I’m a hair expert – here’s the truth behind the bizarre onion hair growth hack

A HAIR expert has revealed the truth behind the bizarre craze of washing your hair in onion water.

American rapper Cardi B sparked interest in the baffling trend when she announced it’s how she washes her hair.


Cardi B showed off her shiny hair to her fans on InstagramCredit: Instagram
Cardi B claimed she'd boiled onions and used the water to wash her hair


Cardi B claimed she’d boiled onions and used the water to wash her hairCredit: Instagram

The 29-year-old claimed it helped her locks grow and kept it looking shiny.

Taking to her Instagram account she told her followers: “My last two washes I been boiling onions and using the water to wash my hair.

“I used to do this six years ago when I started my healthy hair growth journey.

“I stopped cause I got really lazy. It’s odourless and I notice that it’s been giving a shine to my hair.”

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She accompanied the post with pictures and a video of her sleek-looking locks.

Responding to the post, one commentator wrote: “Your hair has grown so much sis! it looks so healthy and beautiful.”

Another said: “Wow. So many tricks! I’m doing my wash this weekend.”

But, it seems there may be some scientific reason behind why the trick may have some benefits.

According to Healthline, researchers found “the anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties of onions may help you grow your hair or enhance its healthy appearance”.

Senior trichological specialist at FUE Clinics Arran Sherwood said: “Onions based on some fundamental properties, could help to nourish and promote a healthy scalp and hair.

“Catalase Enzyme, a common enzyme found in onions, helps to eliminate/decompose hydrogen peroxide, protecting cells from oxidative damage.

“Rich in sulphur which is essential in the regeneration of hair follicles, onions have antibacterial properties that keep the scalp free of infection, providing unhindered hair growth.

“Onions are excellent sources of flavonoid antioxidants which benefit circulation by helping arteries and veins to widen.”

However, before anyone rushes out to try it for themselves, Arran warned that the evidence was limited and more research was needed.

Arran said: “All evidence of real-world application and subsequent effectiveness is anecdotal,” adding that while onion water could be categorised as a natural food-derived treatment and could prove to be beneficial “the placebo benefit cannot be ruled out”.


Social media sites like TikTok are rife with content full of people giving their thoughts and opinions on little-known beauty secrets and tips with some even claiming miraculous benefits.

Users are warned to be wary about many of the claims being made as some are seen “to be a waste of money” or that more research is needed into the possible benefits.

Here are two treatments Arran says could actually work when it comes to keeping your locks luscious.


Finasteride can be taken as oral tablets.

Arran said: “It works by inhibiting testosterone from reacting with the 5-alpha reductase enzyme, which will decrease the amount of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in your body.”

Clinical studies have found that 48 per cent of recipients found improved hair growth after one year of taking finasteride, increasing to 66 per cent after two years.

Furthermore, 83 per cent of recipients cited no further hair loss after taking the medication.

Arran added: “Finasteride is the most clinically researched FDS Approved medication for the treatment of male pattern baldness.”

Clarifying shampoo

Arran said: “Clarifying shampoo is designed to help rejuvenate your scalp by gently cleansing the surface of bacteria and fungal growth, while also balancing your skin’s pH.

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“It will also cleanse your hair and scalp of residual styling products that could lead to a detrimental build-up — helping to keep you hair from becoming brittle and fragile.”

However, while Arran said “clarifying shampoo may help to mitigate the loss of hair via snapping/breakages,” it came with the warning that “it does not affect the primary cause of hair loss.”

Cardi B wowed fans at the Wireless Festival in London's Finsbury Park earlier this year


Cardi B wowed fans at the Wireless Festival in London’s Finsbury Park earlier this yearCredit: Sophia-Loren Williams/The Sun

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