Updated: Jul 9
Garlic as quite the amazing plant. It is mostly known as a seasoning, but most people don’t know that it has been used for nearly 5000 years as a medicine. Supplementing with garlic can have a profound effect on improving high cholesterol, blood pressure, and many other heart conditions. Not only does it get the blood pumping, it also has many benefits for those suffering from hair loss.
In this article, we are going to dive deeper into exploring the potential upsides of taking garlic for your hair loss. It is an ingredient that you hardly see, if ever, included in hair loss supplements, which begs the question why not? A lot of hair loss supplements contain ingredients that have little to no actual effect on your hair (hint: 10,000 mcg biotin), whereas garlic certainly does. Here are some of the reasons we decided to include it in our hair formula: Follicle Foundation…
Garlic has many essential vitamins and minerals
Vitamin B6, vitamin C, and manganese are just three of the many vitamins and minerals that garlic contains that can benefit your hair loss in different ways. Let’s explore each.
Vitamin B6: Vitamin B6 is a catalyst for the metabolism of keratin and melanin, two proteins that are essential for good hair health. Being a catalyst means that B6 is responsible for the activation of a series of chemical reactions that metabolize keratin and melanin. Relatively speaking, vitamin B6 is making sure that your hair is getting enough keratin (an important building block for hair) and melanin (gives hair its color).
Vitamin C: Vitamin C has been proven to protect against damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are oxidized molecules that comb the body looking for electrons to steal from other molecules. This causes damage to cells, including those found in hair follicles. By seeking out and neutralizing these free radicals throughout the body, vitamin C ensures that your hair won’t be damaged.
Manganese: Manganese deficiency has been linked to loss of hair pigmentation and slowed hair growth. Garlic helps ensure that this is a problem that you never come across.
It also prevents UV damage
Molecule-damaging free radicals (mentioned above) are created when your body is exposed to UV rays. More specifically, UV-B rays, one of the two types of rays found in sunlight, are what cause the sun to damage your hair. UV-B rays specifically target keratin one of the essential proteins that makes up the hair structure, and break it down. When keratin is broken down it can result in hair fall or permanent damage.
Allicin is a compound that is formed when garlic is broken down, and it plays an important role in protecting hair from UV damage. It has very potent antioxidant properties, meaning that it works to neutralize the free radicals that are created by UV-B rays. By specifically protecting keratinocytes (skin cells found in the scalp that produce keratin), allicin makes sure that keratin in the hair remains at adequate levels and that your hairs structure stays intact.
Sun damage can be very detrimental to someone who is trying to recover from hair loss. Although, allicin compounds found in garlic actively help mitigate that damage, you should always wear sunscreen as it is the best way to protect your skin.
It increases circulation
One of garlics most prominent medical uses is for the reduction of high blood pressure. High blood pressure essentially means that there is not enough blood flow throughout the body (i.e. pressure is high in the blood vessels). In a study done by the University Of Alabama, it was discovered that red blood cells turn digested garlic into hydrogen sulfide, which acts to relax blood vessels, thus allowing for better circulation.
“That’s great for my heart, but what about my hair?” Well, blood delivers the vital oxygen and nutrients that your hair uses to grow. Also, your hair and scalp are the furthest “upwards” from your heart, meaning that your heart has to work the hardest to fight gravity in order to pump blood up to them. Studies have shown a link between lower blood flow and the early onset of male pattern baldness. Without an adequate flow of oxygen and nutrients, your hair growth will likely slow down, hair loss will proceed, and you will experience thinner, shorter hair. Alternatively, when your hair is receiving adequate blood flow, your hair growth will increase and your hair loss could slow down.
Aggravated scalp? No problem.
Garlic is antimicrobial, meaning that it is able to kill bacteria and fungus, both of which can slow down healthy hair growth. This is because when bacteria and fungus build up on the scalp it can cause pores to become clogged. If these microbes are safely removed, clogging of the hair follicles will be reduced. It is essential that your pores remain unclogged because when they are clogged issues such as seborrheic dermatitis (oily skin) and folliculitis (infection caused by bacteria or fungus) can arise, both of which can damage your hair.
Garlics ability to reduce fungus may have implications for preventing or reducing dandruff. Although the precise cause of dandruff is still unknown, scientists speculate that the overgrowth of a small fungus called Pityrosporum Ovale is the most likely cause. Since garlic can prevent fungus growth in the scalp, there is an implication for its benefits on dandruff, though no scientific studies have been done yet.
Garlic is well known for its medical benefits for reducing blood pressure and lowering cholesterol, but it has many (lesser known) benefits for the hair and scalp. IF you are in the earlier stages of hair loss and you are determined to do something about it, garlic is a great option.
Yes, garlic may sound like a no brainer, but you should always talk to your doctor before adding any supplement into your diet. Garlic has been reported to have caused allergic reactions in people, though this is extremely rare. Nonetheless, if you are looking to start making a change in your hair loss look for a supplement that contains garlic.