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Dulling hair, a receding hairline, dandruff – age plays all sorts of nasty games with our heads. However, we can bring about these unwanted symptoms even earlier if we are not careful. Poor diet, lack of hair care, etc. are the major culprits. The question is how to rejuvenate your hair and restore those thick luscious curls and that enviable glow. Enter rosemary oil.
One of the few oils that can promote hair growth and blood circulation, rosemary oil can be a lifesaver for your hair when used correctly and consistently. In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of rosemary oil for hair, what it actually is, and how to use it to get optimum results.
What Is Rosemary Oil?
Rosemary oil is a pale liquid extracted from the rosemary plant’s leaves through steam distillation. It is found in perfumes, skincare, and haircare products and acts as an anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant ingredient.
This herb is native to the Mediterranean region and is famous for being a healing and culinary herb. Like cinnamon, peppermint, and oregano, the rosemary plant also undergoes extraction methods to extract oil from the herb. These oils are heavily concentrated and contain volatile plant compounds directly extracted from the plant.
Rosemary oil was already known for its healing and culinary properties, but in recent years it has been on the rise for its ability to restore dull hair and promote hair growth. Let’s see how rosemary oil can be capable of so much.
Benefits of Rosemary Oil for Hair
Rosemary oil has some great benefits when it comes to hair:
Promotes Hair Follicle Strength
Rosemary oil contains carnosic acid that improves cell turnover and heals tissue damage and nerve damage. Carnosic acid also improves blood circulation and prompts nerve growth.
Increased blood circulation means hair follicles will receive all the nutrients they need to become healthy and grow. It also means hair follicles will receive increased levels of oxygen, promoting hair growth and adding to the appearance of a thicker, healthier hair shine. Rosemary oil is also known for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, which frees your scalp of dryness, dandruff, and irritation.
Actively Fights Hair Loss
Minoxidil is a medication used to treat pattern hair loss. It is usually available as a topical liquid or foam and an oral tablet.
According to clinical studies, it has been shown that rosemary oil increases hair growth in the same amount as Minoxidil. It does this by blocking DHT (dihydrotestosterone), a male hormone that plays a key part in developing male characteristics and shrinking hair follicles resulting in hair loss.
Protects Against Hair Damage
As a potent antioxidant, rosemary oil also fights free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause damage to cells and trigger premature aging. They can also damage hair follicles, which is why it is best to remove them from your body.
Rosemary oil contains caffeic acid derivatives that react with metal ions present in your body to form chelates. These, in turn, react with free radicals, stabilizing them in the process.
Cures Itchy Scalp
An itchy scalp is one’s worst nightmare. You can’t scratch your head when someone’s watching, nor can you stop yourself. Rosemary oil does a great job here because it has anti-inflammatory properties that soothe itchy scalps and remove irritation.
Reduces Gray Hair
Using a lot of hair dyes and giving a lot of heat to your hair can damage them. This damaged hair can oxide and thus accelerate the aging process, which means your hair can start to look grayish. Rosemary oil can help undo this damage by fighting free radicals and providing all the nutrition to the hair follicles via blood circulation.
Furthermore, rosemary oil can also be used in aromatherapy, a well-known healing technique. It helps reduce stress, which is a worldwide cause of premature aging.
Benefits Nerve Tissue
According to some scientific studies, rosemary oil also helps heal nerve tissue. The carnosic acid present in rosemary plays a major role in healing nerve endings and restoring damaged nerves. When the nerves in the scalp are healthy, the hairs grow thick and luscious.
A 2010 study also discussed the benefits of rosemary oil for hair growth. It concluded that rosemary oil benefits people suffering from alopecia, a condition in which both body and facial hair begin to fall off in patches.
Related read: How to Deal with Postpartum Hair Loss
How To Use Rosemary Oil for Hair Treatment
You can incorporate rosemary oil into your haircare routine in several ways to revitalize them. You can treat your hair to rosemary oil once or twice a week.
Dilute Rosemary Oil Before Using
Rosemary oil can irritate the skin if used undiluted; therefore, it is better to test it first on a small patch of your skin before applying it directly onto your scalp. If you are sensitive to rosemary oil, you can dilute it using carrier oils such as coconut oil, argan oil, or jojoba oil.
To dilute, add two tablespoons of carrier oil of your choice to two to three drops of rosemary oil. Some great combinations we recommend trying include:
- Rosemary oil mixed with apricot kernel oil: Apricot oil is rich in fatty acids and vitamins, which can nourish the hair follicles, moisturize the scalp, and add shine to the hair.
- Rosemary oil mixed with rosehip oil: Rosehip oil is packed with antioxidants and vitamins, promoting overall hair health, reducing scalp inflammation, and helping to repair damaged hair.
Combining these oils can help strengthen and condition the hair, enhance its appearance, and support a healthy scalp environment.
Mix It With Your Shampoo
Mix a few drops of rosemary oil in your shampoos, lotions, conditioners, or creams. Try to add a few drops and not overdo it because too much oil in your shampoo can prevent it from cleaning your hair thoroughly.
Stick to about five drops of rosemary oil per ounce of shampoo, or add 2 to 3 drops of it in your palm and mix it with a dollop of shampoo you’d be applying to your hair.
Massage Onto Your Scalp
After diluting, you can use rosemary oil on your scalp and massage it evenly onto your scalp using your fingertips. Let it sit for about 20 to 30 minutes or more if you want before washing it off for the best results.
