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  • Writer's pictureThe Shampoo Lounge

Rosemary oil may help you grow long and luscious hair — here's the science behind it



Rosemary's antioxidant properties may help protect the scalp from environmental stressors, such as UV radiation and pollution.


Rosemary oil is showing promise for hair growth, and videos on the topic have over 2 billion TikTok views.


  • Some dermatologists give rosemary oil the thumbs-up and say it can help regrow and protect hair.

  • Massaging rosemary oil into the scalp weekly may improve hair growth within six months.

  • Looking to grow long, luscious hair? It turns out a common herb in your kitchen cabinet may help.


Humble rosemary has gained a lot of hype on TikTok for its hair-care properties, and the hashtag #rosemaryoil has garnered a whopping 2 billion views on the platform.


Adding rosemary oil to your hair-care routine is also supported by science: Some dermatologists say rosemary is good at regrowing hair in those with androgenetic alopecia, a common form of hair loss, and may also protect hair against environmental stressors such as UV rays and pollution.


Rosemary oil stimulates hair growth at the follicle

In one small 2015 study, researchers found that rosemary oil was similarly effective as minoxidil, also known as Rogaine, at regrowing hair in men with androgenetic alopecia.


Not only did rosemary oil appear to help stimulate hair regrowth, but patients using it reported less-itchy scalps after three and six months than patients using Rogaine. While it was only a single study and didn't include any women, the results were promising — though more research is needed.


"The bottom line is, yes, it does seem to work," Dr. Shilpi Khetarpal, a dermatologist, told Cleveland Clinic in a story published in March. "The study really prompted people to look at rosemary oil for hair growth. It became much more common in over-the-counter products after that, too."

The key ingredient in rosemary oil is carnosic acid, which has both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and appears to heal damaged nerves and help with blood circulation — fostering new hair growth when applied to the scalp, Cleveland Clinic says.


Increased blood flow "delivers oxygen and nutrients and prevents damaged hair follicles that lead to hair loss," Dr. Michelle Green, a dermatologist, told Popular Science.

Green also said rosemary's antioxidant properties could help protect your scalp from environmental stressors, such as UV radiation and pollution.


Rosemary oil may also help reduce dandruff and prevent premature graying, Cleveland Clinic says, but more research in these areas is needed.


Using rosemary oil a couple of times a week may lead to noticeable improvements within 6 months

Rosemary oil may benefit people of all hair types, Khetarpal says.


Khetarpal told Cleveland Clinic that to effectively incorporate rosemary oil into your routine you should massage the oil into the scalp and leave it to soak in for a few hours — preferably overnight — two to three times a week, and then wash it out. You need only a few drops, she says.


Rosemary oil can make hair look greasy, especially in those with fine hair, so it's key to focus the oil on the scalp — not the strands. Khetarpal also recommends looking for products that are 100% pure rosemary oil (without any fragrances) and testing the product out on a small patch of the scalp first to make sure you don't have an adverse reaction.


Alternatively, you can make rosemary water at home. Rosemary water might work as well as rosemary oil, Green told Popular Science, plus it is cheap and may make hair look less greasy than rosemary oil.


Finally, Khetarpal says it's important to be patient. "You're going to need to use it two or three times a week for six months to see a meaningful improvement," she said. "Stay consistent and give it time."

article written by Kate Hull for insider.com

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