Is Rosemary Oil Good For Hair? How To Use It?

Medically Reviewed By Dr. Shruti Chavan , MBBS, Dermatologist, Dermatologist
Written by Anjali Sayee

Rosemary oil is native to the Mediterranean region. You may be aware of its use in food or medicines. But did you know the oil may promote hair growth as well?

Various claims in recent times support the oil’s use to improve hair and scalp health. But what does the research say? How can you use the oil to attain its benefits? We answer all these questions in this article. Keep reading to know more about the benefits of rosemary for hair.

Can Rosemary Oil Treat Hair Loss?

Most of the hair-boosting benefits of rosemary oil are based on anecdotal evidence. Claims do show that the oil may treat hair loss.

  • Rosemary oil helps stimulate blood circulation to the scalp. This, in turn, can promote hair growth.
  • Rosemary oil has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties (1), (2). These may help soothe the scalp.
  • Rosemary oil exhibits antifungal properties against Malassezia furfur, fungi that cause dandruff (3).
  • The oil from the herb may cleanse the hair follicles and scalp. This could reduce the risk of dandruff and hair fall.
  • The oil may also repair hair damage.

More research is warranted to understand the beneficial effects of rosemary oil on hair. However, some studies that were conducted did show favorable results.

Rosemary Oil For Hair – What Research Says

A study found that rosemary oil could help in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia. The study compared the effects of rosemary oil to minoxidil, a medication used for hair loss. The results showed that rosemary oil was as effective as 2% minoxidil in controlling hair loss (4).

In another study, topical application of rosemary extract could stimulate hair growth in mice (5). In this case, the hair loss was initially induced by testosterone treatment.

Aromatherapy with rosemary oil (and other essential oils) was also found to improve alopecia areata in patients (6). The patients who massaged the essential oil mixture (including rosemary oil) into their scalp daily showed better hair regrowth.

Using rosemary oil for hair growth is simple. In the following section, we have listed a couple of recipes that can help you.

How To Use Rosemary Oil For Hair Growth

1. Rosemary Hot Oil Treatment

Hot oil treatment can be a great way to deep condition your hair. The process is efficient and requires minimal ingredients. The treatment can also help tackle dry, damaged hair while improving scalp health.

You Will Need

  • 2 to 4 drops of rosemary essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons of carrier oil (coconut, olive, or almond oils)
  • Hot towel or shower cap
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner

What You Have To Do

  1. Mix the rosemary oil and the carrier oil of your choice. Heat the mixture until it is warm. Ensure you do not heat the oils in a microwave oven (to avoid nutrient loss).
  2. Section your hair and massage the oil into your scalp for about 10 minutes.
  3. Work the oil along the length of your hair until the roots and tips are well covered.
  4. Wrap a hot towel (use a blow dryer to heat your towel) around your oiled hair. Alternatively, you can cover it with a shower cap.
  5. Keep the towel wrapped around your head for about 30 minutes before washing the oil out. The warm environment will allow maximum penetration and absorption of nutrients.
  6. Rinse the oils out of your hair with your regular shampoo. If you have oily hair, you can skip conditioning.
  7. End the wash with a cool water rinse to seal your cuticles.

How Often You Should Do This

You can treat your hair to a hot oil treatment up to 2 times a week.

Note: Do not overheat the oil as it may burn your scalp. Overheating the oil may also reduce its nutrients. You may use this recipe even if your hair is greasy.

2. Rosemary Leave-in Conditioner

Rosemary promotes hair growth in ways similar to minoxidil, a medication for hair growth (4). Using it as a leave-in conditioner may leave the hair feeling glossy and soft. It may also treat itchy or dandruff-ridden scalp.

You Will Need

  • 1 tablespoon of rosemary leaves/15 drops of rosemary essential oil
  • 1 cup of water
  • Tea infuser
  • Spray bottle

What You Have To Do

  1. Measure a cup of water and boil it.
  2. Add about 15 drops of rosemary essential oil to the boiled water. Alternatively, you can steep the dried rosemary leaves in the boiled water using a tea infuser for 10 minutes.
  3. The essential oil and water mixture will carry no color, while the steeped rosemary tea will be pale green.
  4. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle.
  5. Wash your hair and spray it with the rosemary-infused water while your hair is still damp. Ensure that you cover most of your hair and scalp.
  6. Let your hair air dry.

