Tension in your scalp

Are you holding tension in your scalp?

We know we hold tension in our shoulders, jaw and neck, but are you holding tension in your scalp?

Put the palm of your hand on the crown of your head and try to move your scalp? Is it stiff or does it move freely? If it’s a little on the stiff side, this can be because you’re holding tension or stress there. Not convinced? It’s true, we do actually have muscles on the scalp that can tense, the largest being the temporalis muscle, which runs from behind your ear, around your head, and to the back. And, much like your shoulder or jaw muscles can tense, so too can your scalp muscles. Especially if you hold them tightly during times of stress.

“We tend to hold a lot of tension across our hairline, behind our ears and in the neck; this is mostly due to stress and partly to posture,” hair guru Christophe Robin says. “We accumulate quite a lot of tension in these areas and often disregard them.”

So, what can we do about tension in the scalp?

Massage that scalp, or better yet, get somebody else to do it for you. “We should be doing this on a regular basis, whether it’s in the shower, before going to sleep, or another moment in the day; take 5 minutes and really massage your temples, behind your ears and neck,” Robin says.

How do you give yourself a scalp massage?

  • Starting at the top of your head, use your fingers to comb down, applying pressure so you can feel skin the entire way down. Do this from your forehead to the back
  • Next, place your fingers on each side of your scalp and rub around in circular motions. You can also do these small circular motions around your hairline.
  • Lightly tap—like you’re playing the piano—all over your head. Again, don’t neglect your hairline.
  • For the final step, take small sections of hair and gently pull outward.

Read more: How to reduce stress at work

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