How To Use Rosemary For Hair Growth

Experts break down the popular herb’s major benefits.

Rosemary oil & water can be used for hair growth purposes, according to professional hairstylists.
Iryna Veklich/Moment/Getty Images

Rosemary might not be the first ingredient you think of when it comes to your hair care routine, but it’s more than just a delicious Mediterranean herb. In oil form, it’s been used for many years as a treat for scalps and strands. And like rice water, rosemary water has been touted on social media as a miracle DIY rinse for hair growth.

Turns out, there is some truth to the hype. According to Nunzio Saviano, owner of Nunzio Saviano, Salon, rosemary’s emollient properties help soften the scalp which aids in promoting optimum circulation for healthy hair growth. “Rosemary oil has also been touted for its ability to potentially prevent hair loss and facilitate hair growth as effectively as prescription medications (like minoxidil) for thinning hair concerns,” Saviano tells Bustle.

The pro hairstylist adds that the anti-inflammatory ingredient also has antiseptic properties that help slough away dry skin cells and prevent flaking and dandruff, leaving the scalp feeling soothed and refreshed. “All hair types can benefit from using a rosemary oil treatment, particularly those with fine, thinning hair or those with scalp conditions like itchiness or dandruff,” says Saviano.

Shivangi Tripath — hair colorist, Ayurveda expert, and founder of Mata Ayurveda haircare — agrees that rosemary is an incredible ingredient and a great solution for those dealing with an oily scalp. “The antifungal, astringent, and decongesting qualities reduce excess oils and buildup,” Tripath tells Bustle, also noting that rosemary can help prevent hair breakage by enhancing the strength of your follicles.

How To Use Rosemary For Boosting Hair Growth

An ingredient such rosemary can be incorporated into your hair care routine multiple times per week. “Depending on hair type and need, rosemary can be incorporated into a hair care regimen through shampoos that contain the ingredient, styling or treatment products, or by using rosemary oil as a therapeutic leave-in treatment once or twice a week,” says Saviano. Dr. Nazanin Saedi, a board-certified dermatologist based in Philadelphia, also encourages frequent use but says to exercise caution before using it for an extended period of time, particularly overnight. “​​Do not sleep with it on because it may cause skin irritation,” Saedi says.

Expert hairstylist Nubia Rëzo adds that the herb is often used in aromatherapy because it has stress-relieving and mood-boosting qualities — and studies have suggested a link between stress and hair loss.

Ready to incorporate it into your own routine? It’s pretty simple and Saviano emphasizes rosemary’s overall versatility. “Rosemary oil can be used in many ways,” he says. “Look for high-quality, organic, and minimally processed forms. Pure rosemary oil is the easiest way to use this treatment and can be found on Amazon.” Tripath also suggests “using it in an oil format [and] mixing with a carrier oil.”

If you’re going that route (again, Tripath notes that rosemary oil helps to counteract oiliness), start by separating your hair into sections. Apply a few drops throughout, directly onto the scalp. Next, massage with medium pressure to gently warm the rosemary oil and allow it to penetrate the hair shaft. Another easy option if you’re still weary about oil overload is to turn to a shampoo and conditioner that includes it in the formula.

We at Bustle only include products that have been independently selected by our editors. We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.