What is a Scalp Facial and How to Try It at Home

Discover the benefits of scalp facials, a "head spa" treatment that helps remove itchiness, buildup, and inflammation to leave you with healthier hair.
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Anais Pouliot photographed by Danilo Hess for L’OFFICIEL Baltics.

The name "scalp facial" might sound confusing, but the latest "head spa" fad that takes its title from what you'd normally do to your face during a thorough clense or exfoliation is simply the same thing applied instead to your scalp.

Research has shown that there's a lot of pent-up tension stored in the muscles of our scalps and heads and that a simple and light massage on that area can trigger a reaction in which endorphins get released and our bodies instantly feel good. In addition, our scalps can go through a lot throughout the day: we sweat, we cover our heads with hats, and we load our hair up with so many hair products like dry shampoos gels, and styling creams, which create a lot of excessive buildup. Being delicate and prone to irritation and inflammation, the scalp's hair follicle can be negatively affected and further prevent hair from growing healthy and strong.

Along with the surge in hair care products these past few years, the scalp care business has also reached new heights, suddenly gaining traction with the sole duty of restoring and detoxifyng this more often than not neglected part of the body Interested in finally tending to your excessively oily or super flaky and itchy scalp? L'OFFICIEL is here to show you how you can immediately add this new "head spa" treatment to your usual at-home hair care routine in a few easy steps.

Step 1: Pre-treat the scalp

First, start off with an appropriate scalp mask, oil, or scrub aimed at addressing your scalp’s current needs. If your scalp is itchy all the time, you might be dealing with dandruff or congestion and you should find a pre-treatment scrub with either peppermint, tea tree, or citrus-based oils targeted for this concern. If your scalp is very oily, look instead for a product that can help reduce oiliness.

Step 2: Massage the scalp

After you have chosen and applied your pre-treatment product all over your scalp, take some time to really massage it in, about three to five minutes, moving your fingers from the nape of the neck all the way to the head and up to the crown. This massage should soften skin cells, exfoliate, remove debris, and encourage blood flow and hair growth.


Step 3: Rinse and apply shampoo

Once you have massaged your scalp, get in the shower and rinse out all the pre-treatment product. Then, follow with a detoxifying or hydrating shampoo based on your scalp's needs, better if it's sulfate-free and also paraben-and phtalate-free. Apply the shampoo directly to the scalp to allow the cleansing agents to do their job and remember to avoid washing your hair more than two to three times per week so as not to strip the natural moisturizing oils found in your scalp.


Step 4: Apply conditioner

Following the pre-treatment and shampoo, apply some conditioner not only to the ends of your hair, but also to your scalp. The deeply conditioning ingredients from the product are wonderful for the scalp because they help lock in more moisture, keeping the skin hydrated. Leave on the conditioner for two to three minutes while you do the rest in the shower.

Step 5: Apply hair serum

Lastly, finish off your scalp facial with a serum or lotion that promotes hair health or addresses any specific scalp concerns that you have, whether it being an irritated scalp, or oily scalp. All in all, the treatment should leave you with stronger and shinier hair and healthier skin.

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