Can a scalp massage help improve hair growth or at least reduce the rate of hair loss?
This has been debated for many decades but many experts now believe that there is evidence that massages and hair loss reduction ARE linked.
Many hair care professionals have for decades lightly massaged the scalp when shampooing. They’ll usually use the tips of their fingers though some may use a massaging device.
You can do it yourself of course but the key message here is – go gently! In fact, some experts recommend perhaps up to 5 gentle massages each day for a few minutes each time and no, this doesn’t have to include washing the hair. Others will say that’s excessive and once a day is sufficient – ask your local hair care expert for their advice.
Some people will use an oil (there are many on the market) but many do not. That’s often just a case of personal preferences. However, if you do decide to use oils, remember to try a tiny drop of the oil on a patch of your skin first to check for allergies.
How it works
Although there have now been studies that appear to support the benefits of a massage as an aid to hair thickness, the exact mechanisms aren’t known.
It’s presumed that:
- massage helps to stretch the cellular walls of the hair follicles and that aids the delivery of nutrients to them as well as meaning they can absorb more;
- it may help to dilate (open) the blood vessels, which increases flows aiding a healthy scalp.
It’s also fun and relaxing, which is why getting a professional or a partner who has been briefed to help is even better.
Does it always work?
In many cases it does. That can mean visibly increasing hair thickness or reducing the rate of hair loss.
However, in some cases where hair thinning is happening as a result of an underlying health condition, such as a nutritional deficiency, massages probably won’t help with hair loss. That’s why it’s essential to get a check by a hair care expert.
Can it do any harm?
There are absolutely no known negative effects of a scalp massage. Contrary to some wild mythology, no, it cannot cause hair loss either!
However, sometimes problems may arise for secondary reasons, including things such as:
- using a massage oil without checking its effects on your skin first. That may rarely lead to an allergic reaction and irritation of your scalp but that is nothing to do with the massage as such;
- some people massage their scalp far too vigorously and that can weaken hair. However, this is very rare because most people do not make this mistake. Remember to be gentle and only use your fingertips and if you’re in any doubt, ask a hair care specialist to show you the correct technique.
If you’re experiencing hair loss, it would be a better idea for you to consult with hair care professionals who have the right techniques and products that suit your hair. Simply doing scalp massages on your own or by hair stylists or barbers might not be enough to give your hair the boost it needs to reduce hair loss and promote hair regrowth.
At IHLS au, we do a FREE Scalp Assessment (valued at $250) to determine what works best for your scalp. You can book this in by simply going to https://www.ihlsau.com.au/about-us/#book-now