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How to use rosemary oil for hair growth

The TikTok trend is expert-approved.
Portrait of a young woman rubbing wet slick hair
Deepak Sethi / Getty Images

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If you've noticed that your hair hasn't been looking quite as full and voluminous as it once was, you're not alone. Many people experience hair loss or thinning at some point in their lives, 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 recently went viral on TikTok 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.

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

Can rosemary oil help with hair loss?

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.

Pure Rosemary Oil for Hair Skin and Nails

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 five popular hair products with rosemary oil that you can add to your beauty cabinet to help give your locks a boost.

Kiehl's Magic Elixir Scalp and Hair Oil Treatment

This Magic Elixir from Kiehl's promises to improve the overall health of your scalp and promote hair growth. It uses avocado and rosemary oils to deliver moisture to your hair and leave it looking softer and shinier.

Mielle Rosemary Mint Strengthening Shampoo

Made for all hair types, this shampoo 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.

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.

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 said. 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.

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