Dreaming of fuller, thicker hair? While it’s tempting to spend everything you’ve got on haircare products to achieve this, there’s a more effective and affordable way to spark healthy hair growth. It takes a bit of effort and patience, but the results speak for themselves. So what’s the secret? Scalp massages. They’re all the rage right now for a reason: they work. Not only do studies show that they can promote hair growth, but massaging your scalp can also combat stress and tension. Below is all that’s known about scalp massages for hair growth and regrowth.
First thing’s first: What exactly is a scalp massage?
A scalp massage stimulates blood circulation to nerve endings, blood vessels, and muscles in the head through circular motions applied with fingers or a specialized scalp massage device. It generates a slightly euphoric sensation and feelings of well-being and relaxation. While it’s most commonly done using just the fingertips, a hand-held massaging tool called a scalp massager can also be used to mimic the gentle pressure of the fingertips.
Do scalp massages help with hair growth?
Scalp massages relax your body and mind by relieving tension and stress — even if only for a moment. But that’s not all. Regular scalp massages have been shown to promote hair growth, as well. Here are the many benefits of scalp massages, and an explanation of how they support scalp health.
They increase blood flow.
Scalp massages can combat hair loss by helping to dilate the blood vessels that sit beneath the scalp. This allows more oxygen and blood to rush through your head, delivering more nutrients to the hair follicles across your entire scalp. As a result, your strands are more likely to stay strong and grow long.
They exfoliate the skin.
Sweat, sebum (hair oil), dead skin cells, and haircare products can all lead to a dry scalp and a buildup of debris that clogs follicles and negatively impacts the growth of your mane. Scalp massages help to remove this debris, promoting the health of your scalp, and in turn, supporting the health of your hair.
They decrease stress.
In addition to boosting blood flow and exfoliating the skin, scalp massages relieve tension and promote better sleep. This feeling of calm can trigger hair growth and regrowth. How? By removing natural stressors.
When the body experiences stress, it goes into “fight or flight” mode, diverting its energy from non-essential functions like hair growth to vital functions like breathing. This can trigger hair loss (also known as alopecia). According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), this condition is extremely common, and stress is one of its most frequent triggers.
Not sure how to get your stress hormones in check and boost your overall wellness? Here are a few ideas:
- Try breathing exercises
- Do something to make yourself laugh
- Get your om on with yoga
- Hit the gym
- Take a bubble bath
- Get some vitamin D
- Listen to music
- Take your dog for a walk
What’s the best way to massage your scalp?
There are a few methods you can use to massage your scalp. For a standard scalp massage, follow these simple steps:
- Using your fingertips, apply light pressure to your scalp, moving in small circles from front to back.
- Reverse the direction. Starting from the bottom of your hairline, move in small circular motions toward the crown.
- Repeat the circular movements on the sides of your scalp.
- Give your ears some love to finish up the massage.
Pro Tip: To level up your scalp massage, use essential oils. These beneficial plant extracts are known to reduce hair fallout. promote hair growth, and control dandruff — all of which support a long, gorgeous mane.
How often should you massage your scalp?
The ideal frequency depends on why you’re doing it. To boost hair growth or thickness, twice daily is recommended. To reduce stress and promote relaxation, massage your scalp whenever you feel like it. Just be sure not to rub your scalp vigorously or with sharp fingernails that can scratch the skin, as this can do more harm than good.
Any other tips to promote hair growth?
Besides regularly massaging your scalp, here are some other things you can do to promote healthy hair:
Shampooing strips the scalp of the natural oils it needs to stay hydrated, so it’s important not to do it every day. When you do shampoo, always use a good quality conditioner, as this keeps hair nourished and strong and encourages new growth.
Use a soft brush.
Hard bristles scrape the surface of the scalp and cause irritation and inflammation, which can negatively impact hair growth. To keep your scalp healthy and happy, opt for a soft-bristled brush instead.
Trim your hair frequently.
It may seem counterintuitive, but if you want long hair that’s in tip-top shape, frequent trims are the trick. While haircuts don’t make hair grow, they remove split ends that break hair and discourage continued growth. By reducing breakage, you’re encouraging stronger, healthier strands.
Steer clear of hot tools.
A simple way to help your hair grow is by steering clear of hot tools. That said, if you can’t go without heat, decrease the temperature and use a heat protectant — otherwise, you risk damaging your locks, leading to breakage, brittleness, and frizz.
Change your diet.
It’s an often-overlooked truth: Our diets are always reflected in our appearance. As with any other part of the body, hair follicles require nourishment to thrive and foster healthy strands. That’s why foods that contain the vitamins, minerals, and proteins needed for hair growth are vital to achieving a thick, healthy mane. With this in mind, here are some healthy foods for enhanced hair growth:
- Citrus fruits
- Spinach and other dark leafy greens
- Fatty fish
- Nuts and seeds
- Sweet potatoes
Catch your Zzzs on something silky.
Silk is a million times easier on hair than cotton, so it prevents tangles and breakage. (And as mentioned earlier, the less breakage your hair experiences, the longer — and healthier — your hair will be.)
See an expert.
If you can’t get to the bottom of your thinning hair and no remedy seems to work, visit a dermatologist. They’ll review your medical history and perform a physical exam to identify the most likely causes of your hair issues and recommend treatment. Sometimes, something as simple as a vitamin deficiency is the culprit behind stunted hair growth, and this can be fixed with supplementation or diet changes.
The Final Word
It’s no secret that the key to thick, gorgeous hair starts with the scalp. By giving yourself regular scalp massages, you not only set the stage for a healthier mane, you also decrease stress and relieve tension. In other words, massaging your scalp does more than just support hair growth — it supports your overall well-being, too.
That said, while scalp massages do show promise in promoting hair growth, it’s important to keep in mind that they can’t cure hair loss. A daily scalp massage won’t hurt, but if your hair loss worsens, contact your healthcare provider, as an underlying condition could be to blame.