Can A Head Massage Help Stop Hair Loss?

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