By Chin­we of Hair and Health

What is the “Green­house Effect” (GHE) Method?  In short, it involves sleep­ing with a show­er cap over your hair (or just wear­ing one for a long peri­od of time) in order to encour­age a steamy, warm envi­ron­ment – hence the name “green­house effect” – that increas­es hair growth.  This method was pop­u­lar­ized by Mika and Juvaun, and is, what I would call, the new “growth band­wag­on.”

But wait … isn’t this just anoth­er name for the “Bag­gy” Method? No.  The “Bag­gy” Method focus­es on help­ing the hair retain mois­ture and thus length; it also requires the use of a mois­tur­iz­er and/or con­di­tion­er pri­or to “bag­gy­ing”.  In con­trast, the GHE Method focus­es on growth from the scalp, and only nat­u­ral oils or but­ters may be applied to the hair pri­or to putting on a show­er cap.

So now you are prob­a­bly ask­ing: Does this GHE Method actu­al­ly increase hair growth?  Well, given the many tes­ti­monies from relaxed and nat­u­ral ladies, it appears to do so … but does it actu­al­ly work?  Let us take a closer look at some of the claims peo­ple have made about the GHE method:

1. Increased sebum pro­duc­tion “nour­ish­es the hair and helps it grow”

Sebum, as many of you prob­a­bly know by now, is a sub­stance that is secret­ed from the skin for the pur­pose of lubri­cat­ing the skin and hair.  The sebum that comes from the scalp can be thought of as a “nat­u­ral oil treat­ment,” if you will.

So, how does this relate to the GHE method?  After peri­od of wear­ing a show­er cap, the heat from the head pro­duces a warm envi­ron­ment under the cap.  When the cap is worn for hours at a time, the scalp may begin to pro­duce more sweat and sebum.  Now, sebum can help with length reten­tion and alle­vi­at­ing a dry scalp, but can it help with actu­al growth from the fol­li­cles?  I doubt it can.  (Check out this inter­est­ing study on vel­lus hair growth and sebum excre­tion: Blume U, Fer­rac­in J, Ver­schoore M, Czernielewski JM, Schae­fer H. “Phys­i­ol­o­gy of the vel­lus hair fol­li­cle: hair growth and sebum excre­tion.” British Jour­nal of Der­ma­tol­ogy, 1991 Jan: 124 (1): pp. 21–28.)

2. The heat increas­es blood cir­cu­la­tion in the scalp, thus increas­ing hair growth

The appli­ca­tion of heat to the back, leg, or oth­er part of the body can stim­u­late blood flow to that par­tic­u­lar region.  (That is just the phys­i­ol­o­gy of the human body.)  Thus, the heat that is pro­duced with the GHE Method may help to stim­u­late blood flow to the scalp.  Our blood car­ries vital nutri­ents to var­i­ous parts of the body, so it would make sense that more nutri­ents might be reach­ing the fol­li­cles of the scalp with the GHE Method.  With increased nutri­ents fol­lows opti­mal hair growth?  Pos­si­bly.

3. It helps to retain more mois­ture, which “boosts hair growth”

In addi­tion to heat pro­duc­tion there is con­den­sa­tion (that is, water vapor trans­form­ing into liq­uid water) in the show­er-cap envi­ron­ment.  Because our nat­u­ral hair loves mois­ture, the GHE method can be good for replen­ish­ing and retain­ing mois­ture.  That in turn can help with length reten­tion, but what about hair growth?  I have not found any infor­ma­tion that sup­ports a rela­tion­ship between mois­ture and hair growth from the fol­li­cle.

4. The sweat and steam detox­i­fy the scalp

As men­tioned ear­lier, the warm envi­ron­ment cre­at­ed with the GHE method can induce sweat­ing.  How­ev­er, the main pur­pose of sweat is to reg­u­late the body’s tem­per­a­ture (by cool­ing the body upon evap­o­ra­tion); sweat does not “detox­i­fy” the body.  We have organs with­in our body – liv­er, gas­troin­testi­nal tract, kid­neys – that take care of that task.  Addi­tion­al­ly, sweat is pri­mar­i­ly water with just a small amount of ele­ments and min­er­als (none of which are tox­ic), such as iron, cal­ci­um, and sodi­um.  That being said, the GHE Method more than like­ly can­not detox­i­fy the scalp.

So, after exam­in­ing each of the­se claims, does the GHE Method real­ly help the hair grow?  Well, it is pos­si­ble given a stim­u­la­tion of blood flow to the scalp induced by the heat formed from wear­ing a show­er cap for a pro­longed peri­od.  How­ev­er, you might real­ly not know until you try it for your­self!  You can read more about the method here.

Ladies, have you tried the GHE Method?  What has been your expe­ri­ence?


Empow­er­ing wom­en of col­or to break bar­ri­ers. Cherish.Thy.Melanin.

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72 Comments on "Does the “Greenhouse Effect” Really Increase Hair Growth?"

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the gypsy life

I don’t believe any of the­se “meth­ods” pro­duces faster hair growth. Patience, mois­tur­ized, trim, and keep it clean, are all the meth­ods you need to grow and retain length. It’ll hap­pen when it hap­pens. Just enjoy it for what it is.

Agreed. I’ve always won­dered how the reg­i­mens of peo­ple who expe­ri­ence a lot of growth by using the lat­est band­wag­on looked before they incor­po­rat­ed the new tech­nique. Per­haps peo­ple who have a lot of luck with the ghe method just need­ed a high­er mois­ture bal­ance any­way, and cowashing/shampooing/deep con­di­tion­ing more often or spritz­ing dai­ly could have the same net effect. Or, the act of wear­ing the plas­tic cap for extend­ed peri­ods of time acts as a pro­tec­tive style–if you don’t nor­mal­ly PS or mois­tur­ize fre­quent­ly any­way, how would you know? I know I start­ed retain­ing length much faster when I… Read more »

when I try growth aids or meth­ods, I make sure to record my results accu­rate­ly. I received 2 inch­es from doing the ghe effect method for a mon­th. I wrote about my expe­ri­ence in the link below. in the post, I also talk about how you can’t just com­plete­ly knock some­thing before you try it. and even then, it might have just not worked for you.

GiGi =)

Awe­some assess­ment on your blog, thank you!


I used the GHE When I first BCed and I have to say my hair was the soft­est and most mois­tur­ized it has ever been dur­ing my jour­ney. Now I’m 2 years in and am look­ing for some­thing to give that same effect bc those plas­tic bags and caps are hard­er to keep on at night with this big hair :).