Scalp massage is often promoted as a means of encouraging hair growth. Does it work?
What could be more relaxing than a soothing scalp massage? While there’s little doubt that a relaxing scalp massage has therapeutic benefits, some people are using this technique in hopes of stopping hair loss and promoting faster hair growth. Does scalp massage for hair growth really work?
How Is Scalp Massage for Hair Health Carried Out?
Massage oil is usually applied to moisturize and lubricate the scalp. The balls of the fingers are then used to knead the nape of the neck and the entire scalp for anywhere from five minutes to thirty minutes. The lucky recipient of the massage may experience a scalp tingling sensation along with a deep sense of relaxation during the process.
What Are the Benefits of Scalp Massage for Hair Health?
The massage oil used during the scalp massage helps to lubricate the scalp which may be beneficial for dry hair and scalp. In addition, the kneading motions used in the massage treatment can be quite relaxing because of the many nerve endings located in the scalp. It’s thought that massage may lower blood pressure and cause release of “feel good” hormones known as endorphins which help to elevate the mood.
Does Scalp Massage Help With Hair Growth?
Unfortunately, there’s no evidence that scalp massage works for treatment of thinning or slow growing hair. Although the kneading motions of the massage may stimulate blood flow to the scalp and help to nourish it, its effect on hair growth has never been proven. Because scalp massage helps to reduce stress, it could have some effect on the rate of hair growth by reducing levels of stress hormones such as cortisol. Stress and elevated cortisol levels have been associated with hair loss in some people. This probably holds true only for people who are stressed in the first place.
Other Causes of Thinning Hair?
If hair thinning or slow hair growth is a problem, other causes should be ruled out such as thyroid disease, diabetes, or a hormone imbalance. It’s not uncommon to experience thinning hair during menopause as hormone levels fluctuate. Even certain medications can cause thinning hair. If hair loss or hair thinning is a significant problem, blood work may be needed to rule out underlying medical problems. Hair loss can also be related to nutritional deficiencies and inadequate protein levels in the diet, as well as not consuming enough calories.
The bottom line? While scalp massage may be beneficial for stress reduction, it’s probably not the answer to thinning or slow growing hair.