Do Scalp Facials Really Work? We Found Out From The Experts

Yuchen Liao/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

At the core of every great head of hair is a healthy and thriving scalp. It's why we forage through beauty aisles, spending hours trying to locate the shampoo that will eliminate our dandruff woes, and douse our hair in hot oil treatments sitting under dryers (no matter how mundane) until our scalps feel renewed. And while those remedies are certainly helpful, real-life scalp facials are taking it a step further.

"Think about a scalp facial as you would a regular facial," Dr. David Adams, MD, New York City trichologist and consultant for Thicker Fuller Hair, says to The Zoe Report. "Scalp is skin, and as such needs to be exfoliated, cleansed, and moisturized. A clean healthy scalp is one of the essential steps to healthy hair growth and achieving thicker hair."

But this scalp facial Adams speaks of is a little bit more sophisticated than those peppermint sugar scrubs you can find in the hair aisle. Take HydraFacial's new Keravive treatment for instance, a unique treatment designed to cleanse, exfoliate, and rehydrate the scalp to create a breeding ground for longer and healthier hair. "The treatment uses vortex technology (the spiral design of the Keravive applicator, used in conjunction with the HydraFacial proprietary vacuum technology which creates a vortex effect to easily dislodge and remove impurities), and Keravive peptide complex solution, the topical solution that exfoliates, and delivers a proprietary blend of growth factors and skin proteins to hydrate the scalp deep in its core," Dr. Sachin Shridharani, MD, New York City plastic surgeon and ambassador for HydraFacial Keravive, notes.

So ahead, check out the entire process, and find out how the medical spas that are administering the treatment are keeping clients safe in the midst of COVID-19.

Scalp Facials: The Process

The in-office treatment, available in med spas across the United States in compliance with reopening guidelines, ranges from $500 to $700. It's a three-step process — two in-office and two at-home — administered by a trained Hydrafacial specialist.

This first step is to cleanse and exfoliate. "While laying on a spa-style table, hair is spread out to expose the scalp. The vortex technology is then dragged across the scalp extracting dirt, oil, and impurities from the scalp and hair follicles while stimulating circulation," Shridharani says. The second step introduces the Keravive peptide complex solution, which encourages growth thanks to its proprietary blend of proteins. Sounds pretty simple, right? But make no mistake, the scalp facial is a process that involves lots of water, so a post-treatment wash is necessary.

Scalp Facials: Maintenance Is Key In-Between Facials

Next, comes step three, which Shridharani sees as the most important. "Daily use of the HydraFacial Keravive Peptide Complex Spray, which is filled with a less concentrated blend of those same growth factors, enhances the in−office treatment experience at LUXURGERY and delivers daily stimulation and nourishment to the scalp and hair follicles," he says. "The combination of in−office cleansing, exfoliation and hydration, and daily use of the take−home spray improves circulation and nourishes the hair follicles for thicker, shinier, healthier−looking hair."

To see long-term results, Shridhrani suggests getting the HydraFacial Keravive in–office treatment once a month for three consecutive months, maintaining with continuous daily use of the take–home spray throughout. After three months. evaluate your scalp's state as well as rate of hair growth, and speak with a Keravive specialist to determine if further treatments are necessary.

Scalp Facials: The Expert Verdict

But the real question is: Does it actually work? Dr. Adams maintains that there is no shortcut to longer hair. However, Keravive can significantly assist in creating a healthy breeding ground for growth. "Hair grows between a quarter to half an inch a month," he says. "Hair growth is dependent on such things as clean healthy scalp, protein-based diet, taking supplements and mechanisms for coping with stress. It will take at least three to six months before someone sees the result of ’new growth’."

Scalp Facials: Med Spa Re-openings

If anything about this service piques your interest, you're in luck: Several med spas and dermatology offices offering the Keravive treatment have begun reopening phases. The Skinbetter Science Institute published a guidance titled, “A Path to Resume Aesthetic Care,” in Facial Plastic Surgery & Aesthetic Medicine, which focuses on the state of the aesthetic industry amidst COVID-19. Some of the guidelines to expect when visiting a Keravive provider are required personal protective equipment (PPE) for all office aesthetic treatments based on the type of procedure, including injectables and non-invasive body contouring, a three-ply surgical mask, safety glasses, gown, and gloves. Energy-based procedures and certain skin care procedures will require enhanced infectious control protocols, designated treatment rooms, and maximum PPE. And the duration and number of procedures per patient will be limited, as will intra-procedure conversations and close face-to-face proximity by both provider and patient.

If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support.