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Does the “Greenhouse Effect” Really Increase Hair Growth?

• Mar 17, 2014

gree

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?

About Chinwe

Healthy hair care tips and more! http://www.healthyhairbody.com

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Skyler
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Skyler

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 :).

yahya
Guest
yahya

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.

http://pocahontas-secrets.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-green-house-effect-ghe-method.html

GiGi =)
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GiGi =)

Awesome assessment on your blog, thank you!

the gypsy life
Guest
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.

Dananana
Guest
Dananana

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 »

Morayo
Guest
Morayo

Glad about this post! I have been doing the GHE for 6 weeks now and although I have not been tracking my growth, my hair does feel super moisturized and soft ever since.
I never really started it because of faster hair growth anyway, but if it does help in that aspect, why not?

Diamond
Guest

I just want to interject and say that sweat actually is a form of detoxification, but it’s not as much of a detox to be able to make a claim like they’re trying to do. You not only sweat water and other electrolytes but you also do sweat toxins and urea. But you are correct, sweat’s purpose is to cool the body down. In comparison to other organs in the body, their claim isn’t necessarily truthful. Besides, if you eat unhealthy, you’re body can only do so much detoxing, sweat or not lol. Good article. I really just want to… Read more »

Dananana
Guest
Dananana

Or the crinkling of the plastic? I’m a moderately light sleeper prone to insomnia once woken, so I’d be afraid that I’d wake up (or wake up my dude) every time I turn over. *Crinkle, crinkle* *frustrated insomniac noises*

biancarichards
Guest
biancarichards

I would really try a satin cap for sleeping and retaining moisture, but really i never did it and by moisturising day and night with Giovanni leave‐in or Cantu oil lotion then sealing with aloe vera juice and 4 braids has made it easier for me to have smooth hair.

Tekiebelu
Guest
Tekiebelu

I’m a really light sleeper too & if I cover the plastic bag with a satin bonnet then tie it all down with a scarf, I don’t crinkle or slip anything off during the night. It even solved the problem I had with increased itchiness. Try it out for a nap or on a weekend & see if you notice any noise.

Ttotally
Guest
Ttotally

Even dermaotogist recommend the GHE for stimulating hair growth. It does nourish the hair overnight and in turn promotes faster grwth than letting your hair dry hair out.

stella stella
Guest
stella stella

Does this not create an environment for fungus to grow if the scalp is damp for so long???

imani
Guest
imani

Exactly.I was doing something similar as an nightly hair routine for several months. I put a little product on my hair ‚avoiding the scalp to minimize buildup& dandruff& id sleep with a shower cap covered with my satin bonnet.id wake up to fab moist defined curls that I loved! the problem was at night I was having a crazy itchy scalp & I didn’t know why! Like crazy itchy after abt an hr after I put it on every night! Some nights I could dtand the itching while other nights id rip the shower cap off,scratching like a mad woman!… Read more »

Stace
Guest
Stace

I agree. I know when I was my hair the crown of my head takes the longest to dry, and I noticed that that spot would be itchy and after a few days without intervention would smell like bread (yeasty) if you rubbed the scalp right there. So to combat that I would apply coconut oil to that spot and make sure to blow dry it, even as I left the remainder of my hair to air dry. Perhaps apply an antifungal like coconut oil or ketoconazole or miconazole to the scalp with this method would help to avoid that… Read more »

Ms. Prince
Guest
Ms. Prince

I never heard of anyone complaining about fungus when this method was used for jeri curls.

Diyo
Guest
Diyo

I experienced a very itchy scalp when I had a jheri curl. My mother put sulfur 8 on it and it eventually went away. I’m thinking that it probably was some type of fungus. I tried the baggy method a few years ago and after a few days the intense itch was there again. This time I used tea tree oil and stopped covering my head with plastic…itching gone. Fungus I’m sure

Reanna
Guest
Reanna

I’ve been using this method for almost 6 months now and I’ve never had an issue with fungus or itchy scalp. I wash my hair 1–2 times per week and I apply JBCO to my scalp which is known for having antibacterial and antifungal properties. I went from having a steady 1/2 inch per month growth rate to 1 1/2 inches per month. And that’s from measuring at my scalp and not from the ends of hair. So I can definitely say this method has worked well for me. I won’t say it helps improve length retention but it definitely… Read more »

Letoya
Guest
Letoya

I personally don’t think that any of those methods promote hair growth. However, I do think that for people with hair prone to dryness for example 4b or 4c it helps to keep the hair hydrated for a few extra hours everyday and this helps with length retention.

yahya
Guest
yahya

oh, I have something to add, well, ask. those of you who believe the ghe method only helps with length retention and not growth, how do you explain girls that receive more than 1 inch of growth? the average growth rate is 1/2 an inch. for example, I received 2 inches of growth, so that would be saying my real growth rate is 2 inches and I’ve never been able to retain it properly (pre‐ghe). I don’t mean to come off sarcastic, I’m really asking. maybe there’s an explanation I’m not considering. (I’ve already provided a link above with my… Read more »

Amber
Guest
Amber

How does one keep the plastic cap from ripping out one’s edges?

