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Afope: How Far Would You Go for Hair Growth? 5 of the Weirdest Treatments Out There




When it comes to hair treatments, I’m just as adventurous as the next natural-haired girl. I can remember the countless number of times my friends and family have poked fun, asking me if there is nothing that us naturals don’t put on our hair.

Now, although I would usually laugh and console myself with the fact that the treatments work (regardless of how odd they seem), I have to reconsider my stance on trying some of these alternative natural hair treatments. Why? Well read on and you tell me if you would be willing to try some of these weird treatments for hair growth!

1. Beer & Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

Weird Hair Growth Remedies - Bellanaija - August 2014004

Yes, you read right! Beer rinses are becoming an increasingly popular hair remedy for (especially heat) damaged hair whereas ACV rinses have been common for quite sometime now. However, many naturals are becoming very fond of combining the two into one rinse for the added combined effect of both.

This rinse is usually done after washing and/or conditioning, worked into the hair, left for a couple minutes and rinsed out with cold water. Hot water will cook the brew and intensify the smell in your hair (and I highly doubt beer and vinegar would be anyone’s first choice of scent). The protein and malt in the beer helps to coat the hair shaft and replenish moisture in the hair while vinegar is great for deep cleansing, getting rid of excess product build up, aids de-tangling, and adds a killer shine!

2. Monistat – Yeast Infection Cream

Weird Hair Growth Remedies - Bellanaija - August 2014003

Please don’t judge me, and I won’t judge you – cuz it could get ugly, before it get’s beautiful” – Chris Brown may not have been vying for justification for using weird hair treatments with his “Don’t Judge Me” lyrics but it works right?

As unconventional as it may seem, quite a number of people have reported an average of up to two inches in a month! But is there any logical reasoning behind this dual purpose miracle cream?

When interviewed by MyFox Houston News, Dermatologist Dr. Mohsin Mir of Baylor College of Medicine suggested this phenomenon could be attributed to the active ingredient in the product, Miconazole Nitrate.

Although there have been no studies on the ingredient itself, doctors have speculated as to why it might work for hair growth;

There are certain receptors that bond with hormones in the hair follicle, causing hair loss in men and women alike. Miconazole Nitrate could be reducing the number of these receptors and as a result promote hair growth.

This being said, a cautionary word from Dr. Mir himself “It’s one of those things that there’s no data to suggest it, so it’s something that we wouldn’t necessarily recommend patients to try. [however] It’s a pretty harmless treatment…If patients are having some benefit (with hair growth), then it may be worth tryingSee Here.

3. Onion & Garlic Juices

Weird Hair Growth Remedies - Bellanaija - August 2014002

Growing up, I vividly remember cutting some onions for my mother, and as the tears streamed down my face she would reassure me that the onions were “cleaning out my eyes“. Turns out she wasn’t too far from the truth.

Onion and garlic juices are said to be great disinfectants – they kills germs and parasites, reduce inflammation and help treat fungal infections which cause hair loss (International Journal of Dermatology, pg 285-287, 2009). Onions are also high in sulfur which has been linked to the rebuilding of hair follicles.

All this is well and good, but shall we talk about the elephant in the room for a brief moment please? We’ve talked about the possibility of having to live with the smell of vinegar in your hair, but is the smell of onion or garlic (or both!) any better?! Well, I have no further advice on how to use these juices and completely avoid the smell, however many have turned to Ginseng (a herb used commonly in Chinese medicine) instead as it appears to share the same qualities as the former two.

4. Whale Sperm

Weird Hair Growth Remedies - Bellanaija - August 2014


I know you may be thinking this is crazy, but believe me, this is no joke!

This stuff is real and has been flying off the shelves at local beauty supply stores (well, the ones bold enough to carry it), and apparently, it works like a dream. If it isn’t sold as a product on its own, it is found as an ingredient in others; shampoos, conditioners, hair creams – you name it.

I have no clue as to what it could be about Whale sperm that makes it so popular for hair treatments. As a matter of fact I’m not too sure I really want to know, but whatever it may be it has made customers very happy with their results.

5. Tobasco


No girl, not tobacco, Tabasco
As in the Hot Sauce, Tabasco?
Yes, the Hot Sauce!

Although I don’t see how tobacco would have been any less alarming – however at this point I think we’ve established that anything is possible.

Now I love my hot sauce. In fact I would argue that there are very few things that DO NOT go with hot sauce. Forgive me for thinking that hair would have been one of those things. Surely, applying hot sauce into any feature above the neck other than the mouth should be a serious red flag but apparently, I could not have been more wrong.

