Garlic is an ancient seasoning that has been used for over 5000 years. It adds a delicious, mild pungency to just about any dish. For just as long as we’ve been consuming garlic, people have also been using it for medicinal purposes.
Most commonly you’ll hear about garlic’s benefits for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and other conditions relating to the blood and heart.
Did you know it has benefits for hair loss as well?
That’s right, consuming raw garlic, specifically when it’s chopped, crushed, or sliced, can help your hair. Though it probably won’t cure hair loss on its own, supplementing with garlic can improve your hair’s condition. It can also help your scalp, which is important if you’re trying to regrow hair.
Tip: If you are taking a hair loss supplement look for garlic in the ingredients. Use this alongside finasteride for the most effective hair regrowth. Finasteride blocks DHT, the main hormone responsible for male and female androgenic alopecia.
It’s high in essential vitamins and minerals
Garlic contains an abundance of beneficial vitamins and minerals for your hair. Of those, the most notable are vitamin C, vitamin B6, and manganese.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C has been shown to neutralize and prevent damage from free radicals. Free radicals are oxidized molecules that scour the body stealing electrons from other molecules. This can cause damage to cells, and more importantly hair follicles. Vitamin C seeks out and neutralizes free radicals throughout the body. It’s a great defense mechanism against these nasty little buggers.
Vitamin B6: Vitamin B6 is a catalyst for protein metabolism, specifically for keratin and melanin, both of which are vitally important to hair health. B6 acts as a catalyst. It’s the mechanism behind the activation of chemical reactions. These reactions metabolize keratin and melanin. In simple terms, vitamin B6 makes sure that your hair gets enough keratin (an important building block for hair) and melanin (gives hair its color).
Manganese: Though a manganese deficiency is rare, inadequate manganese levels in the body have been linked to loss of hair pigmentation and slowed hair growth.
Protects hair from UV damage
Free radicals are created when the body is exposed to UV rays. UV-B rays, one of the two basic types of rays found in sunlight, are the culprit behind the sun’s damaging effect on your hair. They specifically target keratin in the hair, and break down the protein structure. This can cause permanent damage to the hair follicle.
Allicin is a compound that forms when garlic is broken down. It plays a vital role in garlic’s ability to protect hair from UV damage. Allicin has been shown to have strong antioxidant properties. That means it works to neutralize the free radicals created by UV-B rays. By specifically protecting keratinocytes, skin cells in the scalp that produce keratin, allicin ensures that keratin remains at adequate levels and doesn’t get broken down. This protects your hair from sun damage. It’s still good practice to wear sunscreen (yes on your scalp) and minimize your exposure to the sun whenever possible.
Boosts circulation to the scalp
One of garlic’s medical uses is for reducing high blood pressure. This essentially means it helps increase blood flow, which benefits the hair as well. It was discovered in a study done by the University Of Alabama that red blood cells turn digested garlic into hydrogen sulfide. In return, this relaxes blood vessels which allow for better circulation.
What does this have to do with your hair? A lot actually. Blood is what is responsible for delivering oxygen and nutrients to your hair. It needs it to grow. Your hair is far away from your heart. This means it has to work harder to pump blood up to your scalp.
This explains why studies show a link between lower blood flow and early onset of pattern baldness. Without proper flow of oxygen and nutrients, your hair growth can slow down. This can result in thinner, shorter, dilapidated looking hair. Conversely, when your hair is receiving adequate blood flow your hair growth potential is maximized.
It can calm and cleanse an aggravated scalp
Garlic is antimicrobial. This means that it is able to kill germs, bacteria, fungus, and parasites. Each of these can prevent healthy hair growth. The removal of these microbes can reduce clogging of the hair follicles.
Preventing clogged hair follicles can help relieve you of relatively common scalp issues. Two of these issues are seborrheic dermatitis (oily skin) and folliculitis (infection caused by bacteria or fungus), both of which can damage your hair.
The antimicrobial properties of garlic may be able to reduce dandruff. Although the precise cause of dandruff is still unknown, scientists speculate that the overgrowth of a small fungus called Pityrosporum Ovale may be the cause. Since garlic is able to reduce fungus growth in the scalp, the implication for its benefits on dandruff are strong.
Is garlic right for me?
Garlic has many benefits for your hair and scalp. No matter what stage of hair loss you are in, and you’re looking for a solution, consider garlic.
Take between 600-1200mg of garlic a day. This can help improve the condition of your scalp. A healthy scalp creates a strong foundation for hair regrowth.
Though garlic may sound like a no brainer, you should always talk to your doctor before adding any supplement into your diet. Garlic has been reported to have caused allergic reactions in people, though this is extremely rare. Nonetheless, if you are looking to start making a change in your hair loss garlic is a great option.
Alternatively, you could check out Follicle Foundation which not only includes Garlic but a lot of other useful vitamins for your hair needs!
Tired of chasing down hair growth solutions without the results you’re after? Make sure you’re using the 3 hair loss products known to work before experimenting with alternative solutions – you may be surprised with how effective those 3 alone can be.