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Can Massage Help With Hair Loss?

One of the most effective remedies for hair loss is scalp massage that may promote hair growth by increasing blood flow to the scalp and hair follicles. Here's how.

Hair loss is a problem that affects both men and women and can occur due to many reasons such as nutritional deficiency, hormonal imbalance, poor hair care and an unhealthy lifestyle. To prevent or minimize hair loss, you may have to address these underlying problems.

One of the most effective remedies for hair loss is scalp massage that may promote hair growth by increasing blood flow to the scalp and hair follicles. Readers’ Digest mentions a study in the January 2016 issue of ePlasty which found that just four minutes of scalp massage a day increases activity among genes known to promote hair growth, and dials down the activity of genes linked to hair loss and inflammation. Standardized scalp massage was shown to increase hair thickness.

Poor blood circulation in the scalp is a factor that causes hair loss. An effective head massage or scalp massage includes rubbing, kneading and applying pressure to the skin of the scalp with the fingers and hands.

This way, your hair is protected and it also helps strengthen the roots of the hair and condition the scalp, making your hair less vulnerable to breakage.

Kneading during a massage warms the skin and opens up the blood vessels, thereby increasing blood flow. The blood flow to the hair follicles stimulates hair growth, as the blood carries a handful of nutrients such as protein, iron, vitamin C, omega-3s, vitamin A, zinc, selenium, biotin (a type of vitamin B) and more, that are important for hair growth.

The increased circulation ensures the strengthening of hair and also helps your hair to “breathe”. The most important function of the blood is carrying the much-needed oxygen throughout the body, and the same principle works for hair also. As your hair follicles are made up of hyperactive stem cells, they just require that extra flow of oxygen to enhance hair growth.

Generally, there are two massage techniques that stimulate hair growth.

  1. Massage your scalp with your fingers, gently pulling your hair in the process. While performing this massage technique, ensure that you feel only a gentle tension in your hair and do not cause breakage.

  2. Another massaging method is the tapping technique. This technique is considered to be more effective if you perform this massage with a hair tonic containing a little alcohol or a droplet of ethereal citrus oil. Apply this mixture to your scalp and start tapping your scalp gently but in a relatively fast rhythm for a few minutes.

Scalp massage can be done either at your home or at a good salon. Massage helps prevent hair loss and makes you feel more relaxed. There are even more benefits to getting a head massage. It

  • Helps in relieving tension headaches, stress and sinus problems

  • Relieves pain from spondylitis or other kinds of neck pain

  • Increases blood circulation to the scalp

  • Relieves stress

  • Enables better sleep

When Should You Do Scalp Massage?

There is no fixed time for massaging your scalp; it depends entirely upon your convenience. Generally, you can perform scalp massages:

  • On wash days while you’re shampooing in the shower or when your hair is dry pre-shampoo

  • In your leisure time in the evening like when you’re watching TV

  • Before going to bed

  • In the morning, before you style your hair

Whenever you are doing it, make sure you massage at least for three to five minutes a day with both your hands so that you cover a larger surface area.

How to Do Scalp Massage for Hair Growth

Keep in mind that a gentle fingertip massage is enough to stimulate blood flow that promotes the hair growth. Your hair can be either wet or dry when massaging but it should be detangled. If your hair is wet, massage gently as wet hair is more prone to breakage. To start massaging, you should:

  • Start from the edges of the hairline and work your way in toward the crown

  • Keeping your two fingers flat on your scalp (avoid using your nails to minimize hair damage) and with your fingertips, extend and retract fingers several times, making a ‘V’ or ‘check mark’ symbol on the scalp.

  • Gently move your two fingers around, massaging slowly in a circular motion, covering all parts of the scalp. Do this gently but continuously for at least 3-5 minutes, at least once a day.

  • After one round of massage, you can incorporate hair oils or other natural ingredients that promote hair growth. When using oils for massaging, use a scalp massaging brush. Once you complete your massage with oils, you can leave it overnight and wash your hair in the morning; or you can wrap your head in a warm towel and leave it for around ten minutes and then wash off with a shampoo.

Even though there is no need to use any serums or oils for scalp massaging, you can boost hair growth by including some hair oils or essential oils such as coconut oil, almond oil, olive oil, castor oil, amla oil or lavender. These nourishing oils can condition the scalp, hair root, and hair shaft, thereby reducing factors such as dandruff and dry scalp that affect hair growth. Regular massage for hair loss involving oils can reduce the chances of the hair strands becoming brittle, split, and broken.

Ingredients That Can Be Used Alone or Together for Scalp Massages

You can massage your scalp with hair masks that have natural ingredients such as aloe vera, fenugreek seeds and so on. Natural ingredients have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, and exfoliating properties that can help maintain a healthy scalp and promote hair growth. Or, you can combine hair oils together as in the following.

  • Olive oil and coconut oil will help your hair stay strong and shiny. If you add a few drops of rosemary essential oil, it can control and prevent hair loss

  • Chamomile or tea tree oil can be used to massage your head as it can soothe your skin, especially if you have dry and itchy scalp

  • Castor oil and almond oil can promote hair growth

  • Peppermint oil acts as a natural cleanser and improves blood circulation in the scalp

  • Cinnamon added to hair massage oils is a very effective combination loaded with antioxidant and anti-fungal properties

  • By massaging using a mixture of cinnamon, gingko and liquorice in water for five minutes, hair loss can be effectively reduced.

  • Another highly effective natural ingredient that prevents hair loss is fenugreek. Apply the mask of soaked, ground fenugreek mixture on your hair, and keep it for 40 minutes. Then lightly massage with the mask and wash off. Fenugreek enhances hair growth and helps rebuild hair follicles.

  • Regular use of rosemary oil for massaging ensures hair growth with healthy, strong, non-greasy hair.

  • A solution of 2 tablespoons each of honey and onion juice can be prepared and used to massage the scalp. Allow it to sit for 30 minutes and wash off with a shampoo. This is an excellent remedy to stop hair loss.

If these remedies are not effective and you still experience significant hair loss, then consult a doctor. If you are experiencing rapid hair loss, it could be a sign of an underlying medical condition which would need medical management.

A head massage is an effective stress-reliever, and if stress hormones are reduced, it would help the body function more efficiently, and also improve the ability of the hair follicles to grow strong and healthy hair.

While it isn’t a replacement for regular medical care, studies point out that massages are very beneficial for many issues like anxiety, muscular pain, joint pains, headaches and even insomnia related to stress. Besides these, sensual massages have been used for centuries around the world as a tool for stimulation and relaxation.

So rub on!

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