Cre8ive
Guest

I tie down my edges with a satin scarf then put on the shower cap. Works like a charm!

imani
Guest
imani

I guess I mustve kinda tried in awhile ago without knowing it! I noticed my hair doesn’t retain moisture & it looked better with fresh product in it each morning but it was tedious& I was using a lot of product.I decided to put a little product in at night when I did my chunky twist or bun and put a shower cap on then my satin bonnet on top of that.id wake up with super soft well defined moist curls! The down side was that shower cap held so much of my scalp heat,id get ITCHY SCALP! My hair… Read more »

NubianPrize
Guest
NubianPrize

I just wonder about depriving your hair of fresh air for an entire night & possibly causing hygral fatigue .…damage caused to the hair shaft as the result of hair expanding ( when wet) and contracting (when dry). I’ve read about this on numerous sites. I have very fine soft hair & wouldn’t want to risk this. I can tell you this, tho. Since I went back to a regimen of grease ( Dax & Blue Magic) & water in December (like my mom did when I was a kid) , my hair has grown a lot, retained length &… Read more »

Mary Steward
Guest
Mary Steward

This method could work if done frequently with intention. Any extra stimulation to the scalp can only be healthy. Add this to taking great vitamins such as the Nzuri kra‐z hair gro vitamins or the Nzuri liquid hair vitamins, a nightly scalp massage and you will get great results. I’m speaking from expeirence. I got a good 2 1/2 inches in 3 months with the GHE, Nzuri Vitamins, nightly massages and oh a solid protective style. I could not wait to take my crochet braids down every six weeks. Deep condition and back up again.

Cindy
Guest
Cindy

I don’t know about growing hair, but the GHE helped me greatly with moisture retention for my hair. I started out sleeping 1–2x per week in a plastic shower cap and then covered that with a turbie twist towel to keep it from sliding off during the night and muffling the sound of the plastic. Doing so eliminated that dry hair crunchy feeling. With the GHE I also noticed that I use less product and experience less shedding or breakage. Since I exercise daily, I do herbal hair rinses throughout the week and make sure to do thorough scalp massages… Read more »

Cre8ive
Guest

Agreed! For those of us who do it we see the clear difference in our hair. For those who don’t do it its easier to discredit the testimonials. It’s been working for me!

alt-K
Guest
alt-K

This does not sound like it would make for a good night’s sleep to me. I agree with the people who have suggested simply keeping your hair clean, conditioned, and moisturized. My hair is soft, and I simply spritz it with a leave in conditioner or water before sealing it with a butter or heavy oil. I do this daily, and it works well for me. I guess one should just find and do whatever works for them.

LBell
Guest
LBell

I guess I’ll be the historian in here and mention the connection between the GHE and the Jheri Curl… One of the reasons why people swore that the Jheri Curl made the hair grow was because it was kept moist (i.e., damp) pretty much 24–7 with the help of both curl activator sprays and that overnight plastic cap (which for some folks became their 24‐hour “protective style”…holla back if you remember what I’m talking about 😉 ). Of course, we now know that, rather than speeding up growth production, the constant moistness helped mitigate breakage caused by combs and picks,… Read more »

anastasia
Guest
anastasia

LBell said,
“pretty much 24–7 with the help of both curl activator sprays and that overnight plastic cap (which for some folks became their 24‐hour “protective style”…holla back if you remember what I’m talking about 😉 ).”

Yaaaaaaas!! LOL!! Thanks for the flashback LBell =)

folamix
Guest
folamix

I was around in the 60s and 70s when the afro was popular and no I did not carry around a spray moisturizer. The only time I moisturized my hair was when I was going to comb it which may have once a day.

