In the last few years, there has been a lot of talk about rosemary oil for hair growth. When an herb gets a lot of attention, you often see some people show up who just want to sell you something. As a result, they may exaggerate or misrepresent the benefits of that herb. In an environment like that, rosemary oil for hair growth might, understandably, sound too good to be true and leave you asking yourself, what are the facts?
Luckily, when it comes to knowing the facts about rosemary oil for hair growth, we can pull from a lot of reputable sources. And that’s what I’m sharing in this episode, along with two DIY rosemary recipes for hair growth, including a rosemary water recipe plus an infused rosemary oil for hair growth recipe.
After listening in, you’ll know:
► What a randomized, double-blind human clinical trial demonstrated about rosemary for hair growth
► What to beware of when it comes to products for hair loss
► Whether rosemary water or rosemary oil is the better preparation for you – and why
► How to work with rosemary oil or rosemary water for hair loss – and how long it takes to know whether it’s working for you
► What else you can use rosemary oil for – and why you might want to
► What else to consider if hair loss is an issue for you – and what action you can take to identify and start addressing possible underlying causes
► and much more
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It’s easy to dismiss rosemary as a simple culinary herb to spice up your roasted potatoes, but when we ask, what are the facts about rosemary?, we can see that this is one heck of a powerful plant.
In fact, there is so much to share about rosemary that I am splitting this into two parts. In part one I am sharing the facts about rosemary for hair growth and in the second part I’m discussing rosemary’s many other plant benefits, especially how those related to addressing inflammation.
Rosemary is such a beloved plant! Do you have experience with rosemary plant benefits? I’d love to hear about it in the comments on YouTube or at the bottom of this page. Your comments mean a lot to me! I love cultivating a community of kind-hearted plant-loving folks! Plus, it’s always interesting and insightful to hear the experiences of plant lovers out there. Your suggestion may also help others!
Okay, let’s dive in…
Rosemary for hair growth might sound too good to be true so you might be asking yourself, what are the facts?
In herbal medicine there are many ways of knowing.
We can know things that have been passed down through traditional and historical use. People have been working with herbs in very clever ways for literally thousands of years!
We also have modern day use of herbs and can learn from our contemporary herbalists who have a lot of personal experience working with people and herbs.
And we can also learn from researchers who are studying herbs in varying capacities.
It’s important to note that none of these methods are infallible! While there’s a lot of wisdom in traditional and historical use of herbs, they didn’t always get it right.
There are a lot of brilliant contemporary herbalists who are incredibly knowledgeable about herbs; as you know, I’ve brought many to the podcast for guest episodes. But there are also people out there in the world who just want to sell you something so they exaggerate or misrepresent the benefits of an herb.
In regards to science, it’s important to keep in mind that researchers aren’t here to “prove” anything. That’s not how science works. Instead they simply start with a hypothesis, gather data, test their hypothesis, and then share their results. There are a lot of things that can negatively influence or misrepresent the results of a study. It could be personal bias, or monetary bias, or even simply, a poorly designed study.
When I share modern day research I do my best to be transparent about the relevancy of the study. For example I tell you if the study was done in-vitro, which means tested in a lab often involving petri dishes, or I tell you if the study was designed as a human clinical trial.
I do not share studies done on animals. I don’t think it’s within a human’s right to torture an animal to test a hypothesis like, “does rosemary promote hair growth”. There are better ways of knowing.
Luckily, when it comes to knowing the facts of rosemary for hair growth we can pull from a lot of sources. For example, a lot of herbalists report that they have seen rosemary oil and rosemary water support hair growth.
And we have also had a well designed human clinical trial that shares promising results regarding rosemary for hair growth.
This study was a randomized, double-blind study. It split 86 patients with hair loss into two groups. One group was given a blend of essential oils that included rosemary to rub into the scalp. The other group was given an oil without essential oils.
After seven weeks, almost half of the people in the essential oil group showed improvement in hair growth, while only 6 percent showed improvement in the control group.1
That’s some impressive results!
And, I want to point out some things about this study. The first is that half of the people who used rosemary for hair growth saw some return of hair growth. That doesn’t mean that 100% of people who try rosemary for hair growth will be successful. But, to me, it does mean that it’s worth trying.
This study also used essential oils. Essential oils have their place, but are not always the best way to work with rosemary for hair growth. In just a bit I’m sharing a potent recipe for infused rosemary oil that you can easily make at home. I’m also sharing a recipe for rosemary water for hair growth.
Lastly, I want to point out that the positive results of this study took seven weeks. In other words, don’t try rosemary once and then expect to wake up with Rapunzel-like hair the following day.
I know that hair loss can be very difficult emotionally and, unfortunately, there are people who will try to take advantage of that. Herbs can be powerful allies in helping your body to be able to grow hair again, but beware of anyone trying to sell you a miracle cure for hair loss.
Okay, let’s dive into these recipes.
The first recipe is rosemary water for hair growth. This is a super simple recipe that you can use daily in the shower.
But first, an important note: This rosemary water for hair growth recipe is best for people who have darker hair. Otherwise the rosemary can darken lighter hair.
To make this recipe, place 1/4 cup of dried rosemary leaves into a pint sized jar. Fill the jar with just-boiled hot water, cover, and let steep for 10 minutes. Strain and let it cool to a comfortable temperature. You can then pour this onto your hair while you’re in the shower or bath. You’ll want to do this after you’ve already washed and conditioned your hair. You could also try to create some type of set up where you soak your scalp in this rosemary water for up to twenty minutes. But that’s a bit difficult to do.
