Using onion juice on your scalp may seem like a mere Internet fad, but its effectiveness as a hair-growing agent has been discussed by science and pop culture alike. The goodness of the bulbs abounds when you seep the juice out and massage it onto your scalp to make your follicles sing.
APPLY vs INGEST
While everyone loves a glossy, voluminous mane, it can prove to be a challenge with all the chemical-heavy products on the market. However, careful inclusion of onion juice into your hair care regimen in combination with your prescribed treatment can help you achieve the same goal without damage.
Dr Bharti Magoo, aesthetician and an anti-ageing physician explains, "Drinking onion juice or eating raw onions does not have the same effect as applying the juice on your scalp, as this causes direct sulphur absorption from the vegetable. You can mix lemon juice or rose water or any essential oil to get rid of the pungent smell of the juice."
The potion functions as a booster for hair growth while the sulphur content minimises hair thinning and breakage. "Besides sulphur, onions contain antioxidants like quercetin, Vitamin C, folates-B9, potassium and fibres called fructans that carry anti-inflammatory properties. This takes care of dandruff, psoriasis and other scalp conditions,"
Dr Magoo shares, further warning, "Red onions even contain antioxidants like anthocyanins. But you should be careful while using concentrated onion juice or oil as they are eye irritants owing to high sulphur content."
Hair growth and texture depend on a host of factors including genetics and your personal biology, but consistent use of certain home recipes can bring about healthy follicular results.
"Applying onion juice to the hair and scalp improves blood supply to hair follicles, improving hair growth," says Dr. Pallavi Sule, dermatologist and aesthetic physician. "The juice of the onion is also believed to retard premature greying of hair as it stimulates the enzyme catalase production at the hair follicles," she adds.
MIX IT UP
If the idea of applying onion juice on your scalp doesn’t feel quite right, try mixing it with another oil to better the benefits. Says Dr Magoo, "Try olive, coconut, or castor oil as a mixer. You can use this oil every other day for at least a few weeks in order to kill bacterial infections, prevent dandruff, and to nourish your locks. Castor oil is a common ingredient in hair products as it carries anti-fungal properties, helps to thicken hair strands, and locks in its lustre. When combined with onion juice, it can help to strengthen hair and increase hair volume."
However, if you are planning to skip the at-home version and pick up a product with onion oil in it, dermatologist and aesthetic physician Dr Pallavi Sule suggests proceeding with caution.
"There are plenty of combinations with onion juice available in the market in the form of creams, hair oils, shampoos, and so on. The efficacy of the formulations can be determined only by clinical trials, hence pick your product carefully. It is best to use fresh onion juice. Prepare and refrigerate in small batches by chopping, grinding the onion in a mixer and sieving through muslin into a clean, dry container," she explains.
Dr Sule adds that every scalp can also react to the onions differently. "As a safeguard against irritability, mix it with soothing agents like aloe vera, honey, or coconut oil. If increased sensitivity of scalp to onion juice and associated symptoms surface after a few applications, you must contact your dermatologist," she says.
To check for onion allergy on skin, Dr Magoo suggests applying a small quantity of onion juice behind the ear to rule out irritability.