Beauty / Trend

Everything to know about Japanese head spa – and where to get one

japanese head spa

Spas can do your body a world of good. Ease tension, iron out knots, offer your mind and form a little TLC. So you can imagine how intrigued we were when the term 'head spa' began cropping up. While a relatively new concept as far as Western beauty remedies go, scalp treatments are commonplace at most salons throughout Asia, while the Japanese head spa specifically originates from, you guessed it, Japan.

What is a Japanese head spa?

We were first introduced to the scalp treatment on TikTok, the source of all our recent beauty fixations. So what does a Japanese head spa involve? Each appointment begins with your hairstylist running a camera through your hair to analyse the health of your scalp. The footage will pick up on excess sebum, buildup around the follicles, flaky dead skin and inflamed scalps. It also provides as satisfying before and after moment, so clients can fully absorb the results of a deep clean.

From there your hair stylist determines the next step in your tailored treatment, based on what your scalp needs. This is usually followed by a thorough double cleanse with shampoo, then a bonnet is placed over the head to allow for a soothing steam, products are lathered in, pressure points are massaged – and depending on where you go, sometimes a mini facial and decolletage massage is added on for ultimate relaxation. Everything is rinsed off and followed with a blowdry.

What are the benefits?

First off, it's best to think of a Japanese head spa as a treatment more so than a medical practice. The most obvious benefit is your hair will feel lighter, cleaner and hopefully less itchy and irritated – if not it might be time to speak with a dermatologist. The massage element can help stimulate blood flow, ease head tension and encourage growth. It's also just a nice way to unwind and treat yourself to a bit of self care.

Salons that offer the treatment

Usfin Atelier


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Where: Town Hall, Sydney

Known for: One of our most trusted Sydney salons, Usfin Atelier offers a scalp treatment identical to the videos you're watching on TikTok. On top of manual elements like a deep massage and scrub of the scalp, Usfin also integrates technology like a nano steamer and high frequency device to restore your scalp to full health. Hair is nourished with a curated lineup of La Biosthetique products. Prices start at $95 for the treatment and it can be easily tacked onto your haircut or colour.


Atama Head Spa


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Where: New Farm, Brisbane

Known for: After travelling to Japan to learn about the history and technique of head spas, Gabriel opened Atama in 2019. A holistic hair and scalp treatment is priced at $180, while 60s minutes for the full head spa experience will set you back $290. Not necessarily a regular treatment in these times, but one to splash out on for special occasions.


Lamp Hair


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Where: Clarence St, Sydney

Known for: For a Japanese hair treatment, it only makes sense to book in at a Japanese salon. Lamp Hair in Sydney's CBD has offered head spas since its inception and uses Christophe Robin products.


KODA Cutters

Where: Bondi and QVB, Sydney

Known for: Aside for being one of the best in the business, KODA Cutters also offers a heavenly signature Hair Facial tested by yours truly. Hair is steamed and nourished with its range of Davines products, and if you're after a little scalp love, simply add on its Virtue Scalp treatment while you're in the chair.

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