Onion Juice for Hair: Can It Stop Hair Loss?

  • Medically reviewed by: Debra Rose Wilson, PhD MSN RN IBCLC AHN-BC CHT
  • Written by: William Hartfield
  • Last updated: 05/01/2021

In an 8-week study with 38 people, onion juice was successfully used for hair loss with observable hair re-growth in almost all the participants.

This article will explain how onion juice can be used to regrow your hair, why it works, and the best method and application of the juice.

NOTE: While current studies on the topic show hair growth in humans, there is still room for further research. As this is not an FDA-approved treatment, it is best to speak with your doctor before you proceed.

Onion Juice and Its Historical Uses

Onion has been used for over 5000 years, both as a diet staple and for its use in the treatment of a wide range of maladies. While the exact location of the onion’s original cultivation is still unclear, these healthy and flavorful vegetables have been cultivated in one form or another around the globe.

As if the many benefits offered by onions were not enough, scientists have now learned of its effectiveness at treating hair problems and regrowing hair in those with thinning and baldness.

Can Onion Juice Help with Hair Growth?

While onion juice may seem like an odd treatment for thinning hair, there are a number of reasons why onion juice is effective at treating it and helping to regrow hair.

Onion Juice Contains Sulfur

Methylsulfonylmethane is an organic compound found within the body. This compound is broken down by the body for use of its sulfur, which contributes to bone, hair, and nail growth (1). While a sulfur deficiency may not be the main reason for hair shedding, supplementation with sulfur can certainly contribute to hair growth.

This is great news for onion lovers, as onions are sulfur-rich vegetables. If you are not an onion lover, however, the application of onion juice to the scalp can still provide benefits and contribute to hair growth and strengthening.

Onion Juice is Anti-microbial

Onion has been proven to contain anti-microbial properties, and this can be helpful in battling the natural buildup of oils, chemicals, and DHT on the scalp (2). Further, onion juice can fight infections and leave you with healthy and strong hair follicles.

Onion Juice is Full of Antioxidants

Onions are a particularly large source of flavonoids and are perhaps one of the main contributors of flavonoid intake in humans (3). Flavonoids (e.g. quercetin) are versatile compounds, and as such, they provide a number of functions in the plants they are found within. One such plant is the onion where they serve as an antioxidant.

For men suffering from male-pattern baldness, antioxidants can provide a number of benefits. One such benefit is the neutralization of free radicals, the molecules which are responsible for aging.

An antioxidant donating an electron to a free radical

In men with male-pattern baldness, free radicals are, in large part, responsible for hair thinning and loss. This is because these molecules destroy hair follicles and make it difficult for hair regrowth to occur.

Onion Juice is Anti-inflammatory

As you can imagine, the damage done by free radicals to the hair follicles can be particularly irritating and inflammatory. That is one more reason that onion juice is an effective treatment for hair loss.

Onion juice’s anti-inflammatory properties make it useful at decreasing hair follicle inflammation and irritation and creating a healthy environment for hair growth to occur.

What Science Has to Say About Onion Juice for Hair Growth

There is no doubt that onion juice has a number of properties that could make it effective at treating thinning hair no matter the cause. But have there been any scientific studies done to prove its effectiveness?

More research is needed in humans, but animal studies show it is effective in encouraging hair growth and topical lotions of onion juice are recommended (4).

One study, performed in 2002 and published in the Journal of Dermatology, has shown the effectiveness of onion juice for the treatment of alopecia (5). This particular study focused on patients with alopecia areata (a form of hair loss that’s different from male-pattern baldness and which will be discussed later).

The study consisted of 38 patients split into two groups.

Group one, consisting of 23 participants (16 males and 7 females), was instructed to apply onion juice to their scalp twice per day for two months. Group two, consisting of 15 participants (8 males and 7 females), was instructed to apply tap water to their scalp twice per day for two months.

At the end of the 8-week study, only two patients from the tap water group showed signs of observable hair re-growth. The group which applied onion juice to their scalps, however, had a stunning 20 participants (86.9%) with observable hair re-growth by week 6.

Can Onion Juice Treat Other Forms of Alopecia Besides Alopecia Areata?

The above study was performed on individuals with alopecia areata.

Alopecia areata is a form of hair loss caused by the immune system attacking healthy hair follicles. These attacks will eventually alter the hair growth cycle, miniaturize the hair follicle, and lead to halted hair growth (6).

