Most of us accept hair loss as a natural part of life, whether it be as a result of aging or other causes. Losing 50-100 hairs throughout the day is normal but thin, patchy hair can have a negative effect on our confidence levels.
I first experienced hair loss a few years ago, my belief is that it was as a result of extensive dying and use of commercial shampoos and other treatments. When I realised I could see my scalp through my hair, I was honestly scared. I didn’t know if it was going to grow back or get worse.
There are many products on the market claiming to stimulate hair growth, but I prefer natural methods myself. I wanted to find a cure as quickly as possible, and one of the options I came across was garlic oil. I wondered “can garlic oil promote hair growth?” Let me share my findings:
What Causes Hair Loss?
There are numerous reasons why your hair can thin and fall out. Much like your skin, any upset or stress will show on your hair. Severe stress can cause hair to fall out overnight.
Some other factors are hormonal changes, genetics, poor nutrition, alopecia and receding hairline with age. Excessive use of chemicals such as hair dyes, commercial shampoos and conditioners can dry your hair making it brittle weak – leading to hair loss.
How Does Garlic Oil Promote Hair Growth?
Garlic is a vegetable in the allium class which also includes onions, leeks, and scallions. It’s mainly used as a flavoring in food but has been used traditionally as a medicinal remedy due to its nutrient content. Here are some of the facts about garlic use for hair growth:
Garlic contains high levels of the nutrient sulfur. Sulfur is a vital building block for keratin which gives our hair and nails strong and helps them grow. Applying garlic oil to your scalp results in strong, flexible hair.
Garlic has antifungal properties. One of the most common fungal infections which affect our scalp is dandruff. If your hair is in poor shape as a result of dandruff or another scalp infection, garlic oil might offer a cure. Allicin in garlic was found to be effective against six different fungi.
Selenium in garlic improves hair health by helping the body use vitamin E. Vitamin E deficiency can cause hair loss.
Garlic contains vitamins C, B6 and B1. Vitamin C boosts collagen in hair and protects against breakage. B6 deficiency can cause hair loss and B1 improves scalp circulation.
Minerals in garlic also improve hair health. Calcium provides a structural component in hair. Copper prevents defective hair growth. Iron aids in hair growth and maintenance. Manganese helps the body utilize other nutrients that are important to hair health.
Garlic is known as a rubefacient, i.e. stimulates blood circulation. Your blood carries nutrients and oxygen to every part of your body, including your roots and scalp. This means more nourishment for your locks. Much like watering a plant, blood flowing to your scalp leads to healthy hair growth.
A study determined that garlic oil enhanced the effects of a steroid gel to treat hair loss due to alopecia areta.
How to Make Garlic Oil at Home
Don’t confuse garlic oil with garlic essential oil – they are completely different things. The garlic oil you want involves the whole clove crushed and mixed with a carrier oil and left to infuse. You can buy garlic oil but it’s very simple to make it fresh at home.
Peel and mince some garlic cloves and mix with a carrier oil such as olive or coconut oil. The ratio should be 1 clove to 1 tablespoon of oil. Heat the mixture gently and then put it in a sealed jar in a dark place for at least a week. When you’re ready to use it, strain out the minced garlic pieces.
How to Use Garlic Oil for Hair Growth
In traditional folk remedies, garlic was used for hair loss by slicing a clove open and rubbing it on the scalp. This was followed by an olive oil head massage an hour later. The hair was not washed until the following day. If this is a bit too hippy (and smelly) for you, don’t worry, there are plenty of modernised recipes for garlic oil hair treatments.
If the smell of garlic really bothers you try adding lemon juice or rose water to the mix. Essential oils are also an option – rosemary, lavender, and peppermint oils are purported to be good for hair growth whereas eucalyptus and tea tree are recommended for clearing dandruff.
Garlic and Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is really in fashion in the health and nutrition world nowadays – and for good reason. It has amazing moisturising powers, and for this reason it’s replaced most of the creams and lotions in my bathroom cabinet.
- To make a garlic and coconut oil hair treatment, combine garlic oil and coconut oil in a 1:1 mixture. If you live in a colder climate, you will need to melt the coconut oil first by putting the jar in a bowl of hot water for a few minutes.
- Massage the mix vigorously into the scalp, cover with a shower cap and let it sit for 20 minute
- You’ll need to wash your hair with shampoo at least twice to get the oil out completely, especially if you are prone to greasy hair.
- Repeat twice a week
Garlic and Honey
Honey is another wonderful natural moisturiser, and some varieties have strong healing and antibacterial powers too. If you don’t mind spending a bit more money, I recommend Manuka honey. The benefits are worth the price tag.
- Mix one tablespoon of garlic oil with one tablespoon of honey.
- Apply to the scalp only, cover with a shower cap and leave for 20 minutes
- Rinse the hair
- Repeat twice a week
Neat Garlic Oil
If you can tolerate the smell, undiluted garlic oil is the way to go. Don’t worry, if you wash it out thoroughly with scented shampoo nobody will be any the wiser.
- Massage 2 tablespoons of garlic oil into the scalp
- Cover with a shower cap and allow to sit for 20 minutes
- Wash out with shampoo
- Repeat once a week
Garlic Oil Shampoo
For an extra boost in between treatments, try adding a tablespoon or two of garlic oil into your shampoo. However it’s not recommended if you’re prone to greasy hair.
Always do a patch test before apply garlic oil mixtures to your skin. Never apply to broken skin and make sure not to get any garlic oil in your eyes.
If you have sudden, unexplained hair loss, please discuss it with your doctor as it could be a sign of illness somewhere in your system. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
The most important part of treating hair loss is to find the underlying cause if possible. If you don’t fix the reason for your hair loss, no amount of cures will help. Luckily after I eliminated dye and commercial hair care products from my routine, my hair slowly returned to its original state.
I still have lots of flyaway baby hairs from the new growth but they don’t bother me – it serves as a reminder to treat my locks well! I wish you the best of luck with using garlic oil to promote hair growth – I hope it gives the results you desire!