There are many good essential oils for hair: lavender, cedarwood and peppermint. And then there’s rosemary essential oil. Is it the best oil of all? Well, I don’t like to put ‘the best tag’ on it or for that matter on any oil, shampoo or things in general. But rosemary oil certainly is a big deal for hair.
Before we look at its amazing hair benefits, let’s find out more about rosemary herb.
I love the name rosemary, it has a very good sound to it. And the herb itself is very fragrant. It’s not floral like rose, but it has the hint of sweetness and a herby, fresh smell.
Let me tell you more about the name rosemary. It’s origin is latin, ‘ros’ meaning ‘dew’ and ‘mariuns’ meaning ‘of the sea’. The plant was named ‘dew of the sea’ as it thrives best by the sea, in sandy, salty soil.
Rosemary is a native to Mediterranean region, but now it grows widely in England, Mexico, Morocco and the USA.
Rosemary is one the oldest known plant to be used as food, medicine and magic. Sprigs of rosemary were burnt in the shrines to drive away illness as well as evil spirit. Greeks wore rosemary garlands around their head while studying, as it was believed to improve memory.
In fact, this memory enhancing property of rosemary was put to test by the researchers from the University of Northumbria, Newcastle. And they discovered that rosemary aroma indeed enhanced the overall quality of memory of the participants and made them more alert. So if you are struggling remembering, try taking a sniff.
Besides, rosemary is a great taste enhancer.
Though it’s often paired with meat dishes. But since I am more inclined towards vegetarian foods, I like using rosemary with vegetable stir-fries or put it in pasta or rice. It really elevates the flavour and also benefits our health due to it’s fantastic antioxidant properties.
And the same antioxidant properties also benefits our hair.
You get rosemary oil from the leaves and flowers of rosemary plant. It is extracted by the process of steam distillation. The fragrant rosemary oil is high in antioxidant compounds such as: ursolic acid, rosmarinic acid, cineole and camphor. And these compounds are super beneficial for our hair and can possibly help slow or reverse hair loss. So, how does it work?
Well firstly, rosemary oil helps to increases scalp circulation.
This is vital because one of the reasons for thinning hair is inadequate blood flow to the scalp. And the culprit many a times is stress. If you have a habit of stressing over every small thing or are a type A personality, it causes your scalp muscles to tighten. And that leads to reduced blood flow to the scalp, and thereby to the hair follicles.
To tackle the stress related hair loss, rosemary oil is a winner. Why? Because rosemary not just improves blood flow to the scalp. It also boost your mood and decreases the stress hormone, cortisol. And thus saves your hair from getting thinner and falling out.
But what about, the dreaded DHT related hair loss, can rosemary oil help with that too.
Maybe. The male and female pattern baldness or androgenic alopecia is baldness associated with the hormone DHT or dihydrotestosterone. It’s believed that when the DHT levels increases in the hair follicles, the hair growth cycle is shortened and hair falls out earlier then it should. Over time, hair follicles shrink and completely stop growing new hair.
Enter rosemary oil. One animal study suggests that rosemary can reduce the DHT levels in the scalp. And this is supported by a recent study done on humans – which is always a good thing as anything seems to grow hair on mice.
In 2015 a team of researchers from Tehran compared the effects of rosemary oil vs 2% minoxidil, a conventional form of treatment. They conducted the test on 100 participants with androgenic alopecia. Fifty applied rosemary oil and another fifty applied minoxidil.
After six months, rosemary oil group saw significant increase in new hair growth….and just as much as minoxidil. But the conventional minoxidil drug comes with a long list of side effects including scalp itching, redness and whatnot. So for those of you who want to seek natural route, rosemary oil is a good choice.
What’s more, rosemary oil is also very healing.
It’s anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal properties keep the scalp healthy and clean. And this means the hair follicles can thrive and stimulate thick and strong hair growth.
So yes, rosemary oil has pretty impressive benefits for hair…now let’s get to using the oil.
If you are not a DIY person, you will be happy to know you don’t have to make your own rosemary oil. Simply buy the rosemary oil and apply on your scalp, but not directly. That’s because rosemary oil is an essential oil and not your regular nut or seed oil like coconut or almond.
Essential oils are very potent or concentrated extracts of plants. So you need to use a small amounts to experience results. When applying to your scalp, combine the rosemary oil with either a base oil or aloe vera gel or add to a hair mask. Here are three ways I like to use it on my hair.
If you love head massage, you will enjoy using rosemary oil. The soothing properties and therapeutic benefits makes it a treat for the hair. You can use any base oil you like, but I especially like it with coconut oil or olive oil.
You will need:
Place the oils in a bowl and mix well.
Using your finger tips, massage the oil blend into your scalp. Leave it on for an hour or overnight to take maximum advantage of its healing and stimulating properties. Wash with a natural shampoo or use a homemade shampoo.
If you don’t want to get your hair oily, I suggest you mix rosemary oil up with aloe vera gel. It’s easily absorbed into your scalp and boosts hair growth. And bonus, the combination of aloe and rosemary oil gives hair a sleek and defined look. How cool!
You will need:
Combine aloe and rosemary oil and apply into your scalp and hair and leave it on. That’s it.
You can also put rosemary oil in a homemade hair mask. The combination for egg, rosemary oil and olive oil works miracles for hair. Egg is packed with essential hair vitamins and olive oil is antioxidant rich as well as moisturising for the hair and scalp.
You will need:
Place the ingredients in a bowl. And using a fork or whisk mix everything well.
Apply on your scalp and hair and let it sit for 30 to 60 minutes. Rinse the mask off with warm water. You might not need a shampoo as egg itself works as a natural shampoo. See how your hair feels.
To improve the shine, you can use apple cider vinegar rinse or any herbal hair rinse to condition and refresh hair.
**There are two ways you can use egg for the mask. If your hair is oily, use the whole egg. But if you have dry hair, skip the egg white and just use the egg yolk. (You can read why here).
Look for pure, undiluted rosemary oil. The botanical name is Rosmarinus officinalis which is usually mentioned on the bottle. You can buy rosemary oil online here.
So that was rosemary essential oil for hair growth. But can every one use it? The answer is no.
Who Cannot Use Rosemary Oil
Do you use rosemary oil for hair growth? Please share in the comment box below…
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