How Often You Should Do This

You can use this leave-in treatment every time you wash your hair or in between washes to freshen your hair.

Note: Use this treatment with caution if you have high blood pressure or are pregnant. Anecdotal evidence suggests that rosemary oil may have adverse effects on pregnant women or those with high blood pressure levels. However, direct research is lacking in this aspect.

3. Rosemary Water (Rosemary Hair Rinse)

Rosemary hair rinse may make your hair shiny and manageable. It may stimulate the scalp and prevent hair loss.

You Will Need

  • 1 tablespoon of dried rosemary leaves
  • 1 cup of water

What You Have To Do

  1. Boil the water and add the rosemary leaves to it.
  2. Let the mixture boil for 15 minutes.
  3. Strain the liquid and set it aside to cool.
  4. Wash and condition your hair as usual and then pour the rosemary-infused water through your hair as a final rinse.
  5. Massage your scalp for a couple of minutes after pouring the rinse through your hair.

How Often You Should Do This

Use this rinse once a week.

Note: Ensure the rosemary water has completely cooled before you pour it through your hair. Water too hot can open up the cuticles and lead to moisture loss.

4. Rosemary Shampoo

Using rosemary as shampoo may promote hair growth.

You Will Need

  • A rosemary shampoo bar
  • 1 tablespoon of dried rosemary
  • 3 cups of water

What You Have To Do

  1. Grate the shampoo bar and add it to a saucepan with the water and dried rosemary.
  2. Heat the shampoo water on a low setting until the shampoo bar has completely dissolved.
  3. Let the mixture cool. Transfer it into a shampoo dispenser.
  4. Use it as your regular shampoo.

How Often You Should Do This

Use this shampoo no more than 3 times a week.

Note: Use the shampoo for longer than a week to allow your hair to get adapted to it. Your hair may look greasier in the first week.

5. Rosemary Vinegar

Hair growth could sometimes slow down due to the build-up of dirt or product residue. This build-up may clog your follicles and form deposits on your hair shaft. Using a rosemary vinegar rinse can help solve this issue.

You Will Need

  • 1 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 3 to 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 2 cups of water

What You Have To Do

  1. Crush the sprigs of fresh rosemary and soak themin the apple cider vinegar. Store in a cool and dark place for about 4 weeks.
  2. After 4 weeks, mix 4 tablespoons of this rosemary vinegar with 2 cups of water.
  3. Use this mixture as a final rinse after you shampoo and condition your hair.

How Often You Should Do This

Use this rinse once a month in addition to other rosemary treatments.

Note: Do not use the rosemary vinegar in excess. This is especially important if you have dry hair. An excess of the vinegar can dehydrate your hair.

Rosemary oil seems to benefit hair in a number of ways. However, the oil comes with its own set of adverse effects. While these effects are only based on anecdotal evidence, they must still be considered.

Side Effects Of Rosemary Oil For Hair

  • Avoid getting rosemary essential oil into your eyes. If contact does happen, rinse your eyes immediately with cold water. The oil may cause eye irritation in some.
  • Applying too much rosemary oil to your scalp may cause irritation. Using a carrier oil along with rosemary oil may help prevent this.
  • No study particularly states that rosemary oil is safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women. Hence, avoid the oil altogether. The same applies to individuals with high blood pressure levels. 

How Long Does Rosemary Oil Take To Boost Hair Growth

The effects of rosemary oil on hair growth may be seen in a month. Regular use of the oil may boost hair growth rate and hair volume. Remember not to switch between too many ingredients. Everyone’s hair is different. Hence, use in your treatments the ingredients that suit you the best (and those you are not allergic to).


While certain hair benefits of rosemary oil are backed by science, most are only anecdotal. But this does not have to keep you from using it. You may try the oil the right way and observe your hair growth over a period. But should you experience any adverse effects, make sure to visit your doctor.


Stylecraze has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

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Dr. Shruti Chavan

( MBBS, Dermatologist)
Dr. Shruti Chavan is a consulting dermatologist at Dr.Sheth's Skin and Hair Clinic since 6 years. She is a co-committee... more