When was the last time you went in for a massage? A deep, relaxing, spine-tingling (in a good way) massage? If you can remember that glorious feeling, hold it tight. Now, imagine it’s happening just for your scalp. As George Takei might say (you’ll definitely read this in his voice for effect): “Ohhh myyy”!
A well-done massage feels great, there’s just no two ways about it. But scalp massages are just not common enough. While that full-body massage might help you relax both body and soul, a scalp massage for hair loss is the one thing you really need in your life. The stress of work and life, in general, can make a regular massage feel necessary. But it's time to stop ignoring the hair loss which can also come with all of that stress! A scalp massage for hair loss results in faster hair growth and, quite simply put, it’s just a little slice of heaven.
Jump to the below sections:
What is a Scalp Massage?
Glad you asked. No, really. We love talking about massages in general. It helps remind us of the last time we had one! Scalp massages, simply put, are messages for your head. Most massage parlors will either completely ignore your scalp, or at the worst, won’t spend that much time there. Unless you’re getting an Indian Head Massage, don’t expect your masseuse to spend all their time running their fingers through your hair and over your scalp.
What Does a Scalp Massage Do, Anyway?
Does massaging the scalp stimulate hair growth? Yes. Yes, it does! Beyond sending you into a wonderland of bliss, scalp massages will increase blood flow to your hair follicles. In fact, all massages will increase blood flow to the massaged area of the body. But this is particularly important for hair growth, given that there are a handful of nutrients carried by your blood that your hair follicles need in order to spur hair growth. This includes things like protein, iron, vitamin C, omega-3s, vitamin A, zinc, selenium, biotin (a type of vitamin B) and more.
And let’s not forget about just letting your hair breathe. One of the most important functions of blood is carrying much-needed oxygen throughout the body. As your hair follicles are made up of hyperactive stem cells, they just love that extra flow of oxygen that helps them do what they need to do (grow your hair!).
So, Just a Massage Then?
Not quite. Getting a scalp massage for hair loss should invariably involve more than just an expertly-applied use of spirit fingers. Indeed, a set of tools should be used, including a good scalp massage brush and a healthy dose of nourishing oils. There’s a wide selection of oils you can use to nourish, invigorate and strengthen your scalp and your hair. This includes popular options such as coconut oil or olive oil, or less common, but still amazingly beneficial oils like tea tree oil or pomegranate oil. Those nourishing oils will help reduce some of the issues directly connected to slow hair growth, such as dry skin and dandruff. And for an extra bit of fun, you can have those oils worked in by hand and your handy scalp massage brush. In both cases, expect some excellent, if not just a bit messy, results.
Can A Scalp Massage Cause Hair Loss?
Fear not, faithful reader! The only risk of hair loss related to a scalp massage comes from hair that was already going to fall out anyway. Your hair has 4 growth phases, the last of which is the exogen phase. During this phase, the hair’s follicle is essentially pushing the hair out by closing up its supply to blood and pushing it closer to the surface. A fairly low percentage of your hair will be in this phase at any given time. So if a few hairs come out during an otherwise luxurious scalp massage, don’t freak out! That hair was likely about to fall out anyway.
Science always has to stick its nose into people’s business these days. Thankfully, it’s a welcome partner when it comes to the benefits of a good scalp massage. One 2016 study indicates that a scalp massage for hair loss results in thicker hair. According to the study (conducted on 9 very lucky men), the routine not only resulted in thicker hair after 24 weeks of regular hair massages but even impacted their hair follicles on a cellular level. It appears the regular hair massages changed the way their cells expressed and grew the hair. Thanks, science!
How to Massage Your Hair
Hair massage routines are pretty simple, even if you’re just doing them yourself. We suggest joining up with a friend and exchanging hair massages if you can (it just works better that way), but you can turn this into a solo act as well.
Step 1: Find a comfortable place to sit. You don't want to attempt this standing up. Not that you'll risk injury of any kind. It just won't be as easy to accomplish.
Step 2: Places your fingers on your scalp in a crisscross pattern. This is your starting position. You’ll work your way backward from here.
Step 3: Apply pressure to one spot with each finger. It’s also good to move your fingers in a slightly circular motion as you apply the pressure. Do this for about 1-2 seconds for each spot.
Step 4: Repeat the process, moving backward. Keep up the process of applying and releasing pressure, moving back down the hair line.
Step 5. Repeat the process for the sides and back of the head. It’s important that you try to cover every inch!
Step 6 (optional): Apply oils. After one round of massages, it’s a good idea to apply any oils you intend to use. Then, repeat the massaging process, now with the oils. If you’re going without oils, simply repeat the process. When using oils, do the following:
-Brush your hair out before applying oil for better coverage.
-Apply a small amount of oil to your fingertips
-Work the oil in as you perform the massaging action
-Re-apply oil to your fingertips as you make your way from front to back
-Allow the oil to and do its work for around 10 minutes.
-Wash the oil out using shampoo and conditioner.
Step 7 (optional): Use a scalp massaging brush. As with the oils, you can do this with a scalp massaging brush as well. It’s still a good idea to perform the process with your fingers only at least for one complete circuit, but a scalp massaging brush is a great option for consecutive circuits around the scalp.
For good results, spend around 4-5 minutes massaging your hair a day. In the NIH study we mentioned, this is the same routine the researchers followed for the 9 participants. Since it clearly works, we certainly wouldn’t want to argue with verified results!