The 10 Best Scalp Massagers That Promote Healthy Hair Growth

·15 min read
Scalp-Massagers-for-Hair-Growth-pexels-yaroslava-borz-10069986
Scalp-Massagers-for-Hair-Growth-pexels-yaroslava-borz-10069986

Pexels / Yaroslava Borz

Noticing more strands falling out when you brush your hair, take a shower, or run your fingers through your mane? You're not alone. Most women lose 100 to 150 hairs per day, scalp expert Kerry E. Yates, creator of Colour Collective previously told Shape. But, if you're starting to see more drastic thinning, this can also be quite common. "Hair loss is complex and can have many contributing factors," Dominic Burg, PhD, a scalp scientist and trichologist for Evolis Professional, tells Shape. "Everybody's journey towards hair loss will be different and will be the sum of your genetics, lifestyle, and environmental factors."

What's more, hair loss is actually at a significant high right now. In fact, The New York Times reported an increase in Google searches for "hair loss" spiked in 2021 from the newfound stresses associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, noting there's research to suggest that fallout can be a lingering side effect of contracting the virus. Plus, "when we are sick, our body can shut down hair growth to preserve energy for fighting the disease," says Burg. (Related: What You Need to Know About COVID-19 and Hair Loss)

Thankfully, there are methods that can help stimulate healthy regrowth, including vitamins, hair growth serums, and shampoos for thinning hair. Among these techniques is regularly exfoliating with a scalp massager, which gently brushes over the skin to invigorate the blood vessels under the skin and remove dead cells and dandruff that could hinder growth and the health of your scalp. (Related: This Collagen-Infused Hair Oil Helps Strands Grow Longer, Stronger, and Faster)

The Best Scalp Massagers for Growth You Can Buy Online:

The Benefits of a Scalp Massager

"A scalp massager is the single most underrated yet effective hair growth hack," New York City-based trichologist Shab Reslan explains. "Not only is it relaxing and tension releasing, it also stimulates the scalp and encourages blood circulation to the hair follicle, which is the pocket your hair grows out of. This boost of stimulation will increase the nutrient intake of each follicle and promote stronger and healthier hair growth. It also helps gently remove toxins and buildup from the scalp."

You may also see improvement in the thickness of your strands since the massaging technique stretches the follicles. In fact, using a scalp massager can also increase the efficacy of your topical thickening products and hair growth treatments by thoroughly distributing them and maximizing their absorbency. "Most people do not wash their hair effectively enough and subsequently suffer from scalp issues and hair thinning," Reslan adds. "A scalp massager will encourage better growth and keep your scalp clear for better absorption of products and topicals." (Related: This Derm-Approved Serum Is Basically 'Miracle Grow for Your Hair')

Though scalp massagers undoubtedly create a healthier environment for hair growth, Burg notes that they won't be able to counteract hair loss related to stress, genetics, or illness. But, they can certainly help. "As stress contributes to hair loss, reducing stress levels via massage may have a small benefit," he explains. "If you are going through a period of post-stress, post-partum, or post-illness related hair loss (also known as Telogen Effluvium), using a scalp massager may dislodge resting hairs, increasing the volume of hair loss."

How to Use a Scalp Massager

Perhaps the best thing about scalp massagers is how easy they are to use. According to Reslan, it all comes down to your preferences — starting with whether or not you want to use them on wet or dry hair. "It can be paired with a scalp exfoliator pre-shower on dry hair for some root therapy," she shares. "It can also be used in the shower with shampoo to help aid in the cleansing process. Post-shower, you can use it on towel-dried hair to help with the absorption and distribution of a scalp topical like the Caffeine Stimulating Scalp Treatment by The Inkey List, which helps stimulate hair growth and extends the anagen phase of the hair growth cycle."

