Nail Rubbing For Hair Growth

Understand the logic behind this ancient technique and how it may support your hair health.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Meena Konada, MBBS, DDVL Dr. Meena Konada Dr. Meena KonadaMBBS, DDVL facebook_icontwitter_iconlinkedin_iconinsta_icon
Written by , BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Arshiya Syeda BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma linkedin_icon Experience: 7 years
Edited by , MA (English Literature) Ramona Sinha MA (English Literature) linkedin_icon Experience: 11 years
Fact-checked by , Integrated MA Medha Deb Integrated MA linkedin_icon Experience: 5 years
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In a world where scalp popping is going viral, it’s no surprise that people are jumping on other crazy trends to achieve healthy and glossy tresses. One such popular trend is nail rubbing for hair growth.

Certain people, magazines, and blogs claim that rubbing your nails can stimulate healthy hair growth. But is there any truth to this exercise, or is it merely fiction? Everything you need to know about nail rubbing and its connection to hair growth is right here. Keep reading to know more.

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 naturopathyi  An alternative treatment that focuses on non-invasive and self-healing techniques to heal the body and mind. 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  hair thinning.

How To Perform Balayam?

A person performing balayam for hair growth
Image: Shutterstock

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:

  1. Stand or sit straight.
  2. 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.
  3. Bring your hands together such that the nails of the two hands touch.
  4. 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 doshasi  Types of substances present in a person’s body that are responsible for their physical, emotional, and mental health. – 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 for hair growth
Image: Shutterstock

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 aid in hair loss prevention.

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 play a part in hair growth stimulation.

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.
A pregnant woman
Image: Shutterstock
  • Individuals with hypertension: Balayam involves rubbing nails rapidly to stimulate the nerves. Those with hypertension (high blood pressure) are thought to face issues.
A person measuring blood pressure
Image: Shutterstock
  • 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.
A person with nail ailments
Image: Shutterstock

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.

protip_icon Quick Tip
People who have undergone surgery recently should not do Balayam as it may harm their health.

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.

protip_icon Quick Tip
While doing Balayam, ensure you move both your hands to rub the nails for effective results.

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.

Infographic: How To Practice Nail Rubbing To Boost Hair Growth

As discussed earlier, nail rubbing (or balayam) is an ancient yoga technique for inducing hair growth and improving hair strength. Although it is not medically proven, anecdotal evidence suggests that this practice can prevent premature thinning and graying of the hair by stimulating the nervous system and blood circulation. To understand how to perform nail rubbing step by step, take a look at the infographic below.

how to practice nail rubbing to boost hair growth (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Nail rubbing (balayam), according to alternative treatments like Ayurvedai  An alternative therapy originating in India that focuses on a natural approach to physical and mental health. and acupuncture, is said to help improve hair growth by targeting the hair follicles. This traditional practice is believed to activate the nerves and improve blood circulation to the scalp and, subsequently, hair follicles. According to acupuncture, nail rubbing can help relieve stress and reduce hair loss. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that pregnant women, hypertensive individuals, and those with nail ailments must avoid nail rubbing for hair growth. Remember, balayam does not recommend rubbing thumbnails as it is believed to stimulate facial hair growth. So, take note of these things and safely incorporate nail rubbing in your hair care routine.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I perform nail rubbing with any type of oil?

Yes, you can perform nail rubbing with popular oils such as olive oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, almond oil, etc.

Can I apply nail rubbing on all hair types, including colored or chemically treated hair?

Yes, even if there is no scientific evidence to support the benefits of nail rubbing on hair development, you can give it a try to activate your acupuncture points and promote hair growth on all types of hair.

Are there any underlying scalp conditions that would make nail rubbing unsuitable?

Possibly not. There is a lack of scientific evidence and anecdotal reports that claim certain scalp conditions may aggravate if you rub your nails.

Key Takeaways

  • According to Ayurveda, nail rubbing (also known as balayam) supports hair growth.
  • This practice is done by rubbing your nails back and forth for 5-10 minutes.
  • It activates the nerves on the nail bed and promotes blood circulation.
  • The results are generally seen in 2-6 months with regular practice.

Discover the truth behind the popular practice of rubbing nails for hair growth! Watch this informative video to understand the benefits and science behind this technique.

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Dr. Meena Konada
Dr. Meena Konada is a board-certified dermatologist with 9 years of experience. She is a public health nutrition graduate from New Jersey, USA. She specializes in aesthetics and trichology and is a practicing consultant in one of the internationally renowned skin clinics in Hyderabad, India.

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Arshiya Syeda
Arshiya SyedaSenior Editor
Arshiya Syeda is a senior editor at StyleCraze with 7 years of experience. Prior to that, she was a content writer and combined her writing and research skills to write over 200 high-performing articles on hairstyles, hair care, and skin care.

Read full bio of Arshiya Syeda
Ramona is an editor at StyleCraze with 11 years of experience in writing and editing. She has authored over 200 articles on skin and hair care. She graduated from the University of Calcutta, West Bengal, and did her post-graduation from the University of Kalyani, West Bengal.

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Medha Deb
Medha DebCommerce Editor
Medha Deb is a commerce editor with a master's degree in applied linguistics from the University of Hyderabad, which has allowed her to develop a deep understanding of language and its application in various contexts. She specializes in the areas of beauty, health, and wellness and is committed to ensuring that the content on the website is of the highest quality.

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