Rosemary’s Potential in Promoting Hair and Skin Health

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Introduction

Rosemary is an aromatic, evergreen shrub which is native to the Mediterranean region. It has many antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits and is used in various ways, including cosmetically.1 Keeping your hair and skin healthy is important; it has a positive impact on your emotional and mental well-being. Also, keeping your skin healthy may protect you more from external dangers like bacteria and UV rays from the sun. Research shows the impact rosemary can have on hair and skin health, and this article will explore the different benefits and ways this plant can be used. 

Understanding rosemary

As previously mentioned, rosemary originates from the Mediterranean region, more specifically, the hills along the Mediterranean, Portugal and North West Spain.1 It is low in saturated fats and cholesterol and contains important vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C, Iron and Magnesium. Historically, rosemary has been used for a wide range of things. Napoleon used cologne made of rosemary, and Greek scholars wore garlands of the herb on their heads during exams, as they believed it helped their memory.2 It is a versatile herb that is used in household kitchens and cosmetically. 

Benefits of Rosemary for Hair Health

Rosemary has great benefits for hair health. It stimulates your hair to grow, and leaves your hair looking shiny and healthy. It contains carnosic acid, which helps improve cell turnover, therefore stimulating hair growth.3 It also prevents DHT, a hormone implicated in hair loss, from binding to its receptor, thus preventing hair loss. Research has found that rosemary oil has the same effect as Minoxidil, a hair growth medication. This shows its effectiveness in causing hair growth and may be preferable to those considering holistic approaches. It also has anti-fungal properties, attacking fungus that may cause dandruff and preventing an itchy, flaky, and possibly dry scalp.4 If you suffer from dandruff, rosemary may be your solution. