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Occipital Bone

Definition: Occipital Bone

Place your hand on the back of your head. Do you feel that distinctive bone between your skull and your neck? That's called the occipital bone, a curved protrusion that makes up the back of the skull, right above the nape. Hairstylists use the positioning of the occipital bone as a guideline for sectioning hair in a haircut. Certain styles, like the wedge or graduated layers, are typically achieved by closely following the angles around this bone. By using the occipital bone as a measuring point, stylists can also balance out the overall head shape. For instance, through skilled styling, large facial features can be balanced out, creating volume in the back of the style for those needing extra lift. To relieve tension, stress, and headache pain, just give yourself a massage directly below the occipital bone, a key pressure point on the head. Place a thumb about one-half inch to an inch under the bone. Apply pressure, and massage in circular motions. And there's today's lesson in osteology.

Source: Flickr User bobcat rock

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