Updated: Nov 2, 2020
Written By: Lena Yumi - Revised Oct 30, 2020
As you probably know by now if you’ve followed me online or read about my background you’d know that I have an affinity and infinite passion for East Asian Culture. It’s very important to me as I was raised in an Okinawan/ Ryukyuan household. In ancient times the Ryukyuan and Chinese Kingdoms had a rich history of trading and a long lasting harmonious relationship with each other. Therefore, I value and respect Chinese Medicine and culture tremendously for the impactful technology and medicinal discoveries that they introduced to the Ryukyuan Island chain and the world.
This Article Includes 4 topics - please feel free to skip forward for your reading preferences.
1 Jade Hair Comb
2 Shine Serum (Ingredient List Analysis)
3 Scalp Massage + Meridian Points
4 About the Founder - Anna Lam
* Narative by Author, Lena
I stumbled upon Ginger Chi on a late night search on the inter-webs which often looks like Alice falling down the rabbit hole - swimming in deep pools of virtual information during late hours of the night. Now with that being said - I was specifically looking for hair growth tools that would increase blood flow to the scalp to aid hair growth.
Jade Hair Comb (1) - Inspired by her mother, founder Anna Lam fondly remembered her mother using as a child. Anna thought adding various Jade tools would be the
perfect compliment to her beauty line based on Chi. Unable to find the quality tools she had known, she travelled to the source in the province of Liaoning, China where Xiuyan Jade is mined. On her voyage Anna found artisans and worked with them to refine and improve the tools for its sturdiness.
Experience: I really enjoyed this tool and it made a great addition to my tool collection. It's just such a rare find. I love looking at it next to my jade Gua sha and rolling tools. Using it is such a great experience for me and so relaxing. I tend to read a lot at nights for research/work so I really need to turn off my mind to get ready for a good nights rest. This tool paired with the oil is such a treat for wash days as I only wash my hair 2 times a week. I use it on different pressure points on my scalp (read more about different massage techniques down below). I try to use it as much as possible on my scalp without the oil on other nights because increasing blood circulation on the head will also aid in anti-aging.
(*) I want to note the importance of giving credit where it’s due. In America we tend to use the “cultural melting pot” term which is very offensive to those who value the importance of distinguished diversity. Indigenous peoples risked their lives to harvest and forage for different resources they found in different regions of the world that have inspired countless high quality products in the beauty industry. I think education and respect for other cultural bodies is a very important topic that should be addressed more often. I see this most significantly in the conscious and mindful beauty niche which can sometimes be very offensive to different ethic minorities in America especially because the mindful lifestyle originated in East Asia to begin with.
Penetrating Shine Serum (2) - This serum is rich in minerals and essential oils. It contains the perfect amount of fresh ginger oil that fortifies the scalp and penetrates the hair shaft with Chi. It will help to stop the hair from falling off and breaking (great for traction alopecia around the edges of the hairline). If you’re familiar with pure essential oils you would understand that these powerful and concentrated substances should be used with caution as they can be harmful if used without the guidance of an experienced professional. Luckily for you this serum was formulated by a highly respected team composed of Acupuncturist Dr. Ming Liu, Aromatherapist Christina Dille and renowned formulator Mike Harmon.
This hair oil can be used for an intensive hair treatment, conditioner, serum that coats the ends and tips of hair. When used on the scalp it can be a very useful remedy that rids dandruff, dry and itchy scalp. This is due to its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties which help keep the skin healthy and clean. If used on the ends you will find that it makes hair more manageable, softer and shinier.
Product Ingredient/Safety Analysis
Camellia Sinensis Seed Oil - Camellia Seed Oil ✅
Limnanthes Alba - Meadowfoam Seed Oil ✅
Adansonia Digitata - Baobab Seed Oil ✅
Crambe Abyssinica - Crambe Seed Oil ✅
Caprylic/capric triglyceride - Fractionated Coconut Oil ✅
Simmondsia Chinensis - Jojoba Seed Oil ✅
Tocopherol - Vitamin E ✅
Lavandula Angustifolia - Lavender Flower Oil ✅
- Human case studies and in vitro testing shows that lavender oil is estrogenic - safe in controlled doses.
Cedrus Atlantica - Atlas Cedar Oil ✅
Zingiber Officinale - Fresh Ginger Root Extract ✅
Rosmarinus Officinalis - Rosemary Oil ✅
Mentha Piperita - Peppermint Oil ✅
- Known human any toxicant or allergen - safe in controlled doses
Hair + Scalp Wellness Score 12/12
Do you have doubts and concerns about the effectiveness and toxicity of a hair product you're currently using or interested in purchasing?
