The 10 Best Scalp Massagers of 2022, Tested and Reviewed

The Leonor Greyl Massaging Scalp Brush earns our best overall pick.

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10-best-scalp-massagers-of-2022-tested-and-reviewed-tout

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Scalp massagers have been on the rise for the past few years — it's likely you've seen your favorite influencer or hairstylist touting the trendy tool. But, amidst all the new products flooding the market, it’s hard to know which scalp massagers perform best.

That’s where we come in: We extensively researched the category, finding 28 of the top-rated scalp massagers available online. We sent out our qualified team of editors and research experts to test every single one, keeping the bristle firmness, ease of use, and product penetration top of mind. After reporting back with the notes and insights, we narrowed the list down to our top ten recommendations. The Leonor Greyl Massaging Scalp Brush earned our best overall pick for its ergonomic grip, super soft bristles, and ability to increase hair treatment penetration.

Below, find the 10 best scalp massagers for removing build-up, detoxing your hair, and creating an at-home moment of spa-like relaxation. 

Best Overall: Leonor Greyl Massaging Scalp Brush

leonor-greyl-massaging-scalp-brush

FWRD

What We Love: It’s an affordable luxury that gives your scalp a spa-like massage. 

What We Don’t Love: If you have dyed hair, it can stain the white tool.

This scalp brush earns top honors in our book for its soft and durable bristles, ability to aid in product penetration, and great price. Not only did our tester provide rave reviews, but she says her friends couldn’t get enough of it, either. “I was offering this up to friends when they came over just to sit for a bit and have a nice head massage,” she says. “It’s easy to use on both dry and wet hair and amazing at working up suds, but I loved it most for a moment of relaxation.” She also notes that unlike some other scalp massagers on the market, it doesn’t tangle strands, and its handle helps her maintain a good grip. Instead of giving your fingers a workout to push product to your scalp, let this massager do the heavy lifting. “It’s also the perfect gift for any beauty-loving friend,” she adds. The performance of this tool is simply impeccable, but keep in mind that using it on dyed hair can sometimes stain the bristles — a very minor downside that is easy to ignore. 

Price at time of publish: $28

Material: Recycled plastic and silicone | Hair Type: All

Best Budget: Maxsoft Hair Scalp Massager

maxsoft-hair-scalp-massager

Amazon

What We Love: This scalp massager helps hair care products — like masks — absorb better.

What We Don’t Love: The bristles may be too harsh for those with sensitive scalps.

If you’re looking to try a scalp massager for the first time, this Maxsoft one is a perfect option: Its affordable price point makes it an easy investment. I actually ordered one a few months ago after being convinced by lifestyle influencer Amanda Stanton Fogel, and it’s been a staple in my wash day routine ever since. I’m not the only person who loves it, though — our tester noticed a major difference in her hair when using it, too. “The bristles on this brush are the perfect size and firmness, and the spacing is great. I use it as a comb when applying my conditioning mask,” she says “I could tell the mask absorbed better on the side I used the massager on.” Along with hair masks, this tool enhances shampoo and conditioner lather for better absorption. Plus, the handle is easy to slide in between your pointer and middle fingers for excellent grip. While our tester found the bristle firmness to be ideal, they’re more sturdy than other options and may be too harsh for those with more sensitive scalps. 

Price at time of publish: $7 (originally $10)

Material: Plastic and silicone | Hair Type: All 

Best Splurge: Mount Lai Jade Massaging Comb

mount-lai-jade-massaging-comb

Credo

What We Love: This stimulating jade comb delivers gua sha benefits to your scalp. 

What We Don’t Love: It’s prone to breaking if dropped.

This hand-crafted comb is made from luxurious jade — the stone of eternal youth and balance. When you use this, you’re also adding a little piece of art to your bathroom counter. Before putting it to the test, InStyle’s Commerce Writer, Caitlyn Martyn, was nervous the product would be uncomfortable to drag across her scalp, “but it’s surprisingly the opposite,” she says. “It feels stimulating and relaxing, and really glides through hair without pulling or tugging.” Martyn also reports that her hair oils sunk in faster, and her scalp felt more exfoliated after incorporating the comb into her routine. “I let my boyfriend borrow it and he loved it so much that he got his own! It works well on anyone, no matter your gender or how long your hair is,” she adds. 

