We have treatments designed to help hair loss, but what we don’t have is a full proof universal solution for it. Popular treatments like finasteride and minoxidil work great, but can anyone guarantee that they are going to reverse your hair loss for certain? Absolutely not.
At the end of the day there is still a lot of room for improvement in the realm of hair loss treatments, which also means that there are a lot of potential treatments that have yet to be explored.
You may have heard of people using several different unorthodox methods to try and reverse their hair loss, but have you ever heard of onion juice being used as a remedy? Onion juice is exactly that: an unconventional treatment that has not been explored for its full potential to benefit hair loss.
In this article, we are going to take a look at exactly how onion juice may work to combat hair loss. Taking research into account, by the end of the article we will determine if onion juice is a viable option worth trying or if it just another failed attempt by the hair loss community to find the missing puzzle piece.
Why onion juice?
Many modern-day hair loss treatments are man-made and come with a lot of potential side effects. This has pushed many people to seek out natural alternatives. It is the reason studies were conducted on nettle leaf, rosemary oil, and more that found them to have benefits for hair loss.
Onion juice is also a natural treatment that people have begun to explore in light of trying to find natural alternatives, so what have people found?
The different potential benefits of onion juice for hair loss
Onion juice contains many vitamins, minerals, and more than may make it a potent hair loss treatment. Let’s explore the several ways that it may benefit hair loss.
Onion juice contains flavonoids, which are powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants help protect your hair against damage caused by oxidation.
Oxidation is a process that occurs when free radicals are formed (free radicals are molecules that have unpaired electrons and go throughout the body stealing electrons from other molecules). It causes damage to cells, including those in hair follicles, and has been shown to worsen already existing androgenic alopecia (AGA; pattern hair loss) (1).
Oxidative stress (in higher than healthy levels) is extremely common as it occurs from UV exposure, pollution, and several other factors. Utilizing antioxidants, especially as you age and your body’s natural defense against free radicals diminishes, is very important for protecting your hair.
Onions are very high in dietary sulfur.
Sulfur is a critical component of amino acids, which themselves are components of protein. Protein is very important for maintaining your hairs structural integrity because the protein keratin is primarily what makes up our hair.
Without adequate levels of keratin hair begins to become weak and brittle, meaning it is more susceptible to breakage. Keratin is also a protective protein as it is more durable than other types of protein and is vitally important for protecting our hair against damage.
In short, onion juice provides sulfur which ultimately contributes to keratin production and the subsequent protection and maintenance of our hairs structural integrity.
Onion juice also has antimicrobial properties (2) which may allow it to help combat dandruff.
Dandruff is, in most cases, cause by a fungus called malassezia (which is a microbe). Although onion juice has not been studied on malassezia directly, in multiple studies it affected the growth of every single microbe it encountered.
The implication is there, but a huge emphasis on may help dandruff must be placed.
As stated earlier, onion juice contains an abundance of nutrients.
In case you didn’t know, blood flow is very important for hair growth. This is because blood delivers oxygen and vital nutrients that your hair uses to grow and is why many hair loss treatments like minoxidil, low-level laser therapy, and more work to increase blood flow.
By using onion juice, you may be able to deliver some of those important nutrients when blood flow is lacking. In theory, this could help perpetuate growth and supply the hair with nutrients it can use in lieu of blood.
What does the research say?
Now all of this sounds great right? Well not so much when you look at the research unfortunately.
Most of the benefits we have mentioned above only have anecdotal evidence and are based on speculation and hypothesis. Hardly any research has been done on onion juices benefits directly for hair loss.
The only study that has been done was conducted in 2002 and was relatively small (3). It was conducted on 38 people who had been diagnosed with alopecia areata (different than androgenic alopecia). 23 of them were instructed to use onion juice treatments twice a day for 6 weeks, while the other 15 simply used tap water. Once the 6 weeks has elapsed, the researchers found that 86.9% of the people who used onion juice experienced hair regrowth.
While this is great, it does not have implications for pattern hair loss, only for alopecia areata. But, it does show that onion juice has the potential to help regrow hair.
Again, this is the only study that has been conducted on onion juice for hair loss directly. That’s not to say that studies haven’t proven onion juice to be antimicrobial… they have, but as far as the mechanism and how effective this makes it for hair loss is still ultimately unexplored.
In conclusion: is onion juice a worthwhile investment?
Using onion juice as a hair loss remedy may sound appealing at first glance, but the reality is that there really is not any evidence supporting the narrative.
There are many articles/people that claim it can work for hair loss, but due to the lack of scientific research no conclusions can be made. In my opinion using onion juice for hair loss may bring benefits, again emphasis on may, but you are better off spending your money on treatments that have more research to back them. There are plenty of natural hair loss remedies that have evidence to back their efficacy.