There are few pleasures like treating yourself to a beauty service. Whether that means getting a fresh blowout or having your nails done, there is a feeling of relaxation that comes with letting someone else pamper you. Of all the many treatments and procedures available, none offers more peaceful results than having a massage. From face to body, massages blend the best of beauty with holistic approaches to leave your skin looking good and your mind feeling a touch more at ease. That same wellness-rooted concept is also what makes a Japanese head spa much more than the average hair salon.
Perhaps you’ve noticed an increasing amount of videos displaying the scalp massaging technique on your FYP as of late. And while TikTok can be hit or miss when it comes to fruitful trends, the interest in Japanese head spas is perfectly in tune with the beauty industry’s growing focus on scalp care. Part massage, part hair wash, these treatments are delivering unique results all over the country.
Ahead, TZR spoke with Ritsuko Borges, a holistic cosmetologist specializing in Japanese head spa treatments at New York-based salon Masa.Kanai and renowned, board-certified cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Michele Green to learn more.
What Is A Japanese Head Spa?
As Borges tells TZR, a head spa is a specialized beauty treatment that focuses solely on the scalp. “More like a ritual, the multi-step process combines techniques like deep cleansing and exfoliating to nourish the scalp and hair,” she says.
Though head spas are having a viral moment right now, Borges explains that its origins can be traced back to ancient Ayurvedic traditions that emphasized the importance of scalp and hair health for overall well-being. “In the past 20 years, the treatment has gained popularity in Japan, where it is known as ‘head spa,’ and recently it has since become popular in many other parts of the world.”
What Are The Benefits Of Japanese Head Spa Treatments?
Like the face and body, your scalp needs attention and care to maintain its health and grow hair that is nourished and healthy. Dr. Green tells TZR that administered treatments can promote increased circulation to the area in order to supply the hair follicles with more nutrients and oxygen. She also notes that they can be used to reset sebum levels and eliminate buildup in the hair follicles. “This encourages the release of natural conditioning oils, and can help reduce dandruff, alleviate irritation, and even lead to thicker, healthier hair,” she says.
How Are Japanese Head Spa Treatments Done?
Most head spa treatments are customized to meet the different scalp needs of each individual. At Masa.Kanai, the service begins with a consultation to better understand the current condition of your hair and scalp. “This allows us to target any specific concerns, such as oiliness, buildup or, blood circulation, during the treatment,” says Borges. Next, the hair is tenderly washed and conditioned before the scalp is massaged with gentle pressure to improve blood flow and remove any buildup. Following the massage, a hair mask is usually applied along with hot towels to help the ingredients penetrate more deeply.
The process can last anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes and is meant to better both your hair health and mental state. “My approach is holistic, so with each treatment, I aim to address the root causing certain scalp issues and help my clients feel a sense of wholeness once again. Similar to other beauty treatments, she recommends revisiting the service every four to six weeks to maintain scalp and hair health.
With an uptick in scalp care, it’s clear that treatments like Japanese head spas will continue to grow in popularity. “Everyone has the potential to benefit from engaging in a scalp care routine,” says Dr. Green.