Be mindful that this is a product that should be handled with care as jade is fragile and prone to breaking.  Martyn accidentally dropped hers and a piece snapped off — luckily it is still usable, but that’s not the case for everyone. 

Price at time of publish: $52

Material: Jade | Hair Type: All

Most Ergonomic: Vegamour GRO Revitalizing Scalp Massager

Vegamour GRO Revitalizing Scalp Massager

Vegamour

What We Love: This scalp massager has an easy to hold grip that is comfortable and gives you greater control over the tool. 

What We Don’t Love: Our tester notes that because all of the bristles are the same size and shape, it lacks at providing a deep sensory experience.

We love the way this massager feels in our hands — its comfortable grip won’t slip in the shower or increase finger tension, letting all the focus rest on your zen-like moment of relaxation. “The bristles are a great balance of being firm yet pliable,” reports our tester. She tried the tool with conditioner and noticed an increased level of penetration. Though, she notes, “when I used it with shampoo, I didn’t feel that same level of absorption.” If you use hair oils or serums, it performs especially well on both wet and dry hair. And, it adds a pretty design touch to your shower. “Personally, I appreciate that it looks nice,” adds our tester. One thing that would make the tool even better was if there was some variation in the size and shape of the bristles for more sensory benefits. 

Price at time of publish: $18

Material: Plastic and silicone | Hair Type: All

Best for Exfoliation: Jupiter Scalp Brush

jupiter-scalp-brush

Jupiter

What We Love: These bristles are firm and durable for an invigorating exfoliation experience. 

What We Don’t Love: If you have thick or curly hair, you might need to apply more pressure on the product to get through to your scalp and feel results. 

With its firmer bristles and durable design, this brush is intended to cleanse the scalp of impurities, remove build-up, and gently exfoliate. The product is lightweight and features a comfortable hole to slide your fingers through. For an added bonus, it comes with a clasped chain for easy hanging in your shower. Though the bristles are firmer than other tools we tried, since they’re tightly packed together, you’ll need to apply more pressure to really get to the roots and pull it through thicker hair. “If I used a softer pressure, it would only lightly go through the top layer of hair,” explains our tester. Though, she adds, “the massager still helped get deeper into my roots than if I were to just use my fingers.” Furthermore, we love the way the matte black handle and white bristles give the product a sophisticated design appeal.

Price at time of publish: $15

Material: Plastic and rubber | Hair Type: All

Best for Thick Hair: Flathead Products Scalp Massager

flathead-products-scalp-massager

Amazon

What We Love: This massager comes with two interchangeable brush heads for different uses.

What We Don’t Love: The smaller brush head doesn’t work well on thick hair. 

We love how simple it is to switch out these different massage inserts. “Just twist off the head of the massager, switch the insert, and then twist it back on,” explains our tester. For thick hair, we recommend the longer bristle attachment, as it easily penetrates to the roots of your hair. On the flip side, the smaller stub insert is great for short, thinner hair. “I have such thick hair that I have a really hard time getting the shampoo suds to my scalp,” our tester says. “This massager really helped me get the shampoo rubbed into my head without having to do a lot of work.” Especially for the low price point, we’re impressed with the quality and how well it holds up after repeated use. 

Price at time of publish: $7

Material: Plastic and silicone | Hair Type: All

Best for Thin Hair: Briogeo Scalp Revival Stimulating Therapy Massager

briogeo-scalp-revival-therapy-massager

Amazon

What We Love: It helps shampoo, oil, and other hair products seamlessly absorb into your scalp. 

What We Don’t Love: We wish this massager came in more colors.

Another option that comes with an attached string for easy shower display, we love this Briogeo massager that gets to all the greasy build-up on our scalps. As a brand, Briogeo specializes in clean products that work for all different hair types — and this therapeutic tool is no different. “I frequently use dry shampoo which can build up on the scalp, and this brush does a better job of removing the residue than just my fingers,” explains InStyle’s Assistant Commerce Editor, Emily Cieslak. “Just using it reminds me to take the time to massage my scalp in the shower.” Though it’s hard to tell if using the massager actually contributes to new hair growth (a supposed benefit), Cieslak notes that it does make her shampoo and hair oil absorb more evenly and easily. Another plus? These bristles pop out to make cleaning the brush super simple. 

