Scalp Care & Lymphatic Drainage

Scalp Care & Lymphatic Drainage

One of the most enjoyable parts of a salon visit is the shampooing experience. There’s something special about someone slowly massaging your scalp with intention. We often find it hard to replicate this feeling at home, but what if I told you massaging your scalp when you wash your hair at home can be beneficial to hair growth, and help your body heal and find balance?

It's true. Your hair follicle is a mini organ in the skin that is surrounded by lymphatic capillaries. Studies have shown that the lymphatic capillaries which transport immune cells and drain excess fluids and toxins from tissues form an intimate network around the stem cell niche within each hair follicle, allowing intimate communication and influence between the hair follicle and the lymphatic system.

We turned to Dr. Jennifer Weinberg to obtain the latest research and information about the link between the hair follicle and our lymphatic systems. Dr. Weinberg is a Preventive and Lifestyle Medicine Physician, Professor of Public Health, and Environmental Health Expert. She also offers a variety of wellness and mind-body medicine topics, ranging from non-toxic living to stress management to intuitive eating to mindfulness. 

These hair-follicle stem cells control the behavior of lymphatic capillaries by secreting signaling molecules that act as an on-off switch for lymphatic drainage so they can influence the composition of fluids and cells in the surrounding tissues, and ultimately synchronize regeneration and hair growth. One of the key ways that your body is naturally designed to heal and find balance is via the lymphatic system. This system allows for clearing wastes and maintaining healthy circulation. When the lymphatic system becomes congested or over-burdened you may experience symptoms like cellulite, bloating or skin breakouts.

While the scalp may be the obvious place to start, research shows that the body is interconnected, meaning that massage techniques can be used on the whole body to encourage easier flow and drainage of lymphatic fluid. Specifically for the scalp, a non-toxic silicon scalp massage brush, comb, or simply using your fingers to focus on the scalp can improve both blood and lymphatic flow. It works great as a mindful practice to incorporate in the shower while you lather your shampoo. Lymphatic drainage does not require hard pressure. Using a gentle pressure and circular motions over the scalp for 5 minutes or so while lathering the shampoo can encourage healthy circulation. In the case of our Wash Shampoo, this also allows time for our clinically efficacious peptide to absorb into the scalp.

What is The Lymphatic System?

The lymphatic system is an important part of your immune and circulatory systems which is made up of tissues that produce, store and transport white blood cells and body fluid. It involves a complex network of vessels, ducts, lymph nodes, the spleen, the thymus, the adenoids, and the tonsils. This expansive system travels throughout your body, helping to regulate the immune system and remove waste. 

Lymph fluid contains proteins, fats, fluids and sometimes bacteria or other foreign substances. It must flow freely to ensure that waste products do not build up in the tissues. Since the lymph system does not have its own pump, breathing and other muscle movements help to propel lymph fluid and transport it through many filtration points known as lymph nodes. These lymph nodes contain collections of white blood cells that identify and help destroy harmful pathogens or toxins. 

It’s important to open up the ports where the lymph system drains above your clavicles to allow for proper drainage back into blood. To open these up before starting any other lymphatic massage, you can gently push down and rub lightly across the skin above the middle area of the clavicle between your collarbone and underarm. It is like opening the drain plug in the bathtub so everything from upstream can flow downstream.

Dr. Weinberg says, “It’s important to open up the ports where the lymph system drains above your clavicles to allow for proper drainage back into blood. To open these up before starting any other lymphatic massage, you can gently push down and rub lightly across the skin above the middle area of the clavicle between your collarbone and underarm. It is like opening the drain plug in the bathtub so everything from upstream can flow downstream.” 

We expect a lot of our hair every day and it is a huge part of how we present ourselves. The next time you step into the shower to wash your hair, take the time stimulate each follicle. The hair follicle is the factory of each hair on our heads, as well as an integral communication channel to the entire body.

Additional Resources, Articles & Books by Dr. Weinberg:

Visit Dr. Weinberg's Website

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