Mary in Md
Guest
Mary in Md

@LBell. Your history lesson made me lmbo. LOL. I definitely remember the Jheri Curl days. I’m still a big fan of curl activator gel. I’m also a user of the GHE method. I don’t do it every night though. I try to do it once or twice a week. If I don’t feel like dealing with damp hair in the morning, I will put on moisturizers and oil and a plastic cap then apply an electric heat cap for 10 minutes to an hour before bed. I haven’t tracked this in a scientific manner. But, I find that my hair… Read more »

Sassy
Guest
Sassy

I actually use the GHE method, too. I like it for the moisture retention properties since I’m a low porosity type 4 mix. I only do it 3 nights a week, but my hair is super happy with it. I hadn’t tracked any growth since that’s not my thing (health over length), but I have noticed my hair “looks” fuller. That’s a plus.

natalia
Guest
natalia

I have done the ghe for 4 months. As much as my hair was super soft and moisturized i realized that my hair had alot of splits due to the fact that my hair was over moisturized. Moisture is good but i dont think it is safe to do it every night but hey every ones hair is different.

Angel
Guest
Angel

.…Who comes up with this?

Nadegeous
Guest
Nadegeous

I find it funny when people talk about “the Jerri Curl days…”. My dad still has his going on. I’ve never seen him without it, and I think I’d be traumatized if he didn’t have it anymore. I kinda hope he keeps it forever lol!

Mary in Md
Guest
Mary in Md

That’s so sweet. You sound like a daddy’s girl. That’s precious.

LBell
Guest
LBell

Oh yeah…people definitely still wear them! Just not as much as when I was a teen and they were brand new. My mom and both my sisters wore them and I think my dad might have gotten one too if he’d had hair, lol. Me though…I just though they were gross. I still remember taking the bus to school and seeing a grease spot on the window where someone laid their head to sleep. All those Soul Glo scenes in “Coming to America”…that was ALL real life! 🙂

Tyrena
Guest
Tyrena

When the air is dry my dries out fast, the green house effect keeps my hair moisturize which helps my hair from breakage. I use a little water a natural oil cover with pastic cap but a scarf on and go to work or anywhere when I get home I take them off hair nice and soft and moisturized.

AJ
Guest
AJ

I have tried the GHE and I do it after every Aphogee protein treatment to put the moisture back into my hair. I can’t say weather out has worked when it comes to length but it makes my scalp and hair feel better. My new growth is always softer and it makes for easy comb after the oil has soaked into my hair from the heat.

Robyn C
Guest
Robyn C

Applying this method at least 5 times a week, has definitely allowed my to retain 8 inches of hair growth with regular trims in 1 year. Allowing me to go from NL to APL, after being stuck at NL for two whole years and my 3C hair is a 100 times healthier and less frizzy than it was before.

Bella
Guest
Bella

Nice article, but you don’t sound like you wanted to write it. I read it and feel a lot of doubt concerning the article and that you don’t believe that the method can grow hair. I don’t know if I’m making sense. But very helpful information 🙂

ify
Guest
ify

yes your right i felt the same way too it was like she was doubting if GHE really works for the hair but she made us understand what exactly is GHE and what it does for our hair

Rocki Ferg
Guest
Rocki Ferg

This lady doesn’t believe anything works. I read her articles and cringe every time!

Cher
Guest
Cher

I feel like dropped a bit of science on this bandwagon. I feel like while so many people say going “natural” is a movement and so on, people treat it like a fad and will try just about anything including putting “anti‐fungal cream” on their hair to make it grow. I am glad someone wrote what I was thinking about the basic facts of GHE. I think like any other method, we should examine if this good for us as individuals and as a group. Thanks for providing much needed insight.

Kera
Guest
Kera

What science did you drop? There isn’t anything unnatural about the GHE. The moisture created by the shower cap opens the cuticles in the strands and allows the oils to penetrate deeper instead of lying on top of the hair. You put a NATURAL oil on the hair (ie. coconut, olive, grapeseed, etc.) and then put on the plastic cap. No chemicals or harm done yet, right? You sleep in the cap allowing the heat that NATURALLY RISES FROM YOUR HEAD to be caught in the cap, promoting blood circulation and increased sebum production, a NATURAL oil that our bodies… Read more »

Angelita
Guest
Angelita

I don’t know about how it affects the scalp, but anyone that’s ever had a cast for a while can confirm that the hair under that cast grows a lot faster than it should and is actually very disturbing. So it could be true for the hair.

MOTZ1031
Guest
MOTZ1031

I agree, while I did not have a cast, my 8yr old son did. When the cast was removed after a month he had quite a bit of (visible) hair on it.

