With the ongoing pandemic, what every survivor of the deadly coronavirus endures is the immense weakness and loss of hair. There are some ingredients that we can trust blindly for our hair. Castor and coconut oil have been on top of that list since time immemorial. However, one ingredient that’s recently been making a lot of buzz for hair growth is onion juice. Even model, actress and TV personality Malaika Arora, actress Bipasha Basu and Tamannah Bhatia swear by it.
After recovering from COVID-19, Malaika opened up about her experience with the infection on her Instagram page, talking about how she’s been suffering from weakness and hair loss post-recovery. Malaika then went on to share a DIY of this common kitchen ingredient, which she claims helped her and is still helping her in battling her hair loss.
“There is something that I swear by and I have been using it for years, and I am going back to it now. It’s very simple and you need one ingredient. All you have to do is grate one onion and extract the juice. Use cotton and apply it in sections of your hair all over your scalp. Keep it on for about half an hour or 45 minutes, and then wash with your favourite shampoo,” said Malaika in the video she posted on Instagram. The Dil Se actress further added, “I assure you that this really really helps that hair loss you’ve been experiencing and in a couple of weeks you can see that definitely that hair loss stops (sic).”
Recently, Raaz actress Bipasha Basu and Bahubali actress Tamannah Bhatia too shared DIY videos using onion juice on their hair.
Indeed, many others have also been reporting hair loss after recovering from coronavirus although thankfully it is temporary and hair growth restores. According to experts, onion juice can help fight hair thinning/breakage, promote hair growth. When added to the hair and scalp, onion juice provides extra sulphur to support strong and thick hair, thus preventing hair loss. The juice also acts like an irritant to hair follicle, stimulating hair regrowth, but more on more of that later.
Tried and tested
Incidentally, ancient Indian tribes have used onion juice extract and teak tree seed oil to prevent hair loss. Honey dew extract on hair shaft and onion juice extract on hair roots give smooth hair and promote hair growth. In addition, onion juice can effectively treat several hair disorders such alopecia, dandruff, scalp infection and premature greying among. Several researchers have found that the anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties of onions may help grow hair or enhance its healthy appearance.
Deepika Agarwal, a chartered accountant, has been using onion juice for the last six months and has observed immense improvement in controlling the hair loss. “I use it fortnightly as one of my family members suggested to me after I lost hair owing to stress at work. It is an effective remedy for controlling hair loss while improving my hair quality,” says Deepika.
The remedy helps not only women but also men, with some even validating the positive effects of the juice on their hair, such as Dr Bhavya Soni. “I am using onion juice for about two years once a week and it has helped my hair grow faster. It reduces hair fall too,” he says.
Young entrepreneur Abhimanyu Bansal, who has been using onion juice for the last two years, also claims he obtained positive results from the remedy. “My grandmother advised me to use onion juice. I was tired of using packed products but then heading to our kitchen for onion really helped as it is absolutely natural. Only, you have to stay at home as it stinks a lot,” adds Bansal with a chuckle.
How does it work?
Rich in Vitamins C and B6, folate and potassium, onion juice when applied to the hair and scalp increases blood supply to hair follicles, which, in turn, improves hair growth. Apart from this, a protein-rich diet and some other hair-friendly home remedies can help speed up the process.
Cosmetic surgeon anti-ageing, beauty and wellness expert Dr Geeta Grewal suggests that multiple factors cause hair loss. “Genetics, hormones, environmental exposure, medication, aging, psychological and emotional stress, certain medical conditions and some medications can cause hair loss. However, with a healthy diet, lifestyle, healthy mind–body practice and simple home remedies, it can be managed,” says Dr Grewal.
Adding that onion juice can help regulate inflammation and decrease oxidative stress, the doctor suggests that if you want to try this therapy at home, a patch test is a must. “If you have a sensitive scalp or have been consulting a dermatologist for your hair loss, do talk to an expert before trying this. Mix onion juice with emollients like aloe vera or coconut oil to prevent possible itching or redness on the skin” adds Dr Grewal.
How the natural potion helps prevent hair loss:
Rich in sulphur content, onions can help reduce breakage and thinning of hair.
Sulphur is also important for regeneration of hair follicles.
Onions can also help replenish nutrients you may lose from your scalp over time.
By boosting the level of an antioxidant enzyme called catalase, onion juice can help decompose hydrogen peroxide and facilitate hair growth cycle.
Caution: Avoid using onion juice if you are allergic to onions.
Chop onion and grind it in a mixer. Sieve through a muslin cloth. Store in a clean dry container and refrigerate.
How to apply
Use cotton and apply it in sections of your hair all over your scalp. Keep it on for about half an hour or 45 minutes, and then wash with your favourite shampoo.
It is best to use fresh onion juice. But, yes, it can be prepared in small batches and refrigerated. Avoid preparing huge quantities.
If you have a dry scalp, it’s best to use onion juice along with coconut oil or olive oil.
Use in combination with apple extract, which contains procyanidins that promote hair growth