Hair loss can occur for many reasons, from stress to thyroid disease. While it’s worrying to see your once-luscious locks thinning, solutions do exist and the great news are that a lot of them can be found in nature. If you want an all-natural hair loss treatment, rosemary oil is one of such solutions Mother Nature has to offer. The oil has long been recognised for its medicinal effects and is proven to help promote hair growth. Let’s start with the quick dive into the chemical composition of this ancient herb.
What is Rosemary Oil?
Rosemary is a perennial herb native to the Mediterranean region. It has needle-like evergreen leaves and delicate pink, blue, white, or purple flowers. What makes it memorable, though, is the aromatic fragrance of its leaves – which is what manufacturers and artisans alike make rosemary oil from.
Scientists have identified 22 unique components in rosemary oil, with the most significant makeup consisting of the natural compounds 1,8-Cineole (26.54%) and alpha-Pinene (20.14%). These afford rosemary oil its antifungal and antimicrobial properties.
Rosemary oil’s medicinal benefits have long been documented. Ancient Greeks believed it could improve memory, for example. And, they might not have been far off: modern researchers are studying rosemary’s potential to help Alzheimer’s patients.
Given its health benefits, it comes as no surprise that rosemary oil can also be used for hair growth treatment.
3 Ways Rosemary Oil Helps with Hair Loss Treatment
One study examined the effects of rosemary oil as a hair loss treatment, comparing it to minoxidil – an agent commonly used in commercial hair-growth products. Scientists tested men and women, having half of them apply minoxidil, and rosemary oil for the other half. The results showed rosemary oil was equally effective as minoxidil, without the side effects that minoxidil commonly has – namely dark circles, headaches and itchy scalp.
But just why is rosemary so effective as a hair growth treatment? Scientists have some ideas.
1. Promotes Blood Flow
A clinical review examining rosemary’s ability to spur hair growth highlighted its circulation-enhancing effects. A healthy head of hair requires good circulation since this promotes blood flow in the scalp. That’s why diet impacts hair health, as do habits like smoking: the latter negatively impacting circulation and therefore stunting hair growth.
Other studies have likewise attested to rosemary’s circulation-boosting effects when used for massage. Researchers believe that camphor, a component in rosemary, is what reportedly stimulates central nervous system activity and circulation.
2. Heals Damaged Nerves in the Scalp
In a different study, researchers found that active ingredients in rosemary heal damaged tissues and nerves. Since damaged nerve endings in the scalp may hinder hair growth, rosemary oil could thus restore stunted hair growth and even reverse hair loss.
3. Minimises the Effect of Testosterone
Another study looked at how rosemary helps hair loss triggered by testosterone. While you might associate this hormone with men, its excess and disbalance can also cause female baldness. This happens when the testosterone converts to dihydrotestosterone or DHT, which binds to scalp follicles, shrinking them and preventing hair growth. The same mechanism works for men as well as women, though it differs in magnitude due to higher proportion of testosterone in males.
The study’s results showed that rosemary leaf extract was able to stimulate hair growth by inhibiting testosterone’s ability to convert to DHT.
How to Harness the Power of Rosemary for Hair Growth
Whether you’re grappling with hair loss due to stress, illness, or menopause, hair growth can be helped with rosemary.
Here’s how you can tap into its power:
- Apply it topically: Most studies examining rosemary oil’s efficacy as a hair growth treatment focus on topical application. Look for all-natural hair growth masks you can apply directly to scalp. As an alternative you can mix up a few drops of rosemary oil with castor oil
- Add it to your food: Rosemary oil is often used in cooking. Incorporate it into your diet to benefit from its rich anti-inflammatory compounds and antioxidants
- Soak up the scent: Use rosemary essential oil for aromatherapy to combat stress, which is linked to hair loss. You can also get rosemary sachets to keep around your home.
While ingesting or smelling rosemary can have benefits, topical application is your best bet if you want to use this herb-based oil for healthier hair. With regular use, you should start seeing effects with time. Hair loss is distressing but taking control – with the help of Mother Nature – will ease your mind.
Curious to learn more? Find out which hair oil works best for your hair type by taking our custom-made hair quiz.
Alternatives to Rosemary Oil
Rosemary is not the only miracle herb with proven effects to promote hair growth naturally and help with hair follicle minituarisation. One of the other such nature gems is peppermint oil that promotes better blood circulation in scalp, that actually outperformed minoxidil in clinical studies. Read more >
Chemical composition and antimicrobial activity of the essential oil of Rosemary (1)
Encyclopedia Britannica (2)
The Therapeutic Potential of Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) Diterpenes for Alzheimer’s Disease (3)
Rosemary oil vs minoxidil 2% for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia: a randomized comparative trial (4)
Analysis of Iranian rosemary essential oil: Application of gas chromatography–mass spectrometry combined with chemometrics (5)
Simultaneous Aromatherapy Massage with Rosemary Oil on Humans (6)
Edaravone and carnosic acid synergistically enhance the expression of nerve growth factor in human astrocytes under hypoxia/reoxygenation (7)
Promotion of hair growth by Rosemarinus Officinalis leaf extract (8)