Does Rosemary Extract Really Work Wonders For Hair? We Investigate


If you’ve seen videos online of rosemary oils being used for hair growth and to reduce hair thinning and wondered if it really works, well, we have wondered the same. So, we set out to find out more. This popular herb that’s been trending is not merely being used to lift the flavour of a variety of delectable dishes, but is often used in aromatherapy and haircare as well.

Rosemary oil, or extract, is believed to have a number of benefits for hair, including controlling hair loss, stimulating hair growth, preventing dandruff, soothing an itchy scalp as well as adding shine and volume to hair.

Rosemary Oil & Hair Loss


We spoke to Dr Sravya C Tipirneni, Consultant Dermatologist, Cosmetologist & Trichologist at Manipal Hospitals Bangalore, who says, “Rosemary has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for hair loss and scalp problems. It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and can also help to improve circulation to the scalp, which can promote hair growth.” She shares that the element in rosemary that is responsible for boosting hair growth is carnosic acid. “Carnosic acid is a powerful antioxidant that helps to protect the hair follicles from damage. It also helps to increase blood flow to the scalp, which can promote hair growth.”

Dr Kiran Sethi, MD Skin & Aesthetic Specialist, Founder of Isya Aesthetics and Author of Skin Sense, shares thatrosemary was in fact, studied in comparison to minoxidil. “Minoxidil is the gold standard of hair growth, and it’s a topical application that increases blood flow to the scalp. You have to be on it for a long time, but when you come off of it, you can have hair fall. So, people always want an option and alternative to minoxidil.” This is where the herb comes into the picture.

Dr Kiran points out that the actual study was not plain rosemary, but a specific extract of the herb and it was in a small study, that’s not been reproduced. “So typically, when we do clinical studies, if you do a small study, it can be an outlier. We always want to reproduce it with larger people amounts to know for sure that it actually is accurate. This hasn’t happened yet.

However, for people that are sensitive to minoxidil or can’t tolerate it, this particular extract and this amount of it can be a benefit.”


But why is it becoming so popular now? “Rosemary is becoming increasingly popular as a natural remedy for hair loss and scalp problems. This is due to the fact that the herb has been shown to be effective in stimulating hair growth and improving scalp health. Additionally, it is a natural remedy that does not have any known side effects,” points out Dr Sravya.

Dr Kiran thinks the rosemary hair products available in the market today are pointless and mainly a marketing gimmick, because you’re not getting the exact amount of that specific rosemary extract. Dr. Sravya, on the other hand, feels that rosemary haircare products can be a good way to get its benefits for hair growth. “However, it is important to choose a product that is made with high-quality ingredients,” she cautions.

Rosemary in DIY haircare


There’s hundreds of videos and reels online that show rosemary being used in DIY hair oils. So, we quizzed Dr Sravya on the same. “There are a few ways to use rosemary in DIY form at home to promote hair growth,” she says, sharing that one way is to make a rosemary oil hair mask. To do this, mix ten drops of rosemary oil with one tablespoon of carrier oil such as olive oil or jojoba oil. Apply the mixture to your scalp and hair, and leave it on for 30 minutes. Rinse it out with warm water.

Another way to use rosemary for hair growth is to make a rosemary tea rinse. To do this, steep two tablespoons of dried rosemary leaves in one cup of boiling water for ten minutes. Strain the tea, and let it cool. Apply the tea to your scalp and hair, and leave it on for ten minutes. Rinse it out with warm water.

Can’t be bothered with DIY? Here are some existing rosemary haircare products you can try…

Kiehl’s Magic Elixir Hair Restructuring Concentrate With Rosemary Leaf And Avocado Oil

A lightweight pre-shampoo conditioning hair treatment, this is made with rosemary leaf oil, avocado oil, and safflower seed oil. Rosemary leaf oil contains several acids such as amino acids, caffeic acid, rosemary acid and apigenin, and is known for its stimulating, refreshing properties. The lightweight elixir smooths and conditions hair for improved manageability and helps stimulate the scalp.

Aveda Rosemary Mint Shampoo


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Formulated with micelles and white vinegar, this 97% naturally derived purifying shampoo gently clarifies hair, while an invigorating aroma with certified organic rosemary, peppermint and spearmint awakens the senses and leaves hair feeling squeaky clean and shiny. The micelles gently remove product build-up and other impurities without disrupting the natural balance of scalp & hair.

O3+ Damage Remedy Shampoo


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An anti-breakage and anti-hair fall shampoo, this strengthens the hair and is restorative and repairing in nature. It combines a mixture of oats, pea, rosemary, argan oil and organic leaves along with potent actives to give you healthy, lustrous hair.

St. Botanica Anti-Dandruff Pre-Biotic Scalp Serum

Infused with the power of prebiotics and active ingredients such as rosemary oil, Canadian rosebay, hyaluronic acid & pentavitin, this serum helps balance the scalp microbiome, clarify the scalp and leave it feeling healthy, hydrated and itch-free. It is a dermatologically tested formulation and is free from sulphates, parabens & silicones.

Neal’s Yard Remedies Rosemary & Cedarwood Hair Treatment

This intense conditioning hair treatment consists of a nourishing blend of organic coconut oil with the essential oils of organic rosemary, cedar wood, and lavender. Suited to all hair types, it can be used either as a pre-wash conditioner, or as an overnight treatment for deep conditioning, making it ideal to use on lacklustre or coloured hair as it helps restore shine, body, and vitality.

Blossom Kochhar Aroma Magic Stimulate Oil

A blend of jojoba oil and essential oils of eucalyptus, chamomile, and rosemary, this hair oil is curated to help curb hair thinning and hair fall, by stimulating hair roots & increasing blood circulation. It also helps boost shine and growth.

The jojoba oil in it moisturises the scalp and protects the hair from dryness and breakage, while rosemary essential oil improves cellular generation.

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