There are quite a few similarities between your hair and onions. Confused? Well, here is how the two are similar. They are both a part of your daily life, they’re layered and you cry every time you cut them! The onion, with that bulbous stem and leaves structure we love to eat, is one of the most widely cultivated (and consumed) vegetables across the world. You chop it up, slice it up, fry it or even squeeze all the juice out of it; there are a million different ways that the onion could help you out, right from satisfying your hunger pangs to making your hair stronger and shinier.
Benefits of Onion Juice for hair in more ways than one here is listing them out for you...
Onions of old!
For a crop that has been selectively reared by different civilizations over a period of millennia, the juice of onion has been used for centuries now to improve the health of one’s hair and to even aid in hair growth. Made up of almost 9/10th parts water (as well as a number of nutrients), the onion does give out quite a bit of juice that has numerous benefits for your hair’s health and appearance. Onion juice has a lot of nutrients as well as antibacterial and antifungal properties that help nourish your hair and your scalp, while also protecting them from a number of different issues and ailments.
Sulphur: the essential ingredient
One of the most essential components of onion juice for hair is sulphur. The onion bulb and the base have a high concentration of dietary sulphur which aids in making your hair strong, shiny and thick. Sulphur, essentially is found within amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. Keratin, which is one such sulphur-rich protein, is what your hair is composed of. The sulphur present in onions also helps with collagen production, which in turn, promotes the growth of healthy skin cells and hair.
Sulphur is also essential for nourishing your hair follicles, making them stronger from the core. It also helps in their regeneration and can be an effective way of restricting hair loss and baldness. Since the hair strands get nourished from the core, becoming inherently stronger, it helps minimize hair thinning and breakage as well.
Onion juice also helps promote hair growth by considerably increasing the levels of the antioxidant enzyme ‘catalase’ in your body. This enzyme, which basically helps decompose hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen, is one of the reasons behind the healthy growth of hair. Catalase also helps protect hair follicles from build-up especially that of hydrogen peroxide, which causes hair to lose pigment and eventually turn grey. The antioxidants present in onion juice also help delay and at times, even reverse signs of premature greying.
The scalp has a natural pH level in the range of 4.5 to 5.5. Onion juice having a pH level of around 5.5 is an excellent way of maintaining and balancing the pH levels of your scalp, thereby protecting your head and hair from a host of problems such as dandruff or an itchy scalp. The onion juice also helps stimulate and improve the circulation of blood across the scalp, thereby ensuring an adequate amount of blood supply to the hair follicles, which in turn makes them well-nourished and healthy, and augments the hair growth process.
Safeguarding the scalp
The antibacterial and antifungal properties of onion juice help keep the scalp free from infections as well, while also keeping the scalp free from dandruff. Dandruff, basically, is just the scalp’s reaction to an increase in the build-up of dead skin cells, which results from the scalp’s pH levels being disturbed. Applying onion juice onto your scalp and hair is a natural and effective way of getting rid of the dandruff problem as well, which affects as much as half the world’s adult population.
Protecting the scalp from bacterial infections has other merits as well. Scalp infections are known to be some of the major reasons for a premature balding and hair loss. An infection-free scalp leads to stronger and healthier hair follicles, thereby restricting and even preventing further balding (also known as alopecia), especially amongst males. While onion juice is an extremely potent solution for restricting hair loss, there’s no real answer to reversing the balding process (except for hair weaving, maybe).
Mix and Match
Although onion juice is pretty effective even by itself, it is often mixed with a host of other essential ingredients and oils before application. Oils such as those of coconuts, olives (works excellently against dandruff), and castor beans are a common addition, as also are pieces of ginger (for its anti-inflammatory properties), some honey (for moisturizing), lemons, potatoes and crushed garlic pods (also quite rich in dietary sulphur). All these ingredients can be easily sourced and are pretty safe to use as well (unless you’re allergic to any of them, of course!).
Onions can make you cry!
All those benefits of onion juice as they may be, you need to be careful applying it to your skin. Even if you’re not particularly allergic to onions, it would be advisable to do a patch test first, such as applying it to the back of your hand (or the back of your ear) first to check for a reaction. Allergies having been checked for, onion juice is still pretty acrid and can lead to a burning sensation and even a slight redness or rash when applied for the first time. It is rather prudent that you mix the onion juice with other supplements like coconut oil, honey or aloe vera extract. This could serve the dual purpose of tempering the aridity of the onion juice, while also affixing their hair-related benefits to the concoction.
You need to be a little careful while dealing with onion juice. Any sign of possible itching or redness on your skin should act as a cue to stop applying onion juice. While applying the juice to your hair, take care that the juice doesn’t enter your eyes since that could lead to a burning sensation and quite a bit of eye irritation for a while. Any concerns that you have could be better addressed by a doctor, preferably a dermatologist. That being said, onion juice is perhaps the safest and the most effective natural solutions out there to treat your hair with. So go ahead, chop and squeeze some right away!