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Hair For It

A Japanese head spa may be exactly what you need this weekend

Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Just so we’re clear: It’s not our fault if this Japanese head spa tip becomes your next obsession. In case you’ve never been, a head spa is a well-known Japanese spa treatment that basically looks after your scalp as carefully as if it were your face.

It works like this: A stylist combs through your hair and looks at your scalp. Fancy ones, according to Vogue, even go so far as to use a magnifying camera to check for unwanted conditions such as discoloration, clogged follicles, and irritation. Yes, really, your scalp could be clogged. And we can’t have that, right?

Once they spot your problem areas, the real fun begins. First, you get a special “steaming bonnet” that you wear to prep your noggin. Then you get a shampoo — but a very deliberate, intense shampoo that includes a massage all the way from your forehead to your neck. They’ll likely use oils and products to remove buildup and moisturize problem areas. If you’re really lucky (maybe?), there are also clay masks for your scalp. Afterwards, you get a full blowout and leave the salon feeling like a new woman.

Seriously just *watching*the process is soothing.


Scalp irritation comes in all different forms. Vi Valdez, a stylist at Blow Me Away, a Los Angeles-based salon that offers the head spa treatments said:

“A yellow tone means you’re tired and red or pink, especially around the temples, means you’ve been overworking your mind. People have issues they never knew were there, such as burn-like irritation from their hair color or clogged follicles from shampooing too little, and when any of these gets severe enough, it can lead to thinning.”

Who knew that our scalps were suffering so much?

Right now, the Japanese head spa movement is just taking off and is only available at a few fancy salons — but you should ask your favorite one about it so they know you’d be into them investing in the training, products, and tools to do it.

They also aren’t cheap — the massage alone, without a blow dry, can run you around $75, with prices hitting almost $200 for an hour-long scalp massage (OMG heaven much?) and a blow dry afterwards. It sounds totally worth it, though. If you can’t find one in your area, Aveda salons, which are all over the place, are introducing Pramāsana Scalp Treatments this summer, and it includes the same sort of assessment, soaks and treatments with deliciously natural products, a massage, and a blow out.

Aaaaand, we’re off to furiously find a way to book a head spa appointment immediately.

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