By Michelle Fouchi Esneault

As long as there has been vanity, there has been a quest to find a way to reverse hair loss. The ancient Egyptians applied hippopotamus, crocodile, lion, goose, snake and ibex fats with porcupine hair boiled in water to their scalps. It failed to grow hair, so they resorted to wigs. Hippocrates used opium, horseradish, pigeon droppings, beetroot and spices. That didn’t work either. Julius Caesar had male pattern baldness that, when the concoctions of the day didn’t have the desired effect, he hid with a laurel wreath. Nineteenth century technology created “cures” that included Frankenstein’s monster-like devices. Today, there are medications that do help slow hair loss, and may even grow hair, but also have side effects. So, is there hope for the 80 million men and women who suffer from hair loss? The answer may surprise you.

A study reported in the Journal of Dermatology found that onion juice, applied to the scalp for two weeks was found to stimulate hair regrowth in subjects that had patchy alopecia areata, a hair loss condition. After six weeks, 87 percent of their participants had hair regrowth. There are a lot of causes of hair loss. Stress, hormones, diseases, medications and hereditary factors all play a part. Inexpensive and readily available, it turns out onions have a host of properties that are just what your scalp and hair follicles need.

Minerals and other nutrients found in onions may be beneficial to hair growth. Sulfur is essential for the regeneration of hair follicles and encourages collagen production that creates strong, thick hair. It is also found in keratin which is key to minimizing hair breakage and thinning. Onions also contain the antioxidant enzyme catalase which protects your body from the free radicals that can cause signs of aging, including hair loss. Additionally, they supply anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties which can help when infection is the cause of thinning hair.

Although eating onions are beneficial, it is quicker to apply them topically by juicing them. The easiest way to do that is to run them through a juicer or blender and using a cheesecloth to remove the pulp. Add essential oils or apple cider vinegar to minimize the smell. Massage into your scalp twice a week with a cotton ball. Leave it on for 30 minutes, then shampoo out. It’s recommended that you do a patch test before using and if redness or itching occur, dilute the mixture with water.

Onions have a host of properties that are just what your scalp and hair follicles need.

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