Do you remember hanging upside down from the monkey bars or tree branches at your local park? It probably brings back fond memories for you. It’s no wonder really: back then you had near perfect health and happiness, not to mention a full head of hair.
Through a modified version of this childhood pastime, you could gain back some of your youthful energy and, perhaps, even some of your hair. This process is called the inversion method for hair growth and it has worked for many people around the world.
After reading this article you will understand the science behind this unique technique. Perhaps soon you will find yourself hanging around upside down once again.
Your Scalp Needs a Continual Flow of Nutrient Rich Blood
Hair follicles in the scalp are located in the upper part of the subcutaneous tissue. The hair follicle’s blood supply originates from the subcutaneous plexus, which runs below the hair root as you can see below. A nutritive blood flow to the scalp is vital in maintaining the hair follicle’s heath (1).
Many leading dermatological scientists theorize that one main component for maintaining acceptable hair growth is proper scalp circulation, particularly the microcirculation surrounding the hair follicles. One study has found that the nutritive blood flow in the scalps of patients with early male pattern baldness was over two and a half times lower than the nutritive scalp blood flow of normally haired individuals (2).
Many companies have attempted to monopolize on these findings by creating medications that encourage vasodilation, thus increasing the amount of oxygen and nutrients available for the scalp.
This is what minoxidil does, and what our homemade minoxidil does better. You can get many of these same benefits at a fraction of the cost by engaging in the inversion method for hair growth described below.
Inversion Promotes Oxygen Flow to the Brain and Scalp
Your brain is already the largest consumer of oxygen in your body. This is why your circulatory system has evolved to pump large quantities of blood to your brain. The method your blood uses to reach the head against the force of gravity is really quite remarkable.
The carotid artery is the delivery pathway for blood to the brain and scalp. The forward momentum of this circulatory process invariably slows with age, decreasing the blood flow to crucial parts of your head.
The returning veins for deoxygenated blood however, are much less complex as they rely on gravity to do the work of sending the blood back to the heart.
When you turn upside down, your blood does not pass as quickly through the veins back to the heart. The blood therefore has more time to deposit nutrients to where they are most needed. The oxygen levels in your brain and scalp increase.
This is why you feel a bit of a “rush” when you turn upside down. Using the inversion method for hair growth, you can harness this oxygen rush and use it to cultivate a luscious head of hair.
Try Inversion Therapy for Hair Growth Yourself
First, you will need to obtain some of your favorite essential oil. If you are currently using an oil as part of your daily hair maintenance routine, you may choose to go ahead and apply it using the inversion method.
If you do not currently use an oil on your scalp, you will want to pick a natural, scented oil that you find relaxing. The reason you should find a scent you enjoy is that this treatment involves you massaging the oil into your scalp. The scent could therefore linger a while.
If you are still not sure where to start, go to your local natural supplement store or herbal relaxation shop and peruse the many oils they have available. Some easy to obtain oils include:
Next, the oil you choose will need to be warmed up. Applying warm rather than cold oil to your scalp will improve blood flow compounding the oxygenation effects of inversion.
Warm oil is also more likely to be retained by your hair follicles than cool oil, making the treatment much more effective. You will need three or four tablespoons of warm oil in order to see best results with this treatment.
Rather than heating the liquid directly in a microwave or on the stove, place the oil bottle in a bowl of warm water so that the oil can heat through conduction. Let the oil sit in the water for a few minutes or until the oil bottle is warm to the touch. Be careful to not overly heat the oil; you do not want to accidently burn your scalp!
Breathing & Relaxation
While the oil is warming, find some relaxing music to listen to for the remainder of this treatment. Put on your favorite smooth jazz or classical CD, or just search for relaxation music on Spotify or Pandora.
Dim the lights as well, or light some candles if you want some serious relaxation. This is your time to find a bit of peace in your life just as much as it is a hair loss treatment. Relaxation is key.
Another key in this process, which goes hand in hand with relaxation, is deep breathing. When you take a breath, let it expand your diaphragm and completely fill your lungs. If you are deep breathing correctly, you will feel your ribs widen and your stomach inflate.
The science behind this trick isn’t too difficult to figure out. The whole point of the inversion method for hair growth is to increase scalp circulation and, thus, increase the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicles. By taking full breaths, you are providing your body with more oxygen for it to circulate through your scalp. You can intensify these effects by performing square breathing.
In this meditative breathing exercise, breath in for four seconds, hold your breath for four seconds, breath out for four seconds, and hold your breath for another four seconds. If you have a large lung capacity, you may be able to increase each count of the square to eight seconds. Repeat this consciously throughout this treatment.
Once the oil is warm, it is time to apply it to your scalp. It doesn’t take much oil to achieve full coverage because you only need a thin coat. Apply the oil to your balding areas first and then transition to the remainder of your scalp.
After you have a thin coat of oil covering your scalp, use a comb to distribute the oil through the rest of your hair. You will be surprised at how soft and healthy your hair seems afterwards due to the moisture and nutrients of the oil.
If your hair is very short, you may just be able to oil all of your hair using your fingers; however you could be missing out on some added benefits from the brushing. Brushing your hair is known to improve circulation in the scalp and spur on hair growth. Even if you are completely bald, running a brush across your scalp can carry therapeutic benefits.
Set A Timer
Now it is time to massage the oils into your scalp. Set a timer for at least four minutes and begin. Make sure to use a gentle alarm sound such as “Ripples” or “Chimes” if you are using an iPhone. Knead your scalp with the tips of your fingers, alternating between small clockwise and counterclockwise circles.
You can also use your palms or knuckles if you desire slightly more pressure; however, be sure not to apply too much pressure as that could result in damaging your hair follicles. Begin with and focus on your trouble spots, but give your entire scalp some love.
This step is meant to stimulate your hair follicles for growth, but it also has the added side effect of deep relaxation. Close your eyes and concentrate on the music and the sound of your breath as your fingers do their work.
How To Actually Hang Upside Down
Once the oil is suitably massaged into your scalp, it is time for the inversion part of this treatment. Tip your head upside down in a way that is comfortable and relaxing. There are a variety of ways you can achieve this position:
- Leaning over a sink or bathtub
- Sitting upside down in a chair with your feet hanging over the back
- Laying on an inversion table if you already have one
However you choose to invert your scalp, let your neck and head muscles relax. Hold this position for at least four minutes using the same timer as earlier. This will allow blood to flow to your scalp which in turn facilitates hair growth. It also allows the oil additional time to seep into your scalp’s hair follicles.
As with the massage, take this time to meditate or relax. Practice square breathing. Clear your mind. Concentrate on the music. Be happy. Relax.
After the timer sounds, slowly raise back up and adjust your posture. Allow for a second of dizziness as your world reorients itself. Take a few more deep breaths.
After The Inversion Method
If you have a very dry scalp, you may want to leave the oil in for an hour or so. You should cover your oily scalp with a plastic wrap meant for hair treatments or at least a grocery bag. This will prevent the oil from ruining your furniture or clothing. Do not leave the treatment in overnight as that could potentially clog your pores and inhibit hair growth.
Lastly, take a shower or bath. Use a homemade moisturising shampoo for hair loss and conditioner to wash your hair and scalp. Make sure to rinse off all of the unabsorbed oil so that your head doesn’t look greasy. Once you are done, you should feel relaxed and rejuvenated.
To best facilitate hair growth, you should perform the inversion method for hair growth once every couple of weeks. Performing the treatment less regularly could delay hair growth results. Do not perform this treatment every single day, though, as your scalp could become used to the treatment and it won’t work as well anymore.
Excessive use could even clog your pores with too much oil and deter hair growth. You should start seeing results after about four months if you consistently apply this treatment to your scalp every other week.
A Word of Caution About The Inversion Method
Though short periods of inversion are typically good for your health, avoid excessive lengths of time upside down. This can cause unhealthy spikes in blood pressure that could lead to a stroke. If you hang upside down for several days, there is even a possibility that blood could pool into your lungs or brain, resulting in severe damage.
Do not attempt the inversion method for hair growth if you have (4):
- Low blood pressure
- High blood pressure
- A detached retina
- Spinal injury
- A hernia
- An ear infection
You should also speak with your doctor about any other concerns before you try inversion therapy.
Is the inversion method right for you?
There are many proponents of this technique for stimulating hair growth via increased blood flow. In fact, I’m one of them. But that doesn’t mean it’s the right method for everyone.
As mentioned above, there are certain risks involved with inversion. These are more common in those with pre-existing conditions, but you should speak with your doctor if you are unsure about the risks.
If you’re not an individual who’s considered high risk, though, the benefits may be worthwhile.
Do keep in mind that inversion is unlikely to be the only thing you’ll need to do to regrow your hair, or to even maintain your hairline. You can learn more about my own journey — and what I recommend — here.
Do you have questions about the inversion method? Have you tried it yourself? Leave your questions and experiences in the comments below.