If it sounds too good to be true, it normally is! Onion juice is a popular home remedy for hair loss online. And there is also some research to suggest it may be effective for specific types of hair loss. But could curing hair loss really be this simple? Let’s take a look at the evidence.
Why onion juice?
Onions: the strong-smelling, colorful vegetables that make you cry. Why would you ever want to put them on your hair?
Well, online advocates of onion juice for hair point to the high sulfur content of onions, arguing that this promotes healthy growth and prevents hair loss.
And there is a grain of truth to this claim.
Sulfur is important for the formation of keratin; the key structural component of hair. Without sulfur, hair may become brittle and weak. The theory goes that onion juice contains an easily absorbable form of sulfur, which helps form the key amino acids needed for keratin. However, it’s doubtful whether the body can make use of this sulfur when applied directly to the scalp in the form of onion juice.
Even so, there a medical trial of onion juice for hair loss found that regrowth was observed in 86.9% of patients.
But, as always, it’s not that simple. So don’t go rushing out to the grocery store to stock up on onions just yet.
Onion juice for alopecia areata
The study in question tested whether onion juice could be used to regrow hair in patients with alopecia areata.
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder where hair is lost in circular patches in seemingly random areas of the scalp. Onion juice was applied directly to the scalps of patients with alopecia areata, and caused some pretty impressive hair regrowth:
“Re-growth of terminal coarse hairs started after two weeks of treatment with crude onion juice. At four weeks, hair re-growth was seen in 17 patients (73.9%), and, at six weeks, the hair re-growth was observed in 20 patients (86.9%) and was significantly higher among males (93.7%) compared to females (71.4%) P<0.0001. In the tap-water treated-control group, hair re-growth was apparent in only 2 patients (13%) at 8 weeks of treatment with no sex difference. The present study showed that the use of crude onion juice gave significantly higher results with regard to hair re-growth than did tap water (P<0.0001), and that it can be an effective topical therapy for patchy alopecia areata.”
But alopecia areata is rare. The vast majority of hair loss – for both men and women – is due to androgenetic alopecia, otherwise known as pattern hair loss.
Whereas alopecia areata occurs in just 0.1% of the population, pattern hair loss affects roughly 70% of men and 40% of women at some point in their lives.
Pattern hair loss is typically characterised by hair loss from the top of the scalp, but not the back and sides. In men, this usually starts with a receding hair line or thinning in the crown area. Mens hair loss is measured by the Norwood scale.
In women, hair is lost from the top of the scalp in a slightly different pattern. Whereas men tend to go bald in particular areas, female pattern hair loss is characterised by a general thinning on top of the scalp. This progression is measured by the Ludwig scale.
But alopecia areata and androgenetic alopecia appear to have completely different causes. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder, where the body’s immune system attacks the hair follicles. Androgenetic alopecia is believed to be caused by hormones.
So even if onion juice is effective for alopecia areata, this doesn’t necessarily translate to an effective treatment for the majority of hair loss sufferers. Nevertheless, it is commonly recommended online – so is there something to it?
Onion juice and DHT
Ask your doctor and he’ll tell you that pattern hair loss in men is caused by dihydrotestosterone (DHT); a by-product of testosterone. Despite the myths, it is not necessarily true that bald men have more testosterone – only that their hair follicles are more sensitive to DHT.
In women, the causes of pattern hair loss are less well understood, though hormones are thought to play a role as well.
DHT is said to bind to receptors in hair follicles, causing them to get smaller and smaller until hair is no longer visible.
But there is no evidence that onion juice has any effect on DHT levels in the scalp.
Of course, this doesn’t prove it has no effect – only that it hasn’t been tested yet. But I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for such tests to be conducted. There’s just not much reason to expect onion juice to have any effect on scalp DHT levels.
However, let’s not discount onion juice just yet! A growing body of evidence is suggesting that DHT is not the real cause of pattern hair loss. For example, DHT is known to cause hair to grow everywhere else in the body. Not only that, nobody has ever conclusively established that DHT directly causes hair loss. So far, all we know is that reducing DHT generally slows hair loss – but this may be a side effect of something else.
So even if onion juice has no effect on scalp DHT, it may yet prove to be an effective hair loss treatment.
