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Sushi for lunch, anyone?

Rebekah Lowin
May 22, 2017

Sure, eating sushi is fun. But so is rubbing it on your head. And now, you have a great, science-backed reason to put them together.

...Okay, yeah, let's back up a little bit. 

First of all, it's not the sushi, per se, that you'll want to smush on your head, but rather, the wasabi condiment sitting next to it—assuming it's real, authentic wasabi. In a study funded by Japanese wasabi company Kinin (convenient, no?) and reported on by Sora News 24, it was discovered that wasabi has miraculous hair regrowth properties, and that it can work wonders when applied on top of the scalp. 

Now, before you go and rub your takeout sushi wasabi all over yourself, you should be aware that most of the stuff you've been consuming and purchasing is actually not wasabi at all. Most "wasabi" you've eaten in restaurants has likely been an imitation mixture made of horseradish. Real Japanese wasabi is super expensive and rare. And that's the stuff you'll need to make the hair regrowth magic happen. 

(Let's just hope you'd read through to this part of the article before deciding to act on any wasabi-triggered impulses.)

Kinin's study showed that a chemical found within the leaves of the wasabi plant, known as isosaponarin, "has the ability to awaken the papilla cells in the human scalp." Additionally, the study showed that isosaponarin helped to foster "the development of proteins that create pathways for nutrients that travel to the papilla cells."

And there are bolder claims still. Wasabi, according to the study, is three times more effective than some commercial hair-growth products, including Minoxidil.

Still, unless you're really, really desperate, it's probably not a great idea to rub wasabi on your head. It's expensive, for one thing, and extremely pungent, and...wait, do we really have to explain to you why this is a bad idea?

Anyway, there are always safer ways to get your wasabi fix. Wasabi shampoo, handwash, or face wash are available for purchase. Or just enjoy it the old-fashioned way.