Hair Care, Hair and Scalp Treatments, Scalp Massage

Hair Care, Hair and Scalp Treatments, Scalp Massage

Unit 2, 3, 4 – Scalp Manipulations and Movements

The scalp, like other exterior muscular tissues, needs exercise in order to remain healthy. However, since the muscles of the scalp are involuntary, a person cannot exercise his scalp in the same manner as he would his arms or legs. Therefore, we must exercise the scalp with scientific massage. Periodic scalp massage brings the same benefits as if the scalp were exercised.

A scientific scalp massage consists of a program of scalp manipulations. Scalp manipulations atimulate:

  1. The circulation of blood to the scalp
  2. The muscles
  3. The scalp glands

Correct manipulations stimulate the flow of blood through the capillaries. The additional nutriment secreted by the papilla contributes to a healthier hair and scalp condition. It also relieves itching, a very common scalp complaint.

Pulling the hair at the scalp helps to stimulate the scalp and prevents shedding. The correct hair pulling technique is to grasp a small amount of hair between the thumb and forefinger about 1 inch above the scalp, hold tightly and pull firmly. Repeat over the entire head area. The hair pulling technique to stimulate the scalp is an excellent substitute for the scalp exercise usually obtained from hair brushing and should be used daily if the hair is not brushed.

When manipulations are given in the hair area, the hands are placed under the hair. This permits the cushion side of the fingers to have direct contact with the scalp. A basic knowledge of anatomy and the locations of the muscles, nerves and blood vessels of the scalp, face and neck area are necessary in order to achieve the best results.


  1. parietal branch
  2. anterior auricular
  3. occipital
  4. posterior auricular
  5. sternocleidomastoid
  6. supraorbital
  7. frontal
  8. frontal branch
  9. orbital
  10. superficial temporal
  11. lateral nasal
  12. transverse facial branch
  13. septal
  14. inferior labial
  15. external maxillary
  16. submental
  17. external carotid artery


  1. auricular
  2. posterior auricular
  3. temporal
  4. great auricular
  5. lesser occipital
  6. third occipital
  7. great occipital
  8. accessory
  9. spinal
  10. supraorbital
  11. supratrochlear
  12. lacrimal
  13. infratrochlear
  14. nasal
  15. infraorbital
  16. zygomatic
  17. buccal
  18. inferior alveolar
  19. mental
  20. mandibular
  21. cutaneous colli
  22. cervical cutaneous


  1. galea aponeurotica
  2. temporal fascia
  3. auricularis superior
  4. auricularis anterior
  5. auricularis posterior
  6. occipitalis
  7. masseter
  8. sternocleidomastoid
  9. trapezius
  10. platysma
  11. frontalis
  12. corrugator
  13. obicularis oculi
  14. procerus
  15. nasalis
  16. quadratus labii superioris
  17. depressor septi
  18. zygomaticus
  19. caninus
  20. buccinator
  21. orbicularis oris
  22. mentalis
  23. quadratus labii inferioris
  24. triangularis
  25. risorius
  26. platysma


  1. superficial temporal
  2. posterior auricular
  3. occipital
  4. external jugular
  5. supraorbital
  6. frontal
  7. angular
  8. nasal
  9. supra labial
  10. anterior facial
  11. common facial


Scalp manipulations utilize modifications of three basic movements:

  1. Rotation
  2. Stroking
  3. Compression

Rotation: The best movement for preliminary massage of the scalp before shampooing is rotation. Use a gliding circular movement and press firmly while rotating.

Stroking: A smooth light gliding stroke (effleurage), without pressure, over the surface of the skin in linear or circular motion.


  1. Friction is pressure applied to the tissues with your fingers or hand along the nerve tracts.
  2. Kneading is grasping the skin and flesh with your hand and fingers, lifting the tissues and squeezing them.

All manipulations should be performed very slowly and with continuous, firm and even motion and pressure. Once the manipulations begin, maintain contact with the patron by sliding your fingers into position for each movement. Do not remove your hands from the scalp between movements.

A motor point is the region where motor nerves are close enough to the skin surface so that they ccan be stimulated by massage. Motor nerves relay impulses to the muscles during certain movements. A stopping point is the place where the manipulation in a particular massage movement ends or stops before continuing with the next movement.


Movement 1: Used to stimulate the nerves of the neck, activate the occipital muscle and increase circulation to the scalp. Place your left hand on the forehead and the fingertips of your right hand firmly between the two lowest cervical vertebrae and repeat. Continue up the neck to the base of the skull. At the base of the skull, slide along the hairline on both sides as you apply pressure. With your left hand on the forehead and your right hand at the base of the skull, complete the movement by applying a slow bu firm upward pull on the whole head. Then, let it relax gently. Slide your fingers down the neck to the starting position and repeat the entire movement three times. When movement one is completed slide back to original starting point.

Movement 2: Used to stimulate all the nerves leading to the scalp. The left hand holds the head steady. The fingers of your right hand are moved over to the auricular nerve, and three upward rotations are made at the base of the neck. Continue upward from this point. Switch to a clockwise motion, behind, above and in front of the ear. Finally, slide to the motor point of the temporal nerve and press for three seconds. Repeat this movement five times. Reverse the position of your hands for the opposite side of the head.

