Hair Care, Hair and Scalp Treatments, Scalp Massage

Hair Care, Hair and Scalp Treatments, Scalp Massage

Unit 5 – Accessories for Scalp Treatments

All scalp treatments and some hair treatments include the employment of various appliances. Their use supplements the beneficial effects of massage and products used for these treatments. Here is a brief description of the seven most widely used accessories.

  1. Infrared lamp: A device that furnishes evenly reflected active heat without pressure. The heat warms the skin and relaxes the tissues. It makes them more receptive to the beneficial effects of the manipulations. Infrared rays are radiant heat energy. When used during a scalp treatment, they help hair preparations to penetrate better, stimulate circulation and permit the patron to relax. The source of heat should be kept at a distance of 15-20 inches for scalp treatments; 20-30 inches for facials. Infrared radiation should remain on as long as necessary because the rays do not cause a burn or increase body temperature.
  1. Steamers: Equipment that generates steam at 180-190 degrees. This relaxes the skin and tissues.
  1. Heating cap: A thermostatically controlled device which supplies an even heat at a low-medium or high range. It produces a mild heat which is either thermostatically controlled or worked with high-medium-low control switch. The heating cap is especially designed for use on the head during scalp and hair treatments.

The main function of a heating cap is to produce heat. It does not increase body temperature.  The heating cap is very effective for both hair and scalp treatments. It assists in activating hair            and scalp preparations, liquefies creams and makes the penetration of hair preparations such as protein and cholesterol more effective.

Bobby pins, hair pins, curl clips or any metal clip absolutely should not be used to secure the  hair in place when using the heating cap. They can puncture the lining of the cap and thereby make electrical contact. This might cause serious injury to the patron.

The proper application of the heating cap requires several steps. First, a fine plastic cap or  wax paper must be used to cover the treated hair. Next, a heavier protective cap is placed on top of the first cover. This will keep the heating cap clean and free from lotions and creams. Finally, the preheated cap is placed on the head.

  1. Hot towels: These generate a mild form of heat which softens the skin and relaxes the tissues.
  1. Accelerating machines: A device that utilizes photon units of energy in a range which is effective and harmless. Penetration time of hair and scalp preparations is shortened by 80%.
  1. High frequency, high voltage and low amperage violet ray: This produces a deep stimulation with oscillations so rapid that they do not affect the nerves. Use the direct method when treating oily conditions and the indirect method or vibrator for dry conditions. The indirect method dries the skin less. The vibrator does not help check an oily condition.

With the indirect application, the patron holds the electrode, and the cosmetologist directs the  sparks to a specific point with the fingertips. This creates good stimulation without a drying  effect. If deeper stimulation than the direct method is necessary for facial or scalp treatments,  this can be done by placing a piece of gauze, silk or linen over the electrode.

            High frequency currents must never be used with a flammable hair preparation because the friction of the rays may cause combustion. To determine whether the lotion, oil or tonic you         use is flammable, apply the glass applicator (with the current on) close to a small piece of  absorbent cotton saturated with the preparation. If the lotion is flammable, the cotton will burst        into flames almost upon contact.

The germicidal action of the violet ray results from the breakup of tiny air particles and the release of pure ozone.

  1. Direct high frequency current: Also known as violet ray. It can be used for scalp treatments in a direct application with a glass rake attachment. It stimulates the scalp as the  long rounded teeth are passed through the hair. When the rake is reversed, it may be used as a bar for the back of the neck and shoulders. The violet ray is most effective when used   immediately after the shampoo on dry hair, before the application of either lotion or pomade. You can, however, apply scalp pomades, creams or ointments before using high frequency   current. Scalp lotions and tonics containing alcohol are applied to the scalp only after the use of   high frequency equipment.

            Note: Place a finger of your left hand on the violet ray attachment when placing it on or   removing it from the patron’s scalp in order to avoid an uncomfortable sensation.

  1. Indirect high frequency current: Consists of manipulating the scalp with the fingers with the patron holds an electrode in her hand. All electricity passes to the ground through the  patron’s body and through the hands and body of the operator.

Note: With indirect application, the operator’s hands must be in contact with the patron’s scalp  before the patron turns on current. This will prevent an uncomfortable sensation.

  1. Vibrators: These intensify the stimulating effects of hand massage. There are two types:
  1. Motor driven devices with hard rubber attachments.
  2. A complete motor attachment that fits on the operator’s hand.

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.