No matter how old you are, keeping your hair healthy and lustrous is always on your mind. Healthy hair can have an impact on your self-image and general sense of well-being. But if you are experiencing constant hair loss, what could the solution be?
Some believe rubbing nails can help boost hair growth. How effective can this simple exercise be? Does it have any side effects? Here, we understand if rubbing nails for hair growth can be effective – and if you should consider it at all. Keep reading.
In This Article
Nail Rubbing For Hair Growth – Any Evidence?
Mainstream medicine does not have any evidence linking nail rubbing with hair growth. But alternative treatments like acupuncture, ayurveda, homeopathy, and naturopathy tend to support the claims.
Nail rubbing, also called balayam, seems to be an ancient yoga practice focused on promoting hair strength. We will understand more about it in the next section.
What Is Balayam?
Balayam is a part of yoga. Similar to how the various yoga poses enrich the body, balayam is thought to enrich the hair.
Balayam is focused on hair health. It gets the name from two separate words – bal, which means hair, and vyayam, which means exercise.
It is an activity that targets the hair follicles. Proponents claim that it helps reduce hair loss, graying, and thinning.
How To Perform Balayam?
Unlike other yoga poses that require you to involve your legs or the body, balayam uses only your fingers. Here is how you can practice it:
- Stand or sit straight.
- Keep both your hands at your chest level. Shape them as loose half-fists, with the curled fingers facing each other. Keep both the thumbs upright and out of the way.
- Bring your hands together such that the nails of the two hands touch.
- Rub the nails against each other, back and forth. Continue for 5 to 10 minutes.
Proponents claim that performing balayam every day can give desirable results. But, as discussed, evidence is lacking. How, then, is balayam thought to promote hair growth?
How Is Balayam Thought To Help?
Rubbing nails with enough pressure is thought to activate the nerves on the nail beds and stimulate blood circulation. However, practice caution. Excessive rubbing can potentially damage nails and cause more harm than good.
Although there is no scientific evidence supporting the practice of balayam in maintaining hair health, ayurveda seems to have an explanation. According to ayurveda, nails and hair are waste products of the metabolic activities that form the skeletal system. The universal life force manifests in everybody as three doshas – vata, pitta, and kapha. Although present in everyone, the percentage of each dosha differs from person to person.
It is speculated that an excess of one dosha over others leads to an imbalance in the body that impacts the skeletal system, including the nails and hair.
With yoga in general and balayam in particular, there is a possibility of stabilizing the doshas to promote hair health.
The hair-promoting effects of balayam have also been attributed to acupuncture.
Acupuncture And Hair Growth
Acupuncture is a complementary medical science that deals with various pressure points related to the nervous system. The reflexology principles of acupuncture may help relieve bodily stress and potentially reduce the resultant hair loss.
In acupuncture, pressing specific points in the feet or hands relaxes the body’s nerves. Some believe this act can calm down the signals in the body that cause hair fall or graying. Also, acupuncture is said to bring balance to the body’s internal organs and cause them to function at their best.
Therefore, it is assumed that rubbing nails trigger those nerves that boost blood flow to the scalp. This increased blood flow is thought to stimulate hair growth.
Though balayam is a relatively safe yoga procedure, certain individuals are often suggested to avoid it.
Who Should Avoid Balayam?
Certain people are discouraged from performing balayam. However, there is no scientific research to support these statements. They are merely based on anecdotal evidence.
- Pregnant ladies: Rubbing nails together as one performs balayam may cause uterine contractions. This may be harmful during pregnancy.
- Individuals with hypertension: Balayam involves rubbing nails rapidly to stimulate the nerves. Those with hypertension (high blood pressure) are thought to face issues.
- Individuals with nail ailments: People who have weak nails or are dealing with nail ailments must refrain from performing balayam. Rubbing nails together might aggravate the condition and cause pain.
In some individuals, balayam is also thought to increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, or kidney failure. However, there is no research to support this statement.
Balayam does not involve the rubbing of thumbnails. Rubbing thumbnails is believed to stimulate the growth of facial hair – something that may not be desirable for women.
When Can You See Results?
Given the lack of research, there is no definitive timeline for results. Proponents of balayam claim an individual, with regular practice, may see results in two to six months.
Most people who practice balayam also tend to follow other natural remedies and ingredients to promote hair health. More often than not, balayam, in combination with these remedies, may enhance hair strength and shine.
Precautions To Be Followed
Balayam is generally safe. However, certain factors are to be kept in mind.
Do not rub your nails vigorously. Doing so can cause your nails to lose their luster and even lead to pain in the nail beds.
Also, moderation is key. Do balayam only for 5 to 10 minutes regularly. Do not go overboard. Start slow and steady.
Other than anecdotal references, there is no scientific research backing the hair growth-promoting effects of balayam.
However, balayam does not need any special equipment. It causes no physical strain and is relatively harmless. You may still go ahead and adopt it, but do keep the precautions in mind.
On top of this yoga practice, you also must fix your diet, reduce stress, exercise regularly, and get enough rest to boost your hair health. Your doctor should be able to give you more clarity on this.
Frequently Asked Questions
I am over 40 years old. Can I do balayam?
Yes, you can. There is no age restriction with respect to balayam.
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