The onion water hack has just been made famous by American rapper Cardi B. She shared the D.I.Y. hair treatment hack with millions of followers on her Instagram page. They flocked to her comment section to praise her, saying onion water is deeply embedded in ayurvedic practices.
Cardi B’s hack is boiling onions and using the water to treat her hair. Still, William Gaunitz (a hair and scalp expert) indicated that he’d seen patients mix onion water to make a juice-like substance to use as a scalp treatment before rinsing off in the shower.
Gaunitz says his hair loss patients have been talking about the natural treatment for years, but he claims onion water’s benefits for hair are “valid to a certain degree”. He said he does support the practice conditionally as “it’s subject to a random recipe” with “many variabilities”, which may or may not work.
The onion water hack may bring about healthy hair, as we saw how Cardi B flaunted her Rapunzel-esque hair (not a wig) following the secret “vegetable solution”.
But what does science say about this hair-raising hack? In this piece, we highlight all you need to know before you immerse your hair in onion water.
Benefits of onion water for hair
Even though research on the real-world implementations of onions for hair is limited, a past study proposed that onion water could help boost hair re-growth among some participants of alopecia (a condition that causes hair loss).
One potential reason why onion water is advantageous is the high quantity of sulphur content in the solution. Gaunitz says, “Since sulfur is a common over-the-counter (OTC) treatment for inflammatory skin conditions when applied to the scalp, it works for many people who have inflammatory hair loss issues.“
It is good to note that onion water won’t work for all varieties of hair loss, like hair loss caused by androgenetic alopecia and nutrient deficiencies. To date, no research proves onion water can subdue dihydrotestosterone levels to prevent androgenetic alopecia.
Also, it hasn’t been revealed that the “vegetable solution” can promote vitamin D or protein levels at the root of hair follicles (which could assist in nutritional hair loss). Consulting a speciality doctor is most advisable to treat androgenetic alopecia and nutrient deficiencies due to hair loss.
Using onion water to promote scalp health and hair appearance is not a new practice – it’s being used for ayurvedic practices. While some claim it reduces hair loss and dandruff and promotes healthy hair, there is very little medical evidence to support the general use for hair and scalp issues.
Although the cost and theoretical risk are low, and there’s no harm in trying, speak to a doctor before trying it out; not all hair concerns can benefit from this practice.