Stylist gives scalp detox massage to woman in salon

Why a Scalp Detox Massage Is Good for Your Hair and Your Health

How A Head Massage with Lymphatic Drainage Stimulates Hair Growth 

Your appointment at the hair salon is more than hair care, it’s also self-care. 

When you leave the salon looking and feeling great, it might not just be your new cut or color. It could be that relaxing scalp massage while you’re getting shampooed.

Relaxing your mind and body isn’t the only benefit of a head massage. It’s actually good for your hair. Stress is a big contributor to hair loss so a relaxing scalp treatment is also therapy for your mane.

In my career as a stylist, and now as co-founder of Arey, I know that scalp health and hair health go hand in hand. Your hair begins its growth journey in your scalp skin. So detoxing your scalp with a lymphatic massage is key to achieving thicker, healthy hair. 

Your lymphatic system is a complex network of vessels and filters that removes fluid and toxins from your body. Think of it as your body’s natural detox process. A scalp massage stimulates lymphatic drainage which is essential for your hair follicles to grow healthy hair. 1

At Arey, we take a holistic whole-body approach to haircare. We love to dig into the science behind healthy hair. Here are some of the benefits we found of adding a detox scalp massage into your home haircare routine.


Discover The Whole-Body Benefits of a Head Massage 

Your nervous system and your lymphatic system interconnect all areas of your body. That’s why massaging your head and neck doesn’t just feel good, it benefits your whole body and your mind.  

A scalp massage stimulates the nerves, blood vessels, and lymphatic capillaries that surround each hair follicle. It also calms muscle tension in your head and neck.

Here are some of the mind-body benefits you can expect from massaging your scalp:

✅ Thicker, fuller hair: a Japanese study shows that head massages increase hair thickness. 2  

✅ Lower blood pressure: studies prove that short regular scalp massages reduce stress and improve blood circulation.3

✅ Pain relief for migraine and tension headaches: a relaxing cranial massage reduces the intensity, frequency, and length of headaches.4

✅ A detoxified lymphatic system: head massage is a powerful way for you to keep your lymph fluid healthy and free-flowing. This supports your scalp health and promotes hair growth.5 

At Arey, we are all about science-based haircare, so we reached out to Preventive and Lifestyle Physician, Professor of Public Health, and specialist in mind-body medicine, Dr. Jennifer Weinberg.

According to Dr. Weinberg and other scientists, a scalp massage stimulates the lymphatic and blood vessels in the scalp that support healthy hair growth.

Dr. Weinberg explains that a healthy lymphatic system needs to flow freely. Unlike your blood vessels, your lymphatic system does not have its own pump. Instead, it responds to your breathing, muscle movements, and massage to move lymph fluid around. 

Supporting the needs of your lymphatic system is important because it’s directly connected to maintaining healthy hair growth. 


The Link Between Your Lymphatic System And Your Hair Health

Each of your hair follicles is like a mini organ in your scalp skin that is surrounded by lymphatic capillaries.6 Your lymphatic capillaries transport immune cells and drain excess fluids and toxins from around the roots of your hair. This supports healthy hair follicle development and increases hair growth. 

A stagnant or congested lymph system can cause symptoms beyond your hair health. It can lead to whole-body issues like cellulite, bloating, and skin breakouts. 

Your hair follicles play an important role in stimulating lymph flow because they secrete molecules that act as an on-off switch for lymph fluid drainage.7 That’s why massaging your head is important in helping your cleansing lymph fluids flow freely around your body. 

The good news is that you don't have to go to the salon to get the benefits of a lymphatic head treatment, you can do it yourself at home. Here’s what we found about the best ways to give yourself a scalp cleansing detox massage.


How to Detoxify Your Scalp With a Lymphatic Head Massage 

What I love about lymphatic head massages is that you can do them yourself in the shower.

At-home scalp massages are also a great way to relax and reconnect with your partner. All you need are your fingertips and a clean, gentle, ingredient-rich shampoo or scalp scrub

Woman in shower massages her scalp with Arey Wash treatment shampoo

Here’s our guide to the best techniques for a revitalizing head massage: 

1. Use Lymphatic Massage Techniques to Detox Your Body and Mind 

Dr. Weinberg advises, “It’s important to open up the ports where the lymph system drains above your clavicles to allow for proper drainage back into your blood. It’s like opening the drain plug in the bathtub so everything from upstream can flow downstream.” 

Follow these steps for an effective lymphatic head massage:

    • Begin by opening your lymph drainage ports: lightly stroke from the area between your clavicle and your collarbone down towards your underarm. Using the pads of your fingers, repeat this gentle movement ten times on both sides. Move your fingers in a straight line in a downward direction. Avoid using circular movements – your goal is to move the fluid down towards your underarm lymph nodes (the glands that filter your lymph fluid). Circular motions just send lymph fluid back where it started. 

    • Keep it gentle: lymphatic massage strokes should be light, rhythmic, and gentle. Slow and nurturing strokes also calm your nervous system.8  

    • Use your whole hand: use the palm of your hand or the soft pads of your fingers. 

    You may find it easier to use a massage tool. Look for a wide-tooth comb or a specialized scalp massager with soft silicone tips. Work the massager gently all over your scalp to stimulate the lymphatic capillaries around your hair follicles. 

