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Garlic is a staple in this house. I use garlic in all kinds of dishes and also take garlic supplements every day. Did you know that using garlic supplements may have benefits for faster and stronger hair growth? Garlic may even help prevent some forms of hair loss .
Now, before you go grabbing out the garlic from the cupboard and try rubbing it on your scalp, that’s probably not a great idea unless it’s a formulated gel that won’t burn you! I want to explain to you the reasons why you should be consuming more garlic in your diet and also taking a garlic supplement to not only improve your hair growth but also to improve your overall health.
How garlic may benefit hair growth
Garlic is part of the family of vegetables called Alliums. It contains various sulfur compounds, the one that is most well-known for its health benefits is a sulfur compound called allicin.
The problem with using allicin either internally or externally is the fact that it’s not stable and can be difficult to produce in large quantities.
However, over a decade ago a guy named Dr. Peter Josling – a biochemist from the UK – came up with a patented process to stabilize allicin and produce it in very large quantities.
Since that time it has been used in studies and clinical trials to examine its efficacy in treating a wide range of diseases and health conditions.
Here are a few reasons why garlic may improve your hair!
1. Garlic helps improve circulation to your scalp hair follicles
Garlic has the ability to open up the blood vessels and significantly increase blood flow to the extremities. This means that by eating raw garlic or taking garlic supplements, your hair will receive more of those important building blocks and nutrients that will help you grow thicker, stronger and healthier hair.
Another benefit you’ll get from garlic is the lowering of blood pressure, and this will maintain good blood vessel health.
2. Garlic could help reduce scalp inflammation
Inflammation on the scalp is bad news for healthy hair growth. There are many things which can cause it, but some of the main ones include dry skin, fungal infections of the scalp, and autoimmune diseases.
Inflammation is also one of the processes which underlie androgenetic alopecia related hair loss. Even low-level chronic inflammation in the body can speed up things like hair loss when it goes on for long enough.
Garlic is able to block several key proteins and cytokines which promote inflammation and destroy hair follicles.
3. Garlic is a prebiotic and destroys bad bacteria
I’ve been taking probiotics for years, but it was only a few years ago when I came across a study which showed that probiotics can improve hair growth.
It was a specific type of bacteria, but this bacteria known as L. reuteri was able to modulate the immune system which allowed for thicker and faster hair growth.
How does that tie in with consuming garlic? Well, garlic not only acts as a prebiotic, enabling healthy and friendly bacteria to flourish… But it also destroys pathogenic bacteria which can upset the balance of the immune and perhaps even cause hair loss.
Garlic is an excellent natural ingredient which can heal the body from within and when used externally on the skin it can kill pathogenic bacteria, fungi, and lice. But be careful, because it can also burn the skin!
4. Garlic cloves are a good source of nutrients
Hair just like the rest of the body needs a good blood supply and nutrients to come along with it.
Eating six cloves of garlic each day will give you the following:
- Vitamin B1 – Helps maintain a healthy nervous system (3% of your RDI).
- Vitamin B6 – Helps with red cell production (13% of your RDI).
- Vitamin C – Important for collagen/protein synthesis (7% of your RDI).
- Selenium – Important for proper immune function (5% of your RDI).
- Copper – Copper helps maintain healthy blood vessels and a deficiency can lead to hair loss (6% of your RDI).
5. Garlic is rich in sulfur compounds
Garlic is a rich source of sulfur-containing compounds which have many different benefits.
Sulfur is important in maintaining the structure and strength of collagen and proteins in the body. Therefore consuming garlic, which is abundant in sulfur, could help create stronger hair.
Growing healthy hair with garlic supplements
Healthy hair starts from the inside first. So then, should you consider taking garlic supplements?
In my opinion, the answer is yes.
The reason is that in order to get significant amounts of compounds like allicin in your body, you need to take a good quality garlic supplement like allicin max.
Just one capsule which contains 180 mg of allicin and is equivalent of about 25 cloves of garlic.
Can you imagine what would happen if you ate 25 cloves of garlic each day? People would probably be avoiding you.
So in order to get around that, you can take one allicin capsule each day and that will provide you with a significant amount of allicin without smelling.
Topical garlic gel helps treat hair loss
External use of garlic can also be helpful. There are different ways you can achieve this: you can either create your own garlic oil using simple ingredients like olive oil, honey, and garlic or you can buy garlic creams such as Alliderm.
One the study I mentioned earlier, researchers looked at the effect of using topical garlic gel and betamethasone valerate cream for the treatment of a condition known as alopecia areata.
Forty patients were in the study with 20 of them in the treatment group and 20 in the placebo group. The results were promising: the patients who also used the garlic gel had a much better response and it was statistically significant. The number of total hair count and terminal hair count was much higher in the group being treated with the garlic gel .
Garlic has many health benefits and there is reasonable evidence to suggest that by consuming garlic on a regular basis and taking garlic supplements, it could also help hair growth.
A lot of the evidence is anecdotal, mainly from users on forums, where people were having a positive response to taking garlic supplements to stop their hair from shedding.
Garlic is a healthy herb to consume on a regular basis and may even help prevent hair loss according to one study. But right now, more evidence is needed for androgenetic alopecia, which is the most common type of hair loss in men.
Article reviewed and updated: June 2019.