Rubbing Nails for Hair Growth: Fact or Fiction?


When we experience hair loss or hair thinning as we age, we may scour the internet for ways to combat hair loss and promote hair growth. 

Many websites, old wives' tales, and adages claim to hold the secret to regrowing hair. You may have run into the idea of rubbing nails for hair growth while searching to help your thinning hair. But does it really work? Is it just a random concept, or is there some truth to it?

The idea of physically rubbing your nails for hair growth has been around for a long time, but there isn’t much evidence to back up the positive claims. Today, we will look at whether nail rubbing to help regrow hair is factually based or just a myth.

After you’ve taken the Better Hair Quiz to determine what products are the perfect match for your aging hair, it’s time to dive into the science and see if nail rubbing should become a part of your daily hair care routine.

What Is Nail Rubbing?

Nail rubbing has roots as a remedy for hair growth and is considered a type of Balayam. Balayam is a yoga practice that is an umbrella term for hair growth exercises. 

Balayam roughly translates to “hair exercise.” “Bal” means “hair,” while the word “vyayama” translates to “exercise.” Balayam is an alternative medicine approach to hair loss based on Ayurveda. 

Ayurveda is holistic in nature and is largely practiced in India. Balayam, or nail rubbing, is an example of Ayurvedic medicine at work. Physically rubbing your nails together takes cues from both yoga and acupressure. 

Many people currently practice yoga throughout the world, but yoga’s roots come from India. Yoga dates back approximately 5,000 years ago. These days, the world has taken notice of the health benefits of incorporating yoga practice. 

Yoga can soothe stress, help improve balance, and assist in alleviating symptoms of stress.

The origins of acupressure come from ancient China. The acupressure aspect of nail rubbing extends to the method: pressure is applied on specific points of the body to release energy and balance flow. 

The benefits of nail rubbing can also go beyond the promotion of hair growth, but nail rubbing specifically focuses on the stimulation of hair follicles. The practice of nail rubbing involves rubbing the nails against each other to stimulate them. 

The practice is believed to promote circulation and theorizes that the nail bed nerve endings are tied to the hair follicles through your nervous system. 

The Science Behind Balayam (Nail Rubbing)

Anecdotal stories from Balayam speak to an increase in hair production, reversing of gray hairs, and a change in hair health. The research on nail rubbing falls under the category of reflexology, like acupuncture and acupressure. But the idea of nail rubbing to promote hair growth is all to do with stimulation. 

We know that scalp stimulation through massage increases blood flow and can promote hair growth. Nail rubbing aims to increase blood flow but with stimulation of the nail beds. There haven’t been any specific scientific research studies performed to better understand Balayam, but there may be some connections to be made.

To better understand the concept behind nail rubbing, we need to look at the function of our nervous system. Our nervous systems are divided into two parts: the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system.

The central nervous system is connected to your brain and spinal cord. This section of your nervous system is responsible for thought, memory, emotion, speech, movement, and intelligence. This part of our nervous system also regulates the heartbeat, body temperature, and hormones. 

On the other hand, the peripheral nervous system is divided further into two parts; the autonomic nervous system and the somatic nervous system. Inside the somatic nervous system is the median nerve related to the finger's nail area. 

The scalp contains the supratrochlear nerve, which ultimately branches off the peripheral nervous system. Both the nerves in your fingers and your scalp are indirectly connected. 

Because the nerves in our fingernails connect to our scalp, there could be a relationship to hair growth.

Can Rubbing Nails Prevent Hair Loss?

The practice of nail rubbing is a great way to create a new structured routine to see if any beneficial results come through. Through multiple methods, you can do as much as possible to promote the retention and health of your hair. Rubbing your nails together for a few minutes a day alongside your hair care routine can be a ritual of self-care in itself! 

When rubbing the nails together, the goal is not to be forceful but instead put just enough pressure for the nails to slide to either side. Pair the few minutes of nail rubbing with quiet time, listening to guided meditation and breathing, or even waiting for morning coffee to brew. 

Practicing the meditative nail rubbing technique of balayam can help you focus and get a sense of clarity while also stimulating your nerves. The more stimulation you can send to your scalp, the better. 

Since we know that direct scalp stimulation can help prevent hair loss, as many types of stimulation you can use will be helpful. Nail rubbing may be worth trying out for a few weeks to see if you experience any regrowth or less hair shedding. Balayam is free and easy, after all!

How Do I Regrow Hair Naturally? 

Scalp stimulation and exercises that increase blood flow can impact our hair. But stimulation is not a one-and-done solution. Taking a multi-pronged approach to combating thinning hair just makes sense, especially in the form of products, diet, and natural remedies. 

But what are some other ways to help fight against hair loss?

A healthy diet, that you can complement with dietary supplements, can aid our bodies in creating a foundation to nurture hair growth. The vitamins and minerals in our Significant Other Hair, Skin, and Nails Supplement are essential in supporting strong, healthy hair. 

Since our body’s ability to absorb nutrients decreases as we get older, supplementation is important. Chock-full of the best vitamins for hair, like vitamin B, folate, biotin, and vitamin A, our Significant Other supplement can play a significant role in supporting healthy hair.

We wish we could conjure a magic potion that would make our hair grow! Better Not Younger does have some magic in a bottle, though — in the form of products that help your gair reach it’s full potential.

Since hair loss and thinning are major concerns for many aging women, our Hair Loss Bundle lets you take control of your hair health. In this bundle, you’ll find our Superpower™ Advanced Hair and Scalp Duo, an applicator brush, Significant Other Hair, Skin, and Nails Supplement, Wake Up Call Volumizing Shampoo, and Wake Up Call Volumizing Conditioner

Our Superpower™ Advanced Hair and Scalp Duo is a power player in the hair health game. Not only is this serum designed to reinvigorate your scalp and support thick hair, but the silicone bristles on the comb applicator support healthy blood flow to the scalp. Our Superpower™ blend combined with plant-derived actives Rosemary Extract and Apple Cider Vinegar is supercharged for hair that looks thicker, denser and stronger.

Thicken, strengthen, and nourish your hair with our Superpower™ Fortifying Hair and Scalp Serum that specifically targets the early signs of aging hair. It combines our Superpower™ blend of plant-derived ingredients with Ginger and Centella Asiatica Extracts to nourish the scalp and address the early signs of aging hair.

Better Not Younger knows thinning hair can be addressed to reveal stronger, healthier hair as you age. We offer a wide array of products that help you have stronger, thicker-looking, and healthier-looking hair.


While nail rubbing (Balayam yoga) may sound too good to be true, there are arguments in support of trying this hack. But remember, the science is lacking. 

Because of the nerve connections made from our nails to our scalp, stimulating our hair follicles is possible through rubbing our nails. Nail rubbing can be a simple mindfulness practice as a morning or evening ritual. 

Hair loss can be exacerbated by stress, so taking a few minutes out of your day to practice balayam can soothe those feelings of stress — making the art of nail rubbing a good habit to start.

While the jury is still out on whether there is much scientific evidence to back up rubbing nails for hair growth, there is enough proof behind this exercise to consider giving it a shot. Combining the application of nail rubbing with other methods of stimulating hair growth and products designed to prevent hair loss is the best approach.


Hair Aging | PMC

Yoga: Past and Present | American Journal of Psychiatry

Yoga: What You Need To Know | NCCIH

Acupressure Therapy | PMC.

How stress causes hair loss | National Institutes of Health (NIH)