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TikTok loves this hack for hair growth — and it actually works

The ingredient is expert-approved.
Prostock-Studio / Getty Images

If you've noticed that your hair hasn't been looking quite as full and voluminous as it once was, you're not alone. According to the Cleveland Clinic, it's estimated that more than 50 percent of women will experience noticeable hair loss — and there are so many reasons why it can happen. Everything from hormones to diet and stress can affect the appearance and quantity of your hair.

While there are plenty of great products on the market that can help you get thicker and healthier locks, some come with a high price tag and a risk of skin irritation. But, there is a more natural and affordable option that may do the trick.

One dermatologist went viral on TikTok in July of last year after he posted a video saying that rosemary oil could be as effective as Rogaine. As evidence, he cited a 2015 study that showed that the essential oil had the same effect on growth as minoxidil (the generic version of the treatment) and it was less likely to cause scalp itching. Since then, many other users have posted their own success stories on the app — and videos featuring the #rosemaryoil tag have garnered nearly 125 million views.

So we tapped Dr. Michelle Henry, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, to get all the details.

Does rosemary oil help with hair growth?

While there are a few essential oils that can help to stimulate hair growth, Henry said that rosemary oil tends to be a top choice. "Rosemary oil is equivalent to 2.5 percent minoxidil, which is pretty impressive," she said. "It's something that we can use during pregnancy or for patients who just don't want to use minoxidil or are intolerant to it," she said. Because it's non-toxic and tends to be well-tolerated, almost anyone could incorporate it into their routine. "It's safe to use as long as you appreciate the scent — which many do," she added.

While experts still aren't entirely sure how it works, the belief is that it improves circulation in the area, which can lead to cellular turnover and growth, Henry said. As an added bonus, it's also anti-inflammatory, and because inflammation plays a big role in a lot of hair loss conditions, like central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia (CCCA) or alopecia areata, it can be a helpful tool in managing and treating those issues.

Gya Labs Rosemary Essential Oil

How to use rosemary oil for hair

To use it, Henry suggests mixing the oil with a carrier oil (like grapeseed or coconut oil), which will help your skin better tolerate the ingredient. Massage the concoction onto your scalp twice per day.

Another option is to use products that feature the oil as an active ingredient, Henry said.

Below, we've rounded up eight top-rated hair products with rosemary oil that you can add to your beauty cabinet to help give your locks a boost.

Rosemary oil products for hair

Aveeno Fresh Greens Blend Sulfate-Free Shampoo

Made with oats, rosemary oil, peppermint and cucumber, this shampoo promises to soothe your scalp and add moisture and volume to your hair. It has more than 2,300 five-star reviews from shoppers who say that the formula has made their hair look and feel thicker and smoother.

Mielle Organics Rosemary Mint Scalp & Hair Strengthening Oil

Formulated for all hair types, this hair oil is said to nourish and strengthen your existing strands and encourage new growth thanks to ingredients like rosemary oil and biotin. As an added bonus, it will leave your hair with a delicious mint and rosemary scent.

L'Oreal Paris EverStrong Thickening Shampoo & Conditioner Kit, with Rosemary Leaf

Free from sulfates, dyes and parabens, this shampoo and conditioner duo not only promises to help strengthen and thicken hair but can also help prevent fading for color-treated hair.

BosRevive Volumizing Shampoo

BosleyMD is well-known for creating effective hair loss solutions for both men and women. And this BosRevive Volumizing Shampoo is designed for people with non-color-treated hair who have noticeable thinning. In addition to rosemary, the cleansing shampoo also contains pumpkin seed extract and saw palmetto, two ingredients that the brand says can further help inhibit hair shedding and encourage growth.

Weleda Rosemary Conditioning Hair Oil

According to reviewers, this hair oil is great for adding volume and moisture to your mane. "Totally transformed my hair," one person wrote. To use, simply add a few drops to wet or dry hair and comb through. You only need to use a little at a time, so reviewers add that one bottle will last for a while.

Aveda Rosemary Mint Purifying Shampoo

Along with rosemary, this shampoo features ingredients like micelles and white vinegar which help to remove product buildup without stripping the hair. "I have been using this shampoo for two years and absolutely love it," wrote one verified Amazon reviewer. "I have super fine/thin hair. Typical volume adding shampoos tend to make my hair dull and waxy. This rosemary mint shampoo cleans my hair really well and leaves it soft, shiny and full without the waxy feeling and dull look."

Pattern Scalp Serum

A popular solution for dry, tired scalps is the Pattern Scalp Serum that has an average 4.6-star rating at Target, Ulta and Sephora. Made with ingredients like peppermint, rosemary and lavender oil, it is said to soothe and cool roots and help improve scalp health, all while leaving your hair with a luxurious and refreshing scent.

Bondi Boost Hair Growth Shampoo

Celebrity hairstylist Cheryl Bergamy previously recommended this rosemary oil-infused shampoo for people with thinning hair. "It's packed with vitamins, minerals and amino acids that revitalize the hair shaft, plus gentle cleansers to help whisk away scalp buildup," she said.

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