The Benefits of Rosemary Oil in Hair Care

In general, it’s normal to shed between 50 and 100 hairs a day, but if you’re noticing a thinner ponytail or more hair clumping up in the shower, it’s time to turn to the treatments that claim to give our strands a thickening boost. While there are many solutions for growing back thinning hair—from implementing supplements into your routine to in-office procedures—a more natural alternative has been trending around our social media feeds, and the results have us impressed.

In a recent report from Spate, search results for “Rosemary Oil” averaged at 69.5K for the month of May and showed a 70 percent year-over-year growth increase. While we have plenty of TikToks to refer to for the oil’s magical results, we asked the hair-care professionals to break down all of its benefits, and how rosemary oil works to bring strands back to life.

What are the benefits of rosemary oil?

“Rosemary oil is a super herb and has a ton of benefits for hair care,” says celebrity hairstylist Sabrina Rowe Holdsworth. “Its anti-inflammatory properties help with active scalps and stimulates circulation. It has also been long known to aid in hair growth by promoting nerve growth and circulation, which are both key for healthy hair follicles.” She also adds that it’s “fantastic” for those who suffer from dandruff, as rosemary is a natural anti-itch treatment.

While Holdsworth praises the ingredient’s ability to grow hair, she says there is no one magic trick for strand restoration. “Hair care, unless prescribed by a doctor, is for cosmetic use only,” she says. “Healthy hair has many factors, starting with genetics, what you put inside your body and your habits. What you put on your hair and scalp is a small part of a much larger picture in hair growth.”

In a video posted by Troy, MI plastic surgeon Tony Youn, MD, he confirms that the oil can be just as effective as hair-growth treatment minoxidil.

Where is rosemary oil typically found in hair-care products?

Cosmetic chemist Ginger King says rosemary oil can act alone or as a pair with other ingredients. “There is no particular ingredient that rosemary needs to pair with in order to work. However, use caution with the ingredient if you have a sensitive scalp. Since it’s an essential oil, it is better to dilute it with sunflower, coconut or jojoba oil.”

I like to add a few drops of the essential oil to my everyday shampoo to give it a soothing, growth-inducing burst, but Holdworth says many brands have already done that for me. “Rosemary oil is often already found in many shampoos, conditioners, treatments and scalp oils. I use it in several of the products for NTRL by Sabs like LavRiche Shampoo Bar ($20)!” King adds that it’s also often found in deep conditioners and hair oils.

How do you use it?

According to the JVN Hair product development team, rosemary oil should be used one to two times per week for best results. “In a hair-care routine, products featuring rosemary extract work best when applied near the hair follicle, and should be applied directly to the scalp,” they say. “JVN Pre-Wash Scalp Oil ($28) features rosemary extract, optimized by squalane and hemisqualane, in an easy-to-use pre-shampoo treatment.” To use it, the team advises to work in sections, massaging the oil onto a dry scalp and leaving on for five to 15 minutes. Follow with your shampoo routine and rinse.

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