An occasional head massage feels like the perfect solution to a headache or stress. Head massages work on the head, including the forehead and nape. It enhances blood circulation to the muscles on the head, which relaxes the mind.
But did you know that a scalp massage can work wonders for your hair follicles and hair growth?
Does Scalp Massage Help to Promote Hair Growth?
Yes, therapeutic scalp massages improve hair growth by bringing more blood to the scalp. You can add essential oils such as rosemary, lavender, thyme, and cedar wood to a carrier oil such as olive oil, jojoba oil, or coconut oil to improve hair growth and also relieve headaches. (1)
Moreover, scalp massages encourage blood flow to the head with extra oxygen and nutrients, which is helpful for people with chronic headaches as tension restricts adequate blood flow to those areas in the head.
A small study in 2016 on the benefits of scalp massages demonstrated that people are turning to regular scalp massages and hair care supplements for better hair growth. (2)
Scalp massage provides a relaxing effect, augments blood flow, and softens the skin. Thus, many people include scalp massage in their hair care routine to achieve improved hair growth.
Benefits of Scalp Massage
Here are some benefits of massaging your scalp.
1. Reduces stress hormones
Undesired stress from doing daily tasks can negatively affect the mind and body. Scalp massages are an easy and safe stress-relief therapy.
Massages are the oldest method that helps in resolving mental as well as body fatigue. It is good in a sense for overall well-being.
Recent research studies concluded that 10–20 minutes of scalp massage a day is optimum for relieving stress. Scalp massage influences the release of stress hormones (epinephrine and norepinephrine) that stimulate the sympathetic nerves, resulting in increased blood circulation in the entire body. (3)
2. Controls hair loss
Several studies have found that scalp massage increases hair thickness and hair regrowth and reduces hair fall.
When performing scalp massage, the scalp is stretched and stimulated. This helps in augmenting blood circulation on the scalp, which helps reduce hair loss to a great extent.
Moreover, enhanced blood circulation stimulates the hair follicles and contributes to increased oxidization, which paves the way for sufficient hair regrowth.
In fact, medical devices such as laser therapy caps trigger hair growth by enhancing blood circulation on the scalp. Better blood circulation provides sufficient nutrients and oxygen supply to the hair follicles, which supports speedy hair growth. (2)
3. Controls dandruff
A quick scalp massage brings enough blood supply to the area and thus helps remove dandruff.
Try to give your scalp a massage once a week with lukewarm oil before using shampoo on your hair. The scalp massage helps improve blood flow to your head and thus helps achieve better hair growth while making strands strong and thick. (4)
Scalp massage with a nourishing oil is recommended for treating hair loss and conditioning the scalp, hair roots, and hair shafts. It controls the causes that can hinder hair growth, including dandruff or dry skin.
How to Massage Your Scalp
There are many ways to massage the scalp and stimulate blood flow to the hair follicles. Here are some methods you can try:
1. Standard scalp massage
- Imagine your scalp is divided into eight segments. Each section must be massaged with an equal amount of time.
- Use your fingertip pads and knuckles to make small, circular gentle motions on your head. Prevent scraping your scalp skin with fingernails, and don’t put excess pressure over it.
- Start massaging in the back or the front of the head, and work slowly and thoroughly around each segment. Make sure to cover all areas.
- Perform this fingertip massage for a minimum of 5 minutes at a time and a few times a day. (2)
2. Massage during hair washing and conditioning
- You can perform a standard scalp massage while doing everyday routine tasks, especially when you are too busy.
- You can massage your scalp while washing or conditioning your hair for 5 minutes.
3. Using scalp massage tools
- You can buy scalp massaging tools that come in handheld rubber devices or brushes. They work by exfoliating the scalp and stimulating the hair follicles, leading to improved hair growth.
- You can easily use massagers (shampoo brushes) while having a shower or on dry scalp, depending on the device.
4. Inversion method
The inversion method is used to induce blood flow to the hair follicles, which results in improved hair growth – it is done by performing handstands. It involves the use of inversion tables and keeping your head in between the legs to create a rush of blood to the scalp. This can result in faster hair growth.
There is no specific evidence that this method promotes hair growth. Still, it is one of the popular practices done by many people for hair growth.
5. Oil massage
For a more beneficial head massage, use lukewarm oil. You can use several oils such as coconut oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, brahmi oil, almond oil, bhringraj oil, Moroccan argan oil, and castor oil.
You can prepare a gentle mix of any two oils mentioned above or mix any of them with essential oils to get optimum results. The most popular essential oils known for improving blood circulation on the scalp and stimulating hair growth are rosemary and peppermint essential oils. (5)(6)
General Queries Related to Scalp Massage for Hair
Do scalp massagers help in hair growth?
Yes. Scalp massagers can massage the head quickly and increase blood flow to the area. Increased circulation brings more nutrients to the hair follicles, which results in augmented hair growth.
However, no proven studies show that these are effective in accelerating hair growth.
Is scalp massage beneficial for everyone?
Scalp massage is usually safe and can be easily practiced by anyone. However, when you suffer from inflammatory conditions such as dandruff, psoriasis, or scalp irritation, the friction during a massage can worsen the inflammation.
If you have conditions, consult your doctor before initiating massage therapy on your scalp.
Should I massage my scalp every day?
Scalp massage can be performed daily or weekly. Performing it daily for 5 minutes can offer benefits for hair growth.
What is the ideal duration of massaging the head?
Massaging your scalp improves blood circulation over the entire head. Massage your scalp for 5–10 minutes daily for at least 4–6 months to achieve desired results. (7)
A healthy scalp paves the way for good hair growth with no overgrowth of microbial colonies. This is achieved by proper blood flow to the scalp with oxygen-rich blood and adequate nutrients.
Scalp massages are excellent for relieving tension in the head, reducing stress, and promoting hair growth. It is an affordable, harmless, quick, and natural way to improve hair growth and prevent scalp problems.
- Alopecia. Mount Sinai Health System. https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/condition/alopecia.
- Koyama T, Kobayashi K, Hama T, Murakami K, Ogawa R. Standardized scalp massage results in increased hair thickness by inducing stretching forces to dermal papilla cells in the subcutaneous tissue. Eplasty. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4740347/. Published January 25, 2016.
- Kim I-H, Kim T-Y, Ko Y-W. The effect of a scalp massage on stress hormone, blood pressure, and heart rate of healthy female. Journal of physical therapy science. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5088109/. Published October 2016.
- (PDF) IJSR-International Journal of Scientific Research Harish Kumar Kl … https://www.researchgate.net/publication/316213942/.
- Oh JY, Park MA, Kim YC. Peppermint oil promotes hair growth without toxic signs. Toxicological research. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4289931/. Published December 2014.
- A; PYTMMETS. Rosemary oil vs minoxidil 2% for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia: A randomized comparative trial. Skinmed. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25842469/.
- English RS, Barazesh JM. Self-assessments of standardized scalp massages for androgenic alopecia: Survey results – dermatology and therapy. SpringerLink. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13555-019-0281-6. Published January 22, 2019.