Price at time of publish: $18

Material: Plastic and silicone | Hair Type: Thin 

Best Multitasking: Denman Palm Styler for Detangling, Massaging & Styling

denman-palm-styler-for-detangling-massaging--styling

Amazon

What We Love: The Denman styler really shines when it comes to distributing hair oils. 

What We Don’t Love: This palm styler might be a bit too heavy-duty for sensitive scalps.

Denman is one of our favorite brands for curly hair brushes and tools, so we were excited to try this palm styler. Its bristles are definitely stiffer and more firm than other options we tested (they’re plastic as opposed to the softer silicone materials). Our tester notes that while she wishes the bristles were a little bit softer, she definitely prefers they be a touch too firm than a touch too soft. 

She found that the best way to handle the styler was by sliding three fingers inside the top loop and massaging it through the scalp when applying styling products. “The Denman made such a difference in successfully working my hair oil in at the roots,” she says. “Utilizing this tool makes applying the treatment far more efficient and effective! My hair feels healthier and more nourished since I incorporated it into my routine.” Though it worked well for her, she advises against using this if you have a sensitive scalp as the bristles are very firm. Regardless, it’s lightweight, durable, and performs well as a detangler, product applicator, and styler. 

Price at time of publish: $10 (originally $14)

Material: Plastic | Hair Type: Curly

Best for Absorption: COMFIER Cordless Hair Scalp Massager

comfier-cordless-hair-scalp-massager--electric-head

Amazon

What We Love: It’s an electric massager with four different settings that do all the scalp work for you.

What We Don’t Love: Because this one is an electric device, it’s noticeably heavier than other massagers we tested.

Though this massager is far heavier than others we tried, its ergonomic design feels good in the hands, and its heftiness contributes to its high quality appeal. For an electric device, our tester says it’s surprisingly quiet. “The bristles are sturdy, but the tips are soft, so it’s really pleasing when moving on the scalp,” she says. We love that there are four different massage settings for varying preferences —  from light to vigorous (and, it can technically be used on your neck, back, and calves as well). The device comes with a charging base and USB cable, and once fully charged, should last cordless for several hours. Plus, it’s waterproof and safe for in-shower use. Despite the $50 price tag, our tester found it totally worth the investment.

Price at time of publish: $40 (originally $50)

Material: Plastic and silicone | Hair Type: All

Best for Sensitive Scalps: Freatech Shampoo Brush Scalp Massager

freatech-shampoo-brush-scalp-massager

Amazon

What We Love: It’s a quick, easy, and affordable way to add more self-care into your bathing ritual. 

What We Don’t Love: Though our tester didn’t notice much of a difference when it came to overall hair health, she did enjoy the product for its relaxing effect.

For less than $12, this tool gives you a spa-like experience in your very own bathroom. Gentle enough for sensitive scalps, it has just the right sensory effect to create a soothing moment. It also comes in an array of fun colors (including purple, pink, light blue, and green) to liven up your shower and includes a detachable rope for easy hanging storage. “I didn’t notice a huge difference in my hair health on a daily basis,” our tester reports. “But, I mainly enjoyed the relaxing sensation. I also frequently get headaches, and though it didn’t make the pain go away, it felt soothing to use when I was experiencing pain,” she says. 

Price at time of publish: $8 (originally $10)

Material: Plastic and silicone | Hair Type: All

Other Options You Might Like:

See You Always Hair Scalp Massager

We also liked this massager as another relatively inexpensive option that's easily available on Amazon. Our tester notes that she usually has some flakiness and dry spots on her scalp that buildup in colder months, and she found this tool helped loosen some of that debris through exfoliation. Although, if your hair is super thick, curly, or prone to tangling, she wouldn’t recommend it as the circular motion can end up causing knots. 

Ryoma Scalp Massager

This scalp massager offers a different style and design, not meant for in-shower use. Where many of the other products we tested offer liquid product penetration benefits, the Ryoma tool is intended as more of a dry massage. “Because the metal balls are pretty small, the massaging feels precise on the scalp,” shares our tester. “It does a good job of relaxing the muscles and I liked using it on my neck too,” she says. Though the materials aren’t the highest quality, it's an affordable entry price point to discover whether or not you enjoy the sensation of scalp massage.