This rosemary water for hair growth only lasts about a day, so it needs to be made and then used up, daily.
Another similar option is to infuse dried rosemary into apple cider vinegar for 4 weeks. Then strain this and put it in a spray bottle. You can then spray your hair with this mixture, again preferably in the shower or bath when your hair is wet. Some people like to dilute the vinegar with 30% water.
Rosemary water for hair growth is a super simple and easy way to work with recipe. But it’s not my favorite way. Let’s look at the second recipe…
The following recipe is a potent remedy for rosemary for hair growth. This recipe uses rosemary as a whole herb, which is often the best way to use it. If desired you could also add essential oils to this mixture. Unlike the rosemary water for hair growth recipe I shared above, you don’t need to make this daily.
Making whole herb infused oils isn’t hard but there are a lot of tricks to it, so be sure to follow this recipe exactly.
To begin you want to be sure you have the best rosemary possible. I recommend using freshly dried rosemary that is still highly aromatic and retains the dark color of its leaves. This recipe also includes a bit of powdered cayenne pepper, another powerful stimulant for hair growth.
You’ll also need to choose your carrier oil. I recommend something light as well as shelf stable, such as jojoba oil, almond oil, or apricot kernel oil. Most people will find that olive oil is too heavy for this purpose.
For this recipe you’ll need
Here’s how to make rosemary oil for hair growth.
Place the rosemary, cayenne, and oil into a blender or food processor. Blend for 3-5 minutes. Pour out the mixture into a glass jar. You don’t want there to be a lot of excess space in this jar. Cover tightly with a lid. Label the jar and leave it in a cool dark place on your counter and shake often.
Let this sit for 4-6 weeks. Strain off when ready.
If desired you could add 15 drops of rosemary essential oil to each ounce (30 mL) of your infused oil.
Depending on which carrier oil you chose, this preparation will last about a year. Discard any oil that has gone rancid.
Now that you have your potent rosemary oil for hair growth, here’s how you can use it. At night, massage a bit of the oil into the area with hair loss. The idea is to gently massage some oil into your scalp. You don’t need to put this on your hair or put it on really thickly. The goal is to get a bit massaged specifically into your scalp.
You can then wear a silk sleep cap or put a towel over your pillow to avoid getting oil in your sheets. Wash your hands after massaging the oil in because the cayenne in this recipe can irritate your eyes or other sensitive mucous membranes. I recommend doing this 3-5 times a week for several months.
Making your own herbal remedies to address your health complaints is empowering! I love that you can reach for plants that can grow near you to help with hair loss!
I especially love infused herbal oils because there are soooo many uses for them! Take rosemary for example, while we know it can be supportive to hair growth, it’s also a wonderful herb to promote overall skin health. It’s been shown to help with skin that has been damaged by too much sun and even by pollution.
One of my favorite things to make with herbal infused oils is body butters. Body butters are a deeply nourishing and soothing preparation that can be both medicine for the skin as well as a rejuvenating self-care treatment.
To learn how you can transform a rosemary oil recipe into a body butter, you can check out my friend Kami McBride’s free training. She’ll show you exactly how to make an herbal body butter with great tips on how to increase the shelf life of your body butter.
Body butters make a fabulous gift, so this is especially perfect for the holidays coming up. This training is free but it’s only available for a short time, so check it out today.
If you enjoyed this video on rosemary plant benefits and you value trusted herbal information, then I hope you’ll stick around! The best way to get started is to subscribe on YouTube and your favorite podcast app.
One of the best ways to retain and fully understand something you’ve just learned is to share it in your own words. With that in mind I invite you to share your takeaways with me and the entire Herbs with Rosalee community. You can leave comments on my YouTube channel, at the bottom of this page, or simply hit reply to my Wednesday email. I read every comment that comes in and I’m excited to hear your herbal thoughts about rosemary for hair growth.
Okay, you’ve lasted to the very end of the show, which means you get a gold star and this herbal tidbit…
This episode was using rosemary topically to promote hair growth. As I pointed out, rosemary is often used like this and this use has been supported by at least one human clinical trial.
But there are also other ways to work with herbs for hair growth. While topical solutions are helpful, people often need to look inwards to understand what might be causing hair loss.
For example, nettle nourishing infusions can be a way to give your body key building blocks for hair growth. This remedy is rich in nutrients that are necessary for hair growth.
Working with an herbalist can also help you dive more deeply into reasons for hair loss which could include stress, thyroid issues, hormonal changes, etc. I no longer see clients but I have a list of fabulous practitioners on my website here.
Before I go I want to mention that rosemary has been a really popular herb on the show! If you’re ready to deep dive into even more rosemary then see my interviews with Felicia Cocotzin Ruiz, an indigenous foods activist, natural foods chef, and curandera; Christophe Bernard who is my good friend and a celebrated French herbalist; and Erika Galentin who is a brilliant herbal clinician. All of these episodes contain a lot of interesting information about rosemary and they all share creative rosemary recipes for your health.
Lastly, don’t forget to look for part two of this rosemary series where I dive deeper into the many rosemary health benefits, plus I share a delicious recipe for rosemary for inflammation.
Rosalee is an herbalist and author of the bestselling book Alchemy of Herbs: Transform Everyday Ingredients Into Foods & Remedies That Healand co-author of the bestselling book Wild Remedies: How to Forage Healing Foods and Craft Your Own Herbal Medicine. She's a registered herbalist with the American Herbalist Guild and has taught thousands of students through her online courses. Read about how Rosalee went from having a terminal illness to being a bestselling author in her full story here.