Question: I watched a TV show where the model Rosie Mercado talked about losing her hair after gastric sleeve surgery and she said she got it back by doing a hair rinse made with jalapeno peppers and tequilla once a week. I want to know if this is really good for hair growth?
Answer: Hi, Annette. We saw Rosie on The Doctors TV show talking about her hair loss and ‘beauty secrets’, which we believe may be the appearance you are referring to.
She spoke about adding jalapeno peppers to tequila overnight then using this steeped liquid as a hair rinse, suggesting it be used once a week and left on the scalp for 15 minutes before rinsing each time.
This is definitely not something we would advise anyone to try, especially if the hair is already weak and/or the scalp is broken. One of the doctors on the show also cautioned against the frequent use of such a concoction, as well as noting anyone trying it must be careful not to get any of the mixture on their face or in their eyes.
Alcohol dries out the hair so direct, topical application of tequila to the scalp may be damaging, causing the hair to weaken from the roots. Whilst the tingling or burning sensation from the jalapeno peppers may feel like it is doing something beneficial, it can cause irritation and swelling of the scalp. Both issues can lead to hair breakage, hair loss or thinning hair in extreme cases. Therefore, both ingredients in this hair rinse can potentially negatively affect hair growth – the exact opposite result than the rinse is supposed to achieve.
There are many natural and traditional preparations that are rumoured to improve hair growth, some of which do include the use of chili peppers. However, not only have none been clinically-proven to work, but – as you can see – some may actually be harmful to the hair.
As Rosie’s hair loss was following her gastric sleeve surgery, the type of shedding she was experiencing was most likely something called Telogen Effluvium. This is a temporary hair loss condition which can be triggered by stress – either physical or emotional – and is common following an operation or as a side effect of medication. It can also occur due to rapid weight loss.
Telogen effluvium causes thinning from all over the scalp; it takes around three months to become noticeable and around six months to clear up naturally though accelerated regrowth may be encouraged through the use of a tailored telogen effluvium treatment course. As such, whilst Rosie may have found using a hair rinse helped her hair growth, it may actually have simply been that any temporary shedding related to her operation and resulting weight loss, had ended.
If you would like to know about natural ways to improve hair growth you can start with your diet, and making sure you receive all the nutrients needed for hair health either from your food or with the addition of a supplement. There are a number of other hair growth booster products available which, when used in conjunction with a medically-approved hair loss treatment course, for those worried about excessive shedding, can help hair to reach its optimum potential.
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.