What is scalp popping? The hair cracking trend is going viral on TikTok

3 December 2020, 15:47

What is scalp popping? Is it real?
What is scalp popping? Is it real? Picture: @yanasemerly via TikTok, Channel 5
Jazmin Duribe

By Jazmin Duribe

What is scalp popping and is it even real?

You've seen people crack their knuckles, back and even their necks, but their scalp!? That's new. People on TikTok are "popping" or cracking their scalps and it's actually become a trend.

The scalp popping trend is pretty much baffling everyone (and leaving some of us a little concerned..) and the #ScalpPopping hashtag currently has 6.5 million views. But what is it, really? Let's investigate.

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What is scalp popping? Is it real?

If you want to get your scalp poppin' you have to master the technique first. Basically, it involves taking a small section of hair, winding it around your fingers near the root and then tugging it upwards. Your scalp should make a satisfying popping noise like when you crack your knuckles.

It's actually not a new thing, though, people have noted that the art of scalp cracking has been prevalent in other cultures and is used to relieve headaches. A Reddit thread on the practice, said: "I had a facial yesterday at an Asian full service nail salon […] the craziest thing was this hair cracking thing she did. I have never felt a stranger sensation in my life."

A response explained why head cracking might be so satisfying. It read: "It might have to do with fascia. In massage therapy there is fascia release and it feels/sounds like a pop. I do it to my forearms to help any strain.

"Fascia is a membrane that surrounds the muscle (think of that thin film on meat under the skin) and when the muscle gets tight the fascia forms to that shorter muscle length. Doing fascia release helps allow the muscle to lengthen back out easier."

It's not known how dangerous scalp popping is, but some TikTok users have noted that they've lost patches of hair from tugging a little too forcefully.

Maybe leave this one to the professionals…