This isn’t a content warning, per se — just a tip that you might not want to read this too in-depth if hearing people pop their joints makes you cringe.
You probably know you can pop your fingers, your neck and your back. According to TikTok, you can pop your scalp as well.
The trend, which is also called hair cracking, has people both fascinated and concerned. The hashtag has garnered more than 6.5 million views over the past few days.
In the most popular scalp popping video, which has 5 million views and more than 800,000 likes, user @yanasemerly and her friend each take a small section of the other’s hair, twist it around their fingers and pull it up. They both freak out when it makes a popping noise.
Other users tried it and got the same results.
Commenters who tried it out, though, didn’t necessarily have the same experience.
“Directions unclear and now I have a bald spot,” one wrote.
“I must be doing it wrong because that hurt,” another said.
“I’m in pain,” a third replied.
Jon Musgrave, an NYC-based licensed massage therapist, told Health that even though there isn’t much information about the practice online, it’s been around for many years.
“I first became aware of it as something Mexican women do to help relieve heat-induced migraines,” he said. “It’s not a standard Western massage technique, and it’s not something that I would do to myself or to someone else.”
Musgrave compared it to trying to crack your own neck. He said that anyone who tries it out should be wary that you could potentially tear the skin or connective tissue underneath your scalp.
“It’s something that many people do but is not particularly safe, and should be left to someone who has the training and experience to do it safely,” he said.
Don’t try this at home, kids.
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