What is Research Saying About Rosemary Essential Oil and Hair Loss?
Studies are showing that rosemary essential oil is effective at increasing hair growth in men and women suffering from thinning hair, or hair loss.
- Rosemary essential oil has been shown effective against two types of alopecia (androgenic alopecia and alopecia areata) with six to seven months of regular use.
- Rosemary essential oil has been shown to be just as effective as the active ingredient minoxidil in popular prescription and otc hair loss treatments.
According to the Natural Medicines Database,
“preliminary clinical evidence shows that rosemary oil, in combination with lavender, thyme and cedarwood oils, applied topically to the scalp improves hair growth in some patients. This combination was massaged into the scalp for a minimum of 2 minutes, followed by wrapping the head in a warm towel, every night for 7 months. Improvement in hair growth was seen in 44% of patients receiving the active treatment, compared with 15% of those receiving placebo.” (Therapeutic Research Center, 2016)
And in this study, Rosemary oil vs minoxidil 2% for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia: a randomized comparative trial,
“both groups experienced a significant increase in hair count at the 6-month endpoint”
“[providing] evidence with respect to the efficacy of rosemary oil in the treatment of [androgenic alopecia].” (Panahi, Taghizadeh, Marzony, & Sahebkar, 2015)
Rosemary Essential Oil Benefits, Safety, Uses & Recipes for Your Hair!
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Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) Essential Oil Basics
From the Latin rosmarinus meaning “rose (or dew) of the sea”.
Plant Family: Lamiaceae
Common Names: common rosemary, camphor rosemary, compass plant
Global Sources: native to the Mediterranean, available from similar climates around the world
Four Primary Chemotypes (depending on geographic region): cineole, camphor, verbenone, and myrcene
Steam distilled from the fresh or partially dried plant, preferably the flowering tops.
Therapeutic Actions and Benefits of Rosemary Essential Oil
- stimulant – increased circulation encourages hair growth for thicker hair
- potent antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal – suppresses growth of fungus and bacteria that can cause dandruff, itchy scalp, and irritation
- analgesic – relieves pain
- antidepressant – uplifting mood and concentration boosting properties
- antioxidant – minimizes free radical damage, supports the immune system and protects cells
Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) by the FDA
Not for young children. May be toxic for babies and children under the age of four if inhaled.
Not for use during the first trimester of pregnancy due to camphor content.
Using Rosemary Essential Oil for Hair
Pretty much any application that gets the rosemary essential oil to the hair follicles will be helpful,
- hair treatment / beard oil
- dry shampoo / hair powder
- hair rinse
- add to your shampoo or conditioner
Here are 3 recipes for inspiration…
RECIPE #1: Cedar & Rosemary Hair Treatment / Beard Oil
Use as a beard oil to make your beard grow faster and fuller, or as a daily warm oil scalp treatment to encourage thicker and fuller hair.
– 1 oz combined base oils (choose argan, jojoba, grapeseed, or other hair pampering natural oils)
– Base oils may be infused with herbs for additional potency
– add 1ml (18-20 drops) essential oil per ounce of carrier oil (7 drops cedarwood, 4 drops rosemary, 4 drops lavender, 3 drops patchouli)
– massage a small amount into scalp / underlying skin daily
– use as a hot oil treatment. Apply warm oil to scalp and hair, allow to remain 30 minutes to overnight before washing out.
RECIPE #2: Rosemary Lavender Dry Shampoo / Hair Powder
Make your own DIY dry shampoo using rosemary and other essential oils that encourage hair growth. Hair powder is an effective means of carrying the essential oils to the scalp and also works great as a dry shamoo to extend the time needed between hair washings.
– 1 cup arrowroot powder
– 1 cup cornstarch
– 15 drops rosemary essential oil
– 15 drops ‘lavender’ essential oil, Lavandin intermedia (for a stimulating effect) or Lavandula angustifolia (for a relaxing effect)
Apply powder to roots and scalp, massage in and then shake out the excess. Brush and style as usual.
May be used to absorb natural oils, lengthening the time necessary between shampoos.
For darker hair, add a little cocoa powder.
For more dry shampoo recipes check out this post from Wellness Mama.
RECIPE #3: Rosemary & Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) has added benefits for your hair. According to this article, apple cider vinegar is a natural detangler, normalizes hair and scalp pH, adds body and shine, reduces frizz, prevents dandruff, and may even further help stimulate hair growth and stop hair loss!
For even more on the benefits of apple cider vinegar for hair loss, check out this post from LiveStrong.com!
– 1 cup water + 2-4 tablespoons organic apple cider vinegar (less ACV for dry hair, more for oily hair or dandruff) (Leonard, 2016)
– essential oils (3 drops rosemary, 3 drops cedarwood, 1 drop clary sage)
Apply after shampooing, drenching hair from root to tip. Allow to work for 1-3 minutes before rinsing. Repeat up to 1-2x per week.
Rosemary essential oil also blends well with…
Bay (L. nobilis)
Cedarwood (J. virginiana)
Lemon (Citrus limonum)
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
Lavandin (Lavandula intermedia)
Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)
Friedman, D. (2015, April 2). Benefits of apple cider vinegar for hair loss. Retrieved November 27, 2016, from http://www.livestrong.com/article/277319-benefits-of-apple-cider-vinegar-for-hair-loss/
Hay, I. C., Jamieson, M., & Ormerod, A. D. (1998). Randomized trial of Aromatherapy: Successful Treatment for Alopecia Areata. Archives of Dermatology, 134(11), 1349–1352. doi:10.1001/archderm.134.11.1349
Keville, K., & Green, M. (1995). Aromatherapy: A complete guide to the healing art. United States: Crossing Press,U.S.
Leonard, J. (2016, February 10). 10 reasons to wash your hair with apple cider vinegar + how to do an ACV hair rinse. Retrieved November 27, 2016, from Natural Beauty, http://www.naturallivingideas.com/wash-hair-with-apple-cider-vinegar-rinse/
Panahi, Y., Taghizadeh, M., Marzony, E., & Sahebkar, A. (2015). Rosemary oil vs minoxidil 2% for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia: A randomized comparative trial. Skinmed., 13(1), 15–21. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25842469
Petersen, D. (2016). AROMA 101: Introduction to Aromatherapy. Portland, OR: American College of Healthcare Sciences.
Therapeutic Research Center. (2016). Rosemary Professional Monograph. Retrieved November 27, 2016, from Natural Medicines Database, https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com/databases/food,-herbs-supplements/professional.aspx?productid=154