Published on August 16, 2017

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Photography by PHUONG NGUYEN

A popular treatment in Japan for impeccably shiny and healthy hair is finally making its way to the States—and our scalps are tingling just thinking about it.

It’s called a “head spa” and, yes, you need it. Its purpose is stimulating circulation in your scalp with a massaging technique that gently hits pressure points using head reflexology by a trained professional. And it has benefits that extend way beyond just being relaxing (and boy, is it ever). It has proven results in aiding in both dry and oily scalp, hair loss, and—believe it or not—even a puffy face. Makes sense, as all of these issues are aided and reduced with increased blood flow and oxygen by improving blood and lymphatic fluid drainage through massage.

I headed to Tomoko Shima Hair Salon in New York to meet with Sally, a head spa pro from Kyoto. In an unassuming basement salon in Meatpacking, Sally let me pick from either a heated or cooling cleansing treatment. It’s applied and then the magic happens: 30-minutes of *literally* toe-tingling head massaging, aka heaven, followed by a 10-minute foaming deep cleansing scalp shampoo, (by a Japanese brand called Plarmia) which helps to gently wash away all the gunk your specialist has just spent massaging out. 

It’s especially effective for dry scalps, hair loss, dandruff, and new mothers (who can have issues related to dryness). And good news, the service is available in most Japanese salons worldwide, and it’s not even expensive. At Tomoko Shima, the 30-minute treatment costs $35. 

But if you’re not in a city that offers this treatment, fear not: I’ve created a slight hack. Use this Sachajuan Cooling Scalp Treatment, and massage the scalp mimicking how they do in this video. Do not worry, 30 minutes is not necessary, 5 to 10 is a treat in itself. Follow up with a balancing and deep cleansing shampoo to really remove all the dryness. (Christophe Robin’s cleansing shampoo and scrub are both so effective at removing absolutely all gunk from the scalp.)

And voilà, shiny and healthy hair is yours, no flight to Japan needed.

Get more tips for gorgeous hair:

The Right (French!) Way to Wash Your Hair
This One Hair Product Will Save You Hours Every Week
13 Insanely Good Hair Products You Didn’t Know Were at Target