Does Massaging the Scalp Promote Hair Growth?

Hair is often said to be one's crowning glory and as such people want it to look its best. One major hair concern is hair growth. This concern ranges from the desire to grow hair longer to regrow hair after temporary hair loss. One frequently recommended method for promoting hair growth is the scalp massage.

The Scalp

The scalp covers the skull and consists of three layers: the skin, a layer of tissue and blood vessels, and a muscle called the occipitofrontalis muscle, which extends from the eyebrow to the back of the head. The scalp contains more blood vessels than other portions of skin on the body. This portion of skin contains approximately 100,000 hairs, more than any other part of the skin.

The Hair Follicle

Hair follicles are where hair grows from. Contained within the scalp and nourished by the blood vessels underneath the skin of the scalp, under optimal conditions the follicle will maintain healthy hair growth. However, the follicle is prone to the same clogging that other skin pores are prone to. For this reason maintaining a healthy, clean scalp is important for hair growth.

Hair Growth

Contrary to what some hair care products claim, there is no product in existence that can change the growth rate of hair. Hair growth consists of three phases: the growth phase (Anagen), the resting phase (Catagen) and the shedding or falling out phase (Telogen). Hair growth can be affected by various internal and external factors that can be remedied in some cases. In the case of permanent hair loss, the Anagen phase no longer is functioning, therefore new hair cannot be produced after the Telogen phase has ended.

Scalp Massage

Scalp massages promote hair growth in two ways, by helping to unclog the hair follicle from dead skin and increasing blood flow to the hair follicle encouraging healthy hair growth. Massaging the scalp with oils such as jojoba, coconut, almond, lavender and olive can help regulate the oil production of the scalp and aid in loosening additional dead skin cells. Scalp massages are recommended for administering scalp treatments for dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis. When washing hair with an anti-dandruff shampoo, the product needs to be massaged into the scalp for the active ingredients to remove dead skin cells.


Scalp massage is only beneficial in promoting hair growth in certain cases of temporary hair thinning and hair loss. If your hair loss is the result of a medical condition please consult your doctor, as there may be specific remedies or treatments needed to help promote hair growth. If your hair loss is permanent, the main benefit a scalp massage can give you is to help promote the healthy growth of your remaining hair and provide relaxation benefits. If you are experiencing hair thinning or hair loss, consult your doctor or dermatologist first to rule out any underlying health condition that could be the root cause of your hair loss.