Avril asks, 'Question, if water can enter the cortex of the hair and moisturize it, then would water infused with herbs benefit the cortex of the hair? eg. like how you would make tea. I do know of some persons who swear by tea rinses
Also does garlic really help with hair shedding?'
My instinct was to dismiss this is as an old wives tale but the scientific process does demand that I look for evidence and I am actually shocked!!
Garlic has been shown to stimulate hair growth in those suffering from alopecia areata! Alopecia areata is a form of hair loss which does not scar the skin. One study says that garlic gel applied to the head led to an increase in hair growth. Unfortunately the study is published in Arabic, which I cannot read , therefore I cannot give more details (Journal of Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, pg 9-15, 2006).
A second study says that patients responded better to a mixture of garlic gel and a steroid cream compared to those who just got a steroid cream . Steroid creams are the standard starting treatment for this type of hair loss. (Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology, pg 29-32, 2007)
Interestingly onion juice (yep, just plain old crushed onions) also enhanced hair growth compared to tap water. Meaning in the absence of steroids, crushed onions could stimulate hair growth for alopecia areata (Journal of dermatology, pg 343-346, 2002).
The reason why crushed garlic and onion are thought to have an effect is not precisely known. Scientists think this could be linked to
1. This form of hair loss is caused by the body attacking itself and garlic/onion juices contain chemicals that can help slow or stop the immune system from doing this.
2. Garlic extracts have antifungal properties (International Journal of Dermatology, pg 285-287, 2009). This action may help create a suitable hair growth environment.
I really didn't think I would find anything but clearly it is necessary not to be biased and just look for an answer.
I have not found anything more regarding tea rinses directly but I'll keep looking. I would say that the studies were specific to a hair loss condition not for people who just wanted more hair and had a healthy/normal growth pattern. Nonetheless, consider me shocked!!