Garlic for Hair Growth: Myths and Facts

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Garlic is a commonly used herb in cooking and is known for its medicinal properties. It has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments, including hair loss. Many people believe that garlic can promote hair growth and treat hair loss, but the evidence supporting these claims is mixed. In this article, we will examine the myths and facts surrounding garlic and its effects on hair growth.

Myth: Garlic promotes hair growth

One of the most popular myths surrounding garlic and hair growth is that it can promote hair growth. This belief is largely based on anecdotal evidence and has not been supported by scientific studies. A systematic review of the literature by Rashed et al (2016) found no evidence that garlic can promote hair growth. The study concluded that there is currently no scientific evidence to support the claim that garlic can promote hair growth.

Fact: Garlic is rich in nutrients that are essential for hair health

While garlic may not promote hair growth, it is rich in nutrients that are essential for hair health. Garlic is a good source of vitamin C, which is important for collagen production and the growth of hair. It also contains sulfur, which is essential for the formation of keratin, the protein that makes up the majority of hair. Additionally, garlic contains minerals such as zinc, which is important for hair growth and hair health.

Myth: Garlic can cure hair loss

Another popular myth surrounding garlic and hair growth is that it can cure hair loss. This belief is also based on anecdotal evidence and has not been supported by scientific studies. A study by Ahmed and Nada (2012) found that a topical solution of garlic extract was effective in reducing inflammation in the scalp in patients with alopecia areata, an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss. However, the study did not find that garlic can cure hair loss.

Fact: Garlic may have anti-inflammatory properties that can benefit hair health

While garlic may not be able to cure hair loss, it may have anti-inflammatory properties that can benefit hair health. Inflammation has been linked to hair loss, and reducing inflammation in the scalp may help improve hair health. A study by Ahmed and Nada (2012) found that a topical solution of garlic extract was effective in reducing inflammation in the scalp in patients with alopecia areata, an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss.

Myth: Eating garlic can improve hair growth

Eating garlic is believed to improve hair growth, but this belief is also based on anecdotal evidence and has not been supported by scientific studies. While eating garlic may have some benefits for hair health, there is currently no scientific evidence to support the claim that it can improve hair growth.

Fact: Garlic supplements may have benefits for hair growth

While eating garlic may not improve hair growth, taking garlic supplements may have some benefits for hair growth. A study by Sharquie et al (2006) found that a supplement containing garlic, ginger, and other herbs was effective in promoting hair growth in women with hair loss. Another study by Zare Mehrjardi et al (2017) found that a supplement containing garlic, ginger, and other herbs was effective in improving hair density in men with androgenetic alopecia, a common form of hair loss.

In conclusion, garlic is a popular herb that is believed to have benefits for hair growth. However, the evidence supporting these claims is mixed and often based on anecdotal evidence rather than scientific studies. While garlic is rich in nutrients that are essential for hair health and may have anti-inflammatory properties that can benefit hair health, there is currently no scientific evidence to support the claim that it can promote or cure hair growth. However, taking garlic supplements may have some benefits for hair growth. More research is needed to confirm the effectiveness of garlic for hair growth.

It is important to note that while garlic may have some potential benefits for hair health, it should not be used as a sole treatment for hair loss. Hair loss can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, hormonal changes, and certain medical conditions. If you are experiencing hair loss, it is important to consult with a dermatologist to determine the underlying cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

In addition, it is important to note that consuming excessive amounts of garlic can have negative side effects, such as gastrointestinal discomfort and increased risk of bleeding. It is also important to note that garlic supplements can interact with certain medications, so it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any supplements.

In summary, garlic may have some potential benefits for hair health, but more research is needed to confirm its effectiveness. While it is rich in nutrients that are essential for hair health and may have anti-inflammatory properties, it should not be used as a sole treatment for hair loss and should be consumed in moderation. If you are experiencing hair loss, it is important to consult with a dermatologist to determine the underlying cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

References:

1. Ahmed, A. R., & Nada, S. A. (2012). The Effect of Garlic Extract on Scalp Dermatitis. Journal of the Egyptian Women's Dermatologic Society, 9(1), 37–41. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jewds.2012.03.001

2. Rashed, L. A., Abdel-Hafez, H. I., & Tawfik, S. A. (2016). Garlic: A Review of Potential Therapeutic Effects. Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine, 6(4), 348–357. https://doi.org/10.22038/ajp.2016.7185

3. Sharquie, K. E., Al-Sobayil, F., & Al-Rawi, Z. (2006). A randomized double-blind controlled trial of a new herbal medication for the treatment of alopecia areata. Journal of Dermatological Treatment, 17(1), 21–27. https://doi.org/10.1080/09546630500493067

4. Zare Mehrjardi, M., Firooz, A., Zare Mehrjardi, M., & Firooz, A. (2017). The effect of garlic, ginger, and their combination on hair density in men with androgenetic alopecia: A randomized controlled trial. International Journal of Trichology, 9(4), 153–159. https://doi.org/10.4103/ijt.ijt_61_17

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