Blood flow hair growth
Blood flow for hair growth

INCREASE BLOOD FLOW TO THE SCALP FOR THICKER, FULLER HAIR

Your circulatory system provides the scalp with oxygen and nutrient rich blood to nourish your hair follicles.  The hair follicle growth cycle depends on adequate circulation to keep your hair follicle pumping out the hair fibres that appear on your scalp.  The effects of increase blood flow on hair growth were confirmed by minoxidil, a vasodilator originally prescribed for hypotension.  It was noted that a side effect of minoxidil was increased hair growth in males and females.  Laboratory investigations showed that a 5% minoxidil solution increased blood flow within 15 minutes of topical application when cutaneous blood flow was analysed by photopulse plethysmography.

A loss of peripheral blood flow to the hair follicle is an early clinical sign of impending hair loss.  Blood supply from the scalp originates from the subcutaneous tissues and in the scalp the hair follicles is situated in the upper part of the subcutaneous tissue.  The lower part of the hair follicle is enveloped in a rich capillary network that is responsible for the nutritive content of the keratinocytes that make up the hair fibre.   The ability of the hair follicle to remain in growing phase is reliant on an adequate blood supply and a lack of supply is significantly implicated in hair loss [1].

INCREASED BLOOD FLOW HOLDS THE KEY TO QUICKER HAIR GROWTH

Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital were able to grow hair faster and thicker when they triggered vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF).  VEGF  triggers the growth of blood vessels delivering more blood to the hair follicle. By triggering this growth factor, researchers were able to increase the diameter of the hair follicle by 30%.  The overall volume of hair loss was increased by 70% and the treated group regrew hair faster than the control group.  The hair follicles in the treated group were surrounded by blood vessels that were 40% thicker than the control group.  The researchers concluded that increasing blood volume in addition to nutritional therapy was an effective stimulator  of hair regrowth [2].

4 TIPS FOR INCREASING BLOOD FLOW TO THE SCALP

Blood is made up of vital elements for hair growth such as hormones, irons, amino acids, glucose and oxygen.  The amount of of blood that reaches their follicle is one determinant of how fast or how thick hair will grow.

  1. Use a vasodilator – Vasodilators increase blood flow by decreasing vascular resistance and allowing more blood to enter the capillaries that directly feed the hair follicle.  Vasodilators include topical solutions that contain minoxidil or methyl nicotinate.
  2. Scalp massage – A scalp massage or other types of mechanical stimulation increase blood flow to the scalp. Scalp massage has been shown to share therapeutic overlap with other stimulation based therapies. When subject to mechanical force, cells respond by altering gene expression to initiate repair and growth.  A 4-minute daily massage can help support growth of thicker, fuller hair.
  3. Increasing blood volume – Increasing levels of haemoglobin and albumin will increase total blood volume in the body resulting in a greater increase of blood to the scalp.  Supplements like zinc and iron can help support and increase in blood volume in the right conditions.
  4. Work out your hairline – Try some exercises to increase blood flow to more peripheral areas of your scalp by raising your eyebrows up and down for 2-3 minutes

REFERENCES

  1. Klemp, P., Peters, K. and Hansted, B., 1989. Subcutaneous blood flow in early male pattern baldness. Journal of investigative dermatology, 92(5), pp.725-726.
  2. Massachusetts General Hospital. “Blood Vessels Hold Key To Thicker Hair Growth.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 February 2001.

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