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Directions for Usage:
Dispense a few drops of serum and massage into the scalp. Using the Jade Comb, use gentle circular motions follow the instructions provided (See Section 3 below for more information on scalp massage and the meridian points). Do not apply strong pressure, as skin on scalp is sensitive. Do not use on broken skin or if you have any scalp conditions. Leave on for at least an hour or overnight. Wash out and style as usual. It is important that you make sure to wash it out as its powerful properties can be harmful if used in the wrong way.
Use as needed for scalp and hair concern. Contact me in the comments below with any questions about specific concerns.
My Experience: The scent of a pure essential oil blend is unparalleled to any other hair serum you'll ever use. The aroma of Rosemary & Lavender are the most dominant to me in the blend (please read the Product Ingredient/Safety Analysis above. I'm a huge sucker for the scent of pure oils and can tell from one sniff if its really natural or not (weird I know. It's very hard to find hair oils that are truly pure. I really appreciate the blend and the love/care placed behind all of Ginger Chi products. I use it for a scalp treatment once a week as my hair is healthy and hair loss isn't my biggest concern. A good scalp massage is so relaxing and maintains optimal blood circulation to my head which insures a happy scalp and head of hair... I make sure to use the oil sparingly on wet or damp hair to make sure the oil penetrates the inner layers (cuticle, cortex and medulla) of my hair strands and leave it on for 30 minutes while I take a warm bath or shave, etc. I always start at the scalp and work my way through the ends but you can do it in whatever order you like. Since my hair is very thick and texture/density I apply in sections on different quadrants of my hair on my scalp. Along with that I've found that doing oil treatments really regulates the oil production on my scalp which means I don't have to wash my hair as often. I think of doing oil weekly treatments as insurance to prevent hair loss as I age. I have also read quite a bit of information about the effects of massage and using certain oils on the scalp to slow the speed of graying hair (I'll be doing more research about the studies and validity of these claims in the future, stay tuned). I use it the ends of my hair during my treatment not just my scalp. On the days following I use a tiny bit on the ends of my dry hair to add extra shine and protection (make sure to warm the oil on your hands before applying). It's important to use it sparingly and work it in with my hands. After that I gently brush my hair with a wooden brush to absorb/distribute extra oils.
(*) Lena's Expert Advice: I recommend doing a patch test on a small dime sized section of skin behind the ear a day or two before usage to make sure it agrees with your body's biochemistry. We're all different therefore one thing that works on one individual or a group of test subjects won't necessarily work on you. Although there have been many tests conducted throughout the years and scientifically based evidence is my most trusted source of information. I still encourage you to take precautions especially because you're probably reading this article due to scalp concerns to begin with. Your health and safely should always come first and the last thing that you'd want to happen is a negative reaction.
(*) Just because essential oils are natural doesn't mean that they don't have potential risks or hazards. Side effects can be defined by a series of events that are initiated by exposure and its progression through distribution and metabolism. Ultimately its interactions with different macromolecules i.e., proteins can result in outcomes expressed in various toxicity endpoints. However when used correctly essential oils are extremely safe and carry fewer risks than modern medicines.
The History of Ginger - a beloved flowering plant native to Indochina. The use of the ginger rhizome (root) can be traced back to more than 5,000 years where it became a staple in cuisines and cure-all in asian households. In the 13th-14th centuries ginger was a hot commodity that was commonly traded to Europe. Due to the exorbitant prices only the wealthy could afford it. It's said that one pound of ginger would cost the equivalent of one sheep.
This aromatic and pungent root has amazing healing qualities. Its warming and simulating effects work to increase blood circulation. It contains powerful antioxidants such as beta-carotene, capsaicin, caffeic acid, and gingerols. Antioxidants are known to protect the skin by limiting the harmful effects of free radicals, which can damage scalp cells in the blood vessels. More specifically they maintain collagen production or the connective tissues of hair folicles. Along with that its fatty acids feed your hair folicules with the rich nutrients it needs to thrive. These fatty acids are extremely beneficial for promoting growth in with individuals who experiencing excessive hair fall/thinning of the hair.
*I want to be clear that it doesn't make your hair grow faster but aids hair growth at its optimal speed. If you are suffering with hair loss and slow growth ginger can be used in various ways to aid hair growth.
