Days ago it was announced that European researchers had discovered a breakthrough cure for grey and thinning hair: A topical application of a sun-activated compound called PC-KUS (a modified pseudocatalase). However, the researchers may be a few hundred years late with their discovery since onion juice has been used as a remedy for thin and greying hair for ages.
What the researchers found was that grey hair is primarily caused by a buildup of hydrogen peroxide at the root of hair follicles and that this was due in great part to a reduction in the natural antioxidant compound catalase. In addition to helping cleanse the scalp and follicles, onion juice also promotes the production of catalase. Catalase prevents grey hair as well as promoted thicker hair follicles.
The researchers “new” breakthrough appears to be the rediscovery of a remedy for grey hair and baldness that herbalists have known for centuries: Onion juice. Hundreds of years ago, famed herbalist John Gerard (1545- 1612) wrote: “the juyce of onions annointed upon a bald head in the sun bringeth the hair againe very speedily.” Today, many herbalists recommend onion juice either singly or in combination with other natural items as a remedy for grey and thinning hair.
What the research found
The new research, which was published in The FASB Journal, also found that the modified catalase compound also works for the skin condition vitiligo (a skin pigment condition marked by loss of skin color). Reported study author Karin U. Schallreuter, M.D. from the Institute for Pigmentary Disorders:
“To date, it is beyond any doubt that the sudden loss of the inherited skin and localized hair color can affect those individuals in many fundamental ways. The improvement of quality of life after total and even partial successful repigmentation has been documented.”
In 2009, a similar breakthrough for grey hair was reported which also found that hydrogen peroxide buildup was a culprit and that the compound catalase could reverse grey hair. That research was conducted by Bradford University in the UK.
Other natural solutions for grey hair
Over the years, many remedies for grey hair have been used with mixed results. Some of the better known ones include:
The oriental remedy fo-ti has a long history of being used for grey hair. Fo-ti is also called he shou wu, which translates to “black-haired Mr. He” or “Mr. He’s black hair”.
Black Strap molasses has worked well for many people for restoration of color, but it may take some time (as is true with other remedies as well).
Pine needle tea is another remedy which has been used to help with greying hair.
Many have reported that moringa leaf and moringa root extracts have restored hair color as well as helped with thinning hair.
Nutrition for hair health
As is true for the entire body, good nutrition is essential for healthy hair. The best diet for hair health is a wholesome diet which is rich in silica, B-vitamins, omega-3s, protein, calcium and iron. Other important nutrients include antioxidants, trace minerals and vitamin A.
Some of the best foods for hair health include:
• Sweet rice and mochi (pounded sweet rice)
• Nuts and seeds
• Leafy, green vegetables
• Root vegetables, such as carrots, rutabagas, parsnips, ginger, turnips, and onions
• Winter squash
• Black beans
• Black pepper
• Brown rice syrup
Foods to avoid for better hair health:
• Cold foods and drinks
• Sugary foods and drinks
• Fatty foods
• Animal protein
• Dairy products
Sources for this article include: