The 9 Best Scalp Massagers of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

The Leonor Greyl Massaging Scalp Brush offers a spa-like experience at home.

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products. Healthcare professionals review articles for medical accuracy. Learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Best Scalp Massagers

Amazon / Credo

It probably comes as no surprise that healthy hair starts with a clean, healthy scalp. And for those who struggle with dandruff flakes and product buildup (we're looking at you, dry shampoo), scalp massagers can help by simultaneously exfoliating away grime and stimulating blood flow to the hair follicles. "Improved delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicles can help them function to the best of their ability, which means optimal growth of hair," says Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.

Tested & Approved

The Leonor Greyl Massaging Scalp Brush offers a spa-like experience at home with soft bristles made of high-quality recyclable silicone. The hand-crafted Mount Lai Jade Massaging Comb is cooling and revitalizing to the scalp and offers two types of massage with its thick, wide teeth on one side and smooth surface on the other.

An ideal scalp massager has soft bristles that won’t cause hair breakage and an ergonomic grip that makes it easier to dig in (gently). Bonus points if it's electric and waterproof to make sudsing up all the more effortless and relaxing.

To narrow down the best scalp massagers, we consulted dermatologists and tested a variety of popular models for bristle softness, ease of use, and their ability to aid in hair product absorption. We weren’t, however, able to accurately measure their effects on hair growth. Overall, more research is warranted to determine a scalp massager’s full range of benefits, says Rachel Nazarian, MD, a New York-based dermatologist and fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, but “they are certainly harmless and at the very least can improve blood circulation in the scalp," she adds.

Here are the best scalp massagers backed by four weeks of testing.

Our Recommendations

Best Overall: Leonor Greyl Massaging Scalp Brush

leonor-greyl-massaging-scalp-brush

FWRD

Why We Like It: Soft silicone bristles have the perfect amount of give for a smooth, tangle-free massage.

It’s Worth Noting: It’s on the pricier side for a manual model. 

Our tester found this brush to have the softest bristles across the board, yet they’re not too soft to inhibit exfoliation. Its high-quality silicone material creates a luxurious, smooth massage experience and encourages shampoo to lather with ease without causing tangles. “It feels like I’m at a spa or salon,” our tester said. The brush is marketed for use in the shower, but she found it feels just as nice when used on a dry scalp. 

The short, stout handle easily slides and hooks between your fingers, making it easy to comfortably palm the massager and maintain consistent leverage and pressure. Our tester also found it to help conditioners absorb more efficiently. And it gets a check for sustainability, as it’s made of recyclable ABS plastic and silicone, and comes in 100 percent recyclable packaging. 

Price at time of publication: $28

Product Details:

  • Type: Manual
  • Bristles: Soft
  • Waterproof: Yes

Most Ergonomic: Vegamour Gro Revitalizing Scalp Massager

Vegamour GRO Revitalizing Scalp Massager

Vegamour

Why We Like It: This aesthetically pleasing massager looks beautiful in the shower and is super easy to hold and control. 

It’s Worth Noting: The bristles are all the same size and density, making for a somewhat flat massage.

This massager’s unique round shape and intuitive handle make holding and using it feel natural. Most other silicone massagers feature a stem-like handle that requires some grip, but the Vegamour model utilizes a passive handle you simply slide your hand through, and indentations on the base cradle fingers while the handle rests atop the fingers, keeping it from slipping out of place. 

According to our tester, the bristles on this brush are firm enough for a decent massage, but the lack of diversity in bristle density and size made the sensory experience somewhat one-noted. It can be used on dry or wet hair, and does a great job at distributing product and helping product penetrate.

Price at time of publication: $18

Product Details:

  • Type: Manual
  • Bristles: Medium
  • Waterproof: Yes

Best Comb: Mount Lai Jade Massaging Comb

mount-lai-jade-massaging-comb

Credo

Why We Like It: Natural jade stone applied to the scalp in the form of this hand-crafted comb is cooling and relaxing.

It’s Worth Noting: The hard surface makes it less than ideal for a deep massage or shampoo lather.

A gua-sha comb, this scalp massager’s jade stone composition invites a cooling, relaxing sensation. ”I thought it would be uncomfortable to drag across my scalp,” our tester said. “Surprisingly it's the opposite. It felt stimulating and relaxing to use.” She added that it’s easy to use and causes zero pain, even on the boniest parts of the head. The stone’s smooth surface prevents tangling, too. 

