Last updated: August 9, 2021

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Are you looking for a head massager that is supposed to be effective against headaches? But you are not yet convinced of its effect and would like to learn more about its use, the necessary purchase criteria and its scientific background? Then you've come to the right place!

In our big head massager test 2021 we will give you all the necessary background information on head massagers. In addition, you will not only learn why the head massager can help against headaches, but you will also get an insight into the different models available on the market.




Summary

  • There are numerous studies that confirm that a head massage can curb stress and pain. In addition, a massage can stimulate hair growth and thus positively influence hair thickness.
  • You can order head massagers that are either electric or non-electric but with arms and nubs. The former has different functions and can be operated with a button.
  • A head massager is suitable for people who often have to deal with stress, headaches or fatigue. This can affect both younger and older people.

The Best Head Massager: Our Choices

Buying and evaluation criteria for head massagers

When buying a head massager, you can look at various aspects, such as:

By making the right choice for you, you can save money and also ensure that you don't give your body anything it doesn't need. Therefore, always look for high quality and, if necessary, ask to see the manufacturer's certificates.

Material

A head massager with arms and nubs can be made of the following materials: Most models are made of stainless steel. However, there are also some that are made of plastic.

Depending on your needs, you can choose between the two materials. Basically, the "spider legs" of the stainless steel head massager are thinner, which is why the intensity of the massage is stronger.

Electric head massagers can be made of the following materials: Head massagers that can be used under water must logically be waterproof. For this reason, the attachments are made of silicone. However, there are also models that have attachments made of stainless steel.

Weight

Depending on the type of head massager you choose, it can vary in weight. Logically, an electric head massager will weigh more than one with arms. If you want to take your head massager with you when you travel, a small and light one is ideal for transport.

To give you a better idea of the weight of a head massager, we have listed two in a table:

Type weight
Head massager with arms approx. 20 grams
Electric head massager from approx. 0.5 kilograms (depending on model)

Of course, there are also electric head massagers that are somewhat lighter than those listed in the table above. This varies depending on the model.

You should be aware that additional features can add to the item weight of the device. We therefore advise you to inform yourself well about the product before purchasing it.

Operation

As a rule, a head massager is very easy to operate. If you buy one with arms, the application is particularly quick and easy. Position the device at the back of the head and move it either in a circular motion or up and down over the scalp.

Most electric head massagers can be operated with a button. You can ideally control the mode using the available button. Therefore, the application is unproblematic and easy.

Intensity of the massage

Basically, the stronger the pressure, the more intense the massage. With the electric models, you can adjust the intensity according to your needs.

In addition, some models have rotating attachments that exert more pressure and stimulate the blood circulation. With the help of the knob, you can control the direction of movement according to your needs.

As you have already experienced from us, you can also relax well with a head massager with arms and nubs. However, there are no electric features. You can only increase the intensity by applying more pressure with your hand during the massage.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about head massagers answered in detail

In order to inform you comprehensively about the effectiveness of head massagers and to bring you closer to the current state of science, we have summarised all the important information in the following sections.

What is a head massager and how does it work?

Scalp massagers are also known as head rubs and stimulate the nerves on the scalp. The blood circulation on the scalp is said to be stimulated by the use of a head massager to relieve stress and pain. In addition, a scalp massager stimulates the growth of new as well as stronger hair.

Basically, a scalp massager is supposed to help with the following problems:

  • Headache
  • Stress
  • Hair loss
  • Concentration
  • Strengthening of the immune system
  • Release of hormones

There are not many or good studies on every point. However, there is sufficient information on some of them.

Effect on headaches

Nowadays, more and more people suffer from headaches. Younger adults, who are consistently stressed in their everyday lives, are particularly affected. Factors such as university and work greatly increase the stress level of this group of people (1).

Most people suffer from different types of headaches. Primary headaches include migraine, cluster and tension headaches (2).

To relieve headaches, many people turn to acupuncture. In fact, it has been scientifically proven that acupuncture is effective in treating chronic headaches (3).

However, what has not yet been proven is the comparison of acupuncture with other treatments.

With regard to the number of studies on acupuncture, it is noticeable that very few studies have been published on the subject. There are studies that confirm the effectiveness of acupuncture, but none that report on possible side effects or harm.

A head massager is able to activate acupuncture points. Especially the head massager can exert enough pressure with its long wire arms and partly release the tension.

Effect on stress relief

Stress has negative effects on our health and can cause pain throughout the body. The so-called "relaxation motor" in our body - also known as the regeneration system (PNS) - is responsible for reducing stress.

Both a head massage and a neck massage lead to a reduction of stress in the body, which is why we feel much more relaxed afterwards. A ten-minute head massage is able to activate the PNS, which is responsible for reducing stress (4).

For this reason, head massagers can have a relaxing effect in our body and have positive effects on us both mentally and physically.

Effect on hair loss

Those who struggle with increased hair loss hope for healthy and strong hair growth. A scalp massage can stimulate blood circulation in the scalp and strengthen the hair follicles (5).

