Rosemary oil smells great, but can it really help with hair loss? Learn about the science behind rosemary oil and how to apply it.
Hair loss concerns have led to the creation of numerous “hair loss” solutions, ranging from shampoos, scalp massagers, essential oils, and supplements.
And, with all of these hair loss product choices, it can be challenging to differentiate between what may have some benefit and what may not be worth using.
Rosemary is a common ingredient, or main component of some of these products, but just what does this fragrant herbal addition to dishes have to offer your hair?
Below, we will cover the potential benefits of rosemary for hair, go over any downsides to trying rosemary for hair loss, review the studies that we have so far, and give you a few ways to try out rosemary for hair loss, if you are so inclined.
Rosemary isn’t new to the world of alternative solutions, and this floral and somewhat peppery herb has been used for centuries for various ailments.
What we know about rosemary, is that it has a few beneficial properties: it may be anti-inflammatory, it may promote nerve growth, and it may boost healthy circulation by dilating blood vessels around the applied area.
There is no mention of hair in these benefits, but when you look deeper you may be able to imagine how this could be good for hair loss.
Inflammation is not good when it comes to your hair follicles, it may mean that they are irritated and may not have a healthy growth pattern, also healthy circulation is key to the proper function and quick growth of most things in your body -- including your hair. So, by cooling off inflammation and giving those hair follicles ample blood flow filled with oxygen and nutrients, this may be a functionality of why rosemary is purported to help with hair health and growth.
When we are talking about rosemary for hair loss, this is supposed to be a topical application to the scalp. For most people, there are no downsides to trying out rosemary on the scalp, and they should not experience any negative effects from giving it a try.
However, if you are especially prone to scalp irritation or have very sensitive skin, you may experience a local skin reaction like itching, burning, or stinging. This reaction should go away when you stop using the product or oil. Also, when using essential oils, you should know to always dilute them in a carrier oil. Most essential oils are extremely potent and may be 100% plant oils. This is too strong and may cause a skin reaction if not diluted.
So, if you want to try out rosemary on your scalp to see if your hair may benefit, there are likely no downsides. But, we also do not have a lot of data on concrete benefits for hair yet, so it may not help either.
One study had 100 participants experiencing androgenetic hair loss (male pattern and female pattern hair loss) to apply either rosemary oil or 2% Minoxidil (Rogaine active ingredient) once daily for 6 months. The participants had their hair count assessed at baseline, then at 3 months and 6 months.
The researchers found that there was no change in either group after 3 months of treatment, but after 6 months of treatment both groups had similarly improved hair counts. Also, the rosemary group had less scalp itching and irritation as compared to the Minoxidil group, even though they had similar hair improvements. This may suggest that rosemary oil may help with hair growth as much as 2% Minoxidil, and may have less scalp itchiness during the treatment. But, that consistency is key, and it should be used for at least 6 months to see significant improvements.
Another study in mouse models induced testosterone-related hair loss in mice, and then applied rosemary topically to the mice to see if it helped with hair growth. The researchers found that the rosemary helped inhibit 5-alpha reductase, an enzyme that converts testosterone into DHT (a hormone that is a known culprit in male pattern hair loss). DHT reduction is the same mechanism that is used by FDA-approved hair loss agent, Finasteride, to help with male pattern hair loss. This study suggests that rosemary may act as a topical DHT reducer when applied topically, which may help reduce hormonally-related hair loss. The researchers also suggests that rosemary may help prevent the binding of DHT to the androgen receptors in hair follicles.
However, the current data on rosemary and hair benefits are not robust, and more larger-scale studies are needed to confirm these insights.
If you are interested in giving rosemary a try for your hair concerns, there aren’t really any downsides to giving it a whirl.
You can make a rosemary “tea” by putting rosemary into hot water and then letting it infuse while it cools, then rinsing your hair with it. You can also massage some rosemary oil diluted in a carrier oil into your scalp.
If you would rather have rosemary included in your current routine, you can find shampoos and conditioners which contain some rosemary already, or you can mix a few drops of diluted rosemary oil into your current shampoo or conditioner in your hand before using the products.
Rosemary may be a good addition to a well-rounded hair care routine if you are concerned about hair loss. But, it may not work for you, or not have enough of a difference to reach your goals.
At Strut Health, you can have a free online consultation with our U.S. licensed doctors to see if prescription hair loss medications containing ingredients like Minoxidil, Finasteride, or Dutasteride are a good option for you.
If you are a good fit for treatment, your medication can be shipped to your front door with our free shipping. If you have any questions or concerns during your treatment, our staff and doctors will be standing by for free unlimited follow-ups.