Onion juice and inflammation
Inflammation is the body’s response to foreign organisms, such as viruses or bacteria.
Normally, this is a good thing. White blood cells rush to the area and neutralize these foreign organisms. But sometimes this inflammatory response occurs when it isn’t necessary.
Interestingly, this is what’s behind alopecia areata. The immune system mistakes the hair follicles for foreign invaders and attacks them, destroying the hair.
But inflammation usually accompanies pattern baldness too – though not in quite the same way.
Often, men and women with pattern hair loss find their scalp to be itchy in the area of hair loss. This is due to inflammation. Many speculate that inflammation is the real cause of hair loss.
Some shampoos for hair loss reduce bacteria in the scalp. This reduces the inflammation and also the immune response. Perhaps unsurprisingly, these shampoos have also been demonstrated to reduce hair loss.
And some studies suggest onions may have similar anti-inflammatory properties. If true, this may explain why onion juice was able to reverse alopecia areata in the study mentioned earlier. And since inflammation is also linked to pattern hair loss, onion juice may be effective for this condition too.
Onion juice for hair loss: is it worth it?
There is evidence to suggest topical onion juice may be beneficial for certain types of hair loss – namely, alopecia areata. And some of these benefits may possibly transfer to pattern hair loss too.
But onion juice is not a miracle hair loss cure.
The evidence just isn’t strong enough to suggest it will have any major impact on pattern hair loss – male or female. Reducing inflammation will definitely help, but it’s highly unlikely that by itself onion juice will reduce it enough to regrow or maintain hair. There are also far more effective (and better smelling!) ways to reduce inflammation in the scalp and throughout the body.
Consider this: onions have been a popular folk medicine for thousands of years. If they really cured hair loss, nobody would be bald!
Let’s not dismiss these pungent vegetables completely, though.
Traditionally, pattern hair loss has been explained as a purely genetic condition. But modern research is beginning to reveal the importance of environmental factors.
One of the most important environmental factors is diet. Onions – especially raw ones – are rich in antioxidants and important nutrients like biotin, which may help control blood sugar and prevent inflammation.
But let’s not get carried away.
Onions, whether you eat them or rub them directly into the scalp, are not a miracle hair loss cure. Despite the impressive 87% hair regrowth statistic from the alopecia areata study, these results are not likely to be representative for all types of hair loss.
How to prepare onion juice for hair loss
It’s fair to say the evidence supporting onion juice for hair loss is far from conclusive. But if you’re still tempted to give it a try, here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 whole onion
- 2 or 3 tablespoons of rosemary oil/ olive oil / other essential oil
- A blender
Chop your onion into smaller pieces, add it to the blender along with your oil, and blend into a paste. You may need to use a fine sieve if you have unblended pieces of onion left over!
Apply your onion juice directly to the scalp and leave to soak for around an hour. If you do decide to try this out, I’d definitely recommend combining it with scalp massage. Don’t forget to wash your hair thoroughly afterwards to get rid of the smell!
But be warned: some reports online have complained that onion juice can cause a red or itchy scalp.
31 thoughts on “87% Hair Regrowth from Onion Juice?”
Thank you for this information.
You fogot to mention how often do we apply the onion treatment?
I hope you’ll give me a reply as I am very depressed about my hair loss.
Sorry to hear that. If you are depressed about hair loss I wouldn’t rely on onion juice exclusively for regrowth. There are far more effective treatments out there.
To answer your question, though, in the alopecia areata study onion juice was applied twice per day. However, I have seen other recommendations suggesting a few times per week – I don’t know what evidence this is based on though.
If it is a small one or two patches in the beard or skull area, rubbing small onions on the spot will give you good result. Small onions size of 1-2 inch diameter is the answer for most of the cases. It happened to me atleast 3 times in the last 20 yrs and after using small onions I got my hair back in 3 weeks. There won’t be side effect, so nothing wrong in trying.
Thanks very much for this information, but, I gave have a baldness, can u give me the exact treatment to regrow my hair?
Hope to hear from u
Is this article only meant for people with alopecia areata or people with mob will also show promising results?
I think the evidence supporting onion juice for alopecia areata is stronger than for MPB. That’s not to say onion juice has no effect on MPB, only there hasn’t been much research either way.
