At some point in my career, I noticed a correlation between the way a person's scalp felt in the shampoo bowl and the way their hair would respond when I tried to style it. The tighter the scalp clung to the skull, the more lifeless the hair would end up. It was frustrating to put in the effort to get this amazing volume and body from the hair, only to have it lay flat and stubborn against the head. 

As time wore on, I started trying to get the scalp to move while I shampooed my guest's hair. I would spend time massaging the scalp against the skull to get it to release it's death grip. When I was successful, the hair would style the way I wanted: full of life, movement, and volume. The more confident I got in what I was doing, the more vocal I would get with my guests, telling them to take slow, deep breaths. We're supposed to breathe like we do when we're sleeping, even when we're awake. I can literally feel the tension subside as they force themselves to slow their biorhythm and breathe like they're supposed to. 

While I was in college learning about the human psyche and the functions of the brain, I noticed a correlation between the areas of the brain, their functions, and the tension in my guests scalps. After years of asking my guests questions to help me match their current stressors to the area of scalp tension, I can tell what is stressing you out by where your tension is within a small margin of error. Sometimes that information is too personal to reveal to just anyone, so I typically keep it to myself. But, if I think you might be into that sort of thing, I'll tell you what I'm doing. I even have guests ask me what I'm feeling in their scalp. 

stress and your scalp

I massage scalps for purely selfish reasons. I want your hair to style properly. But, if you go too long without finding a way to cope with your stress, your hair will start to fall out. If your body feels like it's a sinking ship, it will start throwing things overboard. Your hair is one of those things. Think about it this way, the scalp is clenched just like your jaw clenches or your fists clench. Eventually, it's just going to let the hair go. Stress alters your hormone balance. It sends a chemical message to your brain that the end is nigh. Why would your body grow new hairs if your stress level tells it that you're not going to be around to enjoy it?

I have felt the difference in my guests scalps when I guide them to breathe like they're sleeping. I can feel your scalp release and the tension subside. I know that breathing properly hijacks your biorhythm and puts you in control of your body functions. Stress takes place in the space between the end of your ability and what is required of you. You can't control many of your stressors, but you can control your breath. Give yourself the space to shut yourself off to the other worries for just a little bit and focus on your breath. Even ten minutes can reset you. Life may not change any time soon, but your ability to manage within it will. Plus, your hair and your hairdresser will thank you for the effort.