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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How often should you do this and not sham­poo or cow­ash for? I am cur­rent­ly on day two of doing the GHE. I let it breathe for a lit­tle while today, then re applied oil and but­ter (mois­tur­ized and sealed) then put the caps back on. Is that the cor­rect way to do it?

Ashley Malik
Recent­ly my boyfriend told me he noticed he was los­ing his hair may­be because he was under a lot of stress at the office and the men of his fam­i­ly have suf­fered of alope­cia; he tried some prod­ucts with no results. then after i con­sult with my broth­er who have a same prob­lem and he told me about Nuhair­RX Serum and brought it for I gave it to him to see if it might help him with the prob­lem, he have been using it for a while and the dif­fer­ence is notice­able. This serum pro­vides the nec­es­sary nutri­ents to reduce… Read more »
Joy Jones

i tried this method along with the appli­ca­tion of monistat but I did not see a sig­nif­i­cant growth in my hair. how­ev­er, i saw a lit­tle growth at the edge which i have tried to achieve in a long time. I think i need more time for me to real­ly get a great result. I noticed some fun­ny smell ooz­ing out from my bag­ging at night and i think this is real­ly unhealthy for my scalp. I will just do this once every now and then after this tri­al i am cur­rent­ly doing.