Wait, Is Onion Juice the Secret to Fuller Brows?

Image: YouTube/ farahdhukai

Beauty tips, tricks and hacks seem to be coming from every direction faster than you can click share. A 15-second Instagram post or 5-minute YouTube video featuring easy, at-home solutions for just about any problem can be liked, shared and tested so swiftly that there’s barely any time to examine its validity before it’s taken as gospel. Because we are living in a “click now, ask later” world, you have to take each quick-fix tip with a grain of salt (not literally, as of publication there isn’t a video that shows how to isolate a grain of salt for the next big beauty hack but check back tomorrow).

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The latest try-this-at-home tip comes courtesy of beauty blogger Huda Khattan who shared fellow blogger Farah Dhukai’s super easy hair growth Instagram video with her 12 million followers. In the video, titled “Grow Eyebrows Fast!” Dhukai cuts a wedge from a raw onion and rubs it on her brows. In the caption Khattan writes, “Onion juice has sulphur, which speeds up the growth of hair and makes it thicker, massage onion juice on brows for 5 min, let it dry completely, wash it off with cold water or a mild cleanser.” She cautions not to get the onion in your eyes because, well, duh!

So what’s the deal with this stinky tip? It’s common knowledge that chopping an onion can make you cry, so is it safe to get the same juice that contains an irritant that stimulates tears so close to your eyes? And does it really work? According to Englewood Cliffs, NJ, dermatologist Jeffrey Rapaport, MD, the real danger lies in not knowing why your eyebrow hair is thinning in the first place. “It's important to distinguish between the three most common causes of hair loss on the eyebrows. The causes are genetic, a symptom of thyroid disease, and overplucking. A visit to a hair expert is necessary to guide the treatment. The first thing we would do is determine whether or not it is a thyroid issue and then go from there.”

Although a small study published in the Journal of Dermatology in 2002 did show that onion juice was effective in promoting hair growth in participants suffering from alopecia, it took eight weeks to show any improvement. Dr. Rapaport recommends, “There are better treatments available than using onion juice. Treatments that have proven results for the eyebrow area include minoxidil and Latisse. A recent article in the dermatology literature confirms that minoxidil increases the density of eyebrow hair and it’s over-the-counter, so it’s easily accessible. We've also used platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy to treat thin eyebrow hairs that are genetic. This is a treatment that is gaining in popularity and I truly believe that PRP for hair growth will be the future Botox when everyone catches on to how easy and effective it is to treat hair loss.” 

There's no real danger in rubbing onion juice on your brows, as long as the smell doesn't bother you, but it may take months to see real Cara Delevingne–worthy results. But by that time, you might have already moved on to the next 15-second DIY beauty hack. 

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