Crystal combing: Is the newest method of self-care all in your hair? | Metro
Self-care in the new year comes in many forms: hauling yourself to the gym after being bombarded with no-joining fee offers or bubble baths with expensive Korean sheet masks resting on your face.
New-age methods have seen us rubbing crystals on our face to heal ourselves from the outside in with rose quartz stones believed to have anti-ageing effects as well as the power to reduce eczema and puffiness.
Now, the next big wellness trend might be brushing your hair with a fancy bit of rock.
That’s according to Andi Scarbrough, the founder of US hair salon CrownWorks, anyway.
Her personalised treatments range from 60-minute treatments to four-hour sessions and include reiki scalp massages, oil treatments and discovery sessions alongside a blow dry. Within this method is the use of crystal combs, with four main gemstones used: amethyst, rose, clear quartz and black obsidian.
Andi explains to Metro.co.uk: ‘People come into a salon and drop as many negative vibes as they do hair and that’s kind of the point, isn’t it? They come in feeling lacklustre or out of sorts, and we transform both their hair and their mood.’
The four stones represent a different part of life. Amethyst is often believed to be the stone of wisdom, rose quartz is the stone of love used to clear negativity; clear quartz is the stone of light, and black obsidian is the stone of transformation.
Andi believes each one can help a person in a different way.
‘Each stone carries its own message and specific vibration, so what they choose may tell me what else is going on for them beyond the hair,’ says Andi. ‘Every time they go back to the stone, it will help provide a touch point back to the self appreciation and feeling of wellbeing they experienced while in my chair.
She not only uses the crystal combs in her treatments, but offers customers the chance to buy their own for $150 (£110) each to take away and use at home.
Each session is a mixture of pampering treatment, therapy and healing, combining the act of hair care with more spiritual cleansing, akin to the breathing techniques used in yoga classes.
Combining the two means that an early morning meditation session followed by a haircut can be combined to make use of the inner and outer healing.
Andi explains how the crystals aren’t a cure for worries and problems, but are instead part of a bigger self-care ritual.
‘What’s interesting about what’s been happening in the last few years of this new-new-age movement is the grounded use of stones,’ she explained. ‘People are understanding like any tool, there is a process to work in order to experience results.
‘A crystal on the shelf may make someone feel nice, just like my bicycle does in my garage. But if I want to receive the benefits of having it, there is a practice that must be in place.’
If you don’t believe in the power of crystals, you can look to the other benefits of the treatment. A study in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science researched the benefits of scalp massages on female workers in an office. Positive effects on stress hormones, blood pressure, and heart rate were noted after 15 minutes of the massage, meaning starting self-care from the head down can have a beneficial effect on the rest of the body.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to start suddenly performing daily crystal cleanses and meditating every morning. A lot of the benefits of crystals aren’t necessarily in the crystals themselves, but in the comfort of a ritual.
London jewellery Missoma founder Marisa Horden embraces the use of crystals in her life as a sort of lucky charm, motivating her to take care of herself.
‘We trust in the ‘power of intention’, and believe crystals work to boost our core mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing,’ she explains.
‘In its simplicity, we can consider it a lucky charm. It can be the driving force behind an action, a physical token or a symbol of love.’
Essentially a crystal combing session is no different from choosing a good book or an exercise class, in that it gives you a bit of time dedicated solely to yourself, something many of us are lacking.
While I’m not sure a special comb rather than my usual mangled brush will fix my anxiety problems, taking time out to be in the moment should be given more emphasis. When we’re rushing in the morning to get ready, it’s no surprise that we feel stressed for the rest of the day – we’re not taking the time for self-care.
Dedicating time to performing daily tasks with care can make a big difference. When you’re brushing your hair with a crystal comb (or just your regular brush), you can count your breaths and check in with your body as a way to feel calmer.
Self-care doesn’t boil down to expensive treatments and books with the word ‘detox’ in the title. Looking after your physical and mental health comes in all forms, and it’s all about what works for you.
That might be a yoga class, or chatting with friends, or stroking your scalp with a crystal comb. That’s all fine. When we’re working out how to calm our thoughts, focusing on the top of our heads might be a good place to start.