Rosemary Oil For Hair: Benefits, Side Effects & Usage

Medically reviewedby Dr. Amy Revene M.B.B.S.
WrittenbyLuat Duong
Last updated

Beautiful and lustrous hair is something that everyone desires. However, with constant exposure to pollution, stress, and harsh chemicals, maintaining healthy hair can be a challenge.

That's where rosemary oil comes in. Known for its many benefits, rosemary oil has been used for centuries to promote hair growth and improve hair quality. 

From stimulating the scalp to preventing hair loss, this powerful oil has a wide range of uses that can help you achieve the healthy hair you've always wanted.

In this article, we'll explore the benefits of rosemary oil for hair, as well as its side effects and how to use it effectively. So, let's dive in and discover the wonders of rosemary oil for hair!

What is rosemary oil?

rosemary oil for hair, hair rosemary oil

Rosemary oil, a concentrated essence derived from rosemary leaf extract, is celebrated for its ability to enhance hair growth, combat hair loss, and elevate hair texture. Used since ancient times, it can be applied topically to the scalp, mixed with shampoo or conditioner, or used in hair masks.

While beneficial, it's important to use rosemary oil in moderation to avoid potential side effects.

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Can rosemary oil treat hair loss?

pure rosemary essential oil

Rosemary oil has been found effective in treating hair loss, with properties that stimulate hair growth and improve scalp circulation. It contains compounds that regenerate hair follicles and enhance blood flow, delivering essential nutrients and oxygen to promote hair health. Additionally, its anti-inflammatory qualities can reduce scalp inflammation, a contributing factor to hair loss.

Scientific research supports rosemary oil's benefits for hair. Its active component, carnosic acid, is known to repair damaged tissue and nerves, potentially revitalizing scalp nerves and fostering hair growth.

A notable 2015 study compared rosemary oil to minoxidil, a common hair loss treatment, in treating androgenetic alopecia. The study found rosemary oil to be as effective as minoxidil, with fewer side effects like itchy scalp.

However, it's crucial to remember that rosemary oil is not a standalone solution but part of a holistic approach to hair care.

While it can aid in hair growth and health, it should be used in conjunction with other hair care practices for the best results.

Read this: Minoxidil: Before and After Results (With Pictures)

The benefits of using rosemary oil on hair

1. Stimulates hair growth

Rosemary oil has been shown to stimulate hair growth by promoting circulation to the scalp and improving the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to the hair follicles.

The use of rosemary oil to promote hair development has been well investigated.

In fact, it is mentioned as a possible solution for hair growth in two distinct scientific studies from 2010 and 2011.

2. Prevents hair loss

The anti-inflammatory properties of rosemary oil can help to reduce inflammation and irritation on the scalp, which can contribute to hair loss. 

This oil is a strong antioxidant that can combat free radicals. These chemicals gradually kill cells, which can eventually cause hair loss by harming the hair follicle.

3. Improves hair texture

Rosemary oil has conditioning properties that can help to improve the texture and shine of the hair. It can also help to reduce frizziness and tangles, making the hair more manageable and easier to style.

4. Relieves itchy scalp

The anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties of rosemary oil can help to relieve itching and irritation on the scalp. This makes it an effective treatment for dandruff and other scalp conditions.

5. Reduces grey hair

Oxidation, which has been linked to cell damage from environmental aggressors, has been found to significantly speed up ageing processes like hair greying. Rosemary oil might be able to delay the greying process by actively combating those free radicals.

Read this: Transitioning To Grey Hair with Highlights: A Beginner's Guide

6. Promotes scalp health

Rosemary oil has antibacterial and antifungal properties, which can help to promote a healthy scalp and prevent infections. It can also help to regulate sebum production, preventing greasy hair and scalp.

7. Provides a natural scent

The refreshing aroma of rosemary mint scalp treatments, derived from natural rosemary oil, offers a delightful alternative to synthetic fragrances in hair care products. Its aroma can also help to promote relaxation and reduce stress.

How to use rosemary oil for hair loss?

rosemary oil for healthy hair growth

Scalp massage

For a soothing rosemary mint scalp massage, mix a few drops of diluted rosemary oil with coconut oil and gently apply it to your scalp. Leave it on for at least 30 minutes before washing it out.

