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Onion vs minoxidil, which of these work best for hair fall? Experts answer


While there are a lot of people that use onion and claim for it to be safer due to it being a natural product, minoxidil is known to help with hair loss and promote hair growth. Haircare experts reveal whether onion or minoxidil works best for hair fall

ByZarafshan Shiraz, Delhi

The excess moisture and sweat can cause dandruff on your scalp which leads to itchy and oily scalp in summer hence, hair care experts recommend using hydrating products that prevent stripping one’s scalp of natural oils nor leave them dry and rough, which is why we find ourselves picking natural formulations with anti-oxidant ingredients such as amla, honey, onion juice or hibiscus as these ingredients help infuse the hair with moisture, locking it in to keep it nourished and healthy. While there are a lot of people that use onion and claim for it to be safer due to it being a natural product, minoxidil is known to help with hair loss and promote hair growth, which brings us to the main question – whether onion or minoxidil works best for hair fall?

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Kalyani Deshmukh, Dermatology Expert at Traya Health revealed, “Onion contains Quercetin, a 5α-reductase inhibitor (5α-R) which is an enzyme that converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT) but simply applying onion or its extract to the scalp will not help to block DHT and there is no significant data that mentions the absorption of onion on applying to the scalp. Although there have been studies of concentrated onion juice in treating alopecia areata (an autoimmune condition where hair fall is seen in patches all over the body) but if you look at the shampoo and the concentration of which these active ingredients are present is practically negligible. If you compare this 1-2% concentration along with the contact time of shampoo on the scalp, it doesn’t really help to give any real results.”

Dr Madhuri Agarwal, Founder and Medical Director of YAVANA Aesthetics Clinic said, “While there are a lot of people that use onion and claim for it to be safer due to it being a natural product, minoxidil is in reality a better option. The reason for this is that as a science practitioner, I would always turn to data and there aren’t enough studies that show tangible results for onion usage on hair. At most it will show results for smaller hair issues but larger and more common problems like male pattern hair loss or female pattern hair loss cannot be completely remedied using onion extract. Minoxidil on the other hand is FDA approved and has large scale studies backing its efficacy.”

However, according to Sameep Mendiratta, Head-Brand and Consumer products, while Minoxidil is known to help with hair loss and promote hair growth, it should be used under the guidance of a dermatologist as there are some known side effects such as excessive facial hair growth in women and it should be avoided during pregnancy. He said, “Onion Oil on the other hand is a natural ingredient with no major side effects. Onion oil has antioxidants that help in improving hair health and also has antimicrobial properties thus preventing any bacterial infections or dandruff. Onion oil is also a natural conditioner and safe to use during pregnancy.”


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