In a Japanese research study from 2016, four men were each massaged on one side of the head with a scalp massager for four minutes a day over a period of 24 weeks.

The result: The thickness of the new hair increased significantly. This may be due to the strong blood circulation on the one hand and the stretching of the papilla cells on the other (6).

kopfmassagegeraet

It is scientifically proven that head massages can have positive effects on the human body. (Image source: Gundula Vogel / pixabay)

If the hair structure does not improve after daily head massages, we recommend that you ask a dermatologist for help. He or she will be able to give you an exact diagnosis.

In general, it can be said that a head massage, whether with or without a device, can alleviate depressive symptoms, stress and anxiety and therefore has positive effects on our mentality (7).

When and for whom is a head massager useful?

Head massagers do not have to be used only by people with headaches, but are basically suitable for everyone. As long as you like to massage your head and relax, a head massager is just right for you!

Nevertheless, we recommend keeping the device away from small children.

Can small children use a head massager?

In principle, head massagers can be used on the heads of children. However, absolute caution is required! The electric models in particular can generate too much pressure and irritate the scalp of small children, which is still very sensitive.

It is quite possible that the intensity of the massage is too strong for the child and can injure it.

Therefore, we advise you to use a head massage spider for children. But you have to be careful with it because the wire arms can get into the child's eyes.

Furthermore, an adult should take over the application or keep an eye on the child during operation. Basically, a head massager is not a toy and should therefore be stored away well after each use.

How much does a head massager cost?

During our research, we found out that the prices for head massagers can vary greatly depending on the type.

To give you a better overview of the prices, we have summarised the prices of three different models in a table:

Type price
Head massager with arms from 2 euros
Electric head massager (average) from 30 euros
Electric head massager (high-end) from 100 euros

The most expensive electric head massagers are those that have many features or are specific to therapy. Among the inexpensive models are the head massagers with outriggers. This type is not electric and therefore less intense than those with electricity.

What types of head massagers are there and which one is right for you?

There are many types of head massagers. Therefore, we have listed and explained the two most common types below:

Type Description
Head massager with extension arm Head massagers with extension arms are very easy to use and ideal for transport. They are also cheaper compared to electric head massagers.
Electric head massager Most electric head massagers are waterproof and have special attachments that can be controlled with a button. Depending on the need, the desired mode can be set.

In the following, we will explain the types in detail so that you can get a better idea of the device.

Head massager with extension arm

If you do not suffer from severe headaches, but would like to have your head massaged from time to time, a head massager with arms (or head massage spider) is just right for you!

This type of head massager gently massages your scalp and partly stimulates the blood circulation on your head.

Unlike the electric models, this type has a handle and wire arms that have nubs on their feet. This type is not electric, so you spend much less money on it. Nevertheless, you can expect a pleasant massage.

Electric head massager

Electric head massagers are more expensive, but they have many practical features. For example, there are waterproof or such vibration - function. Of course, there are other features you can choose from.

With the electric head massagers, you can set the intensity levels of a massage with the help of a button. In addition, the models work with batteries that can be recharged with the help of a charging station.

How do you use a head massager correctly?

In fact, you don't need a long learning curve to use a head massager properly. It is really very easy to use, so you really don't have to worry about that. In addition, the head massager has a compact shape, which makes it very easy to transport.

Whether at home, in the office or on holiday - a massage with a head massager can be used anywhere.

We have listed and explained the necessary steps below:

  1. Make sure the environment is pleasant and at best quiet.
  2. If you wear your hair in an up-do, it is important to loosen it before the head massage. Do not put barrettes in your hair.
  3. Depending on your needs, a head massage with the head massager can be performed while sitting or lying down.
  4. With electric head massagers, you can use a control button to set the mode that suits you best and go over your scalp with circular movements. If you are using a non-electric head massager with arms, you can use the handle to slowly move the massager up and down.
  5. Usually 5 minutes a day is enough. Depending on your needs, you can of course massage your head for longer. There is generally no time limit.

So that you don't make any mistakes when using it, you should follow the steps.

How long should a head massage usually last?

Depending on your needs, a head massage can either last only a few minutes or much longer. If you are at work, it is understandable that you massage your head in a rush. This can already relax you and lower your stress level.

As a rule, the duration of a head massage always depends on the personal needs and time management of the person.

It has been scientifically proven that a scalp massage of 15 or 25 minutes can already have positive effects on blood pressure, stress hormone and cortisol levels. Therefore, with the help of the study, it could be determined that there is no time limit for scalp massages (8).

Some prefer short but more intense head massages, others want to take longer and tend to use gentler movements. As you can see, the ideal duration of a head massage cannot be narrowed down and therefore has to be assessed individually.

What alternatives are there to head massagers?

