Amazing Benefits of Rosemary Oil for Hair

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

There is something undeniably attractive about lustrous, shiny hair. Good hair is attractive partly because we instinctively know that good hair is also a sign of good health. But as we all know, good hair needs a little help now and then. One of these is using rosemary oil for hair. This traditional remedy has stood the test of time and is very easy to follow.

Rosemary Oil

Rosemary oil is the essential oil that is distilled or extracted from the rosemary herb, scientifically known as  Rosmarinus officinalis. Rosemary oil is a very popular essential oil, due to its powerful aroma, as well as its wide range of health effects. Rosemary oil is beneficial for the hair because of its high concentration of phytonutrients, including caffeic acid, rosmarinic acid, camphor, ursolic acid, and various other active ingredients. [1]

One of the areas where this oil can be used is on the hair and scalp, and its popularity in this manner has increased significantly. It is most strongly associated with preventing hair loss. But what is the truth behind the hype? Is there any research backing this claim? Let us find out.


A smiling woman lifting her hair with one hand.

Use rosemary oil to strengthen your hair. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Rosemary Oil for Hair Loss

The regular application of rosemary oil can help in reducing hair loss. Massage with diluted rosemary oil helps in improving circulation and is believed to boost hair count. The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties help in preventing hair loss caused by infections.

Antioxidants: Rosemary oil is a concentrated extract from the herb. This makes it potent in the antioxidants found in the herb rosemary. These include phenolic acids, flavonoids, and diterpenoids. Research has shown that antioxidants benefit our hair in multiple ways, especially in reducing oxidative stress which can accelerate aging of hair. This includes graying of hair and hair loss. [2] [3]

What Does the Research Say?

Multiple researches and reviews support rosemary oil’s beneficial properties. Let us look at these in detail:

  • A randomized controlled trial showed that rosemary oil worked just as well as minoxidil solution in treating androgenetic alopecia, also known as male-pattern baldness. Minoxidil solution is a chemical that is commonly used to treat the condition. However, the researchers found that neither solution worked at the 3-month mark, but showed significant improvement after 6 months. While both solutions showed similar results, rosemary oil edged out because it did not cause scalp itching, which was more commonly associated with minoxidil. [4]
  • A review, published by BMJ, cited a study that used a blended oil containing rosemary oil to treat alopecia. Regular massage showed a significantly better regrowth than using carrier oil alone. [5]
  • One animal study found that mice subjects experienced hair regrowth after a topical application of rosemary extract. [6]

How to Use Rosemary Oil for Hair?

Rosemary oil can be easily included in your hair care routine. Learn How To Make Rosemary Oil if you want to make it at home. Alternatively, you can easily buy it online or in most major stores, such as Walmart or Target. You will find it in any aromatherapy store as it is a popular essential oil.

To use rosemary oil for hair, the most popular methods include the following:

As a Hair Mask

Hair masks are meant to rejuvenate the hair. Think of it as a special treat for your hair. It nourishes the hair follicles, making your hair stronger and more lustrous. You can use the hair mask once in a fortnight. We have a couple of recipes for the hair mask.

Add about 5 drops of rosemary oil to 15 ml of cold-pressed virgin argan oil. Massage into your hair for 5 minutes. Cover your hair with a damp towel and keep it on for 15 minutes. You can wash off your hair with shampoo later.
Make a hydrating hair mask with 2 tablespoon coconut oil, 1 teaspoon honey, and 3-4 drops of rosemary oil. Apply on your hair and cover with a shower cap (the honey will make a towel sticky) for 20 minutes. Wash it off with a shampoo.

As Hair Oil

Regular oil massage is like food for your hair. You can massage your hair with a rosemary blended oil at night and then wash it off in the morning. If that’s not possible, a 5-minute message an hour before your bath can also do wonders. We’ll recommend at least one oil massage a week. You can add 3-4 drops of rosemary oil to any hair oil of your choice, such as coconut, jojoba, argan, lemongrass, or olive oil. To make a blended oil massage, add 2 drops each of rosemary oil and lemongrass oil to a teaspoon of carrier oil.

Boosting Hair Products

Adding rosemary oil to your regular hair care regime is easy. Just add a few drops to any hair product you use, be it conditioner, shampoo, spray, or serum. Typically, only 4-5 drops are enough for a handful of shampoo. Alternatively, you can prepare an entire bottle by adding 30-40 drops and mixing well.

Word of Caution

It is important to note than rosemary oil should not be consumed orally. Pregnant, breastfeeding, and nursing women should avoid it. Some people may experience topical inflammation, particularly if they are allergic to the rosemary herb or similar plants. [7] Protection Status
About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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