There is strong evidence to support that the use of onions for topical hair treatments can help treat hair loss. Rich in nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin B9 (folate), vitamin B6, potassium and numerous other compounds, the beauty benefits of onions have been associated with stronger hair roots, faster hair growth and an overall improved appearance of your mane. When used in the form of an oil, this potent remedy can serve as a strong anti-inflammatory, fungicidal, antioxidant and antibacterial treatment for your scalp and hair. Elaborating further on this, here is everything you need to know about using onion oil for the hair.


1. Benefits of using onion oil for the hair

Benefits of using onion oil for the hair

Let’s take a look at the benefits of onion oil for the hair in detail:

i) Optimises the hair growth cycle:

Onion oil is capable of activating certain enzymes on your scalp, which helps optimise the hair growth cycle. This results in faster hair growth and inhibiting hair fall for a healthier-looking mane.

ii) Prevents breakage and thinning:

Rich in sulfur, onion oil can do wonders to prevent breakage, split-ends and thinning of hair. This happens because the sulfur is able to form bonds in your hair that are required for strengthening the strands.

iii) Delays premature greying:

Certain enzymes in onion oil can prevent free radical damage in your hair, which helps in delaying premature greying.

iv) Maintains pH levels of the scalp:

The key to healthy hair is a nourished and balanced scalp, which onion oil can help with, by maintaining the pH levels of your scalp.

v) Fights bacterial infections:

Regular use of onion oil on the scalp can help prevent bacterial infections, keeping dandruff and itchiness at bay.

vi) Can be used as a natural conditioner:

Using a conditioner prior to washing your hair can ensure that your shampoo does not strip your scalp of moisture. This is where onion oil can be used as a natural conditioner.

vii) Improves hair texture:

Regular use of onion oil can make your tresses shiny, smooth, moisturised and frizz-free!


2. How to extract onion oil at home

How to extract onion oil at home

If you do not wish to use store-bought onion oil, you can DIY it instead. Start by picking a couple of fresh onions, the number depends on how much oil you wish to make in one session. Finely chop the onion and add them to a grinder or juice maker. Keep the juice/paste aside to prepare the oil.

Take some coconut oil in a non-stick pan and gently heat it on low flame. Add the onion juice/paste in the oil and mix well for 1-2 minutes. Take it off the flame to cool it down. With the help of a strainer, extract the oil and store in a non-metallic container for use. Homemade onion oil can be stored safely and used for up to 6 months.


3. How to use onion oil for the hair

How to use onion oil for the hair

Onion can be used both ways, as it is and in the form of a hot oil treatment. To use onion oil without heating it, take a couple of drops of pure onion oil in your palms and massage your scalp with it for 15-20 minutes. Make sure to be gentle with the pressure and use a circular motion to really get the oil into the scalp. Leave the oil on for 3-4 hours and wash with a mild shampoo. Do this twice a week for best results.

While using a hot oil treatment, mix onion oil with a carrier oil (like almond or olive), heat it up to a lukewarm temperature and massage onto the scalp and hair lengths. Keep it overnight and wash with a mild, sulphate-free shampoo in the morning. Follow up with a conditioner; repeat before every hair wash for luscious, thick hair.


4. Onion oil hair masks to make at home

Onion oil hair masks to make at home

At-home extracted onion oil can be paired with a number of other popular ingredients to make a nourishing hair mask. Here are some of the recipes you can prepare at home:

  • Mix onion oil with castor oil for a deep conditioning hair mask that helps fortify your hair strands and makes them thicker.
  • Mix onion oil with egg yolk for a protein-rich hair mask that helps smooth out rough hair and add shine.
  • Mix onion oil with ginger juice to help deal with scalp conditions like inflammation, bacterial or fungal infections.
  • For hair that is feeling excessively dry, mix some onion oil with honey to create a deeply hydrating mask that will give you soft and glossy hair.
  • To speed up your hair growth process, mix some onion oil with potato juice for a nutrient-rich head massage.

5. Things to remember while using onion oil for hair

Things to remember while using onion oil for hair

Before you apply onion oil on your hair, take these pointers into consideration:

  • Onion oil has a deeply pungent smell and if you are too sensitive, add a few drops of any fragrant essential oil to mask it.
  • Do not overdo onion oil massage on your scalp, as it has been shown to cause some amount of inflammation, especially if you have the habit of scratching your head.
  • Homemade onion oil may still have some of its eye-tearing effects, so make sure you are only using the recommended amount.
  • Before using onion oil for the hair, make sure you are not allergic to it. Do a patch test on your inner arm 24-hours prior to using it on your hair and scalp.
  • If you have sensitive skin, avoid leaving the oil on your scalp for a long time. A hair oiling session with gentle massage and 3-4 hours of masking should be all that you subject your sensitive scalp to.

6. Did you know?

Did you know?

As mentioned earlier, the antioxidants present in onion oil can help delay the greying of hair. This action actually goes further, since onions can be used to not just delay greying, but reverse it as well. This is because of the presence of catalase in onions that can inhibit the amount of hydrogen peroxide in the roots, and in turn, keep it from turning grey. To prepare a hair mask to deal with grey hair, combine onion oil with lemon juice and mask your scalp and hair with the mixture for 30 minutes. Wash with mild shampoo and follow up with a conditioner to keep any dryness caused by the lemon juice at bay.


7. FAQs about onion oil for hair

FAQs about onion oil for hair

1) Can I leave onion oil on my hair overnight?

A. Yes, onion oil can be kept on your hair overnight, just make sure to cover your head with a shower cap to avoid staining your pillows. The smell of homemade onion oil can stay on fabric even after washing. So make sure to add a couple of drops of lemon juice to the washing load of clothing/bedding that did get onion oil on it.

2) How often can I use onion oil on my hair?

A. An onion oil treatment can be used on your hair once or twice a week, never more than that. This is because, if overdone, the high sulfur content of onions can sensitise your scalp to other hair products, sometimes even causing irritation and itchiness.

3) Can onion oil cause hair fall?

A. Onion oil does not directly lead to hair loss, as the nutrients present in it can help boost blood circulation on your scalp and improve hair growth. Any hair loss associated with the use of onion oil is because overdoing head massages with onion oil can lead to scalp infections. This, in turn, causes hair loss in some people.