TikTok is abuzz with talk of rosemary hair oil as the panacea for all of our hair woes. Hundreds of women claim that it can regrow the hairs along your hairline, thicken your hair and give you long locks in no time. It certainly sounds too good to be true, but scientific research suggests that these TikTokkers are onto something.

After all, using rosemary for hair health (and beyond) can be traced all the way back to the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. It’s been shown to reduce dandruff, mitigate hair loss, encourage hair growth, and give you nourished, thick tresses, to name a few benefits. While we won’t judge you if you’d rather buy a premade rosemary oil, hear us out on how insanely easy and cheap it is to make one right at home – you just need oil, dried rosemary and a pot of hot water. Let’s get into why you may want to add rosemary oil into your hair care routine and exactly how to DIY one. 

Hair Benefits:

Stimulates follicle circulation for longer, thicker hair. When your hair follicles don’t get enough blood directed to them, the growth phase of your hair cycle can get cut short. 

Soothes and reduces scalp inflammation, thanks to the high antioxidant content. Rosemary contains carnosic acid, rosmarinic acid, ursolic acid, caffeic acid, oleanolic acid, micromeric acid and betulinic acid, all of which reduce the inflammation and irritation caused by damaging free radicals. Bonus: these antioxidants may be able to help with premature graying which is often caused by oxidative damage. 

Fights bacteria and fungus to keep dandruff and other scalp infections at bay. Dandruff is caused by the fungus Malassezia (Pityrosporum) and the antimicrobial properties of the essential oils in rosemary are incredible at inhibiting the growth of this species (1). 

Nourishes and strengthens each strand of hair with its high fat content. Castor oil contains isoricinoleic acid, ricinoleic, dihydroxy-stearic acid, stearic acid, eicosanoic acid, linolenic acid, palmitic, and linolenic acid. Ricinoleic acid moisturizes your hair while the fatty acids penetrate your hair shaft to nourish the follicle. Olive oil contains arachin, linolein, palmitin and olein. These fats act as a seal to your hair cuticle, trapping moisture inside (5). 

Reduces shedding in people with androgenetic alopecia (aka male pattern baldness). A randomized trial compared rosemary oil to a common hair growth medication called minoxidil 2%, aka Rogaine. The researchers found that both groups saw an equally significant increase in their hair growth just after 6 months AND the rosemary oil prevented hair loss, which the conventional treatment did not do. (2)

Inhibits dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the male sex hormone that causes hair loss. This particular hormone is produced by testosterone and attacks your hair follicles which ultimately causes permanent hair loss. Research suggests that rosemary blocks DHT from binding to the hormone receptors that allow DHT to damage your follicles (3). 

Encourages hair growth by healing nerve damage and improving cellular turnover. Carnosic acid in rosemary stimulates blood flow and the shedding of old or damaged skin cells which allows for younger, healthier skin cells to grow (4). This is critical for healthy hair growth!

What You’ll Need to Make A Rosemary Scalp Oil:

  • ¼ cup castor oil
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup dried rosemary
  • 2 tsp high-proof alcohol (optional)
  • 2 mason jars
  • Cheesecloth or muslin
  • Dropper bottle 
  • Blender

The Method:

  1. Pulse dried rosemary in a blender until it’s a fine powder 
  2. Add the blended rosemary to a mason jar with the alcohol (optional)
  3. Top the jar off with both of the oils and cap it with the lid
  4. Set up your double boiler or make one by placing a bowl of water in a saucepan of simmering water
  5. Set the jar of oil and herbs in the smaller bowl of water, ensuring the water level covers most of the oil 
  6. Let this simmer for up to 6 hours, giving the jar a good shake every now and then
  7. Strain the infused oil into a clean jar using cheesecloth or muslin
  8. Use a funnel to carefully pour the oil into a dropper bottle
  9. Label your bottle (always add the date you made it!) and set it on a cool, dark shelf for when you’re ready to use.

Best practices: 

On a hair wash day: massage the oil into your hair and let it sit until you’re ready to take a shower. Your hair will be so nourished and smooth!

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