This Hair Growth Product Is Dermatologist-Approved And Can Be Made at Home

From a culinary darling to a versatile elixir with countless applications, rosemary is a fragrant herb that does way more than add flavor to your favorite meals.

By Simone Sydel4 min read
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With over 300 million views on the popular social media platform, it's safe to say TikTok's #rosemaryoil, a trend that involves massaging your scalp with a concoction in which the fragrant herb is the main ingredient, has taken the beauty world by storm.

Everyone from beauty influencers, content creators, experts in the industry, and even dermatologists praise the trend as being ‘legit’ and a low-risk option to regrow damaged, brittle, and thinning hair into lusciously dense, ad-worthy locks. But what's behind this sudden influx of people attempting to speed up their hair growth by slathering oil on their scalps? And, does it really work, according to science?

In this article, we will break down the viral beauty trend and determine whether this simple recipe which can be made at home in less than twenty minutes, will make our dreams of longer, thicker, and healthier hair come true.

Does Rosemary Oil Really Support Hair Growth & Density?

From its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties to its ability to enhance circulation, the latest beauty trend involving the evergreen shrub certainly has some scientific backing. And it's all thanks to an antioxidant component which is a vital part of rosemary responsible for its stimulating properties. Carnosic acid, an active component in the plant, has been shown effective in healing tissue and nerve damage when tested on astrocytes, a subtype of cells that make up the central nervous system. This has led to examining the potential connection of rosemary's anti-inflammatory effect on the scalp, with some experts suggesting that due to its ability to reduce inflammation, rosemary can help improve hair loss caused by inflammatory conditions such as folliculitis and seborrheic dermatitis.

Additionally, carnosic acid has also been shown to naturally reduce DHT, a hormone formed primarily in the peripheral tissues of the body that has been linked to androgenic alopecia, also known as male and female pattern baldness. However, one of the most compelling studies about rosemary's effect on hair growth was conducted in 2015 and involved pitting the fragrant herb against minoxidil, a popular over-the-counter hair loss treatment commercially known as Rogaine.

Both were used on human subjects with androgenic alopecia, and by comparing the results of the two treatments over a span of six months, researchers found that rosemary was just as effective at promoting hair growth as the currently only FDA-approved hair loss treatment available over-the-counter. And although the study described rosemary oil as a hair loss restorative and not necessarily a hair growth stimulator, it did provide evidence that rosemary does indeed help promote hair health when used regularly.

How to Apply Rosemary Oil to Your Hair to Maximize Its Effect?

While rosemary has been proven to help promote hair growth, even in those dealing with conditions that are often seen as something you can't go back from, like male and female pattern baldness, using it in just about any way won't necessarily result in a satisfactory outcome. Therefore, for rosemary to work and improve your hair health, growth, and density, it needs to be used correctly.

The original study that found rosemary was just as effective as 2.5% minoxidil clearly states the participants used rosemary oil twice daily. Additionally, the study also notes that most participants didn't notice almost any improvement during the first three months of the experiment and only started seeing changes in hair growth and density at the six-month mark. These findings tell us that using rosemary for hair growth is definitely a commitment that requires consistency and dedication in order to achieve satisfactory results.

It's also important to note that rosemary oil should always be used as part of an overall hair care and growth routine because expecting one right to work against many potential wrongs or ways of damaging your hair, such as poor nutrition, bleach damage, and over-styling with the use of hot tools is unrealistic.

Therefore, while science and individual testers that have happily provided before and after photos clearly showing the difference in hair length and density seem to back up the claims that rosemary oil can help promote hair growth, it's important to remember that its effects may only be seen with consistent use over time.

Potential Downsides of Using Rosemary Oil for Hair Growth

The most common side effects experienced from using rosemary oil for hair growth include redness, itchiness, irritation, scalp sensitivity, and, ironically, hair loss. However, these side effects are usually not the result of using rosemary oil on its own but are caused by the carrier oils that are often added to the concoction, which can sometimes be too strong for some people's scalps.

This is often the case when using rosemary essential oils with added components such as camphor, peppermint, lavender, etc., as these are the most potent forms of natural ingredients that can cause skin sensitivities if used in high concentrations or are applied frequently. Therefore, when using rosemary oil for hair growth, it's important to always start with small amounts and dilute the oil in a carrier base that isn't necessarily fragrant or overly stimulating, such as olive or argan oil, which is another fantastic natural oil with many benefits for hair health.

In addition, it's also important to note that rosemary is known to cause photosensitivity, which means that if applied before going out in the sun, it may increase your chances of experiencing sunburns and scalp sensitivities caused by UV rays.

Finally, rosemary oil isn't recommended to be used in high concentrations or too frequently by pregnant or breastfeeding women, as many botanical extracts made synthetically for beauty treatments are not necessarily proven completely safe to use during the most delicate state of a woman's physiology. Therefore, it's always best to speak with your doctor if you're pregnant or nursing and want to start using rosemary oil for hair growth, especially if you plan on buying essential oils or pre-made blends with added ingredients.

Tips for Making Rosemary Oil at Home

Preparing rosemary oil at home is super affordable, easy, and can be done in under thirty minutes. Compared to the average cost of store-bought rosemary hair oil or serum, which is around $30, making it at home will run you less than ten bucks and will also allow you to customize the product to your liking by making it with natural ingredients handpicked by you.

Additionally, most DIY rosemary oils will last you anywhere between two to four weeks, depending on how much you make and how often you apply it. With that said, here's a simple breakdown of the ingredients you will need to make your own rosemary oil:

  • A small handful of fresh rosemary sprigs.

  • ¼ cup of carrier oil (such as olive, argan, or jojoba oil).

  • A jar with an airtight lid.

Once you have the ingredients, simply remove the leaves from the stems of your fresh rosemary sprigs and add them to boiling water, bringing it to a gentle simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes. Strain the mixture and let it cool, then add your carrier oil of choice to the infused water and mix. Pour the mixture into an airtight jar and store it in a cool, dark place.

When you're ready to use your homemade rosemary oil, simply apply one teaspoon of it to your scalp and massage for three to five minutes in circular motions to stimulate circulation and improve your scalp health and hair growth.

Finally, you can leave the oil on as a mask for up to an hour or rinse it off with water and/or your usual shampoo and conditioner once you're done.

It's also important to note that while using rosemary oil up to twice a day seems to be the sweet spot for hair growth and improved density, shampooing your hair daily isn't necessary, as this can be drying and irritating to the scalp. Therefore, if you don't want to shampoo your hair that frequently, you can either use your hair growth oil less frequently or rinse it off well with water alone to prevent potential buildup.

Closing Thoughts

All in all, rosemary oil does seem to have a lot of potential in promoting hair growth and improving hair density. The healing concoction can be made in the comfort of your own home, which is a fantastic way to avoid ingredients that don't necessarily agree with your skin or lifestyle while saving money. If you're looking to give your hair some extra TLC and encourage healthy, shiny, and voluminous locks, this alternative remedy may be perfect for you!

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