Amazing Benefits of Rosemary Oil for Hair

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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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.

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.

Healthy hair reflects a healthy body. 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.

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.
  • 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.
  • One animal study found that mice subjects experienced hair regrowth after a topical application of rosemary extract.

Antibacterial

The antibacterial nature of this oil boosts the defenses of your scalp against chronic infection that can cause hair loss.

Hair Graying

If your hair has excessive oil, using this medicinal oil can help improve the texture and luster of your locks and prevent the graying of hair.

How to Use Rosemary Oil for Hair?

If you want to use rosemary oil for hair, the most popular methods include the following:

  • Blending it with hair products or creating an essential oil treatment.
  • As hair washes and scrubs.
  • Mixing rosemary oil with shampoos, conditioners, and other hair products is an easy way to invigorate those products and make them even better for your hair health. Typically, only 4-5 drops need to be mixed into a handful of shampoo, but if you are preparing an entire bottle, you may want to add 30-40 drops before mixing well.
  • You can also combine 4-5 drops of rosemary oil with other essential oils, such as lavender or peppermint, as a scalp scrub. You can work this oil mixture deep into the follicles and scalp, which is particularly good for hair growth and inflammatory problems.

After using this oil on the hair and scalp, it is best to rinse off with warm water to prevent any irritation.

Word of Caution

It is important to note than rosemary oil should not be consumed orally. Furthermore, it should be kept away from pregnant women and children, due to its potent active ingredients. Some people may experience topical inflammation, particularly if they are allergic to the rosemary herb or similar plants.

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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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