The Benefits of Scalp Massage (3)
Scalp Massage is known as the rubbing and kneading of the scalp by adding pressure with fingers, hands and tools. The benefits can provide increased blood flow to the hair follicles located in the dermal layer of the skin. The stimulation of the scalp warms the skin and opens up the blood vessels which in turn results in an increased nutrient intake. These follicles are made up of 20 different cell types which all have distinct functions. Each follicle grows a hair by packing old cells together and holds tiny sebum-producing glands. Furthermore all hair follicles need an adequate intake of nutrients in order to function properly which results in hair growth. A consistent daily massage in conjunction with the use of essential oils has been scientifically proven to be an effective treatment for the condition of alopecia areata. The study was conducted by Isabelle C. Hay, Margaret Jamieson and Anthony D. Ormerod in the Department of Dermatology at the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary in Scotland, United Kingdom.
It can also reduce dandruff and dry skin that can interrupt the process of hair growth. In addition to the increased blood circulation it will also condition and enhance the strength of its roots reducing the chances of hair strands becoming brittle, split and broken. Lastly, massage is known to be effective in minimizing stress hormones which impacts the ability of hair follicles to produce hair.
(*) Recommended Scalp Massage techniques based on the Meridian of the scalp and various pressure points proven to stimulate circulation. As stated above this has been proven as an effective method when combined with the use of essential oils to promote hair growth. To reach even higher likely chances of optimal hair growth consult with an acupuncturist for treatment. All methods are combined along with the use of effective and nontoxic hair products....I promise you that results will follow a regular routine. Set realistic goals - start once a week to really get comfortable with the process and decide what massage techniques to use. From that point you can gradually increase the amount of days throughout time. When you really set aside time before a shower you'll really see results.
Meet the Founder of Ginger Chi (4)
Ginger Chi, founded by Anna Lam is a business built on ethical practices learned by example through the ancient traditions of her Chinese heritage. Her brand is based on the concept of finding balance of yin and yang within you by the use of herbs found in East Asian Medicinal practices. The story of Ginger Chi began from humble beginnings on a small island in the Pacific named Nauru filled with coconut groves, tropical fruits and unique marine life inhabiting the coral reef surrounding the atoll. It was there that she grew a profound awareness and appreciation for nature. Her love for nature and the power of botany only grew stronger after her and her family relocated to Melbourne, Australia.
Ginger Chi was officially born after moving to New York City where she gave birth to her biggest inspiration in life, her daughter. During postpartum she found that her body became unbalanced and vulnerable to the elements. Therefore, she returned back to her roots in Traditional Chinese medicine to restore the chemical composure of her body prior to giving birth. This would require a new way of life adhering to particular rituals and protocols found in ancient traditions to balance the Yin in her body that resulted after childbirth. She found Yang in the properties of Ginger, one of the most revered herbs in China in order to restore harmony in her body. Anna began eating, drinking and bathing in ginger. Ginger Chi was founded to share Anna’s story of strength and resilience to help others find the same restoration she found in herself after renewing her Chi.
Ginger Chi promises balance in your everyday life, whether it be physical, emotional, or environmental. All these factors can weaken your bodily microbiome and ability to function properly in multiple areas on a cellular level with an emphasis on dry, oily and aging skin.
All Anna’s products are developed authentically within the realm of Chinese medicine as she developed her products with a highly respected team composed of Acupuncturist Dr. Ming Liu, Aromatherapist Christina Dille and renowned formulator Mike Harmon. She also was ahead of the crowd with the Jade Roller trend, something she learned from her mother's beauty ritual. Therefore, in 2012 she embarked on a quest to the source in the province of Liaoning, China where Xiuyan Jade is mined to find the quality rollers she had known growing up. In Liaoning she found artisans that worked with her to prepare the roller to meet her standards of high quality rollers made to last paired by exceptional stone quality. The result is mindfully crafted tools that utilize the power of plants found in her products. All of these factors are used to pair the understanding and utilization of the circulatory system to regulate and balance the Chi in you.
In 2012, way before Jade Rollers became the craze; Anna remembered the tool her mother had used and thought it would be the perfect compliment to her beauty line based on Chi. Unable to find the quality rollers she had known, she travelled to the source in the province of Liaoning, China where Jade is mined. On her voyage Anna found artisans and worked with them to refine and improve the roller for its sturdiness and quality.
Drop any questions or useful information about hair growth in the comment section below. I hope you have the chance to visit the Ginger Chi online or in person if you're local to NYC. If you do I hope you enjoy the lovely experience that I did using the tools and potent botanical serums created by Anna.
With love, xx Lena