Life & Style

The Rapunzel regime: Rice water and onion juice are the new DIY remedies for hair care

Fermented rice water and onion - the new DIY remedies for hair care that are popular on social media  

If YouTube influencers are to be believed (they’re often not), everything from pressing down on certain acupressure points, rubbing nails together, applying a methi (fenugreek) seed pack, and doing a shirsasan, can all result in healthy hair. Joining this list are two ingredients that have become popular — onion juice and rice water. Worry not, there are videos ranging from two to 20 minutes with why and how-to explainers. Even Bipasha Basu posted on social media about these kitchen staples as a remedy for hairfall.

Despite no research done on this, these social media ‘experts’ say these remedies work, However, Mumbai-based dermatologist Dr Aparna Santhanam says it’s best to consult a doctor if hair loss persists for over three weeks. “Telogen Effluvium (temporary hair loss caused due to stress, trauma, and medication) takes place for a period. Beyond this, the condition signifies major nutritional imbalances, which need to be corrected.” Your doctor may investigate for viral infections, anaemia, and nutritional deficiencies. If your hairfall has just started though, you could try these.

Onion juice tears

A good massage on the scalp with onion juice is known to improve blood circulation. Also, the sulphur and antioxidants present in onions support hair growth and help in preventing hair fall, explains Dr Santhanam.

Onion juice, extracted either by grating or running in a blender, can be applied daily, suggests Moscow-based Ayurveda practitioner Dr Vivek Joshi. Apply it at the problem area on the scalp, like a bald patch or a receding hairline. Applying the juice to the entire scalp is not necessary, he says.

If you find juice extraction cumbersome, rub the scalp with a half-cut onion, says Dr Joshi. He explains that according to Ayurveda, onions have antimicrobial and anti-infectious properties, and are hence believed to prevent any kind of hair damage caused by microbes. You can stop the application when you’re satisfied with the improvement. If a condition like a scalp infection is addressed and treated, regrowth of hair in alopecia-affected spots is possible.

The simpler (non-smelly) remedy is the rice water rinse. Dr Santhanam says rice water is rich in antioxidants, minerals, amino acids, vitamins B, D, E, which help in the rejuvenation of cells that help the growth of the hair.

Dr Joshi breaks down the method: leave one cup of uncooked rice — any kind of rice — soaked in six cups of water to ferment overnight. Rinse hair in this water and wash off after 20 minutes. Thrice a week is ideal, more than that can make the hair dry. Inositol in rice water — also known as Vit B8, helps in strengthening the follicles, and also protects hair from further damage, explains Dr Joshi. For an instant rinse, water strained from cooked rice can also be used, however, diluting this water is better, adds Dr Joshi.

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Printable version | Oct 24, 2020 9:24:00 AM |

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