Healthy Blood Flow = Healthy Hair Growth!
Proper blood flow to the scalp.
You want a healthy head of hair right? Who doesn’t!
But did you know that proper blood flow to the hair roots is an important step for achieving that goal? If the blood, oxygen and nutrient supply to your hair follicle is cut of, it will die. This is how hair loss and baldness begins.
Symptoms Of Poor Blood Circulation In Scalp
- Hair loss - more than normal
- Weak, brittle hair strands
- Dull hair
- Rough, dry hair
- Hair strands become thinner
- Decrease in hair volume
As you can see from the above diagram, the blood vessels are what carry nutrients and oxygen to the hair, supporting its growth and health.
What causes poor circulation?
The most common and easily fixable cause is stress! (go figure)
Stress not only affects our minds and bodies but it tightens muscles, causes skin problems, and reduces blood flow. As a result of the muscular contraction that stress causes, tightened blood vessels constrict the capillaries that feed hair follicles and the hair roots become starved.
Another cause of reduced circulation is seborrhea of the scalp. This is a less common form of dandruff where your scalp forms greasy or crusty scales on the scalp (The most common form of dandruff is the dry, flaky type, and is not linked to hair loss).
In both these cases excess sebum (oily secretions) combines with dead cell flakes from normal sloughing, which clogs the follicles and interupts the hair growth cycle. Dry hair is often a result of this syndrome because the oily flakes clogging the follicles prevent oil from traveling down the hair shaft.
When sebum combines with excessive scalp perspiration it can form hard, crystalline follicle plugs. This causes follicle congestion and tissue hardening which inhibits nutrient flow to the hair. Apple cider vinegar and jojoba oil can be especially helpful with these types of problems.
Tightness in the neck and spine can tighten blood vessels in the head, which slows circulation and blood flow. Body massage is great way to relieve tension. Physical activity also reduces stress and increases blood flow to the head and scalp.
Many of us need to dramatically increase blood flow to the top of the head and there are several ways to do this.
One inexpensive option is the headstand. Yes. A headstand. The headstand, a well known Yoga practice, is one of the most effective methods to increase circulation.
Many professionals think this is the most important thing you can do to prevent hair loss and improve the health of your hair.
If you can’t do a full headstand (most of us can’t)
Try lying on the bed and let your head lightly hang over the side. Start by doing this a few seconds per day, then work up to two to three minutes, twice a day. Inversion techniques, with the added bonus of increasing the mental faculties by increasing blood and oxygen flow to the brain are even more effective when backed up with massage techniques.
Finger massage is another efficient way to improve blood circulation to your scalp. However, because it is essential to keep the blood circulating constantly, massaging once or twice a week won’t do much.
Ideally, scalp massage should be done at least twice a day to be beneficial. Try to include it as part of your daily hair care routine, as a way of working it into regular habit.
Place all ten fingertips firmly on the head and, without moving the fingers, push the whole scalp in a circular motion for a few seconds. Then, moving from front to back, and then back to front, place the fingers in a new position and repeat.
Cover the whole scalp, including the temples, forehead, and neck, where you may also use an upward pushing motion. Avoid rubbing the problem area, as this could break hairs at the surface and traumatize the follicles.
An alternative is the flat handed scalp massage which includes placing the palm of the hand against the scalp and rotating. It will loosen the tightness of the scalp, relaxing without damaging any hair but, while it is easier to do, it is not as effective as the finger technique.
An effective scalp massage may also be attained using a hand held tool. The better models have an attachment designed for scalp massage, and are easy to use offering an effortless massage. At the very least use it twice a day for about five to eight minutes, and use a similar motion to that of the finger massage.
One80 Tip: An Oriental circulatory technique (based on Qi Kung) involves the ancient art of raising and circulating body energies. Place your fingers at the center of the base of your skull and bring them to each ear, tapping them gently about thirty times. Repeat this exercise about eight times, beginning a little higher on the skull each time until you reach the crown of your head. This is designed to bring blood to the scalp and face, nourishing the hair and giving the skin a youthful glow.
Your scalp feeds on nutrients and oxygen while blood helps transport them. Massaging, essential oils, cold showers and all the above methods help increase blood flow to your scalp. While you do these, also stick to a healthy hair care routine with basics like washing, conditioning and protecting your hair from heat.