What Is a Scalp Massager (& Can It Actually Help Your Hair Grow Faster)?

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No, you’re not imagining it: Scalp care is trending. It seems that every hair care brand now has a scalp oil or scrub promising a flake-free dome and faster hair growth. You’ve likely also seen one of those spiky palm-sized brushes that, we assure you, feel much better on your head than they look.

These buzzy little brushes are called scalp massagers, and that’s exactly what they do: massage your scalp. Most commonly used in the shower, a scalp massager is a nice addition to your hair washing routine because the bristles are quite adept at dislodging product build up (in our case, a can’s worth of dry shampoo)and dead skin cells (yum). And quite frankly, they’re the closest thing we’ve gotten to a proper massage in a while, so there’s that.

Yes, but can’t you just use your fingers?

Of course you can. You can just treat a scalp massager as an attainable luxury to upgrade your shower (especially as we approach a year and a half of pandemic life).

To get the most out of one, simply work your hair into a nice lather and use the brush to massage your head in small, circular motions. Sing a song or two, condition and rinse as usual.

OK, but do scalp massagers really help my hair grow?

Possibly. More studies need to be done to determine exactly how helpful a scalp massager is for hair growth. At the very least, we know that using one gives your scalp a deep clean (which is key for overall hair health and growth), and that it can improve blood circulation.

Bottom line: There’s not much downside to using one unless you have an existing scalp condition like psoriasis or eczema or you deal with severe dandruff, in which case you’ll want to consult your dermatologist first to avoid creating more inflammation.

If that’s not the case and you want some help finding a scalp massager, we’ve got you covered. Shop below for our favorites.

freatech shampoo brush

1. Freatech Scalp Massager Shampoo Brush

Best Overall

This little scalp saver features an ergonomic design and works for men and women, making it a great pick for all hair types. Its rubber bristles work wonders on both wet and dry locks, providing instant relief for flaky scalps. The brush's bristles are crafted from high-quality silicone material that prevents tangling and feels oh so soothing when massaged on irritated scalps. Plus, it's so easy to use and delivers great results. It's a win-win.

2. Ceremonia Scalp Masajeador

Best for Thick Hair

If your hair is unruly, coarse or dry, this massager is for you. After applying shampoo, take your time running it over your scalp in small sections. The lather will double, your scalp will sparkle and you'll feel your stress melt away little by little with each stroke of the bristles. We're also happy to report that this tool doesn’t cause any issues with tangling, a noteworthy feat for any Mufasa-like mane.

3. Vegamour Gro Revitalizing Scalp Massager

Most Ergonomic

This silicone massager by Vegamour is a great pick because it feels just as nice in your palm as it does on your scalp. The bristles are made from flexible silicone, so they bend to accommodate the curves of your head (you know, rather than poking your delicate scalp). When you move the tool in circular motions, it feels like someone’s fingertips are gently rubbing your scalp. Plus, it’s really comfortable to hold. When you slip your fingers through the top of the tool, you’ll find special grooves that form to the shape of your hand.

4. Heeta Hair Scalp Massager

Best for All Hair Types

This little guy works wonders for all different hair types and textures. The silicone bristles are soft but firm enough to give your scalp some extra TLC. The longer bristles are able to get down to your roots, regardless of how thick your hair is, banishing dandruff and dead skin cells for good.

5. Queenwill H01 Electric Handheld Hair Massager

Most Relaxing

Push the button once to activate this scalp massager on normal speed; twice to get it pulsing. Either way, you’ll feel the soothing buzz as it releases thousands of vibrations per minute to gently stimulate your scalp and relieve any tension you’re holding up top. You can use the waterproof tool on wet or dry hair (though we prefer to use it on dry hair, just before bed to set the stage for slumber).

6. Latme Electric Scalp Massager

Best Multipurpose

Who says the massages need to stop at your scalp? If you’re looking for a full body experience, we’d point you to this electric massager by LATME. Featuring 28 individual nodes and four different speed settings, you can use it on your head, neck, shoulders—basically anywhere that needs a little TLC. The small attachments work to deep-knead and invigorate the skin, making it ideal for itchy scalps and dull hair. And it charges easily via a USB port and dock.

7. See You Always Hair Scalp Massager Shampoo Brush

Best for Curly Hair

Gals with coils and curls are going to love this handy brush for daily use in the shower. Despite curly hair types typically being more knot-prone, this guy helps makes the hair at the top of your head feel way cleaner and softer than it did before. And it's all thanks to an easy-to-hold handle and soft, uneven, thick silicone bristles that help invigorate your scalp without further tangling your hair the way you might expect.

8. Hofason Scalp Massager

Best for a Sensitive Scalp

If you have the type of scalp that gets irritated at the slightest tug or touch, you may want to try this gentle scratcher instead of one of the spikier brushes on this list. With thin, flexible spindles that are capped with a protective rubber bead at each end, it lightly glides over your scalp to produce a spine-tingling sensation without scratching or pulling at your hair. Plus, it has an ergonomic design featuring a flexible handle, making it super comfortable to use.

9. Briogeo Scalp Revival™ Stimulating Therapy Massager

Best for Itchy Scalps

Have an itch you just can’t seem to scratch on your own? This handheld tool can help—especially if you have very short nails. With pointed bristles that deliver instant relief, your scalp is going to feel less itchy and your locks will be softer after just one use.

10. Manta Hairbrush

Best for Delicate Hair

British hairstylist Tim Binnington created this innovative brush after watching his wife struggle with combing her delicate post-chemo hair. His goal? To make a brush that was as equally gentle on the scalp as it was on the strands. Thanks to its 360-degree bristles and malleable base, the lightweight brush literally bends to the shape of your hand to minimize any snagging while using it. Previously only available across the pond, we are thrilled to see that it’s now available in the States.

11. Ryoma Scalp Massager

Most Soothing

This admittedly strange looking massager is going to be the closest thing that you'll find to actual fingers. The metal roller beads at the end of each flexible bristle are cool to the touch (which feels so good on your scalp) and the plastic doesn’t get tangled in your hair easily. We appreciate that it comes in a two-pack so we can keep one nearby for midday massaging.

12. Zyllion Scalp Massager Dandruff Brush

Best for Dandruff

This thing is practically magic when it comes to getting rid of dandruff. When shampooing your hair, use this baby to make a gentle “Z” motion, targeting your flakiest areas—like around the crown and nape of your neck. The grooved, silicone bristles help exfoliate your scalp and are firm enough to dislodge any surface flakes without being too abrasive.

13. Hayo’u Beauty Restorer Comb

Best Splurge

Fans of jade rolling their faces may appreciate this jade comb. Apart from being a literal work of art, jade is said to be a healing stone that purifies and is used to treat stress and improve blood circulation (both good things when it comes to your hair). Grip it in the palm of your hand and let the short, rounded tips of the brush glide through your strands, releasing any tension and tangles in the process.

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Beauty Director

Jenny Jin is PureWow’s Beauty Director and is currently based in Los Angeles. Since beginning her journalism career at Real Simple magazine, she has become a human encyclopedia of...

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Anna Smutny covered a range of beats, from fashion and beauty verticals to home decor (and everything else in between) for PureWow from 2021-2022. With a background in wedding and...