Rosemary Oil Consistency and Oiliness
Rosemary oil typically has a thin, watery consistency. When applied in small amounts and properly diluted with carrier oil, it shouldn’t leave your hair feeling excessively oily. To avoid an overly oily appearance, it’s important to use rosemary oil sparingly and focus the application on the scalp and roots rather than the length of your hair. This allows the oil to nourish and benefit the scalp without weighing down the hair strands.
If you have naturally oily hair, experiment with different dilution ratios or use smaller amounts of rosemary oil to find what works best for you. Additionally, rinsing your hair thoroughly after the recommended application time can help remove any excess oil and prevent your hair from appearing greasy.
How Long After Using Rosemary Oil Can You Expect To See Results?
The timeframe for seeing results from using rosemary oil on hair can vary from person to person. It’s important to note that natural remedies like rosemary oil may require consistent and long-term use to notice significant changes.
Some individuals may start to see improvements in hair thickness and growth within a few weeks of regular application, while others may require several months. Remember that hair growth is a gradual process, and factors such as genetics, overall hair health, and individual response to the oil can influence the timeline. Patience and consistent use are key when incorporating rosemary oil into your hair care routine.
Side Effects of Rosemary Oil
While rosemary oil is a natural herb, it can cause some itching, burning, or mild skin irritation when used excessively or directly onto the scalp without diluting it. If you feel some irritation or a burning sensation after applying it, wash it off and discontinue usage immediately.
If you have sensitive skin, you should do a patch test first to avoid any skin reactions afterward. For the patch test, pour a small amount of rosemary oil into your palm and apply it on a small part of your scalp that you can see using a mirror.
Let the oil stay on your scalp for a while, and notice if you experience any redness, burning, inflammation, or itchiness. If you don’t, continue to use rosemary oil. But if you do, add carrier oils to dilute the oil or consult with your dermatologist.
8 Other Amazing Benefits of Rosemary Oil for The Body
Rosemary oil offers several beneficial effects beyond hair care. Here are some additional advantages of rosemary oil:
- Improved cognitive function: Rosemary oil has been associated with enhanced memory, concentration, and mental clarity. Its aroma can stimulate the brain and help improve cognitive performance.
- Respiratory support: Inhaling rosemary oil vapor or using it in a diffuser may help alleviate respiratory issues such as congestion, coughs, and sinusitis. It possesses expectorant properties that can promote easier breathing.
- Mood enhancement: The scent of rosemary oil is invigorating and uplifting. It can help reduce stress, anxiety, and fatigue, promoting a positive mood and overall well-being.
- Chakra healing: Rosemary oil is often associated with the third eye chakra (located between the eyebrows) and the crown chakra (at the top of the head). These chakras are related to intuition, spiritual connection, and clarity of thought. Rubbing rosemary oil into the corresponding chakra areas may enhance focus, stimulate mental clarity, and promote a deeper spiritual connection.
- Skin health: Rosemary oil has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, making it useful for various skin conditions. It can soothe irritations, reduce acne breakouts, and promote a healthier complexion.
- Pain relief: Topical application of rosemary oil may help relieve muscle pain, joint discomfort, and headaches. It has analgesic properties that can ease minor aches and pains.
- Digestive support: Rosemary oil can aid digestion by stimulating the production of digestive enzymes, relieving bloating, and reducing indigestion symptoms.
- Antioxidant properties: The oil contains powerful antioxidants that protect against free radicals, supporting overall health and reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
Related read: How to Embrace Your Postpartum Mom Bod
Other Great Essential Oils for Your Hair
Some other essential oils commonly used for hair care and many of the products you will find in stores include:
- Coconut oil: Coconut oil is widely popular for its moisturizing properties and ability to reduce protein loss in hair. It can help strengthen hair strands and promote overall hair health.
- Argan oil: Known as “liquid gold,” argan oil is rich in antioxidants and essential fatty acids. It helps moisturize and nourish the hair, making it softer, shinier, and more manageable.
- Jojoba oil: Jojoba oil closely resembles the natural oils produced by the scalp, making it a great choice for moisturizing and balancing the scalp. It can also help reduce hair breakage and promote a healthy scalp environment.
- Castor oil: Castor oil is well-regarded for its potential to promote hair growth and thicken hair strands. It contains ricinoleic acid, which has anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe the scalp.
Can rosemary oil help regrow hair on bald spots?
Yes. According to a study, rosemary oil gives similar results as minoxidil, a medication (also called Rogaine) used to treat pattern baldness. Using rosemary oil as its natural alternative can prevent you from suffering from the side effects of minoxidil and see better results because it is a natural herb.
How often should I apply rosemary oil to my hair?
You can use it twice or thrice a week at the start to check whether it suits you. After that, you can increase the number of times you apply rosemary oil to your hair.
I have dyed hair. Can I use rosemary oil?
Of course. Rosemary oil works best when you apply it on your scalp as it improves blood circulation and allows your hair follicles to receive proper nutrients and enough oxygen to grow and repair their damage. This way, new hairs that come out are healthy and free from chemicals.
Can I leave rosemary in my hair overnight?
It is generally safe to leave rosemary oil in your hair overnight. However, since essential oils can be potent and cause skin irritation in some individuals, it’s important to consider diluting the oil beforehand and ensuring it does not irritate the skin by doing a patch test. Individuals with oily hair may also prefer to rinse rosemary oil out after a few hours.
Are there any age restrictions or limitations for using rosemary oil?
No, there aren’t any age restrictions for using rosemary oil. However, people who are sensitive to this oil or unsure should perform a patch test before using it. There’s also no information available regarding the use of this oil in pregnant and breastfeeding women, so they should avoid it altogether.
Also, tilt your head backward when applying this oil to your scalp to avoid it getting into your eyes.
This article originally appeared on Wealth of Geeks.