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Home arrow Beauty arrow Hair arrow Onion Oil for Hair Growth: Unleashing the Power

Onion Oil for Hair Growth: Unleashing the Power

Written by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Fact checked by Edna Skopljak, MD
Last update: April 18, 2023
7 min read 1058 Views 0 Comments
clock 7 eye 1058 comments 0

With a wide variety of hair growth products on the market, it can be difficult to know which ones actually work. Is onion oil one of them? Read on to find out.

Onion oil for hair growth

From Italian to Indian cuisine, onions make up the base of many meals across the world. However, if you frequently use social media, chances are that you’ve already heard the hype surrounding onion oil as an at-home hair treatment. 

Like many health and beauty trends, it is unclear whether this is a real solution for your hair or just another myth.

Discover how onion oil works for hair and how to make your own at home.

Onion Oil for Hair Growth: Does It Work?

Onion oil may work for hair growth. This is because it helps to improve blood flow to the scalp, which nourishes follicles and leads to healthy hair.

The oil is also rich in sulfur and collagen, which both contain proteins, such as keratin, that help to build strong strands. This prevents hair loss and encourages growth. 

Despite its potential benefits, there is limited evidence to support onion oil’s effectiveness for growth.

A study found that those who incorporated onion oil into their haircare routine experienced a faster rate of hair growth than those who only used water. 

However, the study cannot be considered reliable, as not all test subjects completed the study. It is also over a decade old. More thorough research is, therefore, needed to confirm whether or not onion oil really works.

How Does Onion Oil Work for Hair Growth?

Onion oil may be able to optimize the hair cycle to help promote growth. This is because it is rich in antioxidants, such as flavonoids

Antioxidants fight free radicals that develop in the body as a result of smoking, chronic stress, and pollution. Onion oil prevents damage to hair follicles caused by free radicals and protects the hair from further shedding.

It is also rich in essential nutrients, such as sulfur, which builds the strength of follicles to prevent breakage, split ends, and hair loss.

Massaging onion oil into the scalp reduces tension and helps to increase blood circulation. This ensures that the follicles receive vitamins and minerals to promote healthy hair growth and that the scalp is sufficiently moisturized.

Having a dry scalp can cause inflammation, meaning that growth may slow down or stop completely.

4 Benefits of Onion Oil for Hair

Onion oil has several benefits, which makes it a good choice for those looking to nourish their scalp, strengthen follicles, and promote hair growth.

Here are some of the most notable advantages of using this treatment:

#1 Nourishes the scalp

Applying onion oil to hair helps to balance the pH levels of the scalp. An imbalanced pH can cause the scalp to become sensitive, produce a buildup of excess oil and dandruff, and create breakage, all of which leads to hair loss. Onion oil hence facilitates the growth of new, stronger follicles.

Onion oil also has antibacterial properties, which prevent scalp infections from developing. An infected scalp can become dry and itchy, causing you to scratch excessively until it becomes inflamed. This is another major cause of hair loss.

#2 Helps to get rid of dandruff

Onion oil has anti-inflammatory properties and prevents dandruff from building up due to irritation of the scalp. It also hydrates dry scalps, which can reduce visible flakes and itching.

This is because onion has been found to eliminate the fungi that cause dandruff.

#3 Strengthens hair

Onion oil contains sulfur, an essential nutrient that makes up keratin. Keratin is a protein in the body that helps build hair.

The sulfur content helps form bonds in the hair, which strengthens split ends and protects strands from breaking. This strengthens the follicles.

#4 Encourages hair growth

Another benefit of onion oil’s rich sulfur content is that it increases collagen production. Collagen is a protein that helps to build bone, skin, muscles and is essential for creating healthy hair strands.

Massaging onion oil into the scalp increases circulation to the hair follicles, causing them to grow more quickly.

It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which fight free radicals in the body that cause damage and hair fall. This helps to promote optimal growth.

#5 Restores shine and softness

The antioxidants in onion oil help to increase blood circulation in the scalp.

Using onion oil for head massage reduces tension in the scalp and stimulates the production of sebum. 

Sebum provides essential moisture to the scalp and also helps to nourish the follicles, ensuring that the scalp is an ideal environment for the growth of new hair strands.

However, there is little solid evidence that directly links the production of sebum with hair growth.

Onion oil also prevents the buildup of chemicals from other hair products that can damage the texture of your hair. As a result, it adds shine and softness to your hair and helps prevent frizz.

How to Make Onion Oil at Home: Simple and Quick Recipe

Although many health and beauty brands sell onion oil for hair, making it at home is easy and much more cost-effective. 

