There’s no denying that garlic is a miracle plant – it is anti-fungal and antibacterial, boosts our immune systems and is anti-inflammatory. But did you know garlic is also used to repair damaged hair and facilitate its strong, healthy growth? Whether your hair is damaged from products and styling tools or from nutrient deficiency, garlic can help!
Garlic can be ingested or applied topically (or both) for healthy hair. It’s the rich combination of nutrients which give garlic these restorative effects, including iron, calcium, selenium, and vitamin B6 and C, all of which are essential for hair growth. These components work in unison to provide the building blocks for hair, the proper environment for it to grow, and to destroy free radical threats. When applied topically, the sulfur in garlic also serves to boost circulation which in turn encourages follicle activity.
Ready to give it a try? Here are 4 simple ways garlic is going to make your hair look great:
1. Eat more garlic!
Okay, this one may seem obvious but there are some things you should know to optimize the curative effects of garlic in your food, especially for healthy hair. Before you cook garlic, always crush or score it to activate the release of allicin, which is largely responsible for the herb’s anti-microbial properties. Hair growth and quality is determined by a number of factors, including bacterial, viral and fungal infections, so allicin is as much an ingredient for beautiful hair as any other.
Garlic cooked with iron-rich foods adds excellent nutrients for those seeking strong, shiny hair. Ladies are commonly affected by iron deficiency which causes anemia and stunted follicle production. Spinach and broccoli are both good sources of iron and pair deliciously with garlic.
2. Garlic Shampoo
Shampoo made with garlic can be found in some stores, but it’s easy and inexpensive to make on your own. It can be used for regular for hair maintenance (up to 3 times a week), and one does not run the risk of leaving an undesirable odor with Garlic, unlike other treatments. Garlic shampoo works best for irritable scalps.
To make your own garlic shampoo, you’ll need a base shampoo and it is recommended that you use one that is free of sulfates and added chemicals if possible. Once you’ve chosen your favorite shampoo, you’ll need 10-15 cloves of garlic, rinsed and peeled. Use a food processor or otherwise crush the cloves until they have a pasty consistency, adding a teaspoon of olive oil at a time until smooth. You may also add peppermint or ylang-ylang oil to reduce the odor. Mix in your shampoo until the consistency becomes homogenized and balanced.
Be sure to comb out any garlic residue when you’re finished!
3. Garlic Oil
Homemade garlic oil is a potent catalyst for hair-growth. It requires a little preparation but such treatment has been proven to stimulate growth and even regrow hair. A simple but effective recipe for garlic oil requires the same ingredients as in garlic shampoo.
You’ll need a clove of garlic for every tablespoon of olive oil – which in turn is determined by how much garlic oil you wish to make. Each application requires about a tablespoon of oil. Finely mince the garlic before adding it to the warm olive oil. Once it’s reached room-temperature, cover the mixture in a dark container to store in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks.
Massage a tablespoon of the oil into your scalp and let sit for 20 minutes before shampooing. This can be done a couple times a week and promotes the growth of thick, lustrous hair.
4. Garlic Juice
Garlic juice is used similarly to the garlic oil described above, except it has a more salve-like consistency and takes advantage of coconut oil’s hair-enriching properties. Coconut has the amazing ability to penetrate hair and nourish it from inside, making it stronger and more flexible.
For each application, put 8-10 cloves of rinsed and peeled garlic through a garlic press until you collect a tablespoon of juice. Mix the juice with a tablespoon of softened coconut oil until well blended, then apply to the scalp for 20 minutes. Apply a couple times a week for maximum benefit, and always shampoo after application.
These simple and inexpensive tricks will give you the beautiful head of hair you deserve. Garlic even has the ability to regrow hair, other than repairing existing damage. Just give it a couple weeks, and you’ll wonder what you ever did without it!
Article contributed by Rohit Agarwal