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Home arrow Beauty arrow Hair arrow Rubbing Nails for Hair Growth: Balayam Technique

Rubbing Nails for Hair Growth: Balayam Technique

Wendy Lord, RD
Written by Wendy Lord, RD
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: April 14, 2023
4 min read 886 Views 0 Comments
clock 4 eye 886 comments 0

The Balayam technique is the ancient practice of rubbing your nails together. Those who practiced it reported that it could help with hair growth. But is it true? Let’s find out.

rubbing nails for hair growth

Nail rubbing is thought to boost blood circulation in the scalp and is promoted as a technique that supports hair health. Some believe that rubbing your nails together can promote hair growth, prevent hair thinning, and reduce gray hairs.

Rubbing nails is known as the Balayam technique and is incorporated into the practice of Balayam yoga. It’s an alternative reflexology therapy used to boost blood flow to the head, promoting growth and preventing hair fall. 

We went in search of scientific research that proves rubbing fingernails has benefits for healthy hair. Continue reading to discover what we found. 

Does Rubbing Your Nails Together Help Hair Growth?

According to Ayurveda, the traditional Indian practice of medicine, rubbing your nails together, along with the practice of Balayam yoga, can promote hair growth. However, there is limited scientific research to support this claim. 

The ancient practice of Balayam yoga involves nail rubbing to stimulate the hair follicles and promote the growth of your tresses by triggering the nerves in the nail bed, which are connected to those in the scalp, boosting the flow of blood throughout the body, including the head. 

Anecdotal reports from people practicing nail rubbing indicate improved hair health. Not only is rubbing your fingernails together suspected to boost growth, but the technique may address other hair problems, too. Some say it reduces hair fall, resulting in thicker, healthier locks.

2 Benefits of Rubbing Nails for Hair 

Although scientific research on the benefits of rubbing fingernails for hair health is lacking, there is anecdotal evidence to support the practice. The two main advantages of nail rubbing for healthy locks are discussed below.

#1 May improve blood circulation to the scalp

When you rub your nails, you stimulate the nerves in the nail bed, which are connected to those in the scalp. Doing so increases blood flow throughout the body and improves blood circulation to the brain and scalp. 

The result is improved hair growth and regrowth. This was shown to be true in a study of people who had alopecia due to cancer treatment. The results of the research showed that the Balayam yoga technique of rubbing your nails together could indeed stimulate hair growth.

#2 May promote better nutrient absorption

Vitamins, minerals, and amino acids are absorbed by the hair follicles from the extensive network of blood vessels in the scalp. Therefore, increased blood flow improves the delivery of nutrients to the follicles. 

Good nutrition can reduce hair loss, delay graying, improve growth, and boost hair regrowth. Therefore, practicing nail rubbing in combination with a healthy diet can improve the condition of your hair, making it stronger and thicker. 

Balayam Technique

Are you ready to try this alternative reflexology therapy for stronger, healthier tresses? The practice is not supported by scientific evidence and may not offer the benefits reported by people who have tried it.

However, if you wish to find out for yourself whether it works, you can follow the steps below 2–3 times per day, preferably on an empty stomach.

  1. To begin, sit comfortably in a calm space with your back straight and your hands resting on your thighs.
  2. Raise your hands in front of you to chest level and bring your palms together so that the tips of your fingers are touching. 
  3. Make a half-fist with both hands by curling your fingertips down towards your palms until your fingernails are touching each other. 
  4. Ensure that the base of your palms is pressed together to stabilize your hands.
  5. Start rubbing your nails together vigorously in a backward and forward motion for 5–10 minutes. Note: You will not be rubbing thumbnails together.
  6. Make sure to press firmly on the contact area while you rub your nails to stimulate the nerves under the nails.

Although most people can perform Balayam safely, some people should avoid nail rubbing. The technique is said to elevate blood pressure and should, therefore, be used with caution in people with high blood pressure.  

High blood pressure can stimulate uterine contractions, resulting in preterm birth. Therefore, pregnant women should avoid practicing nail rubbing. 

It can be painful to rub your nails if you have nail infections or if your nails and the surrounding skin are damaged in any way. Therefore, it should be avoided to reduce the spreading of the infection and further damage to the nails and skin of the fingertips.  


For how long should I rub my nails?

To stimulate the hair follicles and promote hair growth, you should rub your nails for 5–10 minutes, 2–3 times per day.

Can rubbing nails help with gray hair?

There is no evidence to prove that nail rubbing can help with gray hair. However, research suggests a link between gray hair and stress. Therefore, practicing Balayam yoga that helps you reduce stress may have benefits in maintaining your hair color.

Is rubbing nails effective in stopping hair loss?

Yes, nail rubbing can stop hair loss. Not only does it reduce hair fall, but it also improves regrowth.

A Word From a Trichologist

Healthy hair relies on factors such as a nutritious diet and a good haircare routine. Unfortunately, hair loss is a common problem for many people who turn to home remedies such as herbs, scalp massage, and using castor oil to boost growth.

There are many natural treatments recognized in the scientific literature that address hair problems. Although scientific research on nail rubbing for hair growth is limited, there is some evidence that rubbing your nails together can promote growth.

The improved blood circulation in the scalp when the nerves in the nail bed are stimulated ensures that the hair follicles receive the oxygen and nutrients they require to produce healthy cells.

Due to the possible impact of this alternative reflexology therapy on blood pressure, although not proven, it is advised that people with high blood pressure avoid nail rubbing. Since high blood pressure can cause uterine contractions, pregnant women should also avoid Balayam.

Unless you are trying to grow your beard, some people who practice the Balayam technique caution against rubbing thumbnails together as it is thought to increase the growth of your facial hair. However, no scientific research has been done to find out if this is true.


Your hair is your crowning glory. Therefore, you should take care of it the same way you look after the health of the rest of your body. 

Fingernail rubbing is an easy practice you can do at home. Even though it has limited proven benefits for hair growth, those who regularly practice the technique report stronger, longer, healthier tresses.  

Hair growth is affected by your diet, your genes, and your overall health. However, including practices such as nail rubbing in your daily haircare routine can contribute to the prevention of hair loss and improved growth.

Written by Wendy Lord, RD
Wendy is a Registered Dietitian with a passion for writing about nutrition, health, and medicine. Her aim is to translate the medical jargon to make information accessible to everyone so that they can make informed decisions about their health.
The article was fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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Wendy Lord, RD
Written by Wendy Lord, RD
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: April 14, 2023
4 min read 886 Views 0 Comments

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