    Remember - don’t use your nails. It might be super satisfying to give your scalp a good scratch but please don’t. There may be bacteria hiding under your nails and scratching could lead to an infection.

    Woman pours Arey treatment shampoo Wash into her hand

    2. Boost Your Head Massage With a Treatment Shampoo

    Lymphatic massage works great as a mindful practice while you’re lathering up your shampoo. 

    If you’re a multi-tasker like me, you’ll love massaging your head with a shampoo that boosts your hair health. We recommend using a gentle treatment shampoo like Arey’s Wash. 

    Follow these three easy steps to a salon-style scalp treatment massage:

    1. Start with your temples and then massage the shampoo all along your hairline. 

    2. Move your fingers over your entire head in circular motions to encourage healthy blood circulation. 

    3. Gently massage the shampoo into your hair and scalp for about 5 minutes – five minutes is our recommended leave-on time to allow our clinically-efficacious peptide to absorb into your scalp. 

    Take your time and stimulate each follicle. Your hair follicles are the factory of each hair on your head and an important communication channel to your entire body.

    3. Increase Your Hair Growth With an Exfoliating Scalp Scrub

    Healthy hair starts with a healthy scalp. Adding an exfoliating scrub to your lymphatic head massage will clean and detoxify your scalp and your lymph system. 

    Person applies Arey scalp detox Scrub to their hair

    If you're experiencing greasy roots and dry ends, it may actually be your scalp causing the problem.  Your scalp produces sebum – a natural moisturizer – which combines with dead skin cells to create buildup round your hair follicles.

    Sounds gross right? But buildup is a result of a healthy natural process. That waxy buildup on your scalp is nothing to be embarrassed about. Everyone has it.

    As a stylist, I know buildup clogs your pores and prevents healthy hair growth. A clean, exfoliated scalp is also primed and ready to benefit from growth stimulating serums. 

    4. Follow Up With a Hair-Growth Boosting Scalp Serum

    Now that your scalp is clean, it’s ready to benefit from specialized haircare solutions like serums. 

    Just like in your skincare routine, a serum is the best way to deliver ingredients to your scalp in their purest form. Serums are effective at boosting hair growth and thickness because they carry beneficial ingredients directly to your roots.

    Woman applies Arey To The Root hair-growth serum to her scalp

    Serums can be applied to wet or dry hair. They are quickly and easily absorbed into your scalp, where they nourish your hair. Look for a serum that addresses your specific hair concerns like our To The Root – a serum packed with anti-aging and hair growth-boosting antioxidants and hair-thickening peptides.

    5. What to Do After Your Head Massage

    Take some time for yourself to relax and reap the benefits of your mind-body wellness experience. 

    Dr. Weinberg recommends staying well-hydrated after a lymphatic head massage. Sip warm purified water to keep your lymph fluid free-flowing. Stay away from sugary food or drinks, caffeine, and alcohol for 24 hours. These can stagnate your lymphatic system.


    Detox Your Scalp With Science-Based Hair Care

    Because a clean, detoxifed scalp is so important for hair health and growth, we made a convenient bundle of the products you need for your best scalp health – the Detox Set.

    Arey’s Detox Set includes our balanced treatment shampoo and conditioner Wash and Smooth, and our scalp exfoliator Scrub. Scented naturally with cedar and sage, the ingredients in our Detox Set leave all hair types balanced, silky-soft, and clean. Like all our products, the Detox Set is vegan, cruelty-free, and gluten-free. 

     For proactive care for your hair follicles, our To The Root serum is a silky, lightweight, fragrance-free fluid that you apply daily to either wet or dry hair. It is quickly and easily absorbed into your scalp, where it works to nourish your hair with a potent cocktail of antioxidants and our clinically-proven peptide – a “building block” of protein. 

    At Arey, We Care About Your Hair Health

    That’s what motivates us to create innovative science-based haircare solutions that slow the signs of aging hair and provide balanced care for all hair types. We want to make it easy for you to do the right thing for your hair. 

    Your hair health is important to us – that’s why we offer 25% off on all subscriptions to help keep you on track with your hair health goals. Because we believe that science + consistency = results.

    We are Arey.

    Aging is beautiful – but if your greys are growing faster than you wish, we are here for you with science-based, effective solutions. We want you to feel happy and confident with your hair. Have questions? Say


    Jay Small, Stylist and co-founder of Arey, cuts a client’s hair

    AuthorJay SmallJay Small is a sought-after hair stylist and Trichologist in Los Angeles with over 22 years of experience. His clients consist of high-profile business and creative leaders. He trained as an apprentice to the owner of Paul Mitchell and worked in education and product development for Paul Mitchell Systems. Jay is incredibly passionate about the creative process both in terms of styling hair and developing effective products.


      1. Lymphatic_Self-massage_Face_Head_Neck.pdf
      2. 2016 study Scalp Massage Results in Increased Hair Thickness
      4. Massage-Can-Be-Effective-for-Tension-Headaches
      5. Do_Lymphatic_Self-massage_Face_Head_Neck.pdf
      8. how-to-do-lymphatic-massage/