Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, they say. That might be true, but some elements of beauty are universal: radiant clear skin, strong white teeth and thick lustrous hair, for example, are considered attractive the world over. So when I read about using onion as a natural hair conditioner I decided to give it a go.
First of all, the background.
There are dozens of reasons that hair might not look great:
Stress – women lead busy lives and stress is a major cause of less than perfect hair, skin and nails
Urban life – pollutants, heat and cold, air conditioning … they all get aggressive with our hair
Diet – however many resolutions we make, there are always times when we're not getting our five a day or perhaps skipping meals altogether and then comfort eating the wrong things
Illness – it doesn't have to be major; a cold or a tummy upset can show up in your hair months later as a distinct 'line' where condition fell off through illness. Trichologists use hair samples to assess health because hair cannot lie!
Harsh hair treatments – relaxing, bleaching, perming, hair straighteners etc – we know they're bad for our hair in the long term, but they look so good in the short term, don't they?
I browsed the massive amount of literature online and found a selection of home made haircare recipes here that seemed relevant. Some people recommend grating the onion, not using a food processor, but I went ahead a blitzed mine in the machine. Grating onions seemed like a recipe for a lot of tears!
My 3-step recipe for a healthy hair treatment
- I diluted the paste of one onion with two parts water and then added just a tablespoon of Argan oil, on the basis that several recipes recommend coconut oil and Argan oil is noted for its effect as a natural hair conditioner. Moroccan women will apply it to their hair before a hammam (steam bath) so that it can really soak in and improve the hair's silkiness.
- Then I applied the somewhat smelly mixture to my hair and wrapped it in plastic film with a towel over the top to mimic the heating effect of the hammam.
- After thirty minutes I rinsed my hair with cool water and then with a rinse made of 50% water, 50% apple cider vinegar, which both improves the hair cuticle and completely removes any onion smell.
Most recipes say two months use is the minimum to promote strong hair growth, or even regrowth where hair is thinning, but after just one application I could immediately see that my hair was more shiny, supple and soft.
I'm going to continue with the hair beauty treatment a couple of times a week because it's really cheap, very effective and completely natural. But mainly because I love the silky sheen my hair has developed from a single Argan oil/onion mask!