Turns Out, Using a Gua Sha on Your Scalp Can Promote Hair Growth

Here's how to do it.

Chances are you've heard of, seen, or used a gua sha tool in your beauty routine already. There are tons of videos and tutorials on the benefits of gua sha for your skin all over social media. But, what if we told you that the gua sha can be used on more than just your face? The buzzy tool used to massage, sculpt, and depuff your face can help improve your scalp health, too. To find out more, we tapped experts who let us in on how gua sha can help with hair growth.

Keep scrolling for our complete guide to using gua sha on your scalp.

What Is Gua Sha?

Person with a thick, curly red lob
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Despite its recent popularity, gua sha isn't a new or trending skincare secret. It's an ancient practice rooted in Chinese medicine. "Gua sha has been widely used across Asia for over 2,000 years to help reduce muscle tightness, disperse the common cold, alleviate chronic pain, ease respiratory problems, boost the immune system, and more," says Dr. Shari Auth DACM, LAC, LMT, a doctor of Chinese medicine, and co-founder and chief healing officer at WTHN.

While we typically see gua sha used on the face, the benefits of this practice can also help the scalp and promote better hair growth. The process involves a gua sha tool and a combination of long and short strokes against the skin to improve circulation and increase blood flow (but more on that, ahead).

The Benefits

An assortment of gua sha tools
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Using a gua sha on the scalp has beauty and wellness benefits. "Combing your hair with a gua sha will massage the scalp, which improves blood flow to the hair roots and provides a relaxing sensation," says Gretchen Friese, a certified trichologist at Bosley. Better circulation on the scalp rejuvenates hair follicle cells to support healthy hair growth and reduce the chance of hair loss. Improved circulation also increases product absorption, so your hair and scalp are getting the most out of your hair care.

In addition to the hair benefits, Dr. Auth says using a gua sha stimulates different pressure points on the scalp which can help relieve tension and stress. "There are dozens of different acupressure points on the scalp that correspond to various benefits," she says. "Gua sha stimulates those acupressure points on the scalp for total body wellness."

How to Use

The best part about gua sha is you can do it in the comfort of your own home. To reap the benefits, Dr. Auth recommends doing it two to three times a week.

To try it out for yourself, start by massaging a hair serum or oil onto the scalp. "The oil is very important for scalp protection and to help from pulling on the hair," says Friese.

"Place the gua sha comb at the hairline and using a small zigzag motion, comb through the hair with gentle pressure on the scalp," says Dr. Auth. Make sure you don't press too hard because it can cause damage to the hair follicles. Repeat this step until you've done the entire scalp.

Friese says you can run over the same section on the scalp up to 20 times. "Gua sha combing is great for reducing tension, so if you hit a spot that feels tight, spend a little more time combing out the tension in that area," affirms Dr. Auth.

Side Effects

In general, using gua sha on your scalp poses no real side effects — as long as you're following the right technique. Although the goal is to stimulate the scalp, overstimulation can have adverse effects. Meaning, always comb through the hair using gentle strokes, and never aggressively since that will only lead to irritation.

Final Takeaway

While more research is needed to understand the benefits that gua sha poses for hair growth, it is a quick and easy way to practice scalp care. And a healthy scalp promotes healthy hair. Bonus: After gua sha combing, Dr. Auth says you can expect to feel relaxed and rejuvenated. So, why not try it for yourself? You might be pleasantly surprised.

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