Rosemary oil. Probably THE most talked about treatment for hair loss on the internet. I bet you've seen this all over TikTok, instagram and in all your google searches. It seems that just about everyone has tried it. But, has it worked for everyone?
Let's talk through everything you need to know about using rosemary oil to regrow your hair.
What is Rosemary Oil?
Rosemary oil is oil which is extracted from the rosemary plant (scientific name: rosmarinus officinalis L.). Rosemary oil has traditionally been used as aroma therapy to help treat a range of issues and promote good health. Real rosemary oil is 100% natural which may be why it's a popular choice for women with hair loss.
Is Rosemary Oil Scientifically Proven to Grow Back Hair?
In 2015, the whole hair loss world went crazy. A study was released by a team of Iranian researchers. They conducted research on the effectiveness of rosemary oil vs minoxidil 2% (minoxidil is one of the most prominent forms of medication used to treat hair loss). The study included 100 male participants with androgenic alopecia. Half of them used rosemary oil and half of them used minoxidil over a 6 month period.
What did they find? Rosemary oil was just as effective as regrowing hair as minoxidil.
This was the first study of its kind. Previously, rosemary oil had only ever been tested on mice. Now there was evidence that rosemary oil was an effective treatment for growing back hair. It was crazy! Many people with hair loss were so excited at the fact they could switch from using minoxidil (which often comes with a host of side effects) to a more natural option and see the same results.
As soon as people saw the headline 'Study Proves Rosemary Oil Grows Your Hair Back', they jumped on it. But, when you take a closer look at this study, everything isn't how it seems...
Take a look at the table below. This includes the results from the 2015 study. The graph shows the average hair count of participants in each group at the beginning of the study, 3 months in and 6 months in. Notice that all those bars look pretty much the same?
Although participants did experience hair growth, the results were quite insignificant. In fact, on average participants only experienced a 5% difference in hair count.
Another thing to consider about this study is that there was no control group (i.e. there was no group in this trial who weren't using minoxidil OR rosemary oil). This means that the study is missing something super important- seasonality.
Did you know that you hair gets thicker and thinner with the seasons? It's an evolutionary thing. In winter our hair gets thicker to keep us warm and in summer it thins out to keep us cool. Since there was no control group in this study, we have no way of knowing whether that 5% difference was due to the treatments or due to regular hair growth and loss cycles.
However, that's not to say that rosemary oil is absolute rubbish for your hair and scalp health. Not at all. Rosemary oil has been proven to have anti-inflammatory properities and if your hair loss is due to inflamation, rosemary oil could help. Rosemary oil can also help to nourish and moisturise your hair, helping it to feel super soft and silky.
So, is rosemary oil scientifically proven to cure your hair loss? Unfortunately, not really. Could it help a little bit? Maybe.
Is Rosemary Oil Safe to Use?
Generally speaking, rosemary oil is safe to use on your scalp. However, some people may find they are allergic to rosemary and this could possibly cause irritation.
Also, rosemary oil in it's pure form is too strong for most scalp/hair types. It's best to dillute it before using.
How Much Does Rosemary Oil Cost?
Rosemary oil is generally between $20AUD-$40AUD.
How Should You Use Rosemary Oil for Hair Growth
The best way to apply rosemary oil is to mix a small amount with a leave-in conditioner treatment.
Kim is no stranger to rosemary oil (and peppermint oil, black seed oil, etc.). In fact she used them for years. And like most androgenic alopecia girls, the results weren't very impressive. Nowadays Kim is more inclined to use rosemary oil as a calming essential oil which promotes focus 😂