Onion juice is a known remedy for hair health, specifically for hair loss. It’s been used for decades as a home treatment.
Considering using onion juice for your own hair care? Read up on the remedy to make sure it will benefit your particular hair health and care routine.
Why use onion juice for hair?
Onion juice may be effective for hair loss in some instances. It may also restore luster and shine. Onion juice could also prevent premature graying of hair and treat dandruff.
Here’s a full list of the claimed benefits of onion juice for hair care:
inflamed, dry, or itchy scalp
dry or brittle hair
prematurely graying hair
Does onion juice for hair loss work?
Science shows that there are many ways onion juice can help with hair loss. For one, onions are high in dietary sulfur, a nutritional element our bodies need.
Sulfur is found within amino acids, which are components of protein. Proteins — and especially keratin, which is known to be sulfur-rich — are needed for growing strong hair.
When added to the hair and scalp, onion juice can provide extra sulfur to support strong and thick hair, thus preventing hair loss and promoting hair growth.
The sulfur from onions may also help promote collagen production. Collagen in turn helps the production of healthy skin cells and hair growth.
It’s also believed that onions may boost circulation. Applying onion juice to the hair and scalp could increase blood supply to hair follicles, which in turn improves hair growth.
There have been studies on how onion juice prevents hair loss, but not on its other benefits.
A 2002 study attempted to put onion juice’s hair loss science in action. The group who washed their hair with onion juice experienced more hair growth than those who washed it with tap water. Men also appeared to experience a greater benefit than women.
However, the study is over a decade old, and not all subjects completed the test. More research is needed into how onion juice works and if its benefits are significant. Nevertheless, many more recent studies and reviews of natural hair loss treatments reference the study as reliable evidence that onion juice can be helpful.
On the other hand, onion juice shouldn’t be considered a cure for hair loss conditions like alopecia or pattern baldness. It can help stimulate and protect the growth of current hair, but it’s not known to reverse any hair loss-related illness.
To encourage hair growth
A 2018 study published in the Journal of Drug Delivery and Therapeutics took a look at the onion’s ability to improve hair growth.
They added onion extract (usually anywhere from 1 to 3 milliliters) to a natural shampoo of coconut, castor, and eucalyptus oils as well as cleansers.
They found when applied to the skin for 5 minutes (much longer than your usual shampoo), the mixture didn’t irritate the skin. They also found that the onion shampoo:
provided more nutrients and better nourishment to hair follicles
moisturized dry hair and scalp
promoted hair growth
To reverse graying of hair
No peer-reviewed evidence exists on the concept of onions reversing the process of graying hair. However, a lot of home remedies promise onion extract can help reduce gray hairs.
The idea behind these home remedies is that onions contain an antioxidant compound called catalase that helps reduce hydrogen peroxide at the hair roots. This is thought to keep the hair from turning gray.
If you’re willing to give this home remedy a try, here’s a mixture that you can apply three to four times per week:
Combine 3 tsp. onion juice with 2 tsp. lemon juice.
Apply the mixture to hair and scalp as evenly as possible.
Leave on hair and scalp for 30 minutes.
Rinse and use a mild shampoo to reduce any onion smells.
Alternatively, you can soak a cotton pad in plain onion juice and apply the juice to your scalp, massaging as you apply. Rinse with a mild shampoo after 15 minutes.
To calm a dry, itchy scalp
Onion’s anti-inflammatory properties may help soothe an itchy scalp. You can also combine onion extract with other natural ingredients to calm your scalp.
Some combinations to try include:
2 tbsp. onion juice and 1/2 tbsp. raw honey
1 tsp. olive oil and 3 tsp. onion juice
3 tbsp. onion juice, 5 tsp. coconut oil, and 1 tsp. lime juice
You can apply one of these combos to your scalp, then wash it away with a mild shampoo after about 20 to 30 minutes.
What should I know before using onion juice?
Using onion juice for hair is mostly safe. If you have an allergy to onions, you shouldn’t use onion juice on your hair.
Even among those who are not allergic, onions can be quite caustic to the skin. Side effects may include redness and itching, depending on how potent a concoction you make. Mixing onion juice with an emollient like aloe vera or coconut oil may prevent this.
Don’t use onion juice as a cure for alopecia or other hair loss issues. For some conditions — such as alopecia — the only successful cure is a hair transplant. The same applies to baldness.
Also, certain medications can increase a person’s sensitivity to onion juice on the skin (such as aspirin). If you’re concerned about interactions, do a skin test first, or talk to your doctor.
The bottom line!
Onion is a safe, natural, and affordable home remedy that can be great for your hair. Many people have reported that it improves thickness, stimulates growth, and even regenerates new growth when dealing with hair loss.
Still, onion juice is not a cure for pattern baldness, alopecia, or other hair loss-related disorders.
Always talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns before using Onion oil.