Besides head massagers, there are other methods that are said to have a healing or health-promoting effect. These are:

Alternative Description
Shampoo brush As the name suggests, this alternative is used in the shower along with shampoo. With the help of the bristles, your hair can be massaged smoothly. On the one hand, this stimulates the blood circulation, on the other hand, this kind of head massage contributes to a healthy scalp. A healthy scalp is the be-all and end-all, which is why the choice of shampoo also plays an important role here: Shampoos containing zinc can reduce hair loss and thus contribute to a healthy scalp. (9) .
Hairbrush The right head brush can not only be very gentle on your hair, but also provide some relaxation. Hairbrushes with soft bristles and rounded ends promote blood circulation to the scalp and thus prevent hair loss. However, you should be aware that reducing the frequency of brushing can prevent increased hair loss. Brushing your hair too often, and especially too hard, can lead to increased hair loss (10).

The two alternatives have different properties and effects.

Image source: FotoHelin / shutterstock

References (10)

1. Thomas G. Grobe, Susanne Steinmann, Joachim Szecsenyi
Source

2. P A T Carbaat, E G M Couturier PMID: 27834408 DOI: 10.5177/ntvt.2016.11.16122
Source

3. Klaus Linde 1 , Gianni Allais, Benno Brinkhaus, Yutong Fei, Michael Mehring, Byung-Cheul Shin, Andrew Vickers, Adrian R White Affiliations expand PMID: 27092807 PMCID: PMC4955729 DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD007587.pub2
Source

4. Maria Meier, Eva Unternaehrer, Stephanie J. Dimitroff, Annika B. E. Benz, Ulrike U. Bentele, Sabine M. Schorpp, Maya Wenzel & Jens C. Pruessner
Source

5. Takeshi Ando, Maki Takeda, Tomomi Maruyama, Yuto Susuki, Toshinori Hirose, Soichiro Fujioka, Osamu Mizuno, Kenji Yamada, Yuko Ohno, Honda Yukio PMID: 24111288 DOI: 10.1109/EMBC.2013.6611101
Source

6. Taro Koyama, PhD, MD, Kazuhiro Kobayashi, MD, [...], and Rei Ogawa, PhD, MD
Source

7. Masako Murota, MN, Yoko Iwawaki, PhD, [...], and Kenji Fukui, MD, PhD
Source

8. In-Hong Kim, PhD, Tae-Young Kim, PhD, and Young-Wan Ko, PhD
Source

9. Ralph M Trüeb, Jim P Henry, [...], and Jim R Schwartz
Source

10. Alexander Kiderman 1 , Itzhak Gur, Pnina Ever-Hadani Affiliations expand PMID: 19016066 DOI: 10.1080/09546630802512661
Source

Why you can trust me?

Schriftenreihe zur Gesundheitsanalyse
Thomas G. Grobe, Susanne Steinmann, Joachim Szecsenyi
Go to source
[Headache: classification and diagnosis]
P A T Carbaat, E G M Couturier PMID: 27834408 DOI: 10.5177/ntvt.2016.11.16122
Go to source
Acupuncture for the prevention of tension-type headache
Klaus Linde 1 , Gianni Allais, Benno Brinkhaus, Yutong Fei, Michael Mehring, Byung-Cheul Shin, Andrew Vickers, Adrian R White Affiliations expand PMID: 27092807 PMCID: PMC4955729 DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD007587.pub2
Go to source
Standardized massage interventions as protocols for the induction of psychophysiological relaxation in the laboratory: A block randomized control trial.
Maria Meier, Eva Unternaehrer, Stephanie J. Dimitroff, Annika B. E. Benz, Ulrike U. Bentele, Sabine M. Schorpp, Maya Wenzel & Jens C. Pruessner
Go to source
Biosignal-based relaxation evaluation of head-care robot
Takeshi Ando, Maki Takeda, Tomomi Maruyama, Yuto Susuki, Toshinori Hirose, Soichiro Fujioka, Osamu Mizuno, Kenji Yamada, Yuko Ohno, Honda Yukio PMID: 24111288 DOI: 10.1109/EMBC.2013.6611101
Go to source
Standardized Scalp Massage Results in Increased Hair Thickness by Inducing Stretching Forces to Dermal Papilla Cells in the Subcutaneous Tissue
Taro Koyama, PhD, MD, Kazuhiro Kobayashi, MD, [...], and Rei Ogawa, PhD, MD
Go to source
Physical and Psychological Effects of Head Treatment in the Supine Position Using Specialized Ayurveda-Based Techniques
Masako Murota, MN, Yoko Iwawaki, PhD, [...], and Kenji Fukui, MD, PhD
Go to source
The effect of a scalp massage on stress hormone, blood pressure, and heart rate of healthy female
In-Hong Kim, PhD, Tae-Young Kim, PhD, and Young-Wan Ko, PhD
Go to source
Scalp Condition Impacts Hair Growth and Retention via Oxidative Stress
Ralph M Trüeb, Jim P Henry, [...], and Jim R Schwartz
Go to source
The effect of brushing on hair loss in women
Alexander Kiderman 1 , Itzhak Gur, Pnina Ever-Hadani Affiliations expand PMID: 19016066 DOI: 10.1080/09546630802512661
Go to source
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