Known as Rosmarinus officinalis, rosemary is an evergreen shrub that grows in the Mediterranean natively. The rosemary plant belongs to the same family as mint and lavender. People use the herb in cooking and health and beauty products.
One of the best uses for rosemary is as a restorative hair treatment. Many people use rosemary oil for healthy hair due to its antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. But did you know that rosemary oil invigorates and stimulates hair follicles?
What is Rosemary Oil?
Rosemary oil contains p-cymene, a compound with anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects. More active ingredients in rosemary oil include:
- Linalool and gamma-terpinene
Linalool is particularly effective in fighting oxidative stress that can lead to hair damage. Gamma-terpinene is one of the components that gives rosemary oil its antimicrobial effects. Together, the ingredients in rosemary oil combine to promote hair growth and fight fungal infections that can affect your hair and scalp.
What is rosemary oil made of?
To create rosemary oil, manufacturers gather the flowering tops and leaves of the rosemary plant. After collecting the rosemary, they generate the oil through steam distillation. The distillation process results in an essential oil that contains a contracted amount of essential rosemary extracts.
Cinnamon for Hair: The Benefits
Some people like to mix rosemary and cinnamon oil for hair health. Studies suggest that cinnamon may stimulate hair growth, reduce excess hair loss, and treat dandruff. It has antimicrobial properties, and it’s full of antioxidants.
In a 2018 animal study, cinnamon oil significantly increased hair length. The study found that rosemary is as effective as 2% topical minoxidil in promoting hair growth. Researchers believe that cinnamaldehyde, cinnamon’s main component, is responsible for this benefit. Cinnamaldehyde stimulates circulation and improves blood flow to the hair follicles to support growth.
In the same 2018 study, researchers investigated the effects of cinnamon oil on excess hair loss in older adults. Blood carries the necessary nutrients for healthy hair, and insufficient blood flow to the hair follicles can contribute to hair loss. The study authors found that cinnamaldehyde could cut hair loss by enhancing circulation.
As an antimicrobial compound, cinnamon can help treat fungal infections, including dandruff. In a 2013 study, scientists reported that cinnamon bark extracts successfully destroyed Malassezia, a fungus that creates dandruff.
The antioxidants in cinnamon can help protect the body from damage caused by oxidative stress. Also, antioxidants fight inflammation, and they’re particularly beneficial in combating stress-related disorders, many of which can contribute to hair damage and loss.
The Science Behind Rosemary Oil
In recent years, research on rosemary oil and hair health has increased. Several studies highlight this herb’s nourishing properties for human and animal hair.
Is rosemary oil good for my hair?
Yes, rosemary oil enhances your hair health. Like cinnamon, research shows that rosemary oil is as effective as minoxidil for certain types of hair loss, including DHT-related hair loss.
A randomized, controlled trial found that applying a blend of rosemary oil, thyme, lavender, and cedarwood to the scalp each day resulted in significant hair regrowth. A 2015 study also supports rosemary as an androgenetic alopecia treatment.
Research suggests that rosemary oil is effective in reducing inflammation and destroying bacteria. Fungal and bacterial inflammation are two of the primary causes of hair thinning due to dandruff.
How Should I Use Rosemary Oil for My Hair?
If you plan to use rosemary oil for your hair, dilute it before use. Add two drops of rosemary oil to grapeseed oil, coconut oil, or another carrier oil. When applying the oil, keep it out of your eyes. You can leave it on your scalp overnight.
You can make rosemary shampoo to boost your hair health. You’ll need to mix 10 to 12 drops of rosemary oil into your favorite shampoo. Then, use your shampoo as usual. Rosemary oil works well when added to conditioners and hair masks or serums. You can use your homemade rosemary products daily.
Side Effects of Using Rosemary Oil on Hair
Although rosemary oil is generally considered safe when applied to the scalp, it can cause vomiting and stomach irritation if you accidentally swallow it. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, don’t use rosemary oil unless approved by your doctor.
Creating Your Self-Care Plan for Healthy Hair
As you incorporate rosemary and cinnamon oils into your self-care routine for healthy hair, consider using Miss Careful ear covers as an additional layer of self-care. Our ear covers keep your ears safe from the heat of curling irons, hair straighteners, and other heated tools you may use during your styling process.