It seems that this is great for your hair, too.
We usually relate Gua-sha with the tool we use on our face, but it is actually a technique. "Gua" refers to the scratching or scraping of the skin, while "sha" describes the redness that results from the treatment.
“Gua sha is a manual modality of Chinese medicine where we take the rounded edge of a tool to stimulate tissues of the body," explains Kai Yim, LAc, MSTOM, a New York state board-certified practitioner of acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).
While we might be familiar with facial gua-sha, it is also performed on the neck, on the back and on different parts of the body. And the scalp is one of those parts.
As this technique increases and improved blood flow, Yim shares that in Chinese medicine, hair health is believed to be directly related to blood health. She says blood health is determined largely by the oxygen and pH levels of the blood. "Research has shown that gua sha causes a dramatic increase in circulation in the soft and connective tissues under the skin," she says.
"Certainly there are studies that gua sha and tools for acupressure and massage can offer a great deal of benefit on a person's overall well-being, and even lower blood pressure and anxiety levels. From this standpoint, I find this to be a very useful and safe tool for most people to engage," says Rachel Nazarian of Schweiger Dermatology, a board-certified dermatologist who specializes in general dermatology, cosmetic dermatology, skin cancer, and dermatological surgery.
To give yourself a gua sha scalp treatment at home, you can use a facial gua sha tool or any similarly smooth-edged object. Yim recommends the following steps to gua sha your scalp:
- Use a small tool and some lubricant, like hair oil.
- Starting from the middle line of your hair, use unilateral strokes on one side of your head.
- Move from the center to your ear, laterally, until you complete one side of the head. Then, move to the other.