Mastering the basics of Traditional Head Massage


I hope your 2017 is starting with a flourish.  I am definitely having more fun in my treatment room so far.   One of my goals was to go back through 25 years of my books and training materials to cull out my favorites that may have fallen to the wayside. I have recommended trying and bringing out all my tools in my toolbox and falling in love with them again. I have over 2500 hours of continuing education documented so that you can imagine the task before me.

One of the ways I am keeping on task is by coaching.  I have switched things up and allowed myself to try a new approach to education.  I am providing one on one coaching, which included protocols, marketing, and techniques. I’m already working with a couple of therapists and estheticians, and it’s really making me shake off the dust and dig into the archives.  Here is one of the first protocols that I have taught them, and I thought some of you might like a little nudge down memory lane or a new inspiration.


Aromasensory Traditional Head Massage

Place a single drop of an Aromatherapy synergy oil on your fingertips.  Some of my favorite choices are any of the Biotone Balancing Blends. Just offer a couple of choices to your client to smell and let them choose. Add the drop and rub your fingertips together, letting your client enjoy the aroma.

Rosemary, which traditionally helps encourage hair growth and memory.

Lavender, which traditionally calms (really good if the scalp’s been exposed to sun)

Sandalwood, which traditionally helps with romance, confidence, and meditation

Ylang Ylang traditionally helps with romance.



Lightly place a hand on top of the head and breathe.


Head rock stress detector

cradle head at frontal and occipital and rock head anterior and posterior gently … audibly breathe deeply (the client will automatically follow along) repeat three times



Anchor hands at the frontal and the cervical. Grasp the posterior cervical and pull back

Now, use the posterior heel of your hand to rub vertical friction along the occipital base.

Gently squeeze and hold upper traps.



 Palmer Friction

Place hands at temporal: one hand to stabilize and the other move in a zig-zag friction pattern along the hairline to the occipital and back to the temples again – repeat in sections until the whole head has been covered.


Whole Hand Friction

Thread the finger thru the hair and friction inferior to superior toward the crown. Repeat on another side.

Fluffing hair lightly using both hands

Cat paw (softly curved fingers) tapping with loose wrists

Rake the scalp from crown to tips

Drum gently tap over the scalp like raindrops.

Squeeze and lift at hair roots all overhead.

 Option: ponytail stretch- gather hair into a ponytail with your hand and add traction

Circular effleurage at temples

Petrissage the entire scalp


I hope you will try it.  The protocol is so simple and versatile.  This can take as little or as much time as the clients want or need.  It can also be incorporated into any part of the massage routine.  I usually save it for last.  Don’t worry about messing up their hair.  You are only working the scalp with a single drop of essential oil.  It can also be performed on a table or a chair. 


Get ready for more shares as I empty my vault of crowd-pleasers.

Be Well, Do Good Work, and Write us about your experiences.

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