Scalp massage for hair loss: does it really work?
By Prof. Dr. Soner Tatlidede 2021-04-09
Does a scalp massage for hair loss work against alopecia? There is no doubt that a massage is something very pleasant and stimulating; but the question is, does it have any benefit for people suffering from pattern hair loss (inherited baldness), which are the majority of those who ask in our clinic about the cost of a hair transplant?
Many beauty centres offer massage on scalp against hair loss as an option, ensuring that this technique provides numerous benefits to hair, strengthening it and stimulating regrowth, and even preventing hair loss. But is all this true? Is scalp massage good for hair loss? We at Clinicana want to give our opinion on these treatments, and shed light on their results and their effectiveness against baldness.
What is a hair loss scalp massage?
A scalp massage against hair loss is a technique that basically consists of making small movements - usually circular - with fingertips, exerting pressure on scalp; these movements supposedly stimulate nerve endings and blood vessels, increasing – according to those who practice this technique - both blood flow and vascularisation throughout the treated area.
In addition to its relaxing effect, those who defend the benefits of scalp massages for hair loss ensure that, by improving circulation in scalp, the progression of baldness is stopped; they even say that hair massages also provide benefits to the rest of the body, eliminating toxins and strengthening the immune system.
As we can see, there are so many benefits that hair massages promise against hair loss, that it is perfectly understandable that many people are attracted by this type of "natural" and miraculous treatments, which - in addition - are usually quite expensive. But, to what extent are these hair massages reliable? Do they actually provide real results?
Can scalp massage regrow hair?
Although those who defend scalp massages to stimulate hair growth insist that their supposed benefits are supported by science, the only thing that is certain is that, so far, there is no study or scientific evidence that supports the theory on which scalp massages are based, or that has verified the results that scalp massages claim to obtain; that includes not only their benefits to strengthen hair, but also their supposed ability to make hair regrow.
Basically, the "scientific" reasoning of those who offer these massages says that hair loss is caused by a lack of blood supply to head due to age, stress, fatigue or other factors; this would tighten scalp muscles, thus decreasing its irrigation. Therefore, a hair massage would help to relax them, stimulating blood circulation and improving the arrival of nutrients to hair.
At first glance, this does not seem a nonsense explanation; the problem is that - we insist - there is no scientific evidence or study on scalp massage for hair loss supporting these claims; in fact, during a hair transplant using the modern FUE technique - the main technique used in Turkey - the follicles extracted from the donor area are implanted in areas devoid of hair: that is, in areas where hair has supposedly stopped growing... due to lack of blood supply.
According to this reasoning, once the follicles were implanted in a hair transplant, they would end up atrophying and finally dying due to lack of blood circulation; however, it is widely proven that follicles implanted during a hair implant not only do not die, but that results of a hair transplant last a lifetime.
Does scalp massage prevent hair loss?
What science does say is that hair does not fall out due to lack of blood supply (at least not in the vast majority of cases...), but mainly due to genetic and hormonal factors, which studies indicate as the main factors that influence in pattern hair loss, which is behind of 9 out of 10 men suffering from hair loss. What's more, scalp is one of the best irrigated areas of the body.
Nowadays, scientists know that the main reason why hair falls out and does not grow anymore is due to genetic inheritance; it is known that certain people have greater genetic sensitivity to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone derived from testosterone when this is combined with the 5-alpha reductase type 2 (5-AR) enzyme. If due to a genetic predisposition, a person's follicles are sensitive to the presence of DHT, they atrophy and eventually die.
This is the real cause of baldness in the vast majority of men, and also a major cause of alopecia in many women, especially after menopause. Therefore, the so-called scalp massages for hair growth cannot prevent hair from falling out (unless they are able to manipulate DNA...), and of course they cannot make hair grow back.
What treatments are really effective against alopecia?
The first thing we must do when we notice that we are losing hair, is ask help from a good specialist to determine the cause of our alopecia; there are many factors that can influence hair loss, and sometimes we can be facing temporary alopecia caused by lack of nutrients, diseases, hormonal changes, stress, etc., which normally do not produce irreversible hair loss.
On the contrary, if the expert determines that it is hereditary alopecia, the main point is to start as soon as possible a scientifically endorsed treatment capable of strengthening hair and stopping hair loss, such as the use of Finasteride or Minoxidil, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), stem cells, etc. But always under medical supervision.
If these treatments do not work, or if the alopecia is too advanced or has created areas of low density, the only solution is usually a hair transplant; unlike a scalp massage for hair loss, a hair transplant does work against alopecia and is based on scientific evidence. Clinicana is the best hair transplant clinic in Turkey, and we are experts in all hair treatments: request your free consultation now, and ask for a free, no obligation estimate.