Regardless of its place in your shower routine, make sure you're applying gentle pressure and moving the scalp massager in small circular motions. You can tailor your massage to target the spots that are experiencing significant hair thinning or loss, or use it all over to treat your scalp to some TLC. After your first whirl, you'll notice that your scalp looks and feels clearer and is less plagued with buildup and flakes. And with frequent usage, Reslan says you can expect to start seeing results in "at least four months" as you'll have "stronger hair growth, a healthier scalp environment, and protection against any weakening of your follicles." (Related: These Hair Growth Treatments Are All Over TikTok — Are They Worth Trying?)

Burg also stresses the importance of following healthy hair-care practices: "Always avoid brushing wet hair or applying any force to wet hair. When it is wet, hair is in its most fragile state." Another thing to be mindful of is over-exfoliation. The amount of times per week you use your scalp massager depends on your preferences and skin tolerance; you may be tempted to use it every day to regrow your hair, but remember that irritation will exacerbate hair loss. So, start out slow and monitor your scalp and hair's reactions to the massager and the products you're lathering in, working your way up to three to four times a week. (Related: The Healthy Scalp Tips You Need for the Best Hair of Your Life)

Interested in incorporating a scalp massager into your hair loss hair-care routine? Below, you'll find the best scalp massagers for hair growth that have earned high praise from reviewers and experts alike.

Best Overall: Vegamour Gro Revitalizing Scalp Massager

What You'll Love: Created with all hair types in mind, this pick from Vegamour uses a combination of bristle sizes to gently exfoliate the skin, reduce buildup and dandruff, and deliver a relaxing massage. Its ergonomic design fits comfortably in the palm of your hand, giving you full control as you massage the tips in circular motions. (Psst, pair it with Vegamour's best-selling GRO Hair Serum for an extra boost in growth)

Customers Say: "The bristles are surprisingly soft and easy to use," one reviewer wrote. "Nice size to hold on to. I have small hands, so it's perfect! My hair doesn't get caught in the bristles either!" Another added, "So far after one month of use, my hair has visibly grown."

scalp massager
scalp massager

Best Value: Ryoma Scalp Massager Set

What You'll Love: The Ryoma scalp massager's unique design is intended to replicate the sensation of rubbing your fingers through your hair. Rather than use traditional bristles, the tool has steel balls at the end of every prong and they're cool-to-the-touch, smooth-gliding, and gently exfoliate your skin without getting tangled in your hair. The prongs are flexible and slightly curved so you can successfully reach every section of your scalp. According to the brand, and several reviewers, you can also use the massager on other parts of your body like your legs, arms, neck, back, shoulders, and more.

Customers Say: "Love these," an Amazon shopper said. "So relaxing and the smoothness of the metal balls embedded in each 'finger' feels great. I think it's encouraging new hair growth, too."

scalp massager
scalp massager

Best for Fine Hair: Kitsch Pro Scalp Exfoliator

What You'll Love: The thin bristles on the Kitsch Pro Scalp Exfoliator are ideal for those with thin hair as they're nimble enough to separate the strands without inflicting any damage. In fact, they're so gentle that the brand says you can use the massager daily (and as a detangler when you're in a pinch). But, that doesn't mean you won't get a good massage. The fine-tooth bristles softly flex in accordance with your hand movement to encourage circulation and loosen up product buildup to get your scalp feeling clean and healthy. (Related: This Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner Transformed My Fine Hair and Triggered New Growth In a Month)

Customers Say: "I use the pro shampoo brush to increase blood circulation, clean deeply at my hair roots, and get rid of the oily, scaly skin on my scalp. The brush is light, fits in my palm, and responds to the pressure I apply when circulating my shampoo," one Amazon customer wrote, adding, "My hair is clean, healthy, and growing!"

You can also purchase the scalp massager at ulta.com.

scalp massager
scalp massager

Best for Thick Hair: Maxsoft Hair Scalp Massager

What You'll Love: While this Amazon-favorite scalp massager is suited for all hair types, reviewers note that it performs best on thicker strands because of its wide-set silicone bristles, which are both soft and stiff. Their pointed tips get close to the roots so you can achieve a deep clean and stimulate blood flow. The massager's ergonomic handle ensures a steady, non-slip grip, even when you're in the shower. It's also worth mentioning that the Maxsoft Scalp Massager has more than 62,400 five-star ratings from shoppers.

