For a thick, bright and healthy hair, a few gestures are often enough, but beneficial. An example? The scalp massage, which you can practice only with your fingers or with oils, for the well-being of the hair but also of mind and body. Here's how to practice this massage and what the science says in support of this enjoyable treatment.
Scalp massage, properties proven by scientific studies
Massaging the scalp helps make the skin more elastic, improves blood flow to the hair follicles and even increases the thickness of the hair, which appears less fragile. It has been observed that practicing scalp massage every day for only 4 minutes allowed, within the first month of treatment, to increase the thickness of the hair, thus making it even stronger (Koyama et al, Eplasty, 2016). And that's not all. This experiment was carried out on people who did not have baldness, but another research was instead concerned with analyzing the effects of a scalp massage on people with androgenetic alopecia, the most common form of hair loss in men. Well, it turned out that dedicating yourself to this type of massage for 15-20 minutes every day has brought interesting benefits after about 7 months. In particular, study participants reported an improvement in their alopecia, both as a decrease in hair loss and as an increase in hair growth. In fact, it seems that scalp massage is able to stimulate the anagen phase of the hair, namely the initial growth phase (English et al, Dermatol Ther, 2019). But the scalp massage has not only beneficial effects on hair health. In fact, a study found that a 15-25 minute scalp massage performed twice a week for 2 months has beneficial effects even on the body in case of stress. In particular, this treatment reduces the activation of the sympathetic nervous system, the part of the nervous system responsible for preparing us for action, and increases that of the parasympathetic nervous system, which instead induces rest, reducing the release of the hormones cortisol and norepinephrine, which are hormones that the body produces in response to great stress. Not only that, these massage sessions also led to lower blood pressure (Kim et al, J Phys The Sci, 2016).
Scalp massage, how to do it
You can perform a scalp massage simply by using your fingers, at any time of the day. Apply a little pressure on the skin and massage it by drawing small circles and trying to cover the whole area of the head.
Alternatively, when you have time, you can combine a scalp massage with a real beauty treatment using plant and essential oils as well. For example, you can try using coconut oil. A very recent study published in the prestigious journal Nature noted that scalp massages performed with coconut oil allowed to normalize the skin microbiome, favoring the development of good bacteria associated with a reduction in inflammation and a strengthening of the skin barrier. Not only that, this treatment has also brought improvements in the case of dandruff (Saxena et al, Nature, 2021). Melt 3 tablespoons of coconut oil in a double boiler, then remove from the heat and let the oil cool down a bit. You can use it pure or add essential oils, such as lavender oil that stimulates hair growth (Lee et al, Toxicol Res, 2016). Use this lotion to perform scalp massages, pressing lightly with your fingers on the moistened skin.
Then rinse with shampoo.