But what about those who suffer from androgenetic alopecia, also known as male-pattern baldness?

While the reason for the miniaturization of the hair follicle is different than in those with alopecia areata (DHT vs immune system attack), the fact still remains that miniaturized hair follicles will halt hair growth completely.

While onion juice may not reduce the production of DHT found in the body, it can help to reduce the amount of DHT found on the scalp, reduce inflammation of the hair follicles, and reverse the effects of miniaturization of the hair follicles.

This means that onion juice can be effective at treating hair loss in those with male-pattern baldness and other forms of alopecia.

Are There Side Effects Associated with Application of Onion Juice?

As with any supplement, it is important to speak with your doctor if you have any pre-existing medical conditions or concerns.

Onion juice, when applied directly to the skin, may cause temporary irritation and burning (particularly of the eyes). Apply onion juice to a small patch of skin on your wrist prior to use on your scalp. This will give you an idea of how your body reacts to its use and whether you will have any issues with its use.

If you are pregnant or nursing, consult with your obstetrician prior to use of the supplement.

Of course, if you are allergic to onion, avoid use, even if it is non-oral.

How Can You Add Onion Juice to Your Hair Care Routine?

Apply It Directly

If you want to reap the most benefits associated with onion juice, then direct application to the scalp is the best method to use.

There are two main ways of extracting onion juice from onions. One involves the use of a juicer, and the other uses a garlic press.

When using a juicer, cut the onion into quarter-sized pieces and peel. Feed the onion pieces, one by one, into the juicer.

With a garlic press, cut the onion into eighths (or smaller), and peel. Place one piece of onion into the garlic press, and squeeze over a cup or bowl until all of the juice has been extracted. Repeat until all onion pieces have been thoroughly juiced. Learn more about how to use vegetables juices for hair here.

Now that the juice has been extracted, pour it into your palm and massage it between hands. Rub the juice into your scalp in a slow, circular motion.

Be aware that juice may flow down your scalp, so avoid direct application to the front of the hairline to avoid onion juice getting into your eyes. Instead, apply to the top of the scalp and spread the juice outward.

The onion juice should absorb, though there will be left over residue. Rinse after at least 15 minutes, or leave the onion juice on your scalp overnight and then rinse and shampoo in the morning.

Add It To Your Shampoo

Ketoconazole is a key ingredient of some popular hair loss shampoos

While the direct application of onion juice to the scalp is the simplest form of treatment for thinning, receding hair, it is understandable that some individuals may not be enthused with the idea.

If you are one such individual, then adding onion juice to your shampoo may be an easy way to incorporate onion juice into your hair care routine.

While onion juice can be added to store-bought shampoo, some individuals may be more interested in a natural and chemical-free shampoo alternative.

If you would like to give chemical-free shampoo a try, consider testing out the base shampoos mentioned below and adding onion juice for an extra boost.

Shampoo for Hair Growth


Bring water to a boil. Add 2 – 3 bunches of nettle and allow to steep. Strain.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the nettle tea, and mix. Also add one teaspoon of onion juice to the base.

Lather onto wet hair, and allow to sit for at least two minutes and up to five minutes. Rinse thoroughly.

If the onion scent is too strong, shampoo your hair a second time with the above shampoo base, this time without the onion juice included. Stinging nettle helps to clean the scalp pores, block DHT, and reduce inflammation.

Make an Onion Juice Hair Mask

Applying a hairmask to protect the hair follicles and scalp

Hair masks are a simple way to add onion juice to your regular hair care routine, and it can be applied in as little as five minutes.

Onion Juice and Honey Hair Mask

  • 2 tablespoons onion juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Cut a medium to large onion into quarter-sized pieces. Peel one of the quarter-sized pieces.

Next, with the help of a garlic press or juicer, juice the onion.

You may need to use more than one-quarter sized piece of onion.

Once you have collected two tablespoons of onion juice, combine with one tablespoon of honey and mix. Apply the onion juice and honey mixture all over your scalp in a thin layer. Leave on for at least 15 minutes, though you can also cover with a towel or shower cap and leave it on overnight.

Rinse, and then shampoo your scalp as usual.

This method can be done at least once per month, though it is best to do it no more than once per week.

When to Consider FDA-Approved Treatment Options

There is no solid evidence that onion juice will support hair growth in men and women with pattern baldness. There is still much research that needs to be done, especially on a larger sample size of humans.