This method also ensures that you can experience the benefits of onion for your hair without the added chemicals present in commercially-manufactured products.

There are many different ways that you can make the oil, but here is a simple recipe for you to follow:


  • ½ an onion, chopped
  • 200ml coconut or olive oil
  • 1 cup curry leaves (optional)


  1. Place the chopped onions and curry leaves (if using) in a blender. Blend the ingredients until it becomes a paste.
  2. Put a pan on low heat. Add the carrier oil of your choice and the onion paste.
  3. After 5–10 minutes, increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil.
  4. Once it boils, reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer for 15 minutes. The oil should appear slightly dark.
  5. Set the oil aside overnight to allow the ingredients to blend.
  6. In the morning, strain the oil and store it in an airtight bottle. For best results, use the oil within 6 months.

How to Use Onion Oil for Hair Growth: Tips and Tricks

The best way to use onion oil as a natural conditioner is to massage it into the scalp for 5–7 minutes. You should then leave the oil in for approximately 30 minutes before washing it off with a gentle shampoo.

Repeat this 1–2 times per week to begin seeing hair growth results.

Onion juice can also be mixed with a carrier, such as olive, coconut, or castor oil, to experience further benefits for your hair. For example, as well as benefiting weight loss, coconut oil has been found to prevent hair damage better than mineral or sunflower oil.

Another way to use this is as a hot oil treatment. To do this, you should mix the onion juice with a carrier, such as castor oil, and gently heat it to a lukewarm temperature. 

Then, apply the oil mix onto the scalp and lengths of the hair before leaving it to rest overnight.

Using a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo, you should then rinse it off the next morning, followed by a conditioner.

How Long Does Onion Oil Take to Grow Hair?

The length of time it takes for onion hair oil to begin working is likely to vary from person to person, depending on your age, gender, diet, and genetic factors.

When applying onion juice to the scalp regularly, you may begin to see growth after 2 weeks. 

However, a study found that 74% of participants experienced regrowth after 4 weeks, whilst 87% saw results after 6 weeks. Hair growth was also higher amongst male participants.

However, this study required participants to apply onion oil to the scalp twice per day. It is advised to only use it 1–2 times per week, so growth may take longer than the study suggests. 

Keep in mind that applying onion oil too frequently can cause scalp irritation and even hair loss.


Can I leave onion oil in my hair overnight?

Yes, onion hair oil can be left in overnight. It is recommended that you wear a scarf or shower cap over your hair to reduce odor and prevent staining your pillows. If you have sensitive skin, dilute it with a carrier such as coconut or olive oil.

Are there any side effects to using onion oil for hair growth?

Although onion hair oil is good for nourishing, using it too often can cause your scalp to become itchy and inflamed. This is because overuse can strip the scalp of its natural moisture. Use it 1–2 times a week and wash it out properly to avoid this.

Which onion is best for hair growth?

Red onions are best for hair growth as they are rich in sulfur and have the most antibacterial and antifungal properties. This means that it can provide all of the nutrients that are essential for building strong hair and promoting growth.

Can I use onion oil on my hair daily?

It is recommended that you do not use onion oil on a daily basis. This is because it contains high levels of sulfur, which can irritate the scalp. For best results and minimal side effects, use onion oil 1–2 times per week.

A Word From an MD

For stronger, thicker, longer hair, use onion oil 1–2 times a week as a nourishing, natural conditioner.

The oil has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that moisturize the scalp. This reduces dandruff and provides the hair with essential sulfur proteins, such as collagen and keratin. These proteins help build strong hair follicles.

Along with onion oil, you should consider whether your diet is lacking in nutrients that may contribute to hair loss. Try eating foods that are high in B vitamins, such as milk, beef, haddock, salmon, liver, and eggs.

Be sure not to use onion oil too frequently. This can cause your scalp to dry out and cause irritation, which may worsen any damage to follicles and cause hair loss.


Onion oil can support hair growth by creating a healthy environment for new strands to grow. It helps nourish the scalp, prevent inflammation, and strengthen follicles. 

However, you should only use it once or twice a week to avoid an itchy and irritated scalp. Always rinse onion oil thoroughly and avoid using it if you have sensitive head skin.

Written by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Dr. Rosmy Barrios, MD, is a medical advisor for the Health Reporter, the head of the anti-aging department, and a regenerative medicine specialist in several medical institutions with years of experience in aesthetic medicine and cosmetology.
The article was fact checked by Edna Skopljak, MD
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Written by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Fact checked by Edna Skopljak, MD
Last update: April 18, 2023
7 min read 1058 Views 0 Comments

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