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Benefits of Rosemary Oil for Hair: Research, Growth and Side Effects.


Generally, it is okay to lose 50-100 hair from the scalp in a day. But the following symptoms indicate more severe and sustained hair loss. 

  • Gradual loss: thinning and loss of hair with progressing age 
  • Receding hairline
  • Male pattern baldness: M-shaped baldness (20-40 years of age)
  • Female pattern baldness
  • Circular or patchy baldness

What Are The Causes Of Hair Loss?

  • Change in hormone levels: thyroid disorders and women-specific events like pregnancy, breastfeeding, menopause, and can cause hair loss. 
  • Autoimmune conditions: these can cause Alopecia areata(patchy loss of hair)
  • Trichotillomania
  • Ringworm/ fungal disease of the scalp.
  • Cancer/ arthritis/ depression/ heart/ blood pressure medications 
  • Diet
  • Stress: It is proven by studies conducted on mice that persistent stress can cause early hair loss.
  • Genetic: Your genes also play an essential role in deciding how much hair you will lose throughout your life. Androgenetic alopecia can occur in both men(80%) and women. Genetic hair loss is strongly associated with AR and 63 other genes and runs in families. 

Why Are Millennials Losing Their Hair Faster?

This American Psychological Association research states that gen X and millennials have a higher stress level than their predecessors. They also report difficulty in coping with the levels of stress they experience.

The hair growth cycle has four phases:

  1. Anagen: growth phase of human scalp hair.
  2. Catagen: shrinking of the hair follicle, but the hair shaft is stable.
  3. Telogen: hair shaft is stable
  4. Exogen: hair falls out
  • Stress causes the hair follicle to enter the catagen or telogen phase much sooner. Other test studies on monkeys also indicated hair loss in people having high cortisol, which happens with high-stress levels.
  • The hair also bears the brunt of new fashions like perms, excess heat styling, dyeing and bleaching, which causes the weakening of the hair shaft. In addition, the chemicals in the hair dyes can cause the hair follicle to enter the exogen phase faster. 
  • The weight of hair extensions causes weakened hair roots
  • Traction alopecia is caused due to tight hairstyles done daily. It causes thinning of hair as well as weakened roots.
  • The growing trend of vegetarian/ vegan diets contributes to millennial hair loss due to severely reduced protein. In addition, zinc, vitamin D and other nutrient deficiencies also negatively impact hair growth.  

Is Hair Loss Reversible?

Yes, many types of temporary hair loss between the Norwood scale of 1-4 can be reversed. Also, a Hair transplant is the best option for stages 5-7.

Hair fall can only be treated by creating a customised solution for the specific type of hair fall the person has. People must address the root cause of their hair fall and treat it specifically to see lasting results.

You can know more about Norwood's hair loss stages here.

What Are Some Treatments For Hair Fall?

Significant hair fall requires consultation with a dermatologist/ hair expert.  

  • Hair massage: Use any suitable oil to increase blood circulation to the scalp.
  • Essential oils: Lavender or rosemary oil have proven successful for hair growth.
  • Hair-thinning shampoos. 
  • Healthy hair requires Iron, zinc and folic acid levels to be maintained. 
  • When hair loss is due to some inflammatory condition, omega fatty acids(plant-based oils/fish) may be required to help with hair loss. 
  • Minoxidil is the most widely used medication for hair loss. It has proven effective after consistent use for a minimum of 16 weeks.
  • Spironolactone is used to reverse hair thinning caused due to increased aldosterone in the body.
  • Finasteride is an oral medicine for hair loss
  • When autoimmune disorders cause hair thinning or patchy hair loss, corticosteroids are used topically/ injected into the scalp every four weeks to help fight inflammation.
  • Hair lasers: have been shown to help with hair growth. 

Is Rosemary Oil Effective For Hair?

Many recent studies have shown that rosemary oil is excellent for hair growth. It is also documented that it has been used in Mediterranean culture to promote hair growth for hundreds of years. But it may not be beneficial when hair fall is due to chemotherapy or other medications or when caused by hair pulling. 

Rosemary oil is a natural anti-inflammatory as it kills different types of bacteria and fungi, so rosemary oil can reduce hair loss related to an unhealthy scalp. Also, inhaling this oil decreases cortisol (stress) levels and can help treat hair loss associated with stress. The antioxidant properties of rosemary help increase the scalp's blood circulation and nourish the hair follicle. It also contains several vitamins and minerals to help hair growth.

If you have sensitive skin, Rosemary oil is found to be less irritating than medicated products. It also shows a free radical scavenging property.

What Makes Rosemary Oil A Good Source Of Antioxidants? 

As per a report, the antioxidant source of rosemary is the polyphenols present in the leaves. 

They mainly contain rosmarinic acid, carnosol and carnosic acid, which collect in the fat membranes of cells and help to bring about the antioxidant effect. 

In addition, there are 29 chemical compounds identified and studied in the rosemary essential oil, like 1,8-cineole (43.77%), camphor (12.53%), and α-pinene (11.51%), which also exhibit antioxidant properties.

Is Rosemary Oil Treatment Proven? 

What Are The Side Effects Of Rosemary Oil Treatment?

Rosemary oil is very safe to apply topically. Skin irritation may occur for some people, so a patch test is necessary before using it. 

Which Vitamins, Minerals, and Antioxidants Do Rosemary Oil Contain?

Rosemary essential oil is rich in anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory antioxidants like rosmarinic acid, which has anti-cancer properties. It also contains small quantities of vitamins A, C, B6, and folate. The minerals in rosemary oil are calcium, IronIron, magnesium, and manganese.

The antioxidant properties of rosemary oil are due to its significant diterpenes, carnosol, and carnosic acid.  


Q1 - Should I Apply Rosemary Oil Directly To My Hair?

The target area for rosemary oil is the scalp, and it is more beneficial if applied to the hair roots rather than the hair shaft. Therefore, please do not apply it to the hair but massage it into the hair follicles on the scalp. 

Q2 - How Do You Use Rosemary Oil For Hair?

Essential oils are potent for direct use, so mixing them with base oil is recommended. 

You need to mix 4-5 drops of rosemary oil with a base oil like coconut or jojoba oil. Massage this into the scalp after cleaning your hair and leave it overnight. If you plan to rinse out the oil, you should wait 10 -15 minutes before doing so.

You can also use it by adding two drops to your shampoos, conditioners, hair serum and lotions. You can use rosemary concentrate to apply to the scalp directly.

Q3 - What Happens If You Apply Rosemary Oil Directly To The Scalp?

Rosemary oil is a skin irritant in larger/undiluted quantities. Therefore, it is advisable not to exceed 5 to 6 drops of rosemary oil in one ounce of the base oil. 

Q4 - How Often Should I Put Rosemary Oil In My Hair For Growth?

Research data and studies suggest that people reported hair gain of up to 40 to 45% when applied twice a day for three months. Massaging it once every night has also been shown to reduce hair loss significantly. 



Zahra Lokhandwala

Hair Coach

Zahra is the hair coach-in-chief at Traya. She works closely with the doctors to monitor all cases. She is a fitness freak and has not touched sugar in years!

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