Minoxidil and finasteride are an over-the-counter topical and a prescription oral drug, respectively. They have both been tested extensively on humans, and they have shown remarkable hair regrowth results.

There are many reasons one may want to consider more natural options before proceeding with FDA treatments. But the question then becomes, when should you consider the more traditional route? The answer will vary from person to person.

If your hair loss continues, you may want to consider minoxidil or finasteride. The more hair you lose, the more difficult it will be to regrow. Time is of the essence.

These drugs can have side effects and even long-term use implications, so it is important to speak with your doctor before you proceed.

When It Is Time to See a Doctor

Speaking of seeing your doctor, it is always good to speak with them once it is apparent that your hair loss is permanent and progressive.

There are many reasons why hair loss occurs. While pattern hair loss is the most common, there may be other causes. These include:

  • Medication side effects
  • Hypo-/hyper-thyroid
  • Hormone imbalance
  • Poor diet and nutrition
  • Anxiety and stress
  • Autoimmune deficiencies (such as alopecia areata)

In the face of permanent hair loss, it is best to visit with your primary care physician and a dermatologist to rule out these other likely causes.

What if it is pattern hair loss? Then your doctor can still be a great tool.

A dermatologist who specializes in hair loss will likely have the latest insight on effective treatments, as well as up-and-coming treatment possibilities. And they may even be able to provide you with information on other treatment options, including laser therapy and scalp massage.

Remember that seeing your doctor is not giving up. In fact, it is a great way to be sure you are using everything within your power to fight hair loss and even regrow your hair.


Although there is no absolutely firm evidence that onion juice can be used to treat male pattern baldness, there is good reason to believe that it would be a beneficial addition to your hair care routine due to its potential ability to reduce inflammation in the scalp.

If your skin is sensitive and you experience inflammation and discomfort, discontinue use.

Information contained on this website has not been evaluated by any medical body such as the Food & Drug Administration. All information is for educational purposes only. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness. You must consult a medical professional before acting on any content on this website.

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  1. Have any questions for me about using onion juice for your hair type? Just post it here in the comments and I’ll try to answer you within a day 🙂

    1. I have been experiencing drastic hairfall from last 1 year. 4 months back i have started applying monoxidil.Everytime i apply monoxidil, my hair gets rough and fall out.I am currently washing hair on regular basis with organic shampoo, using monoxidil, taking hair vitamins but i dont feel any progress here.My hair have become very thin. Do you think adding onion juice to this regime will help?

      1. Hi Abhinav, honestly I don’t think onion juice will help very much. Topical applications have limited effectiveness. You need to first sort out your body so you’re not fighting a losing battle. Then maybe use the onion juice to speed up recovery. Also, I would not recommend shampooing too much, even with an organic shampoo. Try using just apple cider vinegar (4 teaspoons per wash) once per week, with no shampooing. Natural oils that are removed during shampooing help to protect the scalp and hair follicle.

        1. Sir first of all thanks to all from the core of my heart that you spare your precious time for us to talk on the issues regarding our health,
          Sir I’ve seen a lot time that onion juice is good but I have been using it for the last couple of ears , I am 25 + , do you think it’ll help me and recover my bald patches

          1. Topical applications only have limited effectiveness. I wouldn’t rely on this to regrow hair, there are other changes you need to make from the inside-out first.

    2. hey there….! I am 19 and have been noticing receding hairline and hair thinning especially at my lateral regions my of head since the last two months off my crown. Does applying onion juice along with almond oil helps me regain my hairline and those lost hairs of my scalp…will be waiting for your reply… Btw Thanks for an Effective Remedy

  2. I have had hairfall n hairloss about 3-4 yrz ago..can i regrow my hairs back with onion juice..if i starts to apply now??

    1. Onion juice is not a magic cure. You will need to do more than that to re-grow all the hair you’ve lost in the past 3-4 years. The most important point is that you fix the root cause of the hair loss and then use onion juice to speed up the recovery.

  3. I am applying this onion juice only for two days. And what i found more hairfall while rinsing with herbal shampoo

    1. Hello how has it worked out for you ? I just started with the oj 3rd time and since the first time i stopped easily shedding i used to run fingers through my head and pieces of hair will be on my hand since this 3 time i noticed much much less shedding i wanted to know if you were actually able to regrow hair where it was totally gone or just strengthen hair that was already there thank you

    2. Hi… Is it true.. Am having some baldness at forehead and center of the head.. Not full baldness.. Also my hairs are getting thinner. I am already started using onion juice.

