Scalp popping warning over dangerous TikTok trend – what is it?

2 mins read


Scalp popping is the latest trend to have gone viral on the video-sharing app TikTok. The hair pulling trend appears to have originated on the platform from a user named Yana Semerly.

When the hair is pulled with sudden force, the galea aponeurotic is forced to pop upwards and off the skull.

In another TikTok video, a Detroit-based plastic surgeon shared some medical insight into the trend.

Anthony Youn MD said: “This is where you pull the hair so hard that you pull the galea off of the skull creating this popping sound.”

He did not seem too impressed by the practice, asking: “What the hell is going on here?”

However, in some cultures scalp popping is actually practised by barbers or as a form of head massage.

Previously, Jon Musgrave, a licensed massage therapist told Health.com: “It’s not a standard Western massage technique, and it’s not something that I would do to myself or to someone else.”

He said that the trend could “cause damage to the hair follicle on a long term basis” which could result in “hair loss”.

Dr Perry added the act of scalp popping could even result in damage to both the neck and head as a result of “the force of the hair being pulled”.

Instead, the expert recommended people do not try the trend.

He said: “In my opinion, it just isn’t even worth attempting.”



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