It is a popular belief among the practitioners of complementary medicine and Indian culture, that rubbing fingernails together can give you thick, dense and healthy hair. The positive results are supported by many anecdotal claims, and there are many proponents and followers to this ancient practice. Some have even claimed hair regrowth on bald areas.
When I was a child we used to rub fingernails together on seeing a crane bird. I have no clue as to why we would rub our fingernails, although the whole exercise was thought of as a good luck sign. I must say I then had thick, shiny and abundant hair. I was reintroduced to this practice at a yoga training program, but this time it was for a different reason. When done for 5 to 10 minutes every day, rubbing your fingernails stimulates hair growth, reverses graying and also improves overall hair health.
This practice is also known as Balayam: where bal means hair and vyayam means exercise. There is a little understanding of how it works. It could be that the body’s chakras or meridian play a role to correct imbalances in the flow of energy, similar to reflexology. So when you trigger the appropriate reflex points, the meridian energy is channelized through pathways to the affected areas of the body, increasing energy and health in those areas.
There may be some point to this explanation because when you rub fingernails against each other it causes tingling in the scalp. This may then stimulate hair growth.
How to do it?
Nail rubbing is done on an empty stomach or 2 hours after food. Curl the fingers as if to form a half fist (see picture) and rub the fingernails of each hand against each other briskly for five to ten minutes (rub only fingernails and exclude the thumb). You will feel a tingling sensation on your scalp.
You can do this anywhere – while waiting for or travelling in the bus/train, walking in the park, in your house. It may help if you focus your attention on the scalp and hair, and visualize your hair getting thick and healthy.
Rubbing fingernails together for five to ten minutes twice a day is recommended. Results are usually seen in a three to four months time.
My experience: Ever since I started the nail rubbing exercise (been 4 months), I have noticed some regrowth happening, and also an improvement in overall hair quality. Though, I do it along with other home remedies. I personally feel that each treatment has its own place and you cannot simply rely on a single solution.
What is the evidence?
The nail rubbing exercise has no scientific backing whatsoever. That said, complementary and holistic therapies, in general, have a little or no validation. Does this make them invalid? The answer is unknown. Due to lack of accurate data collection or scientific robustness, it makes such practices difficult to comprehend. Moreover, people who practice rubbing the fingernails do it alongside other home treatments. Therefore, even if there is any improvement it becomes difficult to attribute this exclusively to nail rubbing. Besides, there is no monetary reason to delve into the cost extensive research to prove the point since this exercise involves no practitioner or product, and can be done totally free of cost.
Why not give it a try? There is no cost involved and it can be done at your home. Simply join your fingernails and start practising. It may just work for you!
Word of caution: Avoid nail rubbing during pregnancy, or if there is any skin or nail condition around the contact area, or if you suffer from high blood pressure.
Do you practise nail rubbing? please share your views and experience and let us know if it had any effect on the hair growth.
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