Hair loss is a struggle that many people face, especially as they get older. There are tons of hair growth products out there with varying results, ranging from decent to downright terrible. However, it turns out that there may be a remedy that is both all-natural and easy to use. The only downside is that your head will smell like onions.
Today we’re going to be looking at onion juice and its effectiveness at regrowing hair. This may sound like a wacky old wives tale, but recent studies have shown that it can provide significant growth. To think, the solution to your thinning scalp was sitting on your kitchen counter all along.
While we can’t guarantee that you can reclaim a full head of hair with onion juice, it does show promising signs of keeping your hair thick and abundant. Let’s break down the various elements of this unconventional treatment and see if it’s right for you.
Out of all of the vegetables available at the supermarket, why are onions so good at regrowing hair? What’s the secret ingredient that they contain? It turns out that there are many different benefits of onions and their juice, both through ingestion and applying it to your scalp. Let’s review.
Even if you wash your hair regularly, that doesn’t mean that it’s clean. We collect all kinds of dirt, grime, and germs which can take hold at the root and cause a variety of conditions, from itchy scalp to hair loss.
Onions have long been known to be antimicrobial. If you’ve ever heard of onions helping you cure a cold or absorb toxins from the air, those stories are based on this fact.
While microbes may not be the primary reason you’re losing your hair, they can certainly be exacerbating the situation. Cleansing with onion juice can help keep your scalp healthier and cleaner, which can make the skin and the follicles feel more refreshed.
Our bodies rely on sulfur for a lot of things, but namely with growing things like nails, bones, and hair. A lack of sulfur can negatively impact your scalp, which is why onions can boost hair growth. Since these vegetables are rich with the stuff, they can rejuvenate your skin and body. Best of all, you can get these benefits both from eating onions and applying the juice to your hair.
You may have heard people talking about flavonoids and their benefits on the body. These particles are naturally found in many fruits and vegetables, and they can have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Inflammation is a cause of many maladies that plague the body, and hair loss is one of them. Onions are rich in flavonoids, which makes them an ideal treatment. Reducing inflammation in your body is excellent for a lot of reasons, and it can help stop the spread of free radicals, which can cause aging and male pattern baldness.
So, how do we know that onions can help stimulate your hair follicles? Although we don’t have an abundance of research on this subject, there is one study conducted in 2002 that serves as the basis for these claims.
In the study, 38 people were divided into two groups. The first consisted of 23 people – 16 males and seven females. The second contained 15 patients – eight males and seven females. Everyone in the group suffered from Alopecia Areata (more on that later).
The first group was told to apply crude onion juice topically to their hair, while the second just used regular tap water. Everyone was instructed to apply their treatments twice a day for two months.
Interestingly enough, two people (one man, one woman) re-grew some hair with the tap water. However, the onion juice group experienced a transformation. 20 of the 23 people (86.9%) re-grew their hair in as little as four weeks. The study doesn’t detail the amount or condition of the hair that was grown back, so we can’t tell for sure how significant the results were.
One noticeable trend was that it seemed to be more effective in the men than the women. 93.7% of the male patients had growth, compared to 71.4% for the females.
Again, this is just one study, and it was conducted on sufferers of Alopecia Areata. Still, it does show that onion juice helps stimulate hair growth, and the effects are wide-ranging and noticeable.
If you suffer from male pattern baldness, then you may be thinking if onion juice can have similar effects on your situation.
When looking at the causes of this condition (aka Androgenetic Alopecia), the primary source of hair loss is attributed to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This substance will cause hair follicles to reduce, which causes them to fall out and not grow back.
So does onion juice affect DHT? The answer is kind of murky. The elements in onions won’t reduce the amount of DHT in your body, but juice applied to the scalp can keep it from affecting your roots and hair follicles as significantly. Essentially, the juice acts as a barrier that stops the DHT from taking hold, although it’s not impermeable. Learn more about natural DHT blockers.
Bottom line, there is no hard evidence to suggest that onion juice can help with male pattern baldness, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t have any benefits. It can’t hurt to try it and see how it works for you.
Related: Hair Loss Treatment for Men
Since female pattern baldness works the same way, the benefits (or lack thereof) should be similar. However, as with the above study, onion juice seems to work better for men than women, so you may notice less hair growth overall. It’s unclear if a higher concentration of the juice would improve the results, but it still doesn’t hurt to try it and see how it works.
Related: How To Prevent Hair Loss in Women
Since the research study was conducted on people suffering from this exact condition, there’s no reason to believe that it would have diminished results for anyone currently experiencing Alopecia Areata.
The way that this condition leads to hair loss is that the immune system mistakenly attacks hair follicles, which causes them to shrink. Onion juice appears to protect the follicles from the immune system, thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Overall, we believe that you can experience noticeable hair growth when using onion juice, and again, men can have better results than women. Learn more about Alopecia Areata.
Fortunately, because this is a natural remedy that doesn’t call for anything except raw onions, creating a treatment is relatively simple and straightforward. There are a few methods of incorporating the juice into your daily routine, so let’s outline the steps required.
If you have a juicer, then all it takes is cutting an onion into quarters and feeding the pieces into the machine. However, if you have to do it manually, we find that a garlic press can yield better results than other methods.
Since you want to have a potent solution, we don’t recommend mixing the juice with anything. However, since the smell can be overwhelming, you may want to cut it with water or lemon juice to alleviate the odor.
To keep things simple, all you have to do in this case is dab a cotton swab in the juice and apply it to the hair roots. Don’t soak the swab, but make sure that it’s damp enough to leave sufficient liquid on the scalp.
Adding honey to your hair can be beneficial on its own, but mixing it with onion juice can provide those benefits along with hair growth. A simple recipe would be to combine two tablespoons of onion juice with one tablespoon of honey.
Once you have your mixture, you can brush it on your hair or use a cotton swab.
You have to let the juice soak into the skin for it to work effectively, so we recommend leaving it in overnight. You will want to wear a shower cap or something similar to keep it from leaching into your pillow.
However, if all night is not an option, then leave it in for at least 15-20 minutes before rinsing. Don’t wash it out immediately, as that can negate most of the effects.
Referring back to the study, users of the onion juice saw growth in as little as four weeks. However, we suggest that you stick to a full eight-week trial to see if it will yield the results you want.
Because this isn’t an exact science, feel free to experiment a little to see if it increases your hair growth. Work with different mixtures, try various kinds of onions, and test different durations. If you’re going to alter your treatment, we suggest taking notes to ensure that you can tell if one method is working better than others. Also, make sure to stick with one therapy for at least a week before changing it.
Obviously, one of the most prevalent side effects of rubbing onion juice on your head is that it will stink. If you decide to leave it in overnight, you can wake up to a strong odor in the morning (it may be better than an alarm). As we mentioned, lemon juice or rose water can reduce the smell, but it’s going to be there no matter what you do.
Another thing to consider is if you’re allergic to onions. Also, remember that onion particles can sting (which is why we cry when cutting them). We suggest that you test the juice on your wrist or cheek to see if it will be too intense for your skin.
Finally, be sure to avoid getting any juice in your eyes. Never apply the juice at the base of the hairline. Instead, start on top of the scalp and let it spread from the center of the head.
Since this treatment is so accessible and easy to apply, it’s worth trying it if you want to re-grow your hair. If you suffer from Alopecia Areata, you will likely notice results, but those suffering from male (or female) pattern baldness may or may not see the kind of growth they want.
Beyond reclaiming your hair follicles, onion juice has other benefits for your skin, including reducing dandruff and cleaning the skin. Also, the substance can stimulate blood flow, which can rejuvenate your hair, even if it doesn’t grow it.