Thinning Hair? Doctors Recommend This At-Home Trick
When your locks start looking less lustrous, you could spend a fortune on special shampoos, masks, supplements, and high-tech treatments, or you could try this simple, free, do-it-yourself solution backed by science.
Hair loss is not just a guy’s problem. In fact, some 40 percent of people with hair loss are women. If you’re starting to see your strands thinning, consider trying this simple at-home strategy: Scalp Massage, which may promote hair growth.
How scalp massage promotes hair growth?
“A scalp massage can increase blood flow to the scalp and to the hair follicles,” explains Debra Jaliman, MD, a dermatologist in private practice on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and author of Skin Rules: Trade Secrets from a Top New York Dermatologist.
The use of nourishing oils during scalp massage for hair loss is thought to condition the scalp, hair root, and hair shaft. It reduces conditions that can interrupt the process of hair growth, including dandruff and dry skin. Regular massage for hair loss involving oils can reduce the chances of the hair strands becoming brittle, split, and broken.
A study in the January 2016 issue of ePlasty shows 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. What’s more, study participants also noted an improvement in hair thickness. “Gentle massaging of the scalp can increase blood flow to the hair follicle, the root of the hair, which is the only living part of the hair,” says Abraham Armani, MD, medical director of Armani Medical Hair Restoration in Dallas. “Massaging works by dilating the very small arteries within the scalp, increasing blood flow to the hair follicle and therefore prolonging the growth cycle of hair.”
Scalp massage also reduces stress?
Stress and anxiety can cause or worsen Hair Loss. Scalp massage can also help reduces stress and indirectly reduce hair loss. “Not only does the boost in blood circulation to the surface of the skin aid in delivering more nutrients, it’s also relaxing,” Dr. Jaliman says. A study in an October 2016 issue of the Journal of Physical Therapy Science backs this up. It found that twice-weekly scalp massage lowers levels of stress hormones, blood pressure and heart rate, all of which are known to be elevated during times of emotional or physical stress.
When to do scalp massage?
Scalp massage for hair growth can be done while you’re shampooing in the shower or when your hair is dry pre-shampoo. “You should aim for at least three minutes if you are working with both hands because that encompasses a large surface area,” says Jessie Cheung, MD, director of the Jessie Cheung MD Dermatology & Laser Center in Willowbrook, Illinois. Some people like to include essential oils. “Relaxing scents such as lavender, and invigorating scents such as eucalyptus or mint, will augment the circulatory boost,” Dr. Cheung says.
How to do scalp massage?
A gentle fingertip massage is a good jumping off point. “That’s enough to stimulate the blood flow,” Dr. Cheung says. “If you tend to hold a lot of tension in your neck and scalp, you can increase the pressure gradually.” Start from the edges of the hairline and work your way in toward the crown, she suggests. “You want to stimulate the lymphatic drainage as well, and that starts at the periphery.” Dr. Jaliman adds: “Kneading, in particular, aids with warming up the skin, which helps increase blood flow to the scalp.”
Keep in mind that significant or rapid hair loss may be a sign of an underlying medical condition and should be evaluated by a doctor. This is what your hair is desperately trying to tell you about your health.