Publication date February 15, 2024

Hair Loss Hope? The Science Behind Rosemary Oil & Its Potential for Regrowth

rosemary oil hair loss

Hair loss is undeniably a pain point that sends many of us on a lengthy and costly journey toward healthy, luscious strands. One solution has recently received a lot of attention; Rosemary oil has been praised as one of the more effective and affordable solutions for hair loss. 

Social media platforms including TikTok and Instagram have mostly hyped up its greatness, but the big question is it really that effective? To find the truth, we turned to the experts for the facts on using rosemary oil for hair and learned there’s so much more to this that we need to know. 

So we decided to compile all of the information in this blog, to help you decide if Rosemary oil is genuinely a right solution for your hair loss.

What is Rosemary Oil?

Starting with some basics, Rosemary is an herb that usually grows near the Mediterranean Sea and Himalayan regions. It’s also popular for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties. 

Despite the fact that rosemary oil hasn’t been studied extensively as a hair growth product, some research has found that it may be helpful in hair growth when applied topically to the scalp. This may be because of its antioxidant qualities which can increase blood flow to the scalp.

Is Rosemary Oil good for hair growth?

is rosemary oil good for hair growth

Source: InStyle

Rosemary has been used in herbal medicine for decades to treat conditions like headaches, insomnia, and depression. Especially, carnosic acid, a component of rosemary, is known to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities. 

According to Carmen Castilla, M.D., a New York City-based dermatologist, there is some evidence that suggests rosemary oil may help with hair growth. Castilla says, “Rosemary oil is an antioxidant and it also can increase capillary perfusion (meaning blood flow) to the scalp which may be the reason it is able to help with hair growth.” “The increase in capillary perfusion is very similar to the mechanism of action of minoxidil, a well-established treatment option for hair growth.”

What Studies Suggest 

As of February 2024, there are not many studies about rosemary oil for hair growth and many of the existing studies have been on animals, not humans. For instance, one study discovered that topical application of rosemary oil improved hair growth in mice who were facing hair growth issues as a result of testosterone treatment. 

A study from d1989 found that a mixture of essential oils (rosemary, thyme, lavender, and cedarwood oil) induced major hair growth when applied to the scalp on a daily. But, it’s important to highlight that the study is quite old and didn’t isolate rosemary oil, particularly as a hair loss treatment. 

There is one more latest, promising study that explored the effects of rosemary oil on hair hair growth. The study was centered on using rosemary oil to treat male pattern baldness. Researchers compared the effects of using rosemary oil with using minoxidil which is a common hair growth treatment that is known to be effective.

study on rosemary oil hair loss

Patients were either given rosemary oil or minoxidil 2% and used each treatment for six months. The NCBI study found that both treatments were equally effective at regrowing hair. They also discovered that people who used rosemary oil were less likely to experience an itchy scalp than those who used minoxidil. 

Although dermatologist, Dr. Castilla says that there are some flaws in this study. First, the suggested minoxidil dose for men is 5%, but the study is a 

2% dose, which is lower than what is usually recommended. Also, it was a small sample size and there was no placebo group. “It is difficult to draw definitive conclusions about the true efficacy based on this one study,” Dr. added.

How to Use Rosemary Oil for Hair Growth

Before you jump straight to supplements or a viral TikTok rosemary oil hair loss, it’s best to visit your healthcare provider if you’re experiencing hair loss. 

Benefits for Rosemary oil

Dr. Castilla told Health, “Hair loss can be a sign of an internal disorder or medical problem and this needs to be addressed for the hair loss to improve.”

But, if you decide to give rosemary oil a try for your hair loss problem, here are some tips shared by Dr. Castilla:

  • Don’t apply rosemary essential oil directly on your scalp, as this can irritate.
  • Instead of this, combine the essential oil with a carrier oil such as jojoba oil.
  • You can also buy premade formulations that have rosemary oil.
  • Always massage the oil into the scalp, as having it stay on your hair isn’t going to do anything besides make your hair greasy.
  • Start using rosemary oil slowly, trying the oil a few times a week to ensure that it isn’t irritating your skin.
  • If it isn’t irritating, you can increase the frequency of use of oil. 
  • When using oil, let it sit on your scalp for a few minutes, and then rinse it out.

What are other Benefits of Rosemary Oil

Aside from hair growth, there are other benefits for Rosemary oil, here’s what you need to know: 

  • There are suggestions that rosemary may help treat depression, epilepsy, neuropathic pain, and Parkinson’s disease. But, the evidence we have is based on studies done with mice.
  • Inhaled rosemary oil has been shown helpful in boosting mood, improving academic performance, and decreasing cortisol levels.
  • One research found that rosemary powder enhanced memory in older adults.
  • A small study discovered that taking rosemary capsules (300 milligrams of dried rosemary leaves) helped reduce withdrawal symptoms after stopping opium. 
  • There is evidence that topical rosemary application may be helpful for those who live with chronic pain.

How long do you have to use rosemary hair oil to see growth?

The studies conducted have shown that there is no genuine and exponential hair growth from the oil will be seen up until the six-month mark. These studies have also indicated that for that to happen there should be generous use of the rosemary oil at least twice a day. 

What are the Risks and Side Effects of Rosemary Oil

A trichologist and founder of Leona, Shab Caspara, says that when it comes to Rosemary oil hair loss she has one concern about its potential to irritate the scalp, especially when it’s not mixed with a carrier oil or used as part of a pre-formulated product.  

She says, “I don’t recommend making homemade scalp products using essential oils as they are super concentrated and can sensitize the scalp very easily if not monitored or formulated carefully,” she said. “Incorrectly applying naturally potent oils to your scalp can irritate, inflame, and seriously harm the scalp and eventually the hair follicle itself.”

Dr. Castilla also agreed that scalp irritation is the main concern with rosemary oil. But, despite the potential to cause irritation, Dr. Castilla said that it is unlikely to have other significant side effects. She states that it hasn’t been studied in pregnant individuals, so she would recommend refraining from using it if you are pregnant.

Bottom Line

In short, using rosemary oil may help increase hair growth. However, it’s important to keep in mind that limited studies have found that it may be an effective way to treat hair loss. Expert recommends if you decide to use rosemary oil for hair growth, it’s best to use a pre-formulated product containing rosemary oil (such as shampoo with rosemary oil) or mix it into a carrier oil. While rosemary oil is unlikely to have major side effects, experts warn that it can potentially cause skin irritation.

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