Curly Hair Ingredients 101: The Amazing (And Surprising) Benefits of Garlic for Hair Growth
By Jacqueline Samaroo
If you live in Count Dracula’s Transylvania or you’ve seen any old vampire movie that’s worth its screams, you know how good garlic is when it comes to keeping vampires at bay. Pretty handy, right?
You know we’re just kidding but… did you know that even if it can’t keep fictional vampires off your neck, garlic may be able to keep your hair on your head?
Wait! Before you rush out to grab a bottle of garlic hair shampoo, here’s a look at this ubiquitous spice (or herb or vegetable?!) and some of the ways it is good for you. We’ll zero in on some of the benefits of garlic for hair growth.
What is garlic?
If anyone tries to drag you into the “Is garlic a vegetable, spice, or herb?” debate, just tell them it’s a bulb and leave it at that.
Humans have been using garlic (Allum sativum) for thousands of years both as a medicinal plant and as a pungent but much-loved flavoring for food. Ancient records from China, Mesopotamia, and Egypt mention garlic and it was even found in King Tut’s tomb!
Garlic is native to Central Asia. It’s a relative of onions, chives, shallots, and leeks. In fact, its name comes from an Old English word meaning “spear-shaped leek.”
Did you know the cloves of a garlic bulb aren’t the only part of the plant that is edible? Cuisines in various parts of the world also enjoy making use of its milder-flavored leaves and flowers.
Garlic benefits for health
Garlic is used as a traditional home remedy to alleviate symptoms of the common cold. It is also eaten as a way to lower blood pressure. Some persons swear by its ability to lower your risk of dementia in later years. Others use it as a way to lower cholesterol levels.
Research shows that garlic can be a good source of vitamin B6 and C, as well as manganese, selenium, phosphorous, and sulfur.
Studies show that garlic does, in fact, have an impact on lowering blood pressure. More research is needed, however, into such questions as to how sustained its effect is. Also, some of garlic’s compounds have been the subject of research into their possible role in fighting cancer.
Garlic is also being studied for its often touted ability to reduce blood sugar levels. Research into this has shown that it does actually lower blood pressure (whether or not you have high blood pressure). However, the decrease might be quite small and the effect might only be seen after taking garlic powder for at least three months.
There are garlic benefits for skin, too, as its antioxidants do what antioxidants do best – prevent and repair damage from the oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Oxidative stress is one of the main factors that cause skin to age.
Benefits of garlic for hair growth
OK, now we’re at the point where we look at whether you should be ordering that garlic hair shampoo for thicker, healthier locs. We say “Go for it!” Here’s why.
Remember when we mentioned those vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in garlic? Well, those are some of the same nutrients that have been shown to promote hair growth.
- Check out our recent posts on vitamin C and the B group of vitamins and how they contribute to hair growth:
- Plus, since antioxidants are among the garlic benefits for skin, they’ll be very beneficial for scalp skin, too. The strands of hair grow from the scalp and need it to be in its best shape for them to also be healthy and strong.
- Selenium is one of the nutrients in garlic that takes on an antioxidant role. It has been shown to have a variety of health benefits. However, you may hear of selenium being a cause of hair loss. That’s true of excess selenium intake which can lead to selenium toxicity.
- BUT, getting your selenium from whole foods as a part of a balanced diet has not been shown to lead to excess selenium intake. The danger arises when you take supplements with selenium. So, be sure to consult with your doctor before taking any dietary supplements. Also, check out this quick selenium article and video from WebMD.
- Garlic has antimicrobial and antifungal properties, as well. These help it to help you maintain scalp health.
Do you use garlic shampoo or any hair product with garlic for hair growth? Tell us about it!