Onion is one of the most widely used vegetables found in almost all cuisines. This popular ingredient is often included raw or sautéed lightly to pack extra flavours in various savoury dishes. But who would imagine that these luminescent little bulbs are a much-loved beauty ingredient too, notwithstanding their sharp odour. There is a lot of chatter about the benefits of raw red onion juice for hair health and we are here to explain why.
The feel of applying raw onion juice on the scalp is not at all glamorous but it is a big trend even in Korean beauty as it is loaded with anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory properties and lots of antioxidants. However, do onions have the power to reduce your hair issues and lead to a healthy scalp? Let us find out.
From shampoos to hair oils and serums, red onion juice is a star ingredient in many haircare products. Be it premature ageing and greying, alopecia areata or spot baldness and scalp infections, the universal answer to these woes is often raw red onion juice applied directly on the scalp and the shafts of your hair. Does this sound too good to be true? Medical evidence suggests that this trick does wonders for obtaining healthy hair if used with discretion.
Before diving straight into the tips and tricks to curtail hair loss for a super healthy mane, it is important to understand what makes onion such a unique but vital ingredient in both DIY and company-manufactured haircare and cosmetic products.
Benefits of using onion juice for hair
Genetics and diet play an important role in our hair health. According to experts, maintaining a balanced diet is the key to not just getting a shiny mane but also being fit and healthy. More often than not, an imbalance in the nutrient profile of an individual has direct repercussions including hair loss, dry and brittle scalp and dandruff, although, it is proven that topical onion juice treatment can help with hair loss.
As per a report on alopecia areata by the Journal of Dermatology, raw onion juice can boost hair growth. In the sample group comprising 38 individuals (male and female), crude onion juice was applied by one group, while the other group washed their hair with plain tap water. It was found that there was a marked improvement in the hair and scalp quality of 23 people who used onion juice. It was also noted that males were likely to be more benefitted than females.
The science behind using onion juice for hair
One of the basic components of onion is dietary sulphur. This is part of a larger group of amino acids which in turn are a component of protein. In short, raw onion juice is full of essential proteins and keratin required to treat hair loss and promote good scalp health.
In addition to increasing blood circulation to the hair follicles, it is also rich in collagen — another hero ingredient promoted by the cosmetic industry to reverse skin and hair ageing leading to cell growth.
In another study mentioned in the Journal of Drug Delivery and Therapeutics, onion hair nourishing shampoo led to a decrease in hair loss and an increase in the nourishment of the scalp.
How to make onion juice?
Many products in the market claim to use onion extract. We are spoiled for choice with various shampoos, oils, serums, conditioners and masks infused with this juice. Although they encourage hair growth, dermatologists and trichologists claim that there is nothing as effective as crude onion juice prepared at home.
One can peel and chop onions and apply the juice directly through an applicator on the hair roots of dry hair and massage it for absorption. Those who wish to avoid the strong odour can add little lemon juice or apple cider vinegar before applying the raw onion juice.
How to use onion juice for hair?
There is another method which is slightly time-consuming but effective for those who want to enhance the properties of raw onion. For this, boil the pieces of raw onion in water for over ten minutes. Strain it with a muslin cloth. After applying it all over your scalp, cover your head with a shower cap for about an hour. It is safe to use a mild shampoo to wash the hair.
Can you add other ingredients to onion juice?
You can add emollients such as aloe vera gel, olive oil, castor oil or coconut oil if you want to unlock a few nourishing qualities of the onion for smooth hair.
Additionally, you could add cayenne pepper to further aid the absorption process or even a few drops of honey, all of which are known for their antimicrobial properties. The use of essential oils such as tea tree oil is also recommended.
Are there any side effects of onion juice for hair?
Even though the benefits of applying raw onion juice are no secret, individuals with a known onion allergy should steer clear of this treatment. Also, those with highly sensitive scalps should not use crude onion juice directly on the scalp without consulting their dermatologist or trichologist.
To be on the safer side, everyone should do a patch test on a small portion of the scalp. It is also advised to avoid keeping it on for over two hours. Overnight use is also not recommended as it can trigger scalp irritation.
Who should not use onion juice?
Those suffering from an illness amounting to hair loss such as alopecia or pattern baldness should consult a doctor and try medical treatments such as hair transplant rather than resorting to simple topical treatments like this.
But overall, using raw onion juice on the head is safe primarily with none or lesser side effects. It also is one of the most economical and feasible ways to promote hair growth.
Best onion juice products
Since we have established that onion juice is a great stimulant to get luscious healthy hair, it doesn’t hurt to try a few onion-based products aside from crude DIY juice. Here are a few products that you can try to keep your hair loss under control and get the strong, thick tresses you have always dreamt of.
Some onion based products for healthy hair
Some more onion hair-care products to shop
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Hong Kong
(Main and featured image: Ali Pazani/Unsplash)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Answer: Onion juice is generally used to cure dry scalp but if you have dry skin, it is best to mix it with a few drops of coconut, castor or olive oil before applying it on the scalp.
Answer: The sulphur present in onion juice can cause itchiness to the scalp. The key is to do a patch test on a small section before applying it on the whole scalp.
Answer: Yes. Onion juice can aid hair re-growth as it contains dietary sulphur which is a kind of a protein. It also contains collagen which promotes cell regrowth.
Answer: Raw onion juice can be applied with the help of a hair spray but it needs to be washed within an hour.
Answer: It is generally recommended not to leave the crude onion juice on the scalp overnight as it can trigger irritation.
Answer: It is recommended to use this remedy twice or thrice a week.