Can A Head Massage Help Stop Hair Loss?
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Traditional medicine forms like Ayurveda attach a lot of importance to sirobhyanga or head massage. Since we hold a lot up in our heads (in more ways than one), a head massage performed by a qualified professional can help nourish and boost all of our senses. It can also improve circulation and even help stop hair loss and promote hair growth. Using specific herbal oils can be even more effective in the saving of our luscious locks.
Getting a head massage may be the best part of going to the salon – and for good reason. Not only is a good head rub relaxing, it can also alleviate nagging ailments like tension headaches, stress, and chronic sinusitis, and even set you up for a good night’s sleep.1 Traditional medicine forms like Ayurveda attach a lot of importance to sirobhyanga or head massage. Since we hold a lot up in our heads (in more ways than one), a head massage performed by a qualified professional can help nourish and boost all of our senses.2
But can a head massage keep your luscious locks intact, too? Experts think so. To prevent hair loss, you’ll have to address the root of the problem first – be it hormonal imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, lifestyle, or haircare-related factors. But a good head massage, which includes “rubbing, kneading and applying pressure to the skin of the scalp with the fingers and hands,” can be a good complement in protecting your hair.3 It can strengthen the roots of the hair and condition the scalp, making hair less susceptible to breakage. By nourishing and preserving the hair already present, a massage can help reduce the intensity of hair loss.4
A head massage can help address poor scalp circulation, which may be a factor in hair loss. A thorough head rubbing can warm the skin on the scalp, open up blood vessels, and help blood flow to the head and scalp. Hair follicles will be able to get more nutrients from the blood, causing a reduction in hair loss.5 One case study found that a combination of head massages and relaxation techniques helped tremendously in hair loss related to autoimmune conditions. The subject not only showed a reduction in hair loss in three months of treatment but even reported new hair growth within another four months.6
The role of mental stress in hair loss is still hotly debated by the medical community, but most practitioners believe that extreme stress can cause physiological reactions in the body and lead to hair loss conditions like alopecia areata and telogen effluvium. A head massage can be an incredibly effective stress-reliever. Overall, reduced stress hormones will help the body function more efficiently, improving the ability of the hair follicles to grow and preserve hair.7
Making the Most of Your Head Massage
A head massage can be made even better by using oils you most likely have on hand, as well as oils infused with specific herbs. Here are some combinations to try.
- Massaging your head with olive or coconut oil can help make your hair strong and lustrous.8
- Olive or coconut oil infused with rosemary can also control and prevent hair loss.9
- A study by Hay and Ormerod found that participants with alopecia areata showed considerable improvement after receiving a regular head massage with essential oils like rosemary, thyme, lavender, and cedarwood.10
- With its antioxidant and anti-fungal properties, cinnamon can be an effective addition to head massage oils.11
- An infusion of equal parts cinnamon, ginkgo, and licorice in water can be massaged into the scalp for five minutes and then rinsed off to reduce hair loss.12
- Massaging the scalp with egg yolks, ripe avocados, and plant butters can offer deep conditioning and prevent hair loss.13
- If you’re trying to treat severe hair loss, an Ayurvedic practitioner can help prescribe the appropriate herbal concoction – head massages with hair tonics containing herbs like bhringraj, brahmi, shikakai, and hibiscus have been used for centuries.14
References [ + ]
|1, 2, 4.||↑||Dash, V. B. Massage Therapy in Ayurveda. Concept Publishing Company. 1992.|
|3, 7.||↑||The Benefits of Scalp Massage for Hair Loss, Pacific College of Oriental Medicine.|
|5.||↑||Balch, James F., and Mark Stengler. Prescription for Natural Cures: A Self-care Guide for Treating Health Problems with Natural Remedies Including Diet, Nutrition, Supplements, and Other Holistic Methods. John Wiley & Sons, 2011.|
|6.||↑||Putt, Sharon C., Lawrence Weinstein, and Mary T. Dzindolet. “A case study: massage, relaxation, and reward for treatment of alopecia areata.” Psychological reports 74, no. 3 suppl (1994): 1315-1318.|
|8.||↑||Rayburn, Debra. Let’s Get Natural with Herbs. Ozark Mountain Publishing, 2007.|
|9, 13.||↑||Balick, Michael J. Rodale’s 21st Century Herbal: A Practical Guide for Healthy Living Using Nature’s Most Powerful Plants. Rodale. 2014.|
|10.||↑||Hay, Isabelle C., Margaret Jamieson, and Anthony D. Ormerod. “Randomized trial of aromatherapy: successful treatment for alopecia areata.” Archives of dermatology 134, no. 11 (1998): 1349-1352.|
|11.||↑||Singh, Gurdip, Sumitra Maurya, and Cesar AN Catalan. “A comparison of chemical, antioxidant and antimicrobial studies of cinnamon leaf and bark volatile oils, oleoresins and their constituents.” Food and chemical toxicology 45, no. 9 (2007): 1650-1661.|
|12.||↑||Rayburn, Debra. Let’s Get Natural with Herbs. Ozark Mountain Publishing, 2007.|
|14.||↑||Frawley, David. Ayurvedic healing: a comprehensive guide. Lotus Press, 2000.|
Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.