How To Do Scalp Massage For Hair Growth And How Does It Work?

The ultimate cheat sheet to doing a relaxing scalp massage in the comfort of your home

Reviewed by Melissa Neubeck, Cosmetologist & Trichologist Melissa Neubeck Melissa NeubeckCosmetologist & Trichologist facebook_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MA (English Literature) Ramona Sinha MA (English Literature) linkedin_icon Experience: 11 years
Edited by , BTech Anjali Sayee BTech linkedin_icon Experience: 7 years
Fact-checked by , MA (English Literature) Swathi E MA (English Literature) linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
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There is nothing a scalp massage cannot fix, including occasional headaches, weariness, stress, and tension. However, is it effective in promoting hair growth and improving hair health? To understand that, we need to learn more about the connection between DIY scalp massage and hair growth. According to research, there may be a link between scalp massages and hair development. Keep reading to learn more about it!

How Does A Scalp Massage Work?

Woman getting her hair massaged with hair oil
Image: Shutterstock

A scalp massage is extremely relaxing. It involves applying gentle pressure on the scalp with the fingertips. A scalp massage may promote hair growth in the following ways:

  • Improves Blood Circulation

Scalp massages stimulate the skin appendagesi  Skin-associated structures usually attached to the skin, including hair, nails, sweat glands, and sebaceous glands. , blood vessels, and nerves and improve blood flow to the skin. The improved blood flow may promote hair growth. A study found that scalp massage could improve hair thickness (1).

  • Stretches The Scalp Skin

Massage stretches the scalp skin. This stretching changes the gene expression, especially in hair cycle-related genes like IL6, IL6ST, BMP4, NOGGIN, and SMAD4, and promotes hair growth. Stretching is also found to stimulate Wnt signaling (passing signals into a cell) in the hair follicles and accelerate the anagen phasei  The active growth phase of hair follicles during which the hair grows anywhere between 1 cm to 1.5 in every 28 days. (growth phase) (1).

Another survey found that scalp massages stimulated hair thickness in men with androgenic alopeciai  Gradual and permanent hair loss in both men and women due to genetic reasons that leads to baldness. . About 6.89% of the participants reported hair growth stabilization after six months of regular scalp massage (2). However, further studies and clinical trials are required to establish the effects of scalp massages.

protip_icon Did You Know?
The practice of using scalp massage has its root in Ayurveda. As per Ayurveda, the head has about 31 vital points, and massaging them boosts hair, scalp health, and overall health, making it an effective acupressure for hair growth as well.

Scalp massages have several other benefits. Let’s take a look.

Other Benefits Of A Scalp Massage

1. Relieves Stress

Woman with stress may benefit from a scalp massage
Image: Shutterstock

Turns out, a 15-minute scalp massage can reduce your stress levels. A study found that scalp massages positively affect the stress hormone levels, heart rate, and blood pressure levels (3). This relaxation massage also calms and rejuvenates your mind, thereby aiding in stress relief.

2. Softens The Skin

Massaging improves blood circulation to the skin and softens it. Moreover, the finger movement on your scalp also clears any scalp buildup. This keeps the hair follicles healthy.

Now that you have good reasons to perform scalp massages, go through the following section for the best ways to do a scalp massage at home.

How To Do A Scalp Massage At Home

1. Fingertip Scalp Massage

Massage your scalp with the fingertips. Apply a light or medium pressure and move your fingers in a circular motion. Cover the entire scalp. Do it for five minutes every day.

2. Oil Massage

Mix 2-3 drops of any of the essential oils for scalp (like tea tree and peppermint oils) and a tablespoon of any carrier oil (like coconut, jojoba, sweet almond oils). Warm the mixture and massage it onto your scalp with your fingertips. Start from the middle and slowly cover the entire scalp in a circular motion.

3. Use A Scalp Massage Brush

Woman using a scalp massage brush
Image: Shutterstock

Scalp scrubbers or scalp massaging brushes have multiple benefits. These handheld brushes scrub your head, exfoliate the dead skin cells, scrape product buildup, improve blood circulation, support scalp stimulation and scalp detox, increase hair strength, and even stimulate hair follicles. Use one during shampooing to clear all dirt and buildup and promote proper scalp exfoliation and relaxation.