  4. If I’m not able to juice the onion is it ok if I put it in a blender to get it to really small pieces, add a bit of warm water and then the honey?

    1. That is probably quite a good alternative. You can also try removing the fibre after blending using a muslin cloth.

  5. Hello there. I want to know.. I’m allergic to sulfur and unions contain sulfur. What other remedies are method can I use for hair loss.

    1. Hi Mark, onion juice wouldn’t be the first thing I recommend for hair loss, in fact I don’t really recommend it at all, since there are better (and less messy) solutions available. For example, instead I would recommend a mixture of magnesium oil and peppermint oil applied to the scalp.
      However, please keep in mind that topical mixtures (mixtures applied to the scalp) will only have a very minor effect on your hair health. There are much more important things to focus on.

      1. Hi Will,

        I have been following you for over a year now and I think all your research is amazing and you have been a wonderful help to many people, but I feel onion juice is actually one of or the most effective treatment for hairloss.

        I’ve tried many many things but nothing has stood in the way of onion juice. Even baby hairs are growing at my temples, and my hair is thicker than ever and a bonus is I have less grey hairs.

        So I would strongly consider to recommend this treatment instead of turning people to other options.

        There are countless success stories of using onion juice online.

        If anyone wants more proof watch this guy on YouTube and his experience with onion juice and how he does it. I learnt everything from him.


        Otherwise keep up the amazing research you are sharing <3

  6. Hai Will, i have severe itching on my scalp (My Skin is oily in nature) from the past 7 years,i consulted many doctors but none couldn’t diagnose properly.i lost lot of hair, currently i am using HairforU Solution as prescribed by doctor. i feel the itching on my scalp(Kind of fungal infection) is the root cause for my hair loss.any solution to fix the itching problem. moreover i am more concerned about itching on my scalp than hair loss.

  7. I have been suffering hair loss for 4 years from crown area ,I have done almost all natural remedy but it is not curingand gradually receding.i became frustrate please tell me what to do.
    applying onion has given some effect .

  8. Sir, I am just 15 yrs old and I have an m-shaped hairline. My parents are bald so it’s genetic. Pls I have no account to buy ur e book but at least can onion juice help me recover my hair.. Ive been insulted too much because of this. I am ready to try the onion juice treatment and how long might it take to work

  9. Sir, i am male 25 having scalp Psoriasis for which i have consulted doctor as well but not yet received any satisfactory result. From last 2 years i am losing my hair but i have observed drasting change in this two months in which i almost leave 30 to 40 hair daily and i am looking totally bald. Will onion juce help me? Also guide me about mixture of onion juice and rum. Thank you

    1. You need to change your body from the inside-out. Thinking that any topical treatment will fix your problem entirely is not wise. Firstly change your diet and then use a topical treatment like Gro2 to stimulate regrowth. Onions way help, but they aren’t the best option.

      1. Hi Will,

        What is Gro2? is it a store bought product or something that is made using.

        I have tried to google this but haven’t been able to find more information?

        1. Hi Michael, our Scalp Elixir was originally called GRO2. It’s the same thing, we’ve just steadily been improving it.

  10. Hi – once applying the onion juice how long do you leave it in before washing your hair? Is the onion juice more effective if you leave it in your hair for a longer period of time?


    1. Hi Vin, I would suggest that there are better topical treatments than OJ. For example, peppermint essential oil is actually proven to help hair regrowth (faster than minoxidil) whereas onion is basically unproven.

      1. Hi Will
        Can I use Rosemary and peppermint oil for direct Application to the scalp? And I take pumpkin seeds soaked overnight in water. Is that okay? Thanks in advance.

        1. Both of these can be used and are ingredients in our Scalp Elixir. Pumpkin seeds soaked overnight are also a very good source of hair growing nutrition.