Our Testing Process

We began by extensively researching the market to find the best rated products available online. From there, we selected 28 scalp massagers that we sent to our team of testers (a mix of InStyle editors and product experts) to try out and report back. They reviewed each tool on a scale from one to five, providing extensive notes and feedback over the course of their use. Our testers paid attention to different attributes like the softness and feel of the bristles, how well their hair products were absorbed while using the devices, and whether the materials held up to frequent use. Once all our testers turned in their reviews, we compiled the info to narrow down our recommendation list and provide you with the 10 best scalp massagers of 2022. 

What to Keep in Mind

Bristle Material

Whether you prefer a soft silicone bristle, a firmer plastic one, or a carved jade comb is entirely up to your personal preference and hair care needs. If you have a sensitive scalp or sensitive skin, err on the side of softer bristles, and try a silicone brush, like the Freatech Shampoo Brush Scalp Massager. If you have grease-prone hair or are an avid dry shampoo user and require a bit more scrubbing to get all build-up off your scalp, opt for something more firm with plastic bristles, like the Jupiter Scalp Brush or the Denman Palm Styler for Detangling, Massaging & Styling.

Your Hair Type

While most scalp massagers are safe and easy to use on all hair types, it is important to note that some, like the Flathead Products Scalp Massager are specifically designed for thick or curly hair. While others, like the Briogeo Scalp Revival Therapy Massager, perform better on thin hair. A good rule of thumb to follow is the thicker your hair, the larger the bristles need to be to reach your scalp. 

Your Questions, Answered 

How do you use a scalp massager? 

“I encourage incorporating scalp massagers into the pre-shampoo treatment step, preferably using oil or serum products as the lubricant and exfoliant,” explains Certified Trichologist, Bridgette Hill (AKA “The Scalp Therapist”). She notes that when used with a scalp treatment product (in the pre-shampoo step of your routine), scalp massagers assist the active ingredients to penetrate deeper into the skin. 

Hill advises to start by applying your pre-shampoo mask, oil, or treatment to your hair, then section the hair into quadrants, and twist the ends together, ensuring each is liberally coated. “Starting at the nape, use the scalp brush and make semicircle motions moving up and around the head,” she explains. “Next, apply shampoo over the pre-shampoo treatment before adding water to emulsify and rinse.”

How often should you use a scalp massager?

“The most important consideration when deciding to try any scalp tool is that medically diagnosed scalp conditions should only incorporate scalp brushes under the guidance and supervision of a certified trichologist, MD, or dermatologist specializing in scalp and hair,” explains Hill. Otherwise, for non-medical scalp conditions or just standard self-care, scalp massagers can easily be incorporated into your weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly routine. 

Does massaging your scalp help hair grow? 

That’s a complicated question. Directly? No, they don’t. But, indirectly, they contribute to health benefits that, taken alongside other steps, can lead to hair growth. “Scalp massage improves blood circulation in the head and neck area,” explains Hill. “Research shows that scalp massage can lower blood pressure, reduce levels of stress hormones, slow heart rate, prevent flakes and dry scalp without the use of harsh chemical shampoos,” she adds. 

“We know stress tightens the scalp and impedes circulation and hair growth. Depending on your hair care regimen and scalp condition, weekly scalp massages with massagers are excellent for overall health and well being. In a nutshell, scalp massagers and brushes aid with reducing tight muscles that are located in the scalp, in addition to improving circulation to deliver the necessary nutrients to the hair follicle for optimal hair growth,” adds Hill.

What Is InStyle Picks?

Our team of testers has reviewed every product on this list using a unique methodology to ensure it's really worth your time, money, and attention. We may get samples for free to try but we never promise positive (or any!) coverage in exchange. Put simply: InStyle Picks are products we love, and we've put them to the test to be sure you will too.

Why Shop With Us

Linne Halpern is a freelance beauty, fashion, and lifestyle writer. She is a member of InStyle’s evergreen commerce team where she extensively tests and reviews countless products. To help understand the intended use and health benefits of scalp massagers, she consulted Certified Trichologist Bridgette Hill (also known as “The Scalp Therapist”). Hill gave the lowdown on what hair care products to use alongside your scalp brush and whether or not they can actually improve hair growth. 

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