Many of us have fallen victim to purchasing shampoo at the salon because of it’s “magic effect.” Yet, when we use the same formula at home, our hair doesn’t reap the same benefits. The shampoo wasn’t magic; it was the stylist’s magic hands that massage the product into the scalp. “Scalp massage increases circulation and brings oxygen and other nutrients to the hair follicles,” says Marc Zollicoffer, Aveda director of professional spa education. This stimulates the hair follicles to grow thicker, stronger stands.
Self massage isn’t easy, however. “Using a tool like the Aveda Wooden Paddle Brush ($20, aveda.com) is ideal since it doesn’t require strong fingers and can be done in one to three minutes.” For best results, perform daily. Zollicoffer offers step-by-step instructions below:
Step 1: Brush out the hair to detangle.
Step 2: Place the bristles on the back of the head and massage the scalp, moving from the hairline to the crown, with a moderate pressure—you should feel a light tingling sensation on the scalp immediately afterward. “This technique draws the energy of the head toward the crown chakra, which is an exit and entry pathway, for the subtle energy of the body.” This increases blood flow for healthy hair growth.
Step 3: Using a vigorous back and forth motion, massage the entire scalp.
Step 4: Starting at the hairline in front of the right ear, use a press and release technique to the back of the head. When you press down, you should hear the air moving out of the brush. Repeat this four times with the starting point along the forehead and moving to the back of the head until you start in front of the left ear.
Another recommended addition to your routine—a scalp exfoliator. “It’s clinically proven to remove buildup of sebum and product residue that can clog pores and impact healthy hair, while helping equalize the lipid balance,” says Zollicoffer. Aveda Invati Exfoliating Shampoo ($27, aveda.com) contains salicylic acid. Philip Kingsley Exfoliating Scalp Mask ($9, philipkingsley.com) is a once-a-week treatment that also helps to prevent dry, itchy scalps. Massage the exfoliator into the scalp for double the results.