Many have taken to massaging peppery substances onto their scalp, in accordance with the belief that doing so will stimulate blood circulation and as a result, increase hair growth. Interestingly enough, a scientific study was carried out in which the combination of capsaicin (the active ingredient in peppers) and isoflavone was found to promote hair growth in balding mice, and humans with alopecia after 5 months.

I’ll save you all the scientific jargon for now, but before you go racing towards your spice cupboard, it may interest you to know that in said study, the mixture was administered by injection in the mice and ingested orally in the humans. In neither case was the pepper mixture applied topically, therefore, there is no indication that rubbing peppered substances directly onto the skin/scalp would necessarily increase hair growth.

All in all, I understand that most of us ladies desire healthy, luscious and long hair, but how many of you are willing to go/have already gone this far? As Black women, is our obsession over the quest for long hair driving us to try anything and everything? I want to know, what do you all think?

Photo Credit: Dreamstime/Lev Kropotov | Dreamstime/Scott Griessel | | | |

About Afope
Afope Atoyebi
is a Natural hair blogger & consultant. She is pretty simple – She has love for God, people, life, laughter and she loves Love. Her ultimate goal is to bring out the beauty in everything/everyone she comes in contact with. That’s what she’s all about. You can find her at her website:, find her on Facebook: or on Instagram: @afrocurlture


  1. I ♥ me some sperm 🙂 whale, any kind.

  2. @edDREAMZ

    August 19, 2014 at 11:59 am

    All this things for one hair….. Thank God i am not woman…..

  3. jessica

    August 19, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    naaah i wont go this far please. there are too many weaves out there to take life so seriously… ijs!

  4. Foo fighters

    August 19, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    You left out baby poop… conditioner ever!

  5. name

    August 19, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    for me its the onion mix i cant seem to get a hold of. Like No man. I didnt even realise there was anything called onion juice that even seems more refined.


    August 19, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    Whale Sperm is by the the most outrageous, I have also heard of horse dung. Eating a eggs worked wonders for my hair, made it thicker and longer. #fact

  7. chey

    August 19, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    Would try them out

  8. sum1special

    August 19, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    Onion garlic whattttt?never..Let my hair remain stunted.

  9. blah blah

    August 19, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    I use acv on my hair. Still can’t point out a benefit. But onion juice on my scalp? Amazing! I extract the juice of an onion and massage it into my dirty scalp before I wash. I shampoo with sulphate free and shampoo and follow with a homemade deep conditioner. All my friends are jealous of my hair.

  10. ATL's finest

    August 19, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    I have heard of #1 before but I wouldn’t try nothing else because it ain’t that deep lol.

  11. Joan85

    August 19, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    Yeast Infection Cream…ummm not on God’s green earth!!! Wharraheck?!!!!

  12. wendy

    August 19, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    Onion and Garlic is good for your hair….They have stimulating growth properties. It is used in alot of hair stimulating products. Especially Garlic. …..I dont know about the rest sha….The way i see nowadays, the simpler the better…My parents or grannies did not have to go through all these process…..I even told my mum to bring udaku(Palm oil lotion) for me.She was like what do u need it for….I just told her that i am going back to basic…
    .. Everybody wants to be a star on you tube… I used to be sooo frustrated if my hair does not come out look those chicks on utube… but i have finally accepted my hair and rock it my own way…..

  13. Carliforniabawlar

    August 19, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    Lmaooo!!! The monistat and Chris Brown song reference was ridiculously apt! But i didn’t know acv and beer was weird na! Its a staple for me sef….and its non-alcoholic beer too.
    Weirdest hair growth tip thats actually really popular but i just can’t buy into is the ‘turn upside-down’ tip. You are supposed to have your head upside down for a couple of minutes everyday to increase blood flow to your scalp and hence enhance growth….egbami! I just can’t! I’ve been programmed since primary school to believe that if you turn upside down, blood will flow to you BRAIN (not scalp!!) and you’ll die! Shikena! I don’t even care for duration….i fitn’t! Not for 1second sef….no be person wey dey alive dey whip her fro back n forth?

  14. Buchi

    August 19, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    Shouldn’t the question be; how in the world does one get their hands on a whale’s sperm! Do they kidnap a whale and sexually assault it? Or just hang around on the seabed waiting for the whale to knock one out??

