- There are many different products on the market geared toward treating hair loss.
- Rosemary oil has been gaining popularity as an effective hair-growth treatment.
- One editor tested rosemary essential oil for hair loss. See her results below.
My hair has started thinning as I’ve gotten older, and it feels like year after year, it only seems to get worse. I’ve tested quite a few different products that have promised to make my hair grow faster or even promised to stop shedding and hair loss altogether. As you can probably imagine, most of the products I’ve tried never work instantly, and it takes at least a few weeks of testing to see results, if there are any results at all.
Whenever I test out a hair-loss product, I usually measure whether it’s working by a few key things. The first thing I always check is how much shedding I experience overnight. If I wake up and there are more than five strands of hair on my pillow, I know whatever I’ve been trying definitely hasn’t been working.
The second thing I always check is how much I shed when I wash my hair. After shampooing, I usually comb through my hair with conditioner, gather all of the hair I’ve shed into a clump, then set it on my bathroom floor to discard later. If I’m feeling especially scientific, I sometimes snap a photo just so I can compare what it looks like at the time to what it looks like later on down the road. If the cluster looks huge, I know I’m shedding a lot, but if it looks fairly small, there’s usually a pretty good chance whatever I’m using on my hair is working.
When researching ways to prevent hair loss and hair shedding and even stimulate hair growth, I kept coming across a natural remedy that people swore by: rosemary essential oil. If you’ve never found yourself using rosemary oil, you’ve probably at least seen or smelled rosemary at some point in your life. The herb itself has a distinct charred wood scent that smells a little bit like pepper, and it’s most often used for cooking. However, when it comes to the beauty community, rosemary oil is known for its ability to stimulate hair growth.
“Rosemary oil improves blood circulation to the scalp and destroys bacteria that clog hair follicles,” Gaby Longsworth, Ph.D., scientist, certified hair practitioner, and founder of Absolutely Everything Curly, previously told POPSUGAR. “It also relaxes smooth muscles, which could improve blood flow in vessels in the scalp and hair follicles.” This process could help prevent hair follicles from being starved of blood supply and potentially dying off, which is what leads to hair loss.
In addition, a study done in 2015 found that when rosemary essential oil was used on male and female patients with alopecia (an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss), the essential oil was found to be as effective as minoxidil, the main ingredient in Rogaine. The same study also found that rosemary oil helped with itchy scalps, which is an issue I’ve had since I was younger.
After seeing all the research and testimonials from people who had used the essential oil with positive results, I decided to give it a try for myself. I purchased a bottle of Amazon’s 365 Whole Foods Market Rosemary Essential Oil ($13).
When researching how best to apply rosemary oil to hair, I found that most people added it either into their shampoo or a carrier oil, like almond oil or coconut oil. Since I don’t wash my hair every day and I wanted to use the essential oil daily, I opted to add it into almond oil and apply it like scalp and hair oil.
The first time I used it, I wanted to make sure the oil agreed with my skin, so I did a patch test behind my ear. After 24 hours had passed and I didn’t notice any issues like redness or swelling, I knew it was OK to apply it throughout my scalp.
I mixed two to four drops of rosemary oil with five drops of Amazon’s Pure Body Naturals Almond Oil ($9). From there, I massaged the oil mix into my scalp for roughly one to two minutes, making sure to evenly disperse the oil along my scalp. If I had any extra oil left over, I rubbed it over my hands like a hand lotion and then combed my fingers through my hair. I immediately noticed that although it felt hydrating on my head, it did leave my scalp feeling a tiny bit greasy.
In addition to oiling my scalp and hair every day, I also make sure to be extra gentle with my hair. I sleep on this Zimasilk Silk Pillowcase ($29) from Amazon, and I also use these Slip Silk Skinny Scrunchies Hair Ties ($39) whenever I put my hair up.
I’ve continued this ritual for almost a month, and after just a few weeks, I began to notice a difference. I wasn’t shedding as much, and my scalp also felt more hydrated and less itchy than usual. My hair is also color-treated, and I didn’t notice any issues when using this product on color-treated hair.
As for the cons, I found that using this oil could be a bit messy. My hair is pretty fine, and I did feel like using large amounts of this oil weighed my hair down if I used too much. I don’t think I’d suggest using this every day for those with thin, fine hair, but if you wash your hair every day or you have thick hair, you should be OK. In the future, I’ll probably purchase a rosemary oil made specifically for hair, like this Allpa Botanicals Rosemary Hair Oil ($27).
Overall, I’m going to continue using rosemary essential oil in my hair-care routine, because I’ve already noticed a difference in a short amount of time, and I’m hoping to see even more results in the future.
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Renee Rodriguez