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Haircare|How to's

by on Aug 21, 2012

Using The Green House Effect (GHE) For Longer Hair



Last week I did a post about retaining length with the Baggy Method. This week, I want to focus on the Green House Effect (GHE.) Though these two techniques are very similar, their goal of achieving longer hair is based on two different ideals.

I have tried the baggy method before, but not the GHE. Even though lots of people with natural hair claim great success with this method, something about sleeping with plastic on my head all night seems rather unappealing to me. However, the numbers of women attributing their hair growth to this method can’t be ignored. Check it out and see what you think.

The Green House Effect (GHE) – The ideal is to create a steam effect (GHE) on the scalp and hair. When combined with a stimulating oil mixture rubbed onto the scalp, the steam effect should help stimulate your follicles to produce at a faster pace than normal resulting in longer hair. The steam also helps moisturize your hair, preventing dryness and breakage.

The key to this method is the application of an oil mixture to the scalp. The mixture should ideally contain ingredients that stimulate blood flow to the scalp without containing butters or oils that are heavy enough to suffocate the scalp. The essential oils of rosemary, basil and peppermint are often used for their stimulating properties.

To Do The GHE:

  • Apply a stimulating mix to your scalp and rub it in thoroughly, giving yourself a nice scalp massage. This gets blood flowing to your scalp and stimulates growth.
  • Apply moisture to the ends of your hair using the oil or butter of your choice. Take this time to also prep your hair for bed by doing twist, braids, or ponytails.
  • Wrap hair in layers of plastic. Saran wrap and plastic shower caps work best.
  • Add a scarf or bonnet on top of the plastic. Add an additional wool layer like a hat or beenie on top of that, which will help trap even more heat. Remember, the more steam you trap in, the better.
  • For sleep, you can remove the hat or beenie and sleep in just the plastic layers and scarf.
  • In the morning, shower before removing the scarf and plastic layers. Leave hair alone for 10 minutes to dry. Style as usual.

What’s the difference between GHE and Baggying?  

The main focus of GHE is the scalp. The aim is to achieve longer hair by stimulating the scalp to grow at an above normal rate. This is achieved by massaging a stimulating mixture onto the scalp and covering hair with plastic for long periods of time (like overnight.)

The aim of the Baggy method is to achieve longer hair by retaining moisture and length. This is done by focusing on the ends of your hair which are the oldest, most fragile, and most likely to break. To do this method, simply apply moisture to the ends of hair (optional) and cover for an hour or more.

I have to be honest, I’m a little skeptical of the whole GHE thing. I mean, doesn’t your scalp need to breathe? Isn’t it uncomfortable to sleep in plastic? Does adding oil to your scalp and covering it overnight clog your pores? I dunno, I’m obviously not seeing the light here. Have you tried GHE and did it work for you? Let us know your experience with it.



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  • MissNatural25

    It was originally supposed to be done without oiling the scalp, but instead allowing the natural sebum from the scalp to come out of scalp more due to increased blood flow stimulation from the steam and massaging. You could lightly mist with distilled water, or if your hair is already moist or a little damp from shower, then you don’t have to. Some people choose not to mist with water because they complain about hair being too wet in the morning. You don’t want it sobing wet, just damp. However, I find that what works for me is just massaging a little grapeseed oil and rosemary oil mixture, only on my edges and nape, and then mist my hair very lightly with water and put just plain grapeseed oil on ends of hair to seal in moisture. I rigorously massage my scalp until my head and hands feel warm and then cover with 2 plastic caps, a silk scarf but not too tight, my bonnet over it, and when I want even more heat I add my beenie cotton hat. I sleep with it on all night, and in morning take it off and let dry for about 10 minutes and reseal with a dime size amout of grapeseed oil and that’s it! It works well for me and gives me an extra half inch per month. I do this only 3 times a week. My hair loves it. If you do opt to oil, stay away from heavy oils and If you so choose to use heavier oils then you may have to wash scalp more often and you won’t really need to GHE but about 1 or 2 times a week in that case since you will already be getting excess moisture from that. You don’t need to overdo moisture! Hope this helps!

  • T

    I suffer from traction alopecia, and this method, has seriously filled in my edges within 3 months….. essentially, this is what we do to deep condition.

  • ylanda71

    GHE does stimulate growth from the scalp but the creator of the method says to avoid applying oil to the scalp because it may block follicles. You are to put oil on hair, especially the ends, avoiding the scalp. I have done this method from time to time and get amazing twist outs in the morning. I had to adjust my method just a bit because my hair is difficult to dry . Instead of spraying water on my hair, I wet my hands and rub in on the section of hair before applying oil. Then I do a two stand twist. By about 3-4am my hair is near wet, so I take off the plastic bags and put my head wraps back. By morning my hair is dry but super moisturized and styled.

  • true

    I have done this for 6 months. I think it is beneficial to my hair texture. The scalp breathes during the day when you have removed the layers. During the night it is ok. You feel the sensation of heat on your head. Obviously. But it is bearable. As far as faster growth…not sure. I will have to wait longer to tell. But I think it is worth a try.