I have found two papers related to garlic for treating alopecia areata [1,2].

Is there any other evidence for hair growth in androgenetic alopecia?

In fact there are some statements [3,4] that it actually can cause hair loss.

[1] Hajheydari Z, Jamshidi M, Akbari J, Mohammadpur R. Combination of topical garlic gel and betamethasone valerate cream in the treatment of localized alopecia areata: A double-blind randomized controlled study. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 2007;73:29-32.

[2] Sharquie KE, Al-Obaidi HK. Onion juice (Allium cepa L.), a new topical treatment for alopecia areata. J Dermatol 2002 Jun; 29 (6): 343–6

[3] http://www.ehealthme.com/ds/garlic/hair+loss

[4] http://immortalhair.forumandco.com/t8184-aged-garlic-extract


What about the following link: Garlic increases nitric oxide [2] by Hydrogen Sulfide which it contains [3]. Minoxidil is also related to the generation of nitric oxide through vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) [1] and promotes hair growth. Can garlic have the same or similar or any effects on hair like Minoxidil via nitric oxide?

References: [1] Messenger, A. G., and J. Rundegren. "Minoxidil: mechanisms of action on hair growth." British journal of dermatology 150.2 (2004): 186-194.

[2] Ping-Ho Chen, Yaw-Syan Fu, Yun-Ming Wang, Kun-Han Yang, Danny Ling Wang, and Bin Huang, “Hydrogen Sulfide Increases Nitric Oxide Production and Subsequent S-Nitrosylation in Endothelial Cells,” The Scientific World Journal, vol. 2014, Article ID 480387, 8 pages, 2014. doi:10.1155/2014/480387

[3] http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071016131534.htm

  • 1
    I suggest you may wish to modify the question to represent your added interest in onions. Commented Jun 17, 2014 at 21:16
  • Thanks for the suggestion. But I'm actually only interested in garlic. With a quick search, I haven't found any other paper related to garlic and alopecia areata other than [1]. So I might delete [2] or keep it for future reference.
    – Alex
    Commented Jun 18, 2014 at 7:09
  • Adding additional claims after you get answers is a little unfair on the answerers.
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Jun 20, 2014 at 2:22
  • You are almost right. Thus, I accept your answer. However, I suppose you can edit your answer to add new knowledge.
    – Alex
    Commented Jun 20, 2014 at 6:49

1 Answer 1


No. There is no evidence to support that garlic has an effect on androgenetic alopecia.

The first paper you cite, shows that garlic is effective in synergism with betamethasone valerate in alopecia areata.

The present study showed 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 topical therapy for alopecia areata [1].

And the second one is about... onion!

Garlic has antifungal activity so it can prevent alopecia (see causes of alopecia):

Garlic (Allium sativum) contains ajoene, which has been demonstrated to exhibit antifungal activity. In a study of 34 patients treated topically with 0.4% ajoene cream once a day for tinea pedis, 79% noted clearing within 7 days and the remainder reported clearing within 14 days [2].

These results and those obtained in previous studies confirm that ajoene is a new agent for the topic treatment of superficial mycoses, and for the first time show the therapeutic usefulness of an inhibitor of phospholipids biosynthesis in eukaryotes [3].

But this doesn't apply in case of alopecia areata because it is an autoimmune disease nor in the case of androgenetic alopecia which has hormonal etiology.

The paper in your update states:

A number of in vitro effects of minoxidil have been described in monocultures of various skin and hair follicle cell types including stimulation of cell proliferation, inhibition of collagen synthesis, and stimulation of vascular endothelial growth factor and prostaglandin synthesis. Some or all of these effects may be relevant to hair growth, but the application of results obtained in cell culture studies to the complex biology of the hair follicle is uncertain [4].

Uncertain... after all androgens have the last word:

Androgens stimulate beard growth but suppress hair growth in androgenetic alopecia (AGA). This condition is known as 'androgen paradox'. ... In addition, androgens enhance inducible nitric oxide synthase from occipital DP (dermal papillae) cells and stem cell factor for positive regulation of hair growth in beard and negative regulation of balding DP cells [5].


  1. Hajheydari Z, Jamshidi M, Akbari J, Mohammadpour R. Combination of topical garlic gel and betamethasone valerate cream in the treatment of localized alopecia areata: a double-blind randomized controlled study. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2007 Jan-Feb;73(1):29-32.

  2. Shenefelt PD. Herbal Treatment for Dermatologic Disorders. In: Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press; 2011. Chapter 18. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92761/

  3. Ledezma E, López JC, Marin P, Romero H, Ferrara G, De Sousa L, Jorquera A, Apitz Castro R. Ajoene in the topical short-term treatment of tinea cruris and tinea corporis in humans. Randomized comparative study with terbinafine. Arzneimittelforschung. 1999 Jun;49(6):544-7.

  4. Messenger AG, Rundegren J. Minoxidil: mechanisms of action on hair growth. Br. J. Dermatol. 2004 Feb;150(2):186-94. PubMed PMID: 14996087.

  5. Inui S, Itami S. Androgen actions on the human hair follicle: perspectives. Exp. Dermatol. 2013 Mar;22(3):168-71. doi: 10.1111/exd.12024. PubMed PMID: 23016593.

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