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Massaging by hand

Massaging by hand

Postby chris the limey » 21 Oct 2010 02:28 pm

Hand massage should be carried out with sure, firm movements. Nails should be kept to a reasonable length to prevent scratching the scalp and the hands and wrists should always remain flexible.
There are three main types of hand massage used in hairdressing:
(a) effleurage
(b) petrissage (rotary)
(c) friction.
It must be stated that there are many other forms of hand massage but these are mainly used on other areas of the body and therefore do not come under the jurisdiction of the hairdresser.

Jerky, uncontrolled movements can be uncomfortable or even painful to the client.

Effleurage is a slow stroking movement applied to the scalp with the fingers and palms in a slow rhythmic manner. It is used at the beginning and end of each massage treatment to relax muscles and relieve tension.
Both hands are held at the centre, front of the head and then pulled firmly down the back of the head to the nape (see Fig 2.10). The hands are then placed at either side of the head at the temples and again pulled firmly back round the contours at the sides of the head down to the neck and easing out to the shoulders; thus relieving any tension in the neck muscles.

Petrissage (rotary) is a slow, firm kneading movement in which the skin is gripped by the fingers and rotated over the skull. It increases the blood circulation and gives deeper stimulation of the glands and muscles.
Place both hands in a claw-like position on the scalp then rotate the skin over the skull without moving the fingers over the scalp.
The right hand moves in a clockwise direction while the left hand moves in the opposite, anti-clockwise direction.
The hands are lifted from their position one at a time and replaced elsewhere on the scalp until the whole scalp has been massaged. (b) Always leave one hand in contact with the scalp when removing the other to ensure continuity of the massage. If both hands are removed together the massage becomes jerky and unpleasant.

Friction is the most well known of all hand massage movements as this is the movement used when shampooing the hair. Friction is also a kneading movement and the fingers are still rotated in opposite directions for each hand. Unlike petrissage however, the movements are quite quick and vigorous with the fingers moving over the surface of the skin.
The hand is held in a claw-like position and the pads of the fingers are moved firmly over the scalp in circular movements away from the hair line up to the crown, then from the nape up to the front of the head and back down to the nape again. Table 2.7 gives a summary of the hand massages.
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