Your Scalp Is Aging 12X Faster Than Your Face. Here's What to Do About It.

Healthy Hair

 Winter is the time of year when I start paying any mind to my scalp.  I have no choice but to pay attention because, every winter, I'm always dealing with excessive shedding and dryness.  Dry scalp is an issue but today I want to deal with a more pressing concern.  

The other morning I was doing a face massage aimed at toning and lifting my cheeks.  That's when I speculated that some of the facial sagging that I was experiencing probably originated at my scalp.  I thought to myself "I wonder if the scalp experiences aging and how it compares to the skin on the rest of my body" (particularly the face). 

Moments later Google informed me that our scalp does indeed age and it does so at a rate much more rapidly than our face.  So while I'm trying to tone and lift my face, the scalp could be losing laxity and strength. 

  Rapid scalp aging could result in unwanted side effects such as sparse, thinning hair and (theoretically) sagging skin on the face.  So now I have to develop an anti-aging strategy for my scalp.  

Fundamentally, one of the potential causes of scalp aging is the reduction of blood flow to that area.  As we age the size of our hair follicles starts to shrink.  With that comes reduced blood flow and fewer nutrients being delivered to the hair strand.  This is the main culprit of age-related hair thinning.  

I've decided to make increased blood flow to the scalp a priority.  In the early days of my hair journey, I incorporated scalp massages and even scalp brushing into my routine.  But once I reached my hair goals, I gave up on scalp massages because I felt that there was no real need.  Now that I'm older, I've come to the realization that scalp massages are even more necessary than ever before.  So now I will dedicate a few minutes a day to promote scalp stimulation using a massage technique that involves moving the scalp vigorously for maximum blood flow.   

Scalp massages are great but I might take things one step further by bringing inversions back into my routine.  Inversion is simply the process of promoting increased blood flow directly to the head and scalp by hanging upside down.  I used to hang my head off the couch or bed for a few moments at a time.  Youtube is filled with videos from folks who've skyrocketed their hair growth via inversion paired with other growth-promoting hacks like drinking bamboo tea

As you can tell, increasing blood flow will be a priority.  Next on the list is lymphatic drainage.  Scientists are beginning to understand the link between a healthy lymphatic system and hair growth.  Fundamentally, proper lymphatic drainage is key to anti-aging.  If you're a believer in gua sha facial massage then perhaps you experiment with gua sha scalp massage. Proper lymphatic drainage will keep the blood vessels healthy which will enhance the results of my circulation increasing activities (scalp massage).

Knowing what we know about how a reduction in blood flow impacts the scalp and hair, it's no wonder that one of the first signs of aging we experience are the changes in our hair.  We wear sunscreen every day to prevent facial aging but what are we doing to slow down aging where it's happening the fastest?

Increasing the blood flow and circulation to the scalp is step 1 in the overall strategy. We'll talk more about the next steps in future articles.  


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