Combine it with your shampoo

This also holds true for creams, moisturizers, and conditioners. Don't add excessively to be safe. Limit the number of drops to five for every ounce of product.

Use the product as usual after that. When applying a dollop of any hair product on your hand before usage, you could also incorporate 2 to 3 drops of rosemary oil directly into the product.

Hair mask

Create a nourishing hair mask by blending a few drops of diluted rosemary oil with coconut oil or olive oil, applying it evenly throughout your hair. Leave it on for 30 minutes before washing it out.

DIY hair care products

Incorporate rosemary oil products into your DIY hair care creations, like homemade hair sprays or leave-in conditioners, to harness its hair-nourishing benefits. This can help to promote hair growth and prevent hair loss.

Because the advantages of rosemary essential oil address the hair follicle rather than the hair strand, it can be applied to any type of hair.

Because its primary application should go directly to the scalp, it is also acceptable to use on hair that has undergone colour treatment.

Consult your dermatologist before including the oil into your routine if you have delicate skin and are concerned over how your scalp skin might respond.

Dermatologists advise starting with a tiny patch test and monitoring for 24 hours to see if there is any irritation.

Side effects of using rosemary oil on hair

While rosemary oil is generally considered safe, there are some potential side effects that you should be aware of:

  • Some individuals may be allergic to rosemary oil, which can cause skin irritation, rashes, or hives. 
  • Rosemary oil can cause skin irritation or burning sensations when applied topically. It's important to dilute rosemary oil with carrier oil before applying it to the scalp.
  • Rosemary oil can interact with certain medications, such as blood thinners or diuretics. If you're taking any medications, it's important to speak with your healthcare provider before using rosemary oil.
  • When applied excessively, rosemary oil can weigh down and make weaker hair appear oily.
  • Using high doses of rosemary oil can cause vomiting, spasms, or coma. It's important to use rosemary oil in moderation and follow the recommended dosage.
  • Rosemary oil can also result in allergic or irritating contact dermatitis. You should stop using it if it irritates you in any way.
  • Pregnant women should avoid using rosemary oil, as it can stimulate menstruation and potentially cause miscarriage.

Conclusion

Rosemary oil is a versatile and effective ingredient for promoting hair health.

Its ability to stimulate hair growth, prevent hair loss, improve hair texture, and promote scalp health makes it a popular choice for natural hair care.

So, if you're looking for a natural solution to improve your hair health, consider incorporating rosemary oil into your hair care routine!

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FAQs

How often should I use rosemary oil on my hair?

You can use rosemary oil on your hair once or twice a week, depending on your hair type and needs. It's important to follow the recommended dosage and not overuse it.

Can I mix rosemary oil with other essential oils?

Yes, you can mix rosemary oil with other essential oils to create a hair care blend that suits your needs. However, it's important to dilute the oils with a carrier oil before applying them to the scalp.

Is rosemary oil effective in supporting healthy hair growth and making hair thicker?

Yes, rosemary oil is effective in supporting healthy hair growth and can make the hair appear thicker. Its ability to stimulate blood circulation to the scalp and deliver nutrients and oxygen to the hair follicles helps in stimulating hair growth, leading to healthier and thicker hair.

Can rosemary oil help in reducing scalp irritation and stimulate hair growth?

Rosemary oil can help in reducing scalp irritation and stimulate hair growth. Its anti-inflammatory properties help alleviate scalp irritation, while its ability to improve blood circulation to the scalp aids in stimulating hair growth.

Is it safe to use rosemary oil in its essential oil form for hair care?

Yes, it is safe to use rosemary oil in its essential oil form for hair care. However, it is crucial to dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil, like coconut or jojoba oil, before applying it to your scalp to avoid any skin irritation or burning sensations.

Resources:

  1. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-154/rosemary
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3700080/
  3. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/rosemary-oil-for-hair/

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Luat Duong

Luat Duong is a Copenhagen-based writer and content strategist specializing in hair loss and health. His work has been featured in MyHealthGuide, The Right Hairstyles, and Woman's Era. He is a graduate of Vaasa University. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.