visit to the hair salon means a fresh cut, revived color, an hour or two to relax, and – perhaps best of all – a scalp massage. It doesn’t only feel incredible; it also leaves you refreshed and energized.
Good news! You don’t have to wait for your next salon appointment to indulge in an invigorating massage. You can recreate the experience at home with a simple tool: the scalp brush.
Covered in soft, flexible bristles, silicone scalp brushes gently massage and exfoliate your head, as well as work cleansers and conditioners into your hair. With regular use, the tool is an essential element to having a healthy scalp.
Ready to get your hands on one? In this guide, learn which type of brush is best for stimulating the scalp, scalp brush benefits, and how to use one most effectively.
What Is a Scalp Brush?
Scalp brushes are small, handheld brushes that typically feature soft silicone bristles. Depending on where you purchase the tool, it might go by an alternative name — like scalp scrubber, shampoo brush, or hair massage brush. Why the variety of names? Well, the tool can serve several different purposes, from scalp exfoliation to product application. Unlike a traditional hairbrush, scalp brushes are not meant to smooth or detangle your strands, but rather act as a gentle alternative to scrubbing your scalp with your nails.
Designed primarily to be used on wet hair (although they can be used on dry hair as well), scalp brushes are typically made of silicone or plastic for a non-slip grip in the shower.
Do Silicone Scalp Brushes Work?
You’re probably wondering: Do scalp brushes help with dandruff? Does brushing hair help a dry scalp? When used correctly and for their intended purposes – massaging the head, exfoliating away dead skin and product buildup, and applying product – silicone scalp brushes work like a charm.
And what about the question that’s most on your mind: Does brushing the scalp help hair growth? It might! Some studies have shown that massagers can lead to thicker hair by stretching the cells of the hair follicles. Others have shown that scalp massage can reduce stress hormones (the kind that lead to hair thinning). Ultimately, scalp brushes aren’t a magic tool that’ll help you gain inches in weeks, but they may help your hair grow thicker and healthier.
Scalp Brush Benefits
Using a scalp brush feels amazing – but it also offers a wealth of benefits to your scalp and hair. Benefits of scalp massage brushes include:
- Scalp exfoliation, which helps remove dead skin and product buildup. This kind of regular scalp detox is critical to a healthy head and hair.
- Increased blood circulation to your scalp. This helps deliver oxygen and essential nutrients to the hair follicles, which can reduce hair loss.
- Reduced tension and stress. Similar to a body massage, a scalp massage offers mental and physical benefits. Using a brush to massage your head can reduce muscle tension, relieve physical stress, and even act as a natural remedy for headaches.
- Less dandruff. Surprisingly, dandruff can result from a dry scalp or an overly oily one. What causes oily scalp? Often, it’s a result of daily shampooing, which strips your hair of sebum. Then, your glands go into overdrive to replace it. Using a scalp brush, along with a detergent-free shampoo alternative like New Wash, can reverse the cycle of oil overproduction. If, on the other hand, you suffer from excessive dryness, a scalp brush can exfoliate and remove dead skin.
- Stimulate and stretch hair follicles, allowing your hair to grow stronger, thicker, and healthier. Because clogged hair follicles can lead to problems like dandruff and hair loss, using a scalp brush to stimulate and clear those follicles can do wonders for your hair health.
- Apply products evenly throughout your hair and deeper into your scalp. If you have thick hair, it can be difficult to work products through your hair and scalp with just your fingers. Using a head scrubber can help you get the product directly to the scalp, where it benefits the hair the most.
- Thoroughly rinse products out of your hair to reduce product buildup. Just like working product into your hair, it can be difficult to rinse out your cleanser or conditioner completely with only your fingers, especially if you have extra-thick or curly hair. Brushing the scalp in the shower can help ensure there’s no residue left behind.
Which Type of Brush Is Best for Stimulating the Scalp?
The best type of scalp massager brush is one that strikes a delicate balance: The bristles must be gentle enough to not irritate your scalp, but stiff enough to loosen any dry skin and product buildup. Soft, snag-free silicone bristles are generally ideal to stimulate the scalp and improve blood circulation.
Keep in mind, because scalp brushes are typically used in the shower, it’s also helpful if the brush has an ergonomic, easy-to-hold, non-slip design.
How to Use a Scalp Brush
Scalp brushes should primarily be used on wet hair. However, with a gentle touch, you can also use it when your hair is dry. Here’s a quick guide to both methods:
Wet: In the shower, wet your hair and apply a product (e.g., a detergent-free cleanser like New Wash) through your hair. Then, use your scalp brush to massage your head in small, circular motions to work the product through your hair and scalp. Don’t be afraid to add pressure! The silicone bristles won’t harm your head, so scrub hard enough to massage thoroughly and loosen dry skin. Continue to scrub while rinsing to remove excess product and stubborn impurities. Then, brush from root to end to guide everything out of your hair and down the drain.
Dry: On dry hair, use the brush to massage your scalp in small, circular motions. Keep in mind that a scalp brush isn’t meant to replace a traditional hairbrush, so don’t try to brush through your hair from roots to ends. Focus just on the scalp, using gentle movements and light pressure.
How Often Should You Brush Your Scalp?
You can use a scalp brush every time you cleanse your hair. Start with a few times a week, and see how your head feels. If you press too hard and too often, you may end up with a tender scalp – if that’s the case, hold off a bit longer between brushings.
Learning how to use a scalp brush isn’t only essential to the health of your head and hair – it can be a relaxing addition to your self-care routine. With a soft, silicone scalp brush and a rich, detergent-free shampoo alternative, you can experience the luxury of a salon massage every time you cleanse your hair.