The comb side can be used for a slower, more precise glide, whereas the rounded side is best for some quick surface stimulation. If you love the feeling of someone running their fingers through your hair, you’ll love this. Using it in the shower may be difficult, though, depending on your hair texture and how much conditioner you apply.

Price at time of publication: $52

Product Details:

  • Type: Manual
  • Bristles: Hard
  • Waterproof: Yes

Best for Psoriasis: Jupiter Scalp Brush

jupiter-scalp-brush

Jupiter

Why We Like It: Dozens of small, compact bristles make sure no square inch of scalp goes unmassaged.

It’s Worth Noting: Extra pressure may be necessary due to its lightweight material and smaller size.

Those with psoriasis should tread lightly with scalp massagers, as they shouldn’t be used on open or broken skin and could cause further irritation. But a gentle massage with a lightweight, soft massager like this one could be beneficial. Our tester found the small, closely grouped bristles to work most effectively on dry hair, though some pressure is necessary to get through thick hair and to the scalp and roots.

Instead of a handle, it features a beaded chain loop for easy holding and hanging in the shower or vanity area. Its small circular shape easily fits into the palm, and tests found it to noticeably improve product distribution compared to fingers alone. “The massager helped it get deeper into my roots,” our tester said.

Price at time of publication: $15

Product Details:

  • Type: Manual
  • Bristles: Soft
  • Waterproof: Yes

Best Budget: Flathead Products Scalp Massager

flathead-products-scalp-massager

Amazon

Why We Like It: For the price of one, this massager comes with two interchangeable heads for different massaging needs.

It’s Worth Noting: The quality could be better.

This massager is an affordable, practical pick that gets the job done. Our tester found that it was especially helpful in distributing shampoo through thick hair, and the extra head that it comes with is easy to swap in and out with a quick twist. One head features longer spikes that are more fit for use on thick hair, and the other has shorter nubbier bristles, ideal for short hair or shaved heads.

The handle effortlessly cradles the top of the hand making it easy to hold and adjust pressure, and our tester found it to help product absorb more effectively into the roots and scalp. “It really helped me get the shampoo rubbed into my head without having to do a lot of work,” she said.

Price at time of publication: $11

Product Details:

  • Type: Manual
  • Bristles: Medium
  • Waterproof: Yes

Best Brush: Briogeo Scalp Revival Therapy Massager

briogeo-scalp-revival-therapy-massager

Amazon

Why We Like It: The sturdy design makes it great for dislodging buildup from product like dry shampoo.

It’s Worth Noting: It only comes in one color.

The sturdy design and quality material of this brush make it just weighty enough to easily apply even, moderate pressure throughout the scalp without feeling hard or scratchy. Our tester found the bristles to be firm, yet flexible, and effective on both wet and dry hair, evading tangles altogether. 

The handle is ergonomic and comfortable, and it’s especially hygienic given that the bristles can be popped out for cleaning. An attached tassel makes hanging storage a breeze.

Price at time of publication: $18

Product Details:

  • Type: Manual
  • Bristles: Medium
  • Waterproof: Yes

Best Electric: COMFIER Cordless Hair Scalp Massager- Electric Head

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

Amazon

Why We Like It: Four automatic massage heads and 21 individual nodes deliver a complex, effortless massage.

It’s Worth Noting: It's heavier and therefore may be less comfortable to hold than most manual massagers.

You can switch yourself to autopilot while using this massager, which, with its electric motor, will do all of the work for you. Unlike most manual massagers, it features four massage heads with 21 individual nodes that automatically rotate clockwise and counter-clockwise, delivering a complex and thorough kneading. Our testing found the nodes to be sturdy, but soft and enjoyable. 

Traveling with this massager is easy thanks to its USB rechargeability. Our tester found it to be quiet, and that it works well in and out of the shower. “It was surprisingly heavier than I expected, but I feel like that attributes to its sturdiness,” she added. According to the brand, you can also use it anywhere else on the body.

Price at time of publication: $42

Product Details:

  • Type: Electric
  • Bristles: Medium
  • Waterproof: Yes

Best for Dandruff: Maxsoft Hair Scalp Massager

maxsoft-hair-scalp-massager

Amazon

Why We Like It: For the price, this massager is a steal, and it’s great for all hair types.

It’s Worth Noting: It’s unclear how long it will hold up while undergoing consistent use. 

If you tend to rely on your fingernails to scrub debris and dirt from your scalp, let this affordable pick do the heavy lifting instead. Not only will it work just as well, it will keep your nails and scalp safe from the risk of being damaged. 