It seems fairly safe to say that onion juice is not, by itself, going to reverse baldness though. It may help – especially when combined with scalp massage – but it’s certainly not a silver bullet.
I would definitely agree with the statement that Onion Juice significantly helps or promote hair growth. The study clearly states that Onion Juice has clearly affected the hair growth of individuals who were introduced to Onion juice on their scalp.
The specific study can be found here:
A great, unbiased article.
I have MPB and I’ve decided to give this a go as of Wednesday. I’m quite interested and optimistic about natural remedies.
I’ll record any progress. I’m planning to give it a go for a minimum of three months and i’ll be happy to publish my results here.
Thanks, please do let us know how it goes!
Are you using any other remedies along with onion juice? What, if any, oil are you mixing it with?
Looking forward to hearing how you get on. Best of luck!
A full hair cycle is 6 months though. I think you’ll need to continue for at least that long, if not for a whole year.
Thankfully, onions are cheap.
“Don’t get carried away”
“Don’t dismiss them entirely”
“Don’t get carried away”
“Don’t dismiss them entirely”
I’m getting whiplash from all the back and forth in this article. Just pick a side of the fence, and don’t waist my time with this back and forth. Just state your stance on the matter. Enough of this wishy washy spam.
After constantly apply the mixture of onion juice and coconut oil for about 2 months, my top part of head has turned from baldness to a lot of hair! Over 10 years of baldhead man has totally reverse back to a better looking person. Normally, I will apply the mixture in alternate day. Leave it for an hour covered with shower cap then wash it with bodyshop ginger shampoo and I do take swisse hair, skin,nail+ supplement everyday. Hope this can help those facing same baldhead problem like me before.
That’s incredible! Do you have any before/after photos?
Yes, I can provide you with my 30 years old full of hair photo, 2 months ago top baldhead photo & my latest top part head photo.
I want to see those photos too. Basically I need your help.
You just need to follow my method above to treat your bladness problem. The result is very promising after 2-3 months.
can you give me the picture
Hi Tony how much coconut oils did you use with the onion juice
How bald were u..I’m bald and want to try?
For real bro? Could you send any after and before pics… Your not kidding right?
Could you please display image of actual Swisse hair skin nail+ and if you don’t mind can you please display you old image with baldness and present image with full of hairs just want to see the result if you don’t mind
Plz tell me the method of making this oil of onion
Hi tony, great to hear that! could you please share the onion juice and coconut oil consistency? And how often did / do you apply this mixture? Do you massage after the application? And lastly, how much time did it take for you to see the results? The reason I’m asking so many questions is.. 🙂 I have just started using it. I mix onion juice and castor oil. Been a month now but don’t see any difference yet.. it would be great to hear from you. Please advise.
Hi Tony Lim,
That’s Fantastic results, i have started baldness on 2 sides i.e. from crown and front side i tried lot of oil treatment but no good result. As you have stated above that you take swisse hair, skin, nail ? + supplements every day what kind of supplements you take i need your feed back and guide lines i do appreciate for your feed back
Can I try a derma roller in conjunction with onion juice ? Will that prove effective ? Kindly elucidate me ! How safe are dermarollers ?
what is your opinion about derma roller – dermapen with or without topical copper peptide
Lots of talks going on about usage of onions. Believe me for most of the cases it works. As posted before, I have gone through this and it worked for me. Right now I got this patch and badly looking for small onions which is rare to find in Australia. Yes, there is no evidence how it works. I got this patch when I was 12 yr old and one of the elderly neighbours advised me to rub small onions on the patch. It worked and still following as there is not proper medicine invented yet.
Dear Mr. Hafeez,
Nice to read your comments & i hope it’s worth to try once nothing to lose i trust you in this regard & i will try this onion juice. please advise me to apply paste or juice. juice in sense to extract from the mixture and how long/how frequent how many months and to wash i mean with shampoo.
I was using onion oil and castor oil mixture it was going good my hair fall stopped but i don’t know from last 45days my hair start falling again.. is prp is good ? Pls suggest something basically i am facing hair thinning and falling problem
you should control masterbruating or either u should stop it completely, if u couldnot just masterbruate once a week not more than that, it will stop DHT from attacking your hair follicule and you will sure stop hairfall