Gua Sha For Hair Growth? Yes, It Works: 3 Expert Tips You Should Know
There are so many factors that contribute to hair loss, and thus, so many routes to take for prevention. But no matter what else you’re using, be it serums or supplements, know that scalp massage is a worthy addition to your regimen.
In fact, research has shown that just four minutes of this relaxing activity can improve hair thickness1. Plus, it’s a major stress reliever (and stress can totally exacerbate hair loss!). Below, one routine to consider from esthetician Britta McCrae.
A 3-step scalp massage routine
This routine uses a scalp gua sha comb, but you can also use a regular gua sha or your fingers. The goal is to find something with both a flat and rounded edge. Avoid super pointy items, as you don’t want to scratch the skin on your scalp. Now, onto the routine:
Release the neck and shoulders
“Whether your goal is tension relief, hair growth, or both—releasing tension in the neck and shoulders will benefit your goal,” McCrae says. Other than triggering the actual muscle release, this will eliminate any circulation restrictions, which is essential for optimizing the scalp massage.
McCrae uses the Wildling Empress Gua Sha Stimulating Scalp Comb, which has multiple sides serving different functions—a U-shaped edge to glide up the spine, a flat edge to release tension at the base of the skull, and a pronged stone comb for the hairline.
Lift the temples
Next, lay your gua sha, gua sha comb, or your own fingers flat against the temple with the comb edges (or your nails) pointing toward the outer corner of your eye. Make sure the tool covers a good portion of your temples.
“Gently press in, and give a little lift up and back, like a mini face lift,” McCrae says. This should feel good, but it may be a little bit tender if your muscles are tense. Perform a little wiggle movement and work your way to the hairline and beyond, but be careful not to pull on your hair.
Repeat this step on both sides for a few minutes or until you’re ready to move onto the next step.
Finish with a stimulating zig-zag massage
“Using the comb edge perpendicular to the head, begin performing a light and quick back-and-forth zig-zag,” McCrae says. If you’re using your fingers or a regular gua sha, make sure you have the pointed edge resting on your scalp. Avoid digging your fingernails into the scalp, relying on your fingertips instead.
“Start above the ear, working the side of the head, and down to the base of the skull in an arc,” she explains. Repeat this step section by section until you’ve covered the whole scalp. If you have a section that’s naturally thinner, feel free to spend a few extra moments there.
“The pressure is light and the speed is quick, creating an uplifting, invigorating sensation, as many pressure points and meridians are stimulated and blood flow to the scalp is increased,” McCrae notes.
See, the benefits of scalp massage are multi-pronged: The physical stimulation helps encourage hair growth (especially when you do it often), and it relaxes you in the moment.
Scalp massage is a great way to encourage hair growth and unwind after a long day. There are many different routes to take and tools to use, but you can always use your fingers to stimulate the scalp in whatever way feels best for you. More on the benefits of scalp massage here, if you'd like to dive even deeper.
Hannah Frye is the Assistant Beauty & Health Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.S. in journalism and a minor in women’s, gender, and queer studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Hannah has written across lifestyle sections including skin care, women’s health, mental health, sustainability, social media trends, and more. She previously interned for Almost 30, a top-rated health and wellness podcast. In her current role, Hannah reports on the latest beauty trends and innovations, women’s health research, brain health news, and plenty more.