Its long, sturdy, evenly spaced spikes can penetrate even really thick hair, and its handle is easy to grip for customizable pressure. And our tester found that rather than tangling tresses, it can help detangle them while conditioner or a hair mask marinates. Speaking of which, our tester said this massager helps with product penetration, too. 

Price at time of publication: $7

Product Details:

  • Type: Manual
  • Bristles: Medium
  • Waterproof: Yes

Best for Sensitive Scalps: Freatech Shampoo Brush Scalp Massager

freatech-shampoo-brush-scalp-massager

Amazon

Why We Like It: This massager is palm-shaped for an easy grip.

It’s Worth Noting: The material quality could be better.

The funky shape of this massager is intentional—it’s made to fit your palm snugly for easy leverage as it’s moved across the scalp. It comes at a decent price and is available in eight different colors. 

Our tester found it to work well on wet and dry hair, and it stood up just fine against thin, tangle-prone strands. ”I also frequently get headaches, and this felt soothing and relaxing to use when I was experiencing pain,” she added. If you’re looking for a risk-free base model to test for the first time, this is a good go-to.

Price at time of publication: $8

Product Details:

  • Type: Manual
  • Bristles: Medium
  • Waterproof: Yes

Our Testing Process

Our testers used the scalp massagers at least twice a week for four weeks following the manufacturer’s provided instructions. They were used on wet and dry hair, and in tandem with hair products to test their ability to aid penetration and distribution compared to an unmassaged scalp.

What to Know About Scalp Massagers

What to look for in a quality scalp massager

Most importantly, look for a massager with soft bristles, suggests Rebecca Marcus, MD, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Maei MD. If you want an electric model, opt for one with gentle vibration, she adds.

Who may benefit from using a scalp massager

Overall, more research is warranted to determine the extent of a scalp massager’s benefits. With that being said, anyone who finds scalp massage relaxing can most benefit from using one, says Dr. Marcus. “Those who suffer from tension headaches may find that a scalp massager offers relief,” she adds. Scalp massagers may also relieve symptoms of itch and help remove excess dandruff or flakes, says Dr. Zeichner.

Those with psoriasis or sensitive skin should be careful not to overdo scalp massages, though, as they can make those conditions worse.

How much you can expect to pay for a scalp massager

You can pay anywhere from $7 to $50-plus for one, depending on how fancy you want to get. Electric models are typically more costly, whereas manual silicone brushes are usually more affordable.

More Invisible Scalp Massagers

  • Tangle Teezer Scalp Exfoliator & Massager: This massager didn’t make the cut for us due to its long, wiery bristles that were uncomfortable to use on dry hair. The handle space was also too small, making for a cramped grip. The diverse, thin spikes are supposed to be its highlight, but ultimately, became its downfall. 
  • USAGA 28 Fingers Head Massager Scalp: Though the user experience for this whisk-like massager is relaxing, the benefits don’t go much beyond that. The thin, metal arms with soft tips easily tangle strands, and it’s not practical for in-shower use.
  • Breo Portable Mini Scalp Massager: We had high hopes for this sleek electric massager, but our tests found the bristles to be hard and painful on the scalp. It’s also the most expensive model we tested at $90, and the power behind it easily tangles hair.

Your Questions, Answered

Is a scalp massager good for you?

Unless you have sensitive skin, open sores, or a chronic skin condition that affects the scalp, massagers are pretty harmless. Dr. Marcus adds that they can be beneficial by stimulating blood flow to the scalp, which can help support hair follicles and health turnover of skin cells. They can also offer a welcome release of stress and tension.

Can a scalp massager stimulate hair growth? 

“Scalp massagers can help to support the healthy function of hair follicles by increasing blood flow to the scalp, which in turn increases the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to hair follicles,” says Dr. Marcus. “While actual hair growth stimulating effects would likely be minimal at best, using a scalp massager is certainly something that would support the normal function of the hair follicles.”

How often should you use a scalp massager? 

Dr. Marcus says there’s no limit to how often you can use a scalp massager, and using one with every hair wash may be a good practice if you find it relaxing.

How do you use a scalp massager? 

Apply the massager to the scalp (on wet and sudsy or dry hair) using firm pressure, but not to the point where it causes discomfort. Move in circular motions or whatever feels best or most relaxing to you. “Using a scalp massager in the shower is ideal because dead skin cells that are loosened can then be rinsed away,” adds Dr. Marcus.

Who We Are

Kayla Blanton is a freelance writer with a bachelor's degree in journalism and a specialization in public health and women, gender, and sexuality studies. She's covered health, nutrition, lifestyle, and beauty at various outlets for five years.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles