SCALP MASSAGEWhere: Aquaterra Spa at the Surf & Sand Resort (Laguna Beach, CA)
Time: 25 minutes
Products: LA Natural
The client lies face-up while a therapist uses feather-light circular motions to knead the face, ears, and forehead. Heated mint-infused oil is massaged into the scalp using short, brisk motions. "Skin on the scalp contains nerve centers that connect with the brain's pleasure hub, contributing to an overall feeling of well-being," says spa director Karl Ring. "Specific strokes stimulate the capillaries and nerves by increasing the flow from oil and sweat glands." After this centering and pleasurable massage, a hot towel may be used to wipe off excess oil, but clients are encouraged to leave the mixture on as long as possible.
A therapist performs Rapunzel's Secret Hot Oil Treatment on a guest at Green Valley Spa.
MARINUS BACK & SCALP TREATMENTWhere: Visage Spa (Bloomfield Hills, MI)
Time: 50 minutes
Products: Appellation Spa, Barbary Coast, California North, Custom
This back and scalp revitalizer deep cleans and relieves tension. The treatment begins with the client lying face-down as the therapist performs a firm-pressure back massage with grapeseed oil. If the area requires extreme care, the therapist uses a scrub and mask to unclog pores. Next, the client turns over and, after receiving a decadent scalp massage, the therapist tugs on small sections of hair and performs a pressure-point massage on the neck, scalp, head, and sinuses to release cranial tension and enhance circulation.
RAPUNZEL'S SECRET HOT OIL TREATMENTWhere: Green Valley Spa (St. George, UT)
Time: 50 minutes
An idyllic spa garden awaits as a therapist leads the client to a massage table underneath an ancient willow tree. The client lies face-up, bundled under blankets, as the therapist massages the hands and feet with Green Honey Milk Bath. Once the client's hands and feet are wrapped in warm towels, the therapist applies an Apple Honey Mask to the hair and scalp. After shampooing and conditioning the hair, the therapist applies Hot Rapunzel Oil, which contains rosemary and juniper to deeply hydrate and detoxify. Next, the client's hair is wrapped in a towel while the therapist kneads feet, shoulders, hands, and neck. Finally, the hair is doused with water poured from Mexican urns and a finishing rinse is applied.
SCALP TREATMENTWhere: The Four Seasons Resort (Maui)
Time: 10 minutes
Price: $40 add-on
Products: Tara Spa Therapy, Warren Botanicals
"Stress, climate, and age deeply affect hair growth," says spa manager Carol Conley. As an add-on at the end of any treatment, a therapist draws back the client's hair and begins to drip a slow-but-steady stream of oil onto the head, starting at the scalp and working through the hair from roots to ends. "We use a blend of oils in a jojoba base because it protects hair from harsh elements and doesn't leave a thick residue," says Conley.
SCALP CONDITIONING THERAPYWhere: Doral Golf Resort and Spa (Miami)
Time: 45 minutes
Products: Custom, Phyto, Prive
Post shampoo, the therapist applies a renewing botanical oil blend that smoothes and hydrates brittle hair and mends split ends. (All-natural oils of sage, rosemary, and juniper are ideal for color-treated hair.) Next, the therapist massages the client's head and neck to allow the oil to penetrate deeply. Finally, a nourishing mask formulated with jojoba, evening primrose, sesame, and eucalyptus is applied to the client's hair to relax a stressed scalp and improve circulation to hair follicles. The mask is then rinsed off.
SHIRODHARAWhere: Bacara Resort & Spa (Santa Barbara, CA)
Time: 50 minutes
Products: Tara Spa Therapy
Beyond the deeply rejuvenating benefits for dry or thinning hair, this Indian practice has been used for centuries to calm the mind and bring balance to the nervous system. The client lies face-up as a therapist trickles a gentle stream of warm herbal-infused oil onto the forehead, allowing it to drip freely through the hair to quiet the mind and soothe the senses. The oil is then expertly massaged into the hair and scalp, followed by a bracing application of Indian Ayurvedic herbs to nourish the roots and deeply condition hair.
SCALP MASSAGEWhere: Spa Moulay at Hyatt Regency Lake Las Vegas Resort (Henderson, NV)
Time: 30 minutes
Price: $55 stand-alone; $25 add-on
"Underneath the scalp lies a wealth of feel-good hormones that provide sensual sensations," says former spa director Rebeka Carpenter. A therapist first warms the highest-grade olive oil infused with fresh rosemary and generously applies it to the client's scalp in slow, circular motions. After rinsing the hair, the therapist performs a dry scalp massage, which includes gentle cradling of the head and neck to induce relaxation. Next, Moulay Mist Conditioner with aloe vera is applied to the scalp, hair follicles, and hair shaft. "To enhance natural color, we add three or four drops of chamomile oil for light-hued hair and three or four drops of rosemary for dark hair," says Carpenter. Therapists urge guests to leave the mixture on for two hours before rinsing.
SCALP TREATMENTWhere: The Spa at The Carneros Inn (Napa, CA)
Time: 15 minutes
Price: $30 stand-alone or add-on
Clients can choose from two treatments, depending on their hair texture. The first is the Scalp Scrub, which uses a calcium-rich green silt and corallina seaweed to remove dead skin cells and strip away chemicals (not color) that coat hair unnecessarily. The second is an antioxidant-rich Intensive Hair Mask consisting of shea butter, wheat, and silk protein. This combination of ingredients deeply conditions to repair damaged hair and give the color a boost. First, the client's head is wrapped in a lukewarm towel to dampen the hair and warm the scalp. Next, the therapist mists the entire head with warm water and combs through it. After a generous application of the appropriate product, the client receives a vigorous scalp and neck massage.
SPIRIT OF LIFEWhere: Wyndham's Golden Door Spa at Las Casitas Village (Fajardo, Puerto Rico)
Time: 110 minutes
Products: Custom, Tara Spa Therapy
The client lies face-up while a therapist uses a specially designed dry brush to exfoliate the skin around the face and neck. Next, the therapist performs a penetrating dry massage using longer Swedish-style strokes to get the kinks out of the client's head, shoulders, and upper back. Natural sesame and lavender oils are slowly worked into the hair and scalp to deliver nutrients. Next, the therapist combs warmed desert herbs, including sage and rosemary, through the hair to improve circulation and stimulate hair growth. The therapist massages the client's head and neck, pressing lightly to produce endorphins and restore natural lymphatic flow. The finale is seven sensuous minutes with the therapist dripping oil slowly on to the client's forehead and hair.
DAMAGE CONTROLWhere: Ouidad (New York City)
Time: 60 minutes
Price: $150 and up
This treatment nourishes dry, over-processed hair and helps promote healthy hair and scalp. To begin, the client's hair is shampooed and Damage Control, a formulation of powerful proteins, is applied section by section. Next, the client relaxes under hot air to allow the product to penetrate deeply. After 20 minutes, the hair is rinsed with warm water and a second application of Damage Control is applied. The client then sits under cold air for five more minutes before the head is rinsed under ice-cold water. The cold water rinse is meant to seal the hair cuticle and add extra shine. "Basically this is a heavy duty conditioner that adds luster and shine to damaged hair and also helps nourish the scalp, which can become dry during the winter months," says Ana Daniel, artistic director.
PAUDI HEAD TREATMENTWhere: Daintree Spa at the Daintree Eco Lodge & Spa (Daintree, Queensland Australia)
Time: 30 minutes
This Aboriginal head massage incorporates an aromatic herbal Quandong hair mask that is high in vitamin C to fortify the scalp and hair follicles. It begins with a serving of Yula Tea, an indigenous mix of lemon myrtle, desert lime, wild rosella flower, and plum. The therapist then lights native barks and leaves in an Aboriginal wooden dish traditionally used for collecting berries and holds the dish in both hands. Using large circular movements, a soft smoke is waved over the client to clear energies and create a sacred space. The therapist places an eye cloth soaked with lemon myrtle, sandalwood, and mint on the client's face and a hot towel on his or her feet. Finally, the therapist performs a deep scalp massage using a thick mask of macadamia oils and rose geranium.