Rosemary Oil for Hair: Does It Help With Hair Growth?

Rosemary oil has a strong, distinct aroma with an herbal and woody fragrance. It has been used for centuries for various purposes, including culinary, medicinal, and cosmetic applications, and more recently has been found to help with hair growth, according to a number of studies. In this article, we'll explore how rosemary oil could help your hair grow.

Key takeaways:

What is rosemary oil?

Rosemary is an evergreen plant with a woody aroma and is typically used as food seasoning.

Rosemary oil is an essential oil derived from the leaves of the rosemary plant known as Rosmarinus officinalis. It is obtained through a steam distillation process, where the aromatic compounds present in the plant material are extracted and concentrated into an oil that can be used for a number of health-related benefits.

Does rosemary oil help with hair growth?

Rosemary oil is known for its positive effects on hair and scalp health. It is often used in hair care products to stimulate hair growth, improve circulation to the scalp, and prevent dandruff. Massaging diluted rosemary oil into the scalp is believed to promote the following:

  • Stronger hair follicles
  • Healthier hair
  • Shinier hair
  • Faster hair growth

More benefits of rosemary oil

Rosemary oil is associated with several potential benefits for overall health and well-being and can be used to help with the following:

Skin health

Rosemary oil contains antioxidants that can help combat free radicals and oxidative stress on the skin. It has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to soothe and tone the skin. Some studies suggest it may have potential antibacterial properties as well.

Stress relief

The aroma of rosemary oil has been associated with stress relief and mood enhancement. It may help reduce feelings of anxiety and promote relaxation when used in aromatherapy or massage. The oil can also be added to a candle and burnt in a room to enhance stress relief throughout the day.

Improved cognitive function

Rosemary oil has been linked to enhanced cognitive performance, including improved concentration, focus, and memory. Inhaling the aroma of rosemary oil or applying it topically may potentially stimulate mental clarity and alertness.

What does the science say?

There are a number of studies on the positive effects of rosemary oil and its compounds. The studies all suggest that the following compounds offer the biggest health benefits:

  • Citronellol. This compound is found in rosemary oil, known for its pleasant floral scent. It possesses antimicrobial properties. This can help stimulate hair growth by decreasing potential hair-growth-inhibiting properties.
  • Geraniol. This is another major component contributing to rosemary’s distinctive aroma. It has been studied for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation has been shown to inhibit hair growth — therefore, using rosemary oil to help decrease levels of inflammation can potentially help stimulate hair growth.
  • Farnesol. This a naturally occurring alcohol found in rosemary oil. It has been shown to possess antimicrobial properties and may help inhibit the growth of certain bacteria and fungi, which can affect hair growth.

How to make rosemary oil for hair

Rosemary oil is simple to make at home in your kitchen.

  1. Cut rosemary and fill a mason jar with the stems.
  2. Cover the rosemary with olive oil to the top of the jar.
  3. Place the jar in a sunny area, covered for up to one month.
  4. Strain the oil into small, 1oz jars with a dropper and discard the rosemary stems.

This homemade rosemary oil can be kept for 2 months in a cool, dry space or up to 6 months in the fridge. Your homemade rosemary oil can be diluted in everything from bath water to hair oil, as described above.

Steps for using rosemary oil for hair growth

To use rosemary oil for hair growth, you can follow these steps:

  1. Choose a high-quality rosemary oil. Ensure you have a pure and high-quality rosemary essential oil (or you can make your own, which we discuss below). Look for an oil that is 100% pure and organic, preferably from a reputable brand.
  2. Dilute the oil. Rosemary oil is highly concentrated and should not be used directly on the scalp or hair without dilution. Mix a few drops of rosemary oil with another oil such as coconut, jojoba, or almond oil.
  3. Perform a patch test. It's important to perform a patch test before applying the diluted rosemary oil to your scalp. Apply a small amount of the diluted oil to a small area of your skin, like your forearm, and wait for 24 hours to check for any allergic reactions or skin sensitivity.
  4. Apply to the scalp. Part your hair and apply the oil mixture directly to the scalp, gently massaging it in using your fingertips. Focus on areas where you are experiencing hair thinning or hair loss.
  5. Leave it on. After applying the oil to your scalp, leave it on for at least 30 minutes to an hour. You can wrap your hair with a warm towel or cover it with a shower cap for better absorption.
  6. Shampoo and rinse. After the desired amount of time has passed, wash your hair as you normally would using mild shampoo. Thoroughly rinse your hair to remove any residual oil.
  7. Repeat regularly. For best results, repeat this process regularly. You can aim to use the rosemary oil treatment 2-3 times per week. Consistency is key when using natural remedies like rosemary oil for hair growth.

What’s better, homemade or store-bought rosemary oil?

There are different benefits to both store-bought rosemary oil and homemade rosemary oil. Store-bought may last longer and be derived from better-quality rosemary — however, it can be much more expensive than making it on your own. If you purchase a store-bought oil, it’s important to buy from a reputable brand and get the best quality product.

Homemade rosemary oil, on the other hand, will not last as long. It can be more cost-effective and if the rosemary is grown in your own garden, you can be assured of the quality.

Risks and side effects of rosemary oil

When using rosemary oil, it's crucial to use pure and high-quality oil from a reputable source. Synthetic versions may not provide the same benefits or aroma. It is crucial to dilute this oil properly with carrier oil such as coconut oil or jojoba oil, before applying it to the skin or hair. Additionally, it is advisable to perform a patch test beforehand to check for any potential allergic reactions or skin sensitivity. Rosemary oil offers an array of benefits for skin, stress, and even cognitive function.

Those who are pregnant or breastfeeding are advised to avoid using rosemary oil.

A number of studies prove that massaging rosemary oil into the scalp can potentially help with hair growth due to the compounds in the rosemary that are known to be anti-fungal, antibacterial, and antimicrobial. These properties are all known to help soothe the scalp and promote hair growth. It's easy to make your own rosemary oil and it can last in the fridge for up to 6 months. If purchasing over the counter, it's important to check the brand and ingredients to confirm the product is pure.

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