Onions, typically seen as a simple staple in the kitchen, may have other uses than simply adding flavor to our food. It may sound surprising but onion juice is also a hair loss home remedy.
Loss of hair is very common and can involve bald patches, full baldness or gradual thinning.
Around 80 million men and women in the United States have some degree of hair loss according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
An inherited disease called androgenetic alopecia is the most common cause of hair thinning or loss. It can also occur as a side effect of certain medications or due to hormonal changes.
Onion juice is one home remedy that many people may not have heard of.
Important facts about onion juice for hair loss:
- Onions contain certain minerals, which may be good for the hair.
- Anyone allergic to onions should not use onion juice on their hair.
- If the smell is too much to stand, adding a little lemon juice or rose water helps.
- Although a popular home remedy, more research is needed to conclude if onion juice works as a hair loss treatment.
Does it work?
No detailed work has been carried out into the use of onion juice for hair regrowth.
One small study published in the Journal of Dermatology suggested that in some people the application of onion juice to the scalp can help hair regrow.
The study included participants who had alopecia areata which is a patchy, non-scarring hair loss type.
Researchers noticed that hair growth began after two weeks of using onion extract, which was added twice daily to the scalp.
After 4 weeks, about 74 percent of the participants had some hair regrowth, and about 87 percent reported hair regrowth at 6 weeks. The study involved both males and females, and the hair regrowth among males was greater.
Although the study did indicate positive results, it was small with only 38 participants.
How it may help
Nutrients applied to the hair in the onion juice may nourish the hair follicles, which may increase the volume, shine and improve hair strength. Also, the extra nutrients will prevent breakages and thinning.
In addition to conditioning, in some people the use of onion juice can also encourage new hair development.
The explanation onion juice can be helpful in improving hair health may be due to:
One theory about how onion juice can help hair regrowth is that onions contain sulphur in the diet.
Sulfur is one of the corporally most common minerals. It’s needed for proper enzyme and protein production. Keratin also contains sulfur which is one of the hair components.
The sulfur in the juice of onions can give the hair the nutrition it needs to grow. It can also improve hair ‘s growing process.
Onions have antibacterial properties which can help fight infections of the scalp.
A scalp infection may in some cases lead to the hair loss. A healthy scalp has a better chance of getting good follicles in the hair.
Onions contain antioxidants, for instance flavonoids. It’s assumed that antioxidants defend the body against free radicals.
It is assumed that the free radicals contribute to the aging cycle. For example, free radicals can wreck hair follicles and lead to hair thinning and hair loss.
The cancelation or decrease of free radicals may reduce hair follicle damage.
The procedure is easy for those who wish to try to use onion juice to improve hair health or encourage regrowth.
People will follow these steps to make the onion juice:
- Peel about four onions and chop them into small pieces.
- Extract the juice out of the onion by either squeezing it or using a juicer.
- Another option is placing the onion pieces into a blender and blending into a paste. Place the paste in cheesecloth and squeeze all the juice out.
- Apply the juice to the scalp or the hair roots.
A few drops of essential oil can also help diminish the juice’s potent odor. The essential oils of peppermint, lavender, and rosemary can be good options for diluting the smell.
There are currently no commercial products which contain onion juice, such as shampoos.
However, commercially prepared juice from onions and liquid extract from onions are available to those who do not wish to make their own.
While the onions are not ingested, skin contact can cause symptoms in people with allergies.
For people not allergic, onion juice can also be irritating to the skin, causing redness and itching.
It may be useful to do a patch test before applying the liquid to the whole scalp to be sure that onion juice does not cause significant irritation.
A person can apply a small amount of onion juice to the inner elbow or back of the ear to do this, and wait a few minutes. It is safer not to add the juice to the scalp as discomfort arises.
Also, it is important not to get onion juice in the eyes. Juice of onion which drips into the eyes can cause burning and redness.
If onion juice gets into the eyes, it is important that it is rinsed away with cool water.
Though not a harmful side effect, onion juice can smell very strongly.
The odor can dissuade some people from continuing treatment with onion juice, as it must be applied daily to have the best chance of being successful.
Many people may be effective using onion juice for hair replanting or conditioning while others may not.
The use of onion juice does not grow hair quickly, either. It takes a dedication to administer the onion juice twice daily over the course of several weeks to see if it will yield successful results.
Studies are minimal, and it’s uncertain if hair growth will continue or if the hair will return to its original state if onion juice is stopped.
The bottom line is that the use as a hair treatment of onion juice is probably not a miracle hair loss cure. It does seem safe for most people, however, if they are not allergic to onions.
Side effects seem minimal, too. Making an onion juice rinse for the hair is also fairly easy and not too expensive.
Even if onion juice is not used to produce a full head of hair, it probably won’t damage existing hair.
And the use of onion juice may be a potential natural remedy worth trying for certain people with hair loss.