Customers Say: One shared, "I think this scalp massager literally saved my hair! I've always had super thick, super coarse, super wavy hair, but after almost 10 years of heat styling just about every day and coloring grays every eight weeks, my hair was now brittle, breaking off, and thinning out both at my roots and the individual hair strands themselves." They added, "After using this for six months, I feel like I finally have my hair back! It is growing in so much thicker and I can see and feel a difference in the individual strands and my hair as a whole."

scalp massager
scalp massager

Best for Natural Hair: Comfier Cordless Electric ​​Hair Scalp Massager

What You'll Love: This innovative electric scalp massager has four massage heads that are equipped with 21 individual nodes, made from gentle silicone, for deep, thorough exfoliation. The heads rotate in clockwise and counterclockwise directions to better stimulate circulation for hair growth and offer four speed and rhythm settings for customizable massage. This pick is waterproof and can also be used as a portable back, neck, or shoulder massager. (FYI, if you're looking for a manual option, Amazon reviewers with coily strands also recommend the Cbiumpro Scalp Massager for its long, soft-flexing bristles that gently exfoliate without tugging at your hair.)

Customers Say: "In three weeks, I have already seen growth and I believe this product has been a major factor," one reviewer with natural hair said. Another noted, "The tips feel like a soft but firm silicone and you can apply your own amount of pressure, which I like. My hair is natural and I thought this would get tangled up in my hair, but it didn't."

scalp massager
scalp massager

Best for Sensitive Scalps: Hofason Scalp Massager Set

What You'll Love: An oldie but goodie, this tool's classic design allows it to bend in accordance with your head shape while its smooth-gliding rubber beads gently massage your scalp without irritating your skin or tugging at your hair. They softly and precisely target the acupuncture points in your scalp to improve circulation and relieve stress. (Psst, switching to one of these fragrance-free shampoos will also make a big difference.)

Customers Say: "I am noticing less hair fall since I started using this head massager," shared one Amazon reviewer. "Sometimes not a single hair comes out when I finger comb, an experience I did not have since my son's birth years ago." Another added, "This feels so good on the scalp… It [has] really helped with my scalp condition."

scalp massager
scalp massager

Best for Itchy Scalps: Briogeo Scalp Revival Stimulating Therapy Massager

What You'll Love: Briogeo's Scalp Revival Stimulating Therapy Massager was designed to improve your overall scalp health with its thick and gentle exfoliating bristles. In addition to encouraging blood circulation and reducing irritation-inducing buildup, reviewers with itchy scalps say it relieves discomfort and aids in soothing and balancing. It's also a great pick for improving the distribution and penetration of your favorite shampoos and treatments. It can be used wet or dry and it's even suitable for sensitive scalps and natural hair types.

Customers Say: "I've suffered from a very dry/flaky/itchy scalp recently and was experiencing really bad dandruff, even with using hair masks, etc.," one Briogeo customer wrote. "But after one week of using this, my scalp feels incredible and I have no flakes on my scalp." Another shared, "I love using this with my matching scalp treatment. It messages the product in so much and I have noticed my hair growing much faster!"

The scalp massager can also be purchased at amazon.com and sephora.com.

scalp brush
scalp brush

Best for Dandruff: Zyllion Hair Shampoo Brush and Scalp Massager

What You'll Love: This budget-friendly scalp massager eliminates dandruff with its dual wide-set bristles sizes, which are pointed and flat to simultaneously loosen up dead skin cells and stimulate blood flow for healthy turnover and a deeper cleanse. Its contoured handle encourages a steady grip so you can achieve the perfect pressure for your massage. (Related: Dandruff vs. Dry Scalp: Is There a Difference?)

Customers Say: "This thing scrubs away product buildup and dandruff like nobody's business," an Amazon shopper quipped, followed by another reviewer that wrote, "I have very slow-growing hair and I believe stimulating my scalp with this massager to increase blood flow has helped it get lusher and thicker in the last few months."

scalp massager
scalp massager

Best for Buildup: Tangle Teezer The Scalp Exfoliator & Massager

What You'll Love: A favorite of Reslan because of its "travel-friendly and compact" design, this popular pick also uses two different types of teeth to perform a deep and thorough cleanse of your scalp. Only here, they're thinner and longer, which allows them to easily glide through your hair to break up buildup. The short bristles perform a relaxing and stimulating scalp massage to promote a healthier scalp environment and growth. (Related: This Minty Scalp Scrub Removed Months of Buildup from My Hair)

Customers Say: "The thin bristles can massage my scalp without pulling or tangling my hair one bit. In fact, it feels very relaxing and enjoyable," an Amazon reviewer said, adding, " It has helped ease my dry scalp and lessened the appearance of dandruff." Another shopper noted, "I've also noticed my hair growing faster and falling out less."

The scalp massager can also be purchased at ulta.com.

scalp massager
scalp massager

Best Brush: Manta Hair Hairbrush

What You'll Love: Fans of versatile products will enjoy the dual-action design of the Manta Hairbrush, a fine-tooth pick that can be used to detangle your strands and massage your scalp, depending on your preference. It offers more flexibility and control than traditional brushes, making it great for minimizing breakage by eliminating tension on the strands and follicles. Additionally, it uses anti-static technology so you don't have to worry about flyaways and frizz.

Customers Say: "Great brush," raved a reviewer. "It doesn't pull on my hair." Another said, "​​I don't seem to have 'lost' as much hair, and for the first time my hair seems to be growing."

scalp brush
scalp brush

Other Ways to Stimulate Hair Growth

A scalp massager isn't the only way to promote regrowth. Below, Burg shared alternative methods to achieving healthier, longer, and thicker strands.

Nutrition: "Hair growth starts from within, so you need to ensure you are getting all of the nutrients your hair needs to grow. The most important are zinc, vitamin D, Iron, the B vitamins, and a range of essential amino acids from protein. If you are following a vegan or vegetarian diet or are living a busy lifestyle, then you may want to opt for a hair-focused supplement to ensure you are getting everything you need." (Related: The Best Foods for Hair Growth, According to Dietitians)

Reduce Stress: "The stress hormone cortisol can hinder your hair growth and prevent hair regeneration, so reducing your stress levels through exercise, meditation, or taking the herb Ashwagandha is an important step to take for optimal hair health and hair growth."

Hormone Management: "One of the key drivers of hair loss and thinning is a genetically driven sensitivity to Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) that occurs in both men and women. For men, there is a drug called finasteride that can help with this, but it can come with side effects, or you could use the herb saw palmetto, which is a natural DHT blocker."

Optimize Your Hair Cycle: "One of the key changes that happened in hair loss and thinning is a change in the hair growth cycle, resulting in increased follicle turnover, more hair loss, less growth, and finer, less substantial hair. One of the key genes in this process is FGF5, which is the stop signal in the hair cycle that causes hair to stop growing and fall out. Blocking FGF5 with topical application of natural actives such as Sanguisorba root or Rosa multiflora hips has been shown to reduce hair loss and increase hair growth in a number of clinical studies."

Boost Your Hair Care: "As we age, we tend to take care of our skin, but we often forget about our scalps. Just like the skin on our faces and bodies, our scalp and hair follicles also age. It is critical to ensure you are following a scalp care routine using antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, nourishing oils like Baobab, jojoba, and flaxseed oil, and active botanicals to keep inflammation and irritation at bay." (Related: ​​Amazon Shoppers Say This Oil Kickstarts Hair Growth Like No Other)