How Rosemary Oil Effectively Promotes Hair Growth
There are many different oils which are used to promote healthy hair growth: argan oil, coconut oil, olive oil, and jojoba oil to name a few. One which you may not know as much about is rosemary oil. Rosemary oil is a powerful scientifically backed treatment which can help to fill out thinning hair. As a bonus, it has some other beneficial effects for your tresses as well!
What is Rosemary Oil?
Rosemary oil is the essential oil extracted from rosemary, an herb you are probably familiar with from cooking. Rosemary is used in many Mediterranean dishes and confers a sharp “piney” flavor to dishes. The scent profile is fresh, herbaceous, and slightly minty. Occasionally you will find it used in perfumes and colognes.
As with other essential oils, rosemary oil is highly concentrated and very potent. For this reason, you should dilute it with a carrier oil before you apply it directly to your scalp.
Where is the Science?
Research into rosemary oil for hair at this point is just in the beginning stages, but it is very promising. Rosemary actually has been used to treat Alopecia areata (a condition where your immune system attacks your hair follicles, leading to sudden hair loss) for more than a century, but previously all the data was anecdotal.
This study was published in the Archives of Dermatology in order to test whether or not these anecdotal stories had any scientific backing. The researchers separated eighty-six patients into two random groups. A control group received nothing but carrier oils to massage into their scalps, while the active group received a mixture of rosemary, lavender, thyme, and cedarwood essential oils mixed with carrier oils.
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The researchers concluded, “The results show aromatherapy to be a safe and effective treatment for alopecia areata. Treatment with these essential oils was significantly more effective than treatment with the carrier oil alone.”
More research is needed to understand the exact mechanism through which rosemary oil helps to promote hair growth, and also to account for the effects of each individual essential oil. At this point, science definitely backs rosemary oil as an effective treatment for thinning hair or bald patches.
Other Beneficial Effects of Rosemary Oil For Hair
Chagrin Valley soap and shampoo bar company is one of my favorite resources for herbs and essential oils for hair. I’ve found their guides to be incredibly reliable when putting together my own natural hair care recipes. According to Chagrin Valley, rosemary oil can help your hair in the following ways:
- Treat oily hair. If you have oily hair or scalp, rosemary can have a balancing effect on your sebum production. This can get rid of that greasy look and texture, restoring a healthy shine to your hair.
- Treat dandruff. Dandruff is no fun for anyone; all that itching and flaking can take its toll on your hair’s appearance, and it can cause a lot of ongoing irritation. Treating your scalp regularly with rosemary may reduce your dandruff symptoms.
There is one more effect which rosemary is known to have on hair which is neither good nor bad, and that is darkening its color. Well, I should say that whether this is a benefit or a drawback depends on you. If you want your hair to be darker, then rosemary will help you to achieve the color you are hoping for. If on the other hand you prefer your hair to be lighter, rosemary may create a dull look which is less than desirable.
Does this actually happen? I can say that it does based on my experiences. Having tried a lot of herbal treatments on my hair, I have noticed that regular rosemary applications can darken my locks. This is something I usually do not want, so I always try to balance out my herbal mixtures with a little chamomile or calendula, both of which can lighten hair.
How Can You Use Rosemary Oil in Your Hair?
There are several ways you can treat your hair and scalp with rosemary:
- Buy a shampoo or conditioner which contains rosemary as one of the key ingredients.
- Apply rosemary oil directly to your scalp diluted in a carrier oil.
- Skip the oil and simply distill rosemary herbs into a “tea” which you pour over your hair (a base of apple cider vinegar works great for this).
Rosemary Shampoo Products
I haven’t used any shampoos or conditioners personally which contain rosemary, but doing some research, I found this to be a popular product on Amazon.com:
I can also happily recommend the shampoo bars from Chagrin Valley. Chagrin Valley makes a couple which use rosemary:
The concept of using a shampoo bar may sound odd if you are new to it, but you will get used to it quickly. The shampoo bars do not really foam up all that well, but this is not necessary to clean your hair. I love these bars because they do not dry out my hair like liquid shampoo, and they last a really long time (one bar usually goes around four months for me).
How to Dilute Rosemary in a Carrier Oil
If you use a hair oil of some sort in your regular routine, then you will find that this is an incredibly easy and effective way to start incorporating rosemary into your hair care regimen.
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All you need to do is add a few drops of rosemary essential oil into your oil of choice, rub the oil into your scalp, let it sit for a few minutes, and then wash it out. A single bottle of rosemary essential oil will last you years, so this is an incredibly cost-effective way to do things.
So for example, if you regularly apply argan oil to your hair, here is what you could do:
- Add a few drops of rosemary to your bottle of argan oil.
- Swish the oil around so it incorporates evenly.
- A couple of times a week, rub the rosemary-infused argan oil into your hair and scalp.
- Cover your hair with plastic wrap and wait 15-30 minutes.
- Rinse it out in the shower.
This will have a deep conditioning effect and help to prevent or slow hair loss. Do it on a continuous basis for the best results.
Rosemary ACV Infusion
Another option is one which I have used personally with great results, and that is to create an infusion of rosemary in apple cider vinegar (ACV). You can also use water, but apple cider vinegar has an amazing effect on hair. If you read my blog posts regularly, you know that I cannot stop talking about it. That is because it leaves your hair soft, silky, and strong.
Here is what you do:
- Fill a saucepan with enough apple cider vinegar to fill a jar.
- Add in some rosemary (the herb, fresh or dried).
- Heat it to a boil.
- Remove it from the burner and wait for it to cool down.
- Pour it into the jar (strain out the rosemary if you don’t want it getting in your hair).
In the shower, wash your hair and rinse as usual. After you are done, pour the ACV mixture over your head. You can wash it out if you want, but I recommend that you leave it alone. Once it dries, the smell will go away. Leaving it in allows it to exert the most potent effect on your hair and scalp.
What is cool about the ACV infusion is that you can customize it. You can add in other herbs that you find useful as well. Chagrin Valley has an excellent guide. You can buy most of these herbs cheap in bulk at your local health food store.
While you are at it, you can also customize the hair oil idea. You do not have to use any particular carrier oil—you can pick olive oil, argan oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, castor oil, or any other oil you choose. You can mix in rosemary oil by itself, but if you want you can also mix in other essential oils as well.
Rosemary Oil Effectively Promotes Hair Growth While Balancing Your Scalp
So now you know all about one of the best all-around herbs for hair care. Rosemary oil is a scientifically backed choice for growing your hair. It can fight thinning or balding hair while boosting volume and speeding up growth for added length. At the same time, it will balance your sebum production, fighting overly oily or dry hair. If you suffer from dandruff, you may also find that your scalp is a lot less itchy and flaky. It is a great solution all around, one which is cheap and easy to customize to your needs with rosemary infusion recipes. Give it a try and see how it works out!
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