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We're constantly hearing about new ways to enhance and renew our hair care routines.
Recently, rosemary essential oil has come into the spotlight for its ability to promote hair growth, prevent breakages and inhibit hair loss.
While studies suggest that this can in fact be the case, finding out the best ways to use this age-old remedy on your hair can be confusing and overwhelming if you don't know where to begin.
Thankfully, we're here to help with some top tips on how to use rosemary oil for hair, what the benefits are, and how to best incorporate it into your daily self-care routine.
What are the benefits of rosemary essential oil for hair?
Known for its naturally restorative, health-boosting properties, rosemary oil has been used for years to combat a variety of ailments, and has a host of benefits for liver health, stress levels, and cognitive function among other things.
In recent years, however, these restorative properties have been most effective at combating issues surrounding hair loss and general scalp health. But how exactly does rosemary help hair growth?
Does rosemary oil thicken hair?
The strength and thickness of your hair is said to be directly linked with healthy circulation and blood flow throughout the body.
According to a study conducted in 2013, rosemary is known to increase heart rate and respiratory rate when inhaled. This boost in circulation allows for increased blood flow throughout the body, including to the scalp and hair follicles.
This in turn provides a host of benefits for the hair, as the scalp feels stimulated to produce growth as well as facilitate a renewed environment for thickness and hair health.
Can I soothe and heal my scalp with rosemary oil?
Due to its known anti-inflammatory properties, rosemary essential oil can be used to help soothe the scalp of irritation and itching, resulting in a healthier environment for faster hair growth.
A 2017 study assessing the effects of rosemary oil on the skin concluded that it also helps to increase hydration in the scalp as well as improve its elasticity.
Rosemary essential oils antibacterial and antifungal properties, determined in another 2017 study, may also facilitate improvements in hair growth if you are suffering from an infectious or unhealthy scalp. These same properties also help to reduce and prevent levels of dandruff in the hair over time.
Does rosemary oil help to prevent hair loss?
Researchers are constantly studying the effects of rosemary oil for hair loss, and many believe that the oil's ability to produce an improved scalp environment could be the main factor in its success against this particular ailment.
A 2015 study comparing rosemary oil to the popular hair regrowth treatment minoxidil found that rosemary actually produced more hair growth in DHT (testosterone-related hair loss) patients over a period of 6 months.
Irritation to the skin was also significantly reduced when using rosemary oil for hair loss in comparison to minoxidil, adding to its effectiveness when it comes to soothing and healing the scalp.
Does rosemary oil darken hair?
If you're wanting to eliminate the possibility of greying hairs, rosemary oil may be able to contribute to the darkening of these areas over time.
Premature aging of the hair can happen at almost any time in our lives, largely due to factors like genetics, stress, nutritional deficiencies, and even excessive sun exposure.
Using rosemary oil for hair could help prevent these effects from taking heed early, as well as darkening existing greys by binding with present hair proteins.
This binding element will help keep hair fibres healthy and strong, eventually leading to an increase in natural pigmentation.
Creating a blend of rosemary and sage essential oil may further improve these effects, as sage also shares natural benefits against the appearance of greys.
How do I use rosemary oil for hair growth?
The most important rule when using rosemary oil for hair growth is patience and consistency. Like practically all hair at-home treatments, it can take a while for results to show up in the way you'd like them to - so don't expect a miracle to happen overnight!
How long does it take for rosemary oil to work on hair?
In general, rosemary oil can take around 6 months to produce noticeable effects on hair growth.
This time frame is similar to that of minoxidil - a popular hair growth treatment, as was seen in the aforementioned 2015 study measuring DHT-related hair loss.
The overall benefits for your health and scalp, however, can start almost immediately, and frequent application will certainly solidify the effect of the oil over time.
How often should I put rosemary oil in my hair?
For the best results, application to the hair and scalp must be regular (preferably daily) and completed as part of your normal hair care routine.
If you're not sure how to go about actually applying it, here are some common techniques to help get you started.
How to apply rosemary oil to hair
As with all natural remedies, there are a number of ways to successfully implement rosemary oil for hair into your routine.
Feel free to try out several of these techniques to see which suits you best, or you could even try alternating between different methods throughout to double-up your chances of success.
1. Create your own hair mask
You may be wondering how to dilute rosemary oil for hair in a way that is effective and safe. In general, combining with a carrier oil and making your own treatment is the best and easiest practice, producing the best results for hair growth over time.
Combine the rosemary essential oil with your chosen carrier oil and massage evenly into the scalp. Leave in for at least two hours (though leaving it between 4 to 6 hours is preferable for the most effective rosemary oil benefits).
Other natural ingredients such as ripe bananas, oats, honey, and rosemary tea can also be added to the mixture for a richer and more substantial treatment. You can find our recipe for how to make a hair mask using these additional elements here.
If you're seeking advice on the best carrier oil for rosemary oil, almond, jojoba,and argan are all popular choices for promoting healthier hair.
2. Add to your shampoo and/or conditioner
This one's pretty self-explanatory. Simply add 10-12 drops into your existing shampoo or conditioner and shake well. Use as normal in the shower or bath, preferably applying daily or every two days.
Although this process is slightly less effective than direct application with a carrier oil, it makes for an easy solution if you're short on time or don't fancy making drastic changes to your routine.
3. Make a treatment spray
This method is particularly great for those of us with curly hair who could use some extra moisture, strength, and hold alongside that all-important hair growth.
Mix water, witch-hazel water, and rosewater together in a spray bottle, add 8-10 drops of rosemary oil, and shake. Spray on top of damp hair and use your fingers to spread evenly throughout. Alternatively, a carrier oil can also be used instead of the waters to produce the same effect.
Looking for a more in-depth recipe? Check out our blog post on how to make a homemade, all-natural curl treatment spray here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I leave rosemary oil in my hair overnight?
If you don't want to sit around for 4-6 hours with rosemary oil in your hair, leaving it to soak overnight is also a viable option, and can perhaps even be more beneficial in the long term that leaving it in for a shorter amount of time each day.
Be sure to use old pillowcases to avoid damage to your bedding, or try using a hair wrap or shower cap as an alternative. Rise out as normal in the morning.
What is the best rosemary oil for hair growth?
There are many different types of rosemary essential oil available on the market, including cineole, camphor, and verbone varieties.
While cineole is the most commonly sold in the UK market, with a smell that can sometimes resemble that of eucalyptus, all rosemary oil types can have a positive effect on hair growth.
If you prefer a bit of DIY, you can also try your hand at making your own rosemary oil right at home.
Where can I learn more about the benefits of Rosemary Essential Oil?
- Repels certain bugs
May improve brain function
May help relieve pain
- As with all natural products, always carry out a patch test before use on the hair and scalp and seek medical advice if required.
- Never use rosemary essential oil undiluted, as doing so could result in irritation.
- Avoid use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Avoid contact with eyes and mouth.
When used properly, rosemary essential oil can be a fantastic natural remedy for hair growth. The soothing and enriching properties of the oil can help repair thinning and damaged hair as well as prevent any further ailments from occurring.
Although it can usually take up to 6 months to see results in your hair, don't give up! Your scalp will thank you in the long run with stronger, longer, and healthier locks.