How to use garlic for hair growth in Alopecia Areata
In this post I’m going to share what I’ve found about using garlic for hair growth and as a treatment option for Alopecia Areata. I’m also going to share why and how I incorporate garlic into my daughter’s topical Alopecia treatment.
The use of garlic in dermatology
Garlic is widely used for its role as seasoning in the kitchen and for its antioxidant properties in culinary.
Garlic is uniquely characterised by the compounds that it contains, including sulphur, arginine, oligosaccharides, flavonoids, selenium, and other compounds produced from its enzymes.
In dermatology, topical garlic extract has been studied for its efficacy in a range of skin related conditions such as psoriasis, Alopecia, keloid scar, wound healing, fungal and viral infections, and of course, anti aging.
The studies conclude that garlic shows efficacy in treating keloid scar, speeding up the healing of wounds, and completely curing cutaneous warts caused by viral infection. Garlic extract is also believed to valuable in sun protection due to its ability to inhibit photocarcinogenesis.
Studies on the use of garlic for treating Alopecia
I’ve found two studies so far that looked into to the use of garlic for hair growth and as a possible treatment for Alopecia.
1. GarlicRich garlic concentrate gel for children with Alopecia (clinical trial)
The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada proposed to conduct a pilot interventional study using topical garlic concentrate as a treatment for children with Alopecia Areata.
Subjects were to apply GarlicRich garlic concentrate gel on affected area on the scalp daily, once a day, for 6 months.
Subjects were between the ages of 4 and 18, and wouldn’t have been treated with another topical, intralesional or systemic agent for their Alopecia.
The study was documented as being completed in December of 2017, and was concluded with “lack of efficacy of the study medication”, being the GarlicRich garlic concentrate daily application for 6 months.
Incorporating GarlicRich garlic concentrate gel as part of our topical Alopecia treatment
Even though the use of GarlicRich gel did not appear to deliver conclusive results in hair regrowth, density and type of hair regrowth in this clinical trial, it is worth noting that the study examined the use of topical garlic concentrate alone as treatment for Alopecia.
It also turned out to be a relatively small sample, with only 8 participants.
Alopecia is a condition for which a cure hasn’t yet been found even with all the advances in medicine, so one wouldn’t expect that applying topical garlic concentrate alone could deliver substantial improvement.
The fact that the clinical trial was initiated must have been triggered by at least theoretical findings on the potentials of compounds in garlic that would contribute toward hair loss and hair growth in Alopecia.
Unless you would have adverse allergic reactions to garlic, my opinion is that topical garlic gel for hair growth is worth a try.
It will be difficult to conclude the effectiveness of garlic for hair growth alone, but that isn’t very important for me.
2. Topical garlic gel along with betamethasone valerate cream for Alopecia (controlled study)
Subjects in this controlled study were made up of adult males and females.
The study examined if the use of topical garlic gel contributed to added therapeutic efficacy in the treatment of Alopecia Areata using betamethasone valerate.
This study concluded that “the use of garlic gel significantly added to the therapeutic efficacy of topical betamethasone valerate in Alopecia Areata, and that it can be an effective adjunctive therapy for Alopecia Areata”.
How to use garlic for hair growth in Alopecia treatment
The garlic concentrate gel that was used in the clinical trial conducted by Professor Pope and her paediatric dermatology team in Toronto is GarlicRich made by Natural Factors.
It is a dietary supplement that comes in softgel capsules with enteric coating. Each softgel is claimed to contain concentrate from 8 garlic cloves (Allium Sativum).
Other ingredients in each capsule include:
- organic flaxseed oil — added hair growth benefits due to its anti-inflammatory properties and omega-3 fatty acid content
- non-GMO sunflower lecithin — comprises of mostly B vitamins for added hair growth benefits
- yellow beeswax — contains moisturising properties
- oleic acid — omega-9 fatty acid to help stimulate hair growth and repair damaged follicles
- softgel — will be thrown away in our topical treatment
- enteric coating solution — will be thrown away in our topical treatment
To use garlic for hair growth using GarlicRich concentrate gels, I would carefully cut open the softgel coating in order to squeeze out the gel content. I then use the gel content in addition to essential oils and natural oils mixture to be applied on the scalp and hair. I use between 1 to 2 capsules every time.
Given the many health properties of garlic, both when consumed and applied topically, and seeing as topical garlic gel application has been shown to be an effective adjunctive treatment for Alopecia Areata, it is definitely worth adding it to your topical Alopecia treatment. The GarlicRich garlic concentrate gel is a convenient way to do this.
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