someone talking about them.

One of these almost serendipitous trends influencers are raving about is the head spa. With over 193 million views and counting, "#headspa" is becoming a favorite for influencers and their followers. While it is receiving lots of attention in the west, the head spa has been a longstanding tradition in several parts of Asia, including Japan, Korea, and India, with few variations depending on the country. According to Tomoko Shima Hair Salon, the Japanese head spa, which has been going viral for some time, is a deep-cleaning and detoxification facial for your scalp. By cleaning the scalp while massaging it at specific pressure points, the head spa is famous for doing the two-in-one job of helping relieve tension and stress while thoroughly exfoliating your scalp and roots.

Now you're probably wondering: So what's all the fuss about? Well, here's everything you need to know about the head spa. And trust us; you'll want one before you're done reading.

What is the head spa, and how is it done?

The first step of the head spa treatment is a scalp analysis. In a scalp analysis, a magnifier or microscope is held to different parts of your scalp so your head spa practitioner or specialist can see your scalp's condition and better understand what products and techniques to use. When that's done, it is time to get into the mood. The head spa is a relaxing treatment; aromatherapy makes it an even better sensory experience. To create the relaxing vibe needed for the treatment, your specialist will likely put on a diffuser or humidifier with essential oils. Then, it's time to prep your scalp.

Your hair will be wrapped in a steam cap and left for a few minutes. The steam cap will make buildup removal much easier and aid deeper penetration of the treatments used during the massage. After steaming your hair, the specialist will thoroughly massage your scalp with a shampoo suited to your hair's microstate, shaking off its buildup, dirt, and dead skin cells. They will also apply treatments, hair masks, and serums to your scalp and hair to keep them nourished and healthy. And finally, your attendant or practitioner will rinse off the treatments and might apply a light treatment or cream on your hair.

Why should I get the head spa treatment?

We pay attention to our faces with serums, exfoliating creams, cleansers, and our hair with sulfate-free shampoos and oils. But unfortunately, our scalp does not get as much love, which sucks because your scalp is a significant determinant of how healthy your hair grows. A healthy scalp translates to healthy, growing hair. The head spa is a perfect way to love up your scalp and give it all the treatment it's been missing. Here's why.

Your scalp is subject to several things that keep it from being its healthiest, and it all starts with a little something we call sebum. Like the rest of your skin, your scalp produces sebum, a waxy substance that keeps your scalp lubricated and moisturized. According to Iramasure, your scalp produces more sebum than other body parts, including your face. The problem is upon contact with stressors like air and pollution, sebum, made up of lipids, can oxidize and thicken, thus blocking your pores and causing issues like dandruff, smelly hair, and itching. There's also buildup when dead skin cells and hair products like gels and creams accumulate on your scalp.

Washing your hair regularly may do the bulk of keeping your locks clean and fresh, but with eventual buildup, your scalp will need a detox. And the head spa is just that.

More benefits of the head spa treatment

Apart from eliminating buildup and excess sebum and exfoliating the scalp from dead skin cells, the head spa treatment is excellent for people facing hair loss. Gently massaging your scalp improves blood circulation to the area. And with better blood flow to your scalp comes faster and healthier hair growth. This makes it suitable for people facing thinning hair or hair loss, as the treatment will encourage faster growth and thicker hair.

In addition to helping with hair loss, the head spa is also great for people with scalp conditions like eczema and psoriasis. As Headspa EN explains, eczema and psoriasis are inflammatory, and by increasing blood flow to the scalp through massages, skin healing is faster, and the scalp conditions are alleviated. Also, there's the promise of a more effective hair care routine. Tomoko Shima Hair Salon confirms that the head spa helps remove dandruff, dead skin cells, and keratotic plugs. With these gone, your favorite hair products can penetrate deeper into the hair shaft, giving you much better results than before the treatment. Talk about a thorough detox.

How to do an at-home head spa

While the head spa is worth it, it is not a one-time treatment. Instead, it must be performed routinely for the best results, which can get quite expensive over time. Thankfully the treatment is DIY-friendly and can be done in the comfort of your home. And while it definitely won't be as skilled and tension-relieving as it would be with trained head spa specialists, it sure is a convenience to do such a relaxing treatment yourself.

First, saturate your hair with water, then section and gently detangle it to make the massaging treatment much easier. After detangling, apply your preferred scalp exfoliating treatment or scrub. Ensure the bulk of the product gets on your scalp, as that is the main focus. Then, massage your scalp in small circular motions using your fingertips, a scalp massager, or a brush. A small tip is to ensure you're using the pads of your fingertips and not your nails to avoid scratching or cutting your scalp.

Suppose you don't like using your fingertips or a scalp massager. In that case, Japanese at-home spa devices use different technologies like electric frequencies or pulsations to lift and remove dirt. Either way, rinse off your scalp treatment after 5 to 10 minutes and wash your hair with some clarifying shampoo. Finish up by applying some serum or leave-in conditioner, and you're all done.

Anything else I should know about the head spa?

Whether you get the scalp treatment done by professionals or decide to DIY your way through it, the head spa is routine. With consistent appointments come better results, so making the time and effort is essential. It's also important to note the cost of the treatment at your preferred salon. Like most beauty treatments, the fee for your head spa treatment depends on several factors: the salon's location, the experience of the spa practitioner, the nature of your scalp, and the products used during the treatment. For salons like Masa Kanai, located in New York, the treatments range from $130 to $280 per session. For others, like Atama Salon, scalp spas are in the $195 to $460 range. Either way, find one that suits your budget and is in your area so you can make it a regular part of your hair care routine.

And lastly, while the head spa is relaxing and very effective, it does not replace a dermatologist or trichologist. So be sure to see one and get your scalp and hair checked when specific issues arise with your hair.