Dreadlocksdownmyback
Guest
Dreadlocksdownmyback

So heres a wrench. I have a problem with dandruff. Dandruff is a fungus and it likes darkness and moisture. I feel that this will simply worsen that problem.

obviously
Guest
obviously

a year later but try tea tree oil mixed with carrier olive/avocado/coconut oils (it’s too powerful undiluted) on your scalp. it should alleviate dry, flaky scalp and dandruff as tea tree oil is antifungal.

missnew
Guest
missnew

Well I’ve tried it for about half a year and it took all my dam hair out. This is just another fad I think. A week after I started I noticed my hair felt like dam strings & every time I rub my fingers through it it would shed excessively. I’m not sure if I over did it (5 hours a day, sometimes 6), but even on days when I did it 3 hours or whatever I still saw more lost then gain. Everybody hair is different and reacts to certain things in certain ways, but this method is definitely… Read more »

NotSoNew
Guest
NotSoNew

I agree, everybody’s hair is different. But it’s incredibly hard to believe that you tried this and were constantly losing hair daily. Why would you continue using this method if your hair was shedding and breaking continuously? I think you’re just a troll trying to discourage other women.

Tali
Guest
Tali

Agree with NotSoNew..You’re either trolling or you were doing SOMETHING wrong. Next.

Tuesday
Guest
Tuesday

Why do it for 6m if hair was showing signs of loss

mickeyb504
Guest
mickeyb504

I will try this method starting today after i come from jogging.…I will first wash and deep condition my hair and then two strand twist my hair until it dries completely…i will then and take my twist down and spray it with my water and oil mixture and seal it with my mango butter mixture i will then put my shower cap and scraf on and leave on for 4 hrs.…4 hrs every night I will do this for a month and re update my post

Trina
Guest
Trina

What does your opinion matter? This method has already been proven to grow hair by Meeka lashauna and countless other you tubers. When done accurately they received twice the new growth in a month. Usually 1 inch.

Dee
Guest
Dee

I started this method last nite. My hair is braided down in cornrows and I plan to make it last 1 month while I put my wig over it during the day and GHM at night.

Mastermind
Guest
Mastermind

It works! This is the only consistent think I’ve been doing for the past 3 months and I’ve gone from barely APL to BSL in 3 months.

Julia
Guest
Julia

Hay, I just want to know if you can do the GHE without shampooing and conditioning. Anyone can respond, let me know A.S.A.P.

hope
Guest

yes u can. i do

Lunye Ladybug Fowler
Guest
Lunye Ladybug Fowler

For me it does make a difference in the health of my hair. It is like in the 80’s when everyone was wearing those curls. They would put that oil on their hair and those plastic bags on it. Most people that wore curls seem to have grown their hair much faster than people with relaxers or who were natural. The steam effect and the oils, I think made the difference.

MIA
Guest
MIA

Good point

Rica
Guest
Rica

Yes! I can testify that this method promotes hair growth.

MIA
Guest
MIA

Some of this article is not true, the body does detoxify itself through sweating since the skin is the largest organ we all have. Also since the sebum helps with length retention could it not help with hair growth at the follicle since this is where the sebum is coming from?

Jessica Scarlett
Guest
Jessica Scarlett

I just started this method a couple days ago so far I have noticed that my hair is really soft without adding additional products. I have really thick and coarse 4 mix type hair so I love that part so far my only problem is that my scalp is itches constantly. As of right now I use oils and raw shea butter on just my hair when doing this method. I would like to know your ideas.

LaToya Penn
Guest
LaToya Penn

So are you supposed to wet hair then add oil or apply oil to dry hair then put bag on?

Jessica
Guest
Jessica

I would wet my hair first then oils

Curly Girl Moore
Guest

Spray your hair with water until slightly damp, separate your hair in ponytails or a bun or large coils, place a plastic cap over your head, let it sit overnight or a couple of hours, remove cap, and style your hair.

The only thing different I do is after separating my hair into large coils I apply a leave in conditioner and then my plastic cap. I leave my hair like this overnight. In the morning it’s slightly damp, but I remove the plastic cap an hour before leaving for work and they are all dry and ready to separate.

MissS
Guest
MissS

My hair and scalp have responded positively to this method. I notice that my naturally dry scalp and hair is much softer and moisturized for longer periods of time. I have noticed that in the month I’ve been using this method to prevent my scalp and hair from drying out that my roots has gotten slightly thicker. It’s seems as if my hair has gained some fullness and a slight increase in length. While I’m not using this method to grow my hair, it’s nice to witness the additional benefits!

Ariel
Guest
Ariel

Primarily used for keeping my hair moisturized and it works well for me. Especially in my crown area where I tend to have the most breakage.

Kadisha
Guest
Kadisha

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
Guest
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
Guest
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.

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