        2. My name is Josephine. As an African woman our hair texture and styling pattern may not allow us to be washing our hair ever so often, not to talk of daily. Is there no way we can try the onion in oil and then use as hair oil on scalp which may not need to be washed off

      2. I think so onion works. I m nearly 40 now n20 years back I used a hair colour to the front part of my scalp and that whole part started growing grey. Since then I started colouring that part and eventually other hairs too started growing grey. now from past some weeks I started onion juice and I really can see a difference in reversing grey hair. There are lot of black hairs growing too inbetween grey. I’m happy… Before my front scalp would look as if I had painted that part with a white paint now I see a lot of

        1. Really? Does it work? I also coloured my hair once and experienced grey hairs a lot…. now 80% of my hair are grey,I have recently started applying onion juice once or twice…. will it help me in treating my grey hairs,and how long it will take to see results??

  11. What other herb can I use instead of Nettle for making the shampoo? Fresh Mint, Coriander & Basil are easily available where I am.

    1. Hi Peter, I haven’t looked into this at all, though it would be an interesting subject to study. I did hear that the Japanese population of Hawaii is well known to go grey earlier in life then the same age Japanese living in Japan. Apparently the anecdotal reason was diet related.

  12. Hi Will,

    What kind of onion you recommend; the red ones or not? Can I apply onion juice is I have seborrheic dermatitis? How long do you recommend applying?

    Thank you very much

    1. Hi Marco, I actually don’t recommend onion juice. It may work, but there are better topical alternatives available, so why not use those instead. Please read our free eBook – Scalp Secrets for more details.

      1. Hi, I’ve read all about it! It’s brilliant, but I don’t understand how have I to apply ACV in my scalp, I mean what proportion.

        By the way, I have seborrheic dermatitis; Can I use ACV or the Scalp Elixir? I would like some advice to treat oily scalp.


    1. Dermarollers are generally considered to improve the effectiveness of topical treatments. However, like I have said before, I would prefer to use something like our Scalp Elixir rather than onion.

  13. Hello Will

    If i have presset too much juice, can i save the rest in the frig and use it the day after ? And how many days before it’s useless ?

    Thank you.

  14. Hai all,
    I am Sarath have been loosing my hair from the last 2yrs which resulted in thinning of hair from temples and Crown. So started applying onion juice from 2weeks of thrice weekly does it helps me in the making my hair grow thick and also let me know should I do any other.

    1. Hi Sarath,

      While onion juice can help, it’s definitely not the most effective method.

      You should check out Will’s Scalp Secrets guide for more hair growth tips.

      – Steph

  15. Hey Hi,
    I’m Kandeeban, i started experiencing my hair like a year before. My hair is actually some what frizzy and slightly curly in nature, after the hair loss factor comes in my life its so frustrating for me now. At first i wasn’t used to this hair loss and then i took it seriously, so obviously i browsed the net for the reasons for this hair loss.
    to be precise there were many reasons and many solutions for it. But I don’t know which might suit well for me.
    All I want now is
    1. How to find the cause of my hair loss ? ( so that i can find a possible solution to it )
    2. How can i prevent from hair fall and regrow it ?

    I’d be happy if you help me through with hair loss problem!
    Thanks in advance

  16. Hello sir I am Vijayalaxmi Patil. Since 8 months I using onion juice one after another day before home made oil application and morning wash hair with apple cider vinegar shampoo with juice..even though no effect sir..

  17. Hey,

    I had got Keratin done around four months back. Now, my hair is falling out like anything, can onions help?

  18. as i my hairfall begin from last 8-9 months earlier i was having dense and thick hair but from last 8-9 months i noticed a huge change their density is very much reduced as i loose 40-50 hair a day many said tht loosing such is normal but still its making me to be worried abt my hairs

  19. Hello. Sir i start onion oil but iam scaring after use sexual problem. Possible? I see same comments users minoxiden after sexual problem.

    1. Hi Imran,

      It’s very unlikely that the onion oil is causing these issues. While onion juice can lower DHT levels on the scalp, it doesn’t interfere with DHT’s production within the body.



  20. Hello. Thanks for the article. It was really good. Im 17 years old and im starting to see my temples and a little part of the front of my hairline getting thin. People around me say that my hair is fine and this is just becuz of growing up and stuff. Can onion juice help me regrow the hair i lost or make it thicker ? Or is it just too late ?

    1. I don’t recommend onion juice, the evidence suggests there are better topical products available. However I don’t see any harm in trying it if you want to.

  21. I am facing hair fall issue from 10 years old and now I m 27 .. I somehow managed my hair but it is worse right now !! I consulted doctor as well they recommend topical solutions.. only Is there anything that could help not to turn bald..i m female

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