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Many of us are on the hunt for long, healthy, shiny hair. Beyond the countless products on the shelf, there are many home remedies touted by social media influencers and celebrities. Maybe you’ve heard of the egg hair mask with yogurt or honey to tackle damaged hair. Or, the coffee hair mask to stop hair loss and promote regrowth.
Some of these DIY treatments come with anecdotal evidence of success, but most aren’t backed by science. But Cardi B’s strategy for growing healthy, shiny hair is an exception. The rapper made waves last month by saying she washed her hair with onion water. But does it really work? The science says yes.
Onions might make you cry when slicing them in the kitchen, but when it comes to growing healthy locks, the results could end up putting a big smile on your face. Researchers have found that the anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties of onions could actually be the secret to healthy, shiny hair.
In a 2018 study published in the Journal of Drug Delivery and Therapeutics, researchers created an onion shampoo that seemingly improved hair growth, moisturized dry hair and the scalp, and provided better nourishment to hair follicles. Another study published in The Journal of Dermatology found that onion juice was a great topical treatment for alopecia.
There’s even a possibility that onion water or juice could reverse the process of graying hair. It’s not official peer-reviewed evidence from the scientific community, but many home remedies promise that onions can reduce gray hairs because they contain an antioxidant compound that can reduce hydrogen peroxide at the hair roots.
How To Wash Your Hair With Onion Water
If you want to try this at home, there are several ways to make an onion mixture for your hair. Cardi B says she simply boils onions and uses the water. However, you can go further by making an onion extract with fresh onion bulbs cut into small pieces, a food processor, and muslin cloth.
Then, combine the onion extract (about one to three milliliters) with a small amount of lemon juice and apply it to your hair and scalp three or four times per week. Leave the mixture in for 30 minutes, then rinse and use a mild shampoo to get rid of the onion smell.
Another option is to soak a cotton pad in plain onion juice, then apply it directly by massaging the soaked cotton pad all over your scalp. After 15 minutes, rinse with a mild shampoo.
If you’re not the DIY type, there are a few products on the market that incorporate the power of onion to help promote healthy hair. Some highly rated options on Amazon include WOW Skin Science Red Onion Shampoo & Conditioner set, Mama Earth’s Onion Hair Mask, and Tara Nature’s Onion Remedy Follicle-Stimulating Concentrate. Each of these products advertises strengthening properties, with the mask and concentrate specifically targeting reduced hair shedding.