It is not by the gray of the hair that one knows the age of the heart - Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton
image by: Daniel Christensen
I can remember it like yesterday. Sitting in sixth grade history class trying desperately to pay attention. I remember little of what I was taught that year but for some reason I could never forget the story of the Nile River. No I don't remember how long the Nile river is or how many countries it flows through. The one thing I do remember is how fertile the land was along the River.
Why was the land so fertile? The reason why so many people have been able to enjoy the richness of the soil for so many centuries is due to the fact that the Nile would routinely overflow producing the right environment for vegetation to grow along the river banks.
The reason I took us back to sixth grade history was to make a comparison between how the flooding of Nile river promoted the growth of countless varieties of vegetation and how adequate blood flow to the scalp will promote healthy (and perhaps faster) hair growth.
A scalp that doesn't get stimulated is like a receding river. Our hair follicles rely on an adequate supply of blood flow constantly bringing with it precious nutrients the hair desperately needs. In fact, a study was done measuring the blood flow amount to the hair follicles of men with baldness and those with without the condition. Unsurprisingly, scientists found the group of normal-haired subjects measured higher in the amount of blood flow to the scalp than the other group.I feel that as a part of a healthy hair regimen, healthy blood flow to the scalp and/or scalp stimulation should be a given.
Let's talk about some options we have to help us grow the flow.
*Exercise* What better way to increase blood flow to the entire body faster than by exercising. Something as simple as a walk around the block will bring more blood flow to the body than being sedentary. Think about it, a person who's donating blood may be given a ball to squeeze as a way of increasing flow. This simple act quickly increases blood flow which causes the vein to suddenly become apparent. If you are not yet accustomed to a physical lifestyle, no worries, why not start off with something light like yoga or daily stretching. Stretching involves little physical stress on the body but still works to help increase the level of blood flow to the body overall.
*Massage* Stimulation to a certain part of the body via massage is a sure fire way to increase blood flow. In this case you want to make sure to focus on your scalp for the hair's direct benefit. Scalp massages are key. Especially for those of us who are always protective styling in an attempt to leave the hair alone. Scalps massages also feel wonderful, there is no reason why you shouldn't be doing them regularly.
*Stimulating products* You know how you get that little bit of tingle on your scalp when you use certain shampoos and conditioners. Enjoy that feeling because you are experiencing scalp stimulation. I've used a spray once with cayenne pepper and other stimulating ingredients that worked together to promote hair growth. Not only was it beneficial to my scalp, it felt great! Best of all I could use it on dry hair anytime my scalp felt like it needed a little kick. For those of us too lazy for consistent scalp massages, why not get some stimulating products that do all the work for you?
*Foods* If you like it hot, than Cayenne pepper is perfect for you. That stuff increases blood circulation in the body like nobody's business. For those of you how've done the lemonade cleanse, you know that one sip of the cayenne pepper water and your whole entire body began to feel alive! Increased blood flow in an instant. Taking cayenne pepper also benefits the heart and the digestive system. Some have even used it directly on the scalp during the wash. I did it once and got a little bit in my eye. I didn't appreciate feeling like I just got maced in my shower. Not a keeper for me. I prefer to use it as an internal stimulator.
*Cold showers* Speaking of showers, some of you may already know that I am a believer in cold shower therapy. This is were one takes cold showers in the morning both as an act of courage and to enjoy the myriad of benefits from deciding to do. Warm temperatures does increase blood flow but cold water therapy causes the body to increase capillary size in an attempt to warm you up. Your skin glows afterwards from the increase in blood flow. You also get this wonderful rush as the water hits you. Taking a cold shower isn't a chore, it's an experience!
*Belly breathing* One thing taking a cold shower does is cause you to breathe deeper. But you don't have to jump into icy waters to get the blood-flow increasing benefits of belly breathing. Belly breathing is simple the act of taking deep full breaths way into the belly as opposed to the shallow chest breaths we normally take. As we take in large breaths we allow the oxygen we breathe in to reach all the way down to the lower parts of the lungs. More blood is pumped into the body when we take deeper breaths hence increased circulation. Belly breathing is beneficial to the entire body. Every cell within you will gladly reap the benefits of this breathing method. Start belly-breathing today!
Increased blood circulation is not just about healthy hair its about a healthier you. Each one of these methods described above will benefit you entirely. May your cells to be as rich and nourished as the banks of the Great Nile.
Source: Six Stimulating Strategies That Supply Circulation to the Scalp, Relaxed Hair Health, April 1, 2009.