Movement 3: Used to loosen the skin of the scalp. Hold one hand at the back of the head and press the fingers of the other hand firmly against the scalp near the front hairline. Move the scalp back and forth over the skull with slight pressure. Slide the fingers up a little with each full movement up. Repeat the movement by working the scalp up the back and up both sides of the head. Change the position of the hands as required. This movement affects the epicranius, temporalis, frontalis and occipital muscles as well as the occipital nerve.

Movement 4: Movements 4, 5, 6 and 7 are designed to stimulate all the nerves leading to the scalp. In addition, they loosen the scalp. Hold both thumbs on the occipital nerve at the base of the skull. Hold your fingers on the temporal nerve at each side of the forehead. Press firmly and rotate three times. Continue moving all your fingers up the head, rotating and pressing, until your hands meet at the top of the head. Reverse the movement of your hands. Work downward to the mastoid bone using pressure and rotations.

Movement 5: Hold your thumbs against the right side of the head with the fingers of your left hand on the occipital nerve and those of your other hand at the forehead. Gradually work the hands toward each other, sliding and rotating until they meet over the ear. Repeat the movement on the opposite side of the head. Start with your thumbs behind each ear and repeat the movement working the fingers directly up the head from the forehead to the crown. The frontalis, auricular and occipital muscles as well as the auricular and occipital nerves are affected by this movement.

Movement 6: Start on the right side and knead the entire scalp by pressing the open palms firmly against the skull and quickly contracting the hand. This movement affects the epicranius, occipital, frontalis, temporalis and auricular muscles as well as the occipital and auricular nerves.

Movement 7: Repeat a kneading action by spreading the hands out to cover as large an area as possible and by pressing and rotating the scalp over the skull. Shift the position of your hands and repeat the movement until the whole scalp has been kneaded. This movement affects the epicranius, occipitial, frontalis, temporalis and auricular muscles as well as the occipital and auricular nerves.

Movement 8: Used to stimulate the frontalis muscle area and relax the patron. Place the patron’s head against the head rest. Place the palm of your right hand against the left side of the forehead and, in a broad stroking movement, gradually draw it toward the right. Trail your fingers without applying pressure. When the fingertips reach the right temporal nerve, press and rotate. Repeat this movement with your left hand on the left side. Repeat five times.

Movement 9: Used to coordinate all movements and to stimulate circulation. At the end of the eighth movement, slide both your hands down the neck and out on the shoulders. Hold your fingers toward the front and your thumbs toward the back. Start to work the thumbs toward the spine with a continuous circular effleurage. When your thumbs meet, draw the closed fingers up to enclose the side of the neck and make a firm stroke down the neck and out on the shoulders to the starting position. Repeat the entire movement three times. The anatomy affected includes the occipital and mastoid nerves, the deltoid and trapezuis muscles, the auricular artery and the jugular vein.

Hair care, hair and scalp treatments, scalp massage: A hair hygiene program designed to preserve the health and beauty of both the hair and scalp.

Overview: This chapter provides you with the necessary information for a complete hair care program. It includes a method of hair treatment as well as scalp treatment and scalp manipulations.

Behavioral objectives-student goals: After completion of this chapter, and after study, instruction and practice, you will be able to perform and demonstrate competency in hair and scalp treaments and scalp massage by demonstrating: a scalp treatment, a hair treatment and scalp manipulations. You will also demonstrate competency by identifying, explaining and/or listing: The anatomy related to scalp treatments, the accessories required for hair and scalp treatments and the application and effects of hair conditioners.

Care of the hair and scalp constitutes one of the most important services that the cosmetologist offers. Many men and women neglect hair and scalp hygiene because they are not educated about the seriousness of this need. Today, however, people are more conscious of their hair and scalp. The cosmetologist, therefore, should be prepared to recognize individual needs and provide whatever service may be necessary.

Product knowledge is an important part of hair and scalp care. One must know the correct product, the method of application and the type of service to perform in order to treat a specific condition. As a successful hairdresser and cosmetologist, you will be required to make product knowledge an important part of your practice.

Scalp treatments are recommended for the normal healthy person in order to preserve the natural health and beauty of the hair. Avoid scalp treatments immediately before:

1. A permanent wave

2. A hair coloring applications

3. A hair straightening treatment

Sanitary and safety precautions for hair care, hair and scalp treatments, scalp massage

  1. Read and follow the product manufacturer’s directions.
  2. Omit scalp treatments before cold waving, hair coloring and chemical straightening.
  3. Do not use metal items together with a heating cap.
  4. When using a heating cap, use a low setting on sensitive heads.
  5. Always cover the hair with a plastic covering before using a heating cap.
  6. Sanitize implements before each use.
  7. Check all electrical appliances for safe wiring.


The most important aspects of disinfection are the removal of forgiegn matter (loose hair, dandruff, etc.) and a good scrubbing of the instruments and hands with warm soap and warm water followed by a thorough rinsing. Instuments must be totally immersed in 70 % isopropyl alcohol or other E.P.A. Approved disinfectant for a minimum of 10 minutes, Then wiped dry before use. These procedures should also be used before disinfecting implements prior to storage for reuse.