Nour­ish Thin­ning Hair

When locks look less lus­trous, try a scalp mas­sage

Reader's Digest Asia Pacific - - Health - BY DENISE MANN

HAIR LOSS IS AN IS­SUE for both men and women. If you’re start­ing to see your strands thin­ning, con­sider scalp mas­sage to pro­mote hair growth. “A scalp mas­sage can in­crease blood flow to the scalp and to the hair fol­li­cles,” ex­plains der­ma­tol­o­gist Dr De­bra Jal­i­man.

A 2016 Ja­panese study showed that just four min­utes of scalp mas­sage a day in­creases ac­tiv­ity among genes known to pro­mote hair growth. What’s more, the male study par­tic­i­pants also noted an im­prove­ment in hair thick­ness.

“Gen­tle mas­sag­ing of the scalp can in­crease blood flow to the root of the hair, which is the only liv­ing part of the hair,” says hair restora­tion spe­cial­ist Dr Abra­ham Ar­mani. “Mas­sag­ing works by di­lat­ing the small ar­ter­ies within the scalp, in­creas­ing blood flow to the hair fol­li­cle and pro­long­ing the growth cy­cle of hair.”

Scalp mas­sage for hair loss also re­duces stress, and stress can make hair loss worse. “Mas­sage is also re­lax­ing,” says Dr Jal­i­man.

HOW TO MAS­SAGE A gen­tle fin­ger­tip mas­sage is a good jump­ing off point. “That’s enough to stim­u­late the blood flow,” says der­ma­tol­o­gist Dr Jessie Che­ung. “If you tend to hold a lot of ten­sion in your neck and scalp, you can in­crease the pres­sure grad­u­ally.” Start from the edges of the hair­line and work your way to­wards the crown, she sug­gests. “You want to stim­u­late the lym­phatic drainage as well, and that starts at the pe­riph­ery.” “Knead­ing, in par­tic­u­lar, aids with warm­ing up the skin, which helps in­crease blood flow to the scalp,” says Dr Jal­i­man. Keep in mind that sig­nif­i­cant or rapid hair loss may be a sign of an un­der­ly­ing med­i­cal con­di­tion and should be eval­u­ated by a doc­tor.

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