Adam Fields, a YouTuber, shared his experience of having a scalp massage for hair regrowth in his video. He began massaging his head daily, sharing, “I started working it right, using my fingers to push together, feeling adhesions (i).” He shared his joy in rubbing and stimulating his scalp with a scalp massager, which promoted a sense of rejuvenation. Adam mentioned a study from Japan that supported the benefits of standardized scalp massage that helped increase hair thickness.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Proper head massage and hair growth techniques can stimulate the pressure points around the forehead and temples. This works wonderfully to relieve eye strain from excess screen time.

Now, let’s take a look at a few important questions that you may have.

When To Do A Scalp Massage

Woman giving herself a scalp massage
Image: Shutterstock

You may do a scalp massage at your convenience. If you are using oils, do it at least an hour before shampooing or before bedtime. However, remember to cover your head before hitting the bed.

Do I Need Special Scalp Massage Tools?

It is not necessary. Your fingers are enough to exert pressure and stimulate the nerves, skin layers, and blood vessels. However, you may also use scalp brushes, scalp massagers and other massage tools for hair growth.

Does An Inverted Scalp Massage Help?

Woman relaxes during a deep massage treatment
Image: Shutterstock

There is no scientific proof that an inverted scalp massage or the inversion method can boost hair growth. However, massage may boost blood circulation, which, in turn, may promote hair growth. Learn more about the inversion method.

Infographic: Mistakes To Avoid While Massaging The Scalp

Scalp massages improve blood circulation, promote hair growth, help relieve stress, and soften skin. However, you will not see the desired results if you do not know how to do a proper scalp massage. The tips discussed below will help you avoid some common mistakes. Check out the infographic to learn some tips for massaging the scalp.

mistakes to avoid while massaging the scalp (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

A scalp massage is indeed considered a therapeutic massage but it is not just a relaxing way to soothe the tension in your neck and scalp. It also stimulates blood flow, sends nutrients and oxygen to the scalp, replenishes hair follicles, and helps in hair rejuvenation. Not to mention, scalp massages may even promote hair growth. But, it is important to note that using a scalp deep tissue massage for hair growth is at a relatively nascent stage and requires more in-depth research. If you have tried other hair care remedies, along with Ayurvedic scalp massage, and still noticed no change in your hair loss, you may need to consult a doctor as it could be an underlying medical issue.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should you massage your scalp?

Massage the scalp every day for 15 minutes.

Does scalp massage damage hair?

Massaging your scalp vigorously for too long can damage your hair follicles and cause further breakage. Ensure that you massage your scalp gently in circular motions to avoid any damage.

How long does it take to see results from a scalp massage?

It takes approximately 24 weeks to see results from a scalp massage. You will see increased hair thickness in this duration (1).

Can you overdo scalp massage?

Yes you can, and you shouldn’t. It is not advisable to overdo scalp massage as it may make your hair too greasy by stimulating the excess production of sebum. Also it may lead to hair fall if you do not cleanse your hair regularly due to excess oil build up on the scalp.

Why does my scalp hurt when I massage it?

The scalp may hurt during scalp massage for various reasons. It may be due to an infection of the hair follicles, hairstyles that pull the hair tightly, a head injury or even due to scalp pimples. It is always advisable to stop massaging the scalp if there is persistent pain and get the actual reason diagnosed.

Can scalp massage help with dandruff and other scalp conditions?

Anecdotal evidence suggests that scalp massage may help in the management of dandruff and other scalp conditions, like seborrheic dermatitis, possibly as a result of increased blood circulation to the scalp.

Key Takeaways

  • Hair growth is stimulated by head massages, which increase blood flow to the scalp and hair follicles.
  • The thickness of hair in men is considered to be stimulated by oil head massages.
  • Fingertip scalp massage can be relaxing and may also promote hair growth as it involves applying gentle pressure on the scalp with the fingertips.
  • A scalp massage brush may help exfoliate dead skin cells, remove product buildup, and improve blood circulation.
scalp massage for hair growth

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Melissa Neubeck

Melissa NeubeckCosmetologist & Trichologist

Melissa, a practicing cosmetologist of 30 years and successful color and makeover specialist, has connected the worlds of hairstyling and hair loss together by becoming a certified trichologist and holistic practitioner. Using proper protocols, products, and lifestyle changes, Melissa addresses every type of hair concern, from cuts, colors, thinning, scalp issues, wigs, replacement, and hair donation and fitting for Wigs For Kids.

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