IS GARLIC GOOD FOR DANDRUFF?
Garlic is widely used for cooking, but does it really help to cure dandruff and hair fall? Find out!
Of all the ingredients that somebody might suggest using for your hair and scalp issues, garlic seems the least likely. It is widely used for cooking and is a staple in various cuisines. Some might claim grand benefits of eating garlic, while some might argue against it. But topical application on your head is a whole other argument.
What are the garlic benefits for hair and scalp?
There are many claimed advantages of using garlic for hair growth and using garlic for dandruff. Some of these are:
- It’s rich in Vitamin C and Selenium, which can help boost blood circulation.
- Contains anti-inflammatory properties that can help if you use garlic for dermatitis.
- Can boost collagen production and stimulate hair growth.
- Unclogs and cleans hair follicles, which can reduce hair loss and increase hair strength.
- It has antioxidant characteristics that can potentially reduce the damage by UV rays and curb the aging of the hair and scalp.
- Can calm down an aggravated scalp.
- Its anti-fungal properties and anti-microbial properties can curb the growth of bacteria.
The increased blood circulation brings nutrients to the scalp that can assist in hair growth. The unclogged hair follicles, combined with the collagen production, can help in strengthening of the hair strand. All these factors feed into the claims of using garlic for hair growth.
What about using garlic for dandruff?
Understanding the cause of dandruff is a key element in finding the right solution to your problems. Dandruff usually occurs when your scalp starts producing excessive amounts of sebum or oil, that get trapped and build up. In these situations, a naturally occurring fungus called Malassezia Globosa starts to break down the oil into oleic acid. If you fall into the category of people who are sensitive to this breakdown, your body will react in the form of severe itching, redness, and white-yellow flakes of dead skin cells. It affects almost 1 in 2 people across the world.
When you crush or chop a clove of garlic, a compound known as Allicin is activated. This contains strong anti-fungal properties that can reduce the impact of fungi or bacteria. The reason why people use garlic for hair dandruff comes from this attribute. If you combine it with the right products, it can also potentially clear up the build-up of oil that is found on your scalp, thus taking care of two dandruff causes at once.
How should you use garlic for hair and dandruff?
There are many methods and combinations for garlic application, but it is recommended that you combine it with a carrier to use as a hair mask. Carrier oils are used to dilute concentrated ingredients so as to reduce the impact on your skin.
Garlic oil-The most common route is to use garlic-infused oils to soothe scalp irritation and strengthen the hair strands. Heat garlic cloves in coconut or olive oil, ensuring that you’re just warming it up and not cooking it. Once you can smell the aroma, strain the cloves out and store it in a dark bottle. To use this oil, apply a small amount of garlic for hair and scalp, massaging it in. You can cover your head with a cloth and leave it for about 15 minutes. Wash thoroughly with a gentle shampoo after.
Garlic and honey –Create a paste out of these two and apply it to your hair as a mask. Leave it for about 30 minutes and then rinse thoroughly. This acts as a moisturiser and can boost hair growth.
Garlic and Jojoba oil –Create a garlic-infused oil or a thick paste out of this. Apply it to your hair and scalp, washing it thoroughly after with a gentle shampoo. This contains Vitamin E, fatty acids and anti-fungal properties that can sooth your scalp and unclog the hair follicles.
Garlic, ginger, and coconut oil –Create a paste out of the ingredients and apply it to your hair. Wait for about 20-30 minutes and then wash with a shampoo. This can soften your hair and help with hair growth. Some people even use eggs or onions instead of the ginger.
Garlic, lemon juice and honey –Creating a paste or a garlic juice for hair can help to clear any build up on your scalp and has an anti-fungal effect on your dandruff. It can also help to regulate your pH balance. Apply it to your hair and scalp, washing with a shampoo after.
Garlic, aloe vera and olive oil –Aloe vera is one of the most widely used dandruff home remedies available. Creating a hair mask out of these ingredients can clean your scalp, moisturise, and reduce any microbes present. Rinse with a shampoo after.
Any concerns or risk with using garlic?
There is always a form of risk associated with using something that is not measured and quantified. Garlic is no different.
- It can cause burns on your scalp and skin. It has shown to cause serious chemical burns on people with sensitive skin.
- The sulphur compounds that are found in garlic can irritate the skin and eyes, leading to even more itching.
- There is a difference between garlic-infused oil, garlic cooking oil and garlic essential oil. Using the wrong product with the wrong quantities can cause severe damage to your scalp and hair.
- There are limited studies on the garlic benefits for hair and dandruff. It is generally anecdotal evidence and does not contain conclusive proof.
- You might have an allergic reaction, so it is important to always do a patch test.
- And the biggest concern – Do you really want to smell of garlic?
You can try using garlic for hair growth and dandruff, but always be careful with it. If you’re in a rush and looking for a tried and tested product, you should use a hair and scalp shampoo that can get rid of your problems. Try the Head and Shoulders Neem, that clears your scalp and gets rid of the dandruff causing germs. Or try the Head and Shoulders 2 in 1 Smooth and Silky, that brings the combined benefits of a shampoo and a conditioner to clear your dandruff flakes and restore damaged strands. Use the option that you feel makes the most sense for your hair and scalp troubles.