The secret to healthy hair starts with the scalp. From exfoliating away dead skin and product build-up to stimulating blood circulation, the benefits of using a scalp brush in your hair care routine are unmeasurable. And if you have a balanced scalp microbiome, there is nothing standing between you and consistent great hair days.
Giving yourself a scalp massage, apart from feeling fantastic, can increase hair thickness, reduce stress and promote a load of benefits beyond healthy hair.
The easy-to-use tool can help improve the look and feel of all hair types but is particularly beneficial to anyone who suffers from dandruff and dry scalp. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about the benefits of using a scalp brush and giving yourself a scalp massage.
What is a Scalp Brush?
Scalp brushes are exactly what they sound like: handheld, brush-like devices that work to massage, stimulate, and exfoliate the scalp. They also go by names like scalp massager, shampoo massager, scalp cleansing brush, scrubber, and silicone scalp brush, to name a few.
While there are many styles and types on the market, all of these brushes aim to remove dead skin cells and product build-up from the scalp.
Scalp brushes tend to have smaller, round and soft silicone bristles or soft plastic bristles. Some scalp brushes are meant to be used on dry hair, while others should be used in the shower.
Benefits of Using a Scalp Brush
Here's a breakdown of everything you need to know about using a scalp brush for hair health.
1. Helps With Dandruff
Perhaps the most noticeable benefit of scalp brushes is that they help remove dead skin cells, oils and product build-up that can clog follicles and cause dandruff.
Scalp irritation and flakiness can be the result of problems with your scalp microbiome. For example, people with dandruff often struggle with irritation, which triggers a response that stimulates cell turnover. When this happens, the excess dead skin appears on your scalp as flakes (aka dandruff).
By helping loosen natural scalp build-up, scalp brushes can help your scalp become healthier. And when you use a microbiome friendly shampoo, like Mother Dirt's, you are working to balance your microbiome in two different ways.
2. Stimulates the Scalp
Using a scalp massage brush can stimulate the living hair follicle cells to produce thicker, healthier hair. They help stimulate cells within the scalp. The rush of blood flow to the area increases and promotes the distribution of nutrients throughout the scalp and hair roots.
3. Promotes Circulation
Gentle stimulation to the scalp will boost the circulation of oxygen, blood and nutrients - all key to encouraging healthier hair.
Keep in mind, the keyword here is gentle. Pressing too hard or using a scalp brush too often can leave the scalp irritated, making conditions like dandruff even worse. Remember to massage the scalp carefully.
4. Helps Get Hair Care Products Out
Brushes for the scalp can help remove dirt and build-up that clogs the hair follicles on the scalp. Using a scalp brush can remove dead skin cells, excess sebum and product build-up that clogs hair follicles and can cause hair loss.
5. Makes Products More Effective
Without the product build-up and dead skins on your scalp, your shampoo and conditioner can better penetrate the scalp and therefore become more effective.
You can use a shampoo brush to work the shampoo into your scalp before lathering the product to your hair strands.
6. Strengthens Hair
Incorporating a massage tool can be highly beneficial for those with fine hair. As you massage the head with a scalp brush, you're also evenly distributing your hair's natural oils. This can restore much-needed moisture to the scalp. In addition, maintaining the proper sebum balance in the scalp will eventually improve the overall health of your hair.
7. Improves Mood
A surprising benefit of using a scalp brush has nothing to do with hair but a lot to do with your overall mood. Massages are connected to the idea of relaxation, and a scalp massage can help relieve built-up tension.
One study found that head and scalp massages are beneficial for increasing mental health and wellbeing. Even a short scalp massage can help release serotonin.
8. May Promote Hair Growth
While the scientific research behind this claim is still ongoing, anecdotal reports of scalp brushes believe they help stimulate hair growth. So far, there was a study back in 2016 that confirmed using a scalp massager for four minutes over a 24-week period resulted in visibly thicker, stronger hair and accelerated hair growth.
Another study in 2019, which included 340 participants, yielded similar results. In this study, participants massaged their scalp twice per day to improve alopecia, chronic hair loss. Approximately 69% of participants said the scalp massage improved their hair loss, encouraging new hair growth.
9. Reduces Tension
Very much like you build tension in your back and shoulders, scalp tension is also common. We can hold tension across our hairline, behind our ears and at the root of the neck. This is primarily due to stress and can also be affected by posture.
Scalp tension can result in constricted blood vessels, which reduces blood flow to the hair follicle and could lead to hair loss. Getting regular scalp massages using a scalp brush can help reduce the tension of the neck and back muscles. This can also reduce symptoms of migraines and back pain.
10. Improves the Nervous System
Our nervous system is responsible for our overall health and wellbeing. Regular massage treatments can promote people's health with nervous system disease, offering plenty of therapeutic benefits.
But, using a scalp brush on yourself can also support the nervous system by stimulating healthy blood flow and circulation. This, in return, activates your body's natural healing abilities and helps your body remain balanced.
How to Use a Scalp Brush
While you can use a scalp brush with wet or dry hair, the easiest way to incorporate a scalp brush into your hair care routine is when you wash your hair:
- Before you shower, ensure your hair is free of knots by using a wide-tooth comb.
- Once in the shower, soak hair thoroughly. Then, apply shampoo to your hair and work a little into the scalp.
- Take your scalp brush and gently massage the formula into the scalp using small, circular movements. Massage the scalp for a few minutes, but no longer than five.
- Then, lather the shampoo into your hair strands using your hands. You may use the scalp brush to free any knots that formed during the massage.
- Rinse hair thoroughly. You may use the scalp brush to carefully make sure all product is rinsed away by massaging the scalp one more time.
- Finish with your conditioner.
Do's and Don'ts
When using a scalp brush, gentle action is vital. Light brushing and a little pressure is all you need. Here are some basics to remember:
- Do brush only once a day, either at the start of your day or before bedtime.
- Do start by brushing the ends of your hair to remove any tangles and work your way up to your scalp.
- Do be gentle on your scalp by using soft, circular motions only.
- Do wash your scalp brush at least once a month with a mild shampoo and warm water.
- Don't use metal brushes because they can be too harsh for the scalp.
- Don't brush for more than five minutes because excess brushing can overstimulate oil glands resulting in a greasy scalp.
With ample benefits from using a scalp brush, there's no reason not to massage your scalp regularly. Even a few minutes of massage a day can result in long-lasting benefits for your hair and scalp. Plus, using a scalp brush feels excellent and comes with beneficial side effects that can improve your mood and overall well-being. Don't forget to pair your scalp brush with a microbiome-friendly shampoo, like Mother Dirt's.