Rosemary oil has a reputation for stimulating hair growth and has been used for centuries by many cultures for this very purpose. Some claim that rosemary oil is incapable of stimulating hair growth, yet many continue to use rosemary oil in an attempt to prevent baldness and hair loss.
Rosemary oil is distilled from the leaves of the herb rosemary; it has a minty-balsamic aroma that is pleasing to most people. Rosemary is related to lavender, sage, peppermint, hyssop and many other plants. Julia Lawless, in her book “The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils,” lists some of rosemary oil's properties as stimulanting, a tonic, restorative, antiseptic, carminative, digestive, analgesic, antioxidant, antimicrobial and astringent.
History of Use for Hair Care
People of the Mediterranean countries, such as France, Spain and Italy, have been using rosemary for centuries for hair care; they often use rosemary in a hair rinse to condition the hair. In addition, many people believe that rosemary oil is capable of stimulating hair growth, due to the properties rosemary possesses.
How Rosemary Oil Stimulates Hair Growth
Patrica Davis, in her book, “Aromatherapy: An A-Z,” debunks the use of rosemary oil for hair growth as a “myth”; however, Valerie Ann Worwood, in her book, “The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy,” recommends the use of rosemary oil for hair growth. According to Worwood, rosemary oil stimulates cell division and dilates blood vessels and, in turn, stimulates hair follicles into producing new hair growth. Rosemary oil is not the only essential oil credited with stimulating hair growth.
How to Use
To use rosemary oil in hair care, add rosemary oil to shampoos, hair conditioners, rinses, oils and lotions. Rosemary oil can be used in these mediums to wash and condition hair, or rubbed into the scalp on a regular basis to stimulate hair growth. Combine rosemary oil with other beneficial essential oils such as tea tree to treat other scalp problems, or replace with other hair-growth stimulants such as cypress, lemon, geranium or sage essential oils, Worwood recommends.
Do not use rosemary oil during pregnancy or if you suffer from epilepsy or high blood pressure. These conditions aside, rosemary oil is generally considered non-sensitizing and non-toxic. Always dilute rosemary oil in a carrier base, such as shampoo, hair conditioner, base oil or lotion before using. If necessary, consult a qualified aromatherapist or other qualified individual for further advice on the use of rosemary oil for hair growth.
- "Aromatherapy: An A-Z"; Patricia Davis;1999
- "Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils"; Julia Lawless; 1995
- The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy; Valerie Ann Worwood; 1991
Sharon Falsetto is a certified aromatherapist who founded her own aromatherapy practice in Arizona in 2007. She has been writing professionally since 2008 and has been published in a variety of professional journals and e-zines. Falsetto is the Arizona regional director for the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy and she has a degree in business from the U.K.