  15. C'est moi

    August 19, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    Certainly not the weirdest things.
    Beer rinse is used in photo-shoots to get a beach tousled hair.

    ACV doesn’t have any lingering after smell (I use it)

    Monistat, yep that could be said to be only weird one here. What I hear is that once you start you have to continue with it or you lose the growth.

    Garli/Onions – very good for strengthening the roots, I use garlic oil overnight before washing.

    Whale sperm – it is an ingredient product, just like urea nothing weird. Sperm can be used as a facial…Bodyshop was petitioned to carry it but felt it was better left as an intimate home remedy 😉

    Pepper/capsaicin – I can see how this will work & also how it could overstimulate and you end up shedding hair.

    My Weird list contenders:

    Okra rinses ( really good for hair apparently. You can buy okra shampoo!)
    Palm oil for deep conditioning (soooo messy)
    Filtered coffee granules for stimulation, good luck washing the grains out.
    Pill-poppers! taking loadsa meds for growth.

  16. Bobosteke & Lara Bian

    August 19, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Potato juice, bull sperm, cayenne pepper, mustard seed, okra, crude oil…. Been there, (well almost all there).
    I’m currently a henna head and loffing it.

  17. Gorgeous

    August 19, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    ROTFLMAO. Whale sperm. Pls pls, how was this extracted. I know how to grow hair. The secret is good diet, washing with enough water once a week and finding the right moisturizer for your hair. All hair love different things. Also, please invest is some pure and organic oils too. Avoid over drying the hair. My hair grew fastest when i applied less heat to it. Also, do not keep weaves and braids in more than 6weeks at a time. Make sure when braiding to braid your edges bigger to avoid spoiling your hair line.

  18. Lindsey

    August 19, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    Lupita must be laughing her butt of at y’all trying to “force” grow your hair.

  19. naijababe

    August 19, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    tatashe juice is also gud, i don waka

  20. cryingneversolvedanything

    August 19, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    The best hair growth remedy is to LEAVE YOUR HAIR ALONE. That is the number one reason why dada/dreadlocks grow long and fast.

    • Mzlyrics

      August 19, 2014 at 8:26 pm

      Gbam! Exactly! Leave that hair alone biko! I am sure the hair sef is crying with all this orisirisi drama! When we were young, our hair grew out effortlessly. I can’t remember adding ‘whale sperm’ to my hair to make it grow. Just some good food and good old ‘kiko’ would pull out the hair from wherever it was buried!

    • Pat

      August 19, 2014 at 11:27 pm

      lol., i like your response

  21. African

    August 19, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    Someone up there ^ said exactly what I was thinking. How does one go about collecting sperm from a whale? I quite enjoyed this list lol. – check it out 🙂

  22. Friday's other child

    August 19, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    hair growth isn’t the problem, almost everyone’s hair regardless of the hair type grows 6 inches a year. The problem is length retention, which most people are particularly bad at. To retain hair, it simply needs to be moisturised, preferably with products that don’t have harmful chemicals, and the scalp should be healthy. Also, what you put in your body is more likely to have a greater impact in the long run on the health of your hair, than what you up on it, once it’s on your head!

  23. Jo

    August 19, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    all the ‘treatments’ sound pretty disgusting except for the garlic ehatever. How about you braid it and give it a rest in between.
    My hair was falling off like crazy. It went from below shoulder length to about an inch and half. It wasn’t helped by the fact that I can’t stand wigs or weaves… what to do?
    I finally smartened up and stopped pressing it. I had stopped perming a while ago. Next step braids and guess what, it is growing great again, Grew over 3 inches in about 2 months.
    I won’t braid permanently because that will become another story. but every couple of months until I can hold it in one bun.

    Let go and let the hair recover from the harassment ….it may just surprise you

  24. Koffie

    August 21, 2014 at 10:30 am

    I use ginseng oil, olive oil, Shea butter and avoid heat on my hair. I’ve always had long hair effortlessly since I was a child. However, since I started using weaves and Perming my hair, i dont retain length like before. So I started reading more on natural hair and i still perm my hair and use weaves cos damn, I tried transitioning to kinky hair n its just not my calling. My point is that, i dont use most of these but i use ginseng and home made moisturiser and I’ve been retaining more length

  25. the mane captain

    August 22, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    onion and garlic is actually a popular hair loss remedy. I’ve heard about the others and I just think it.’s ridiculous. the most effective way to have long hair is to take care of the ones you have so they don’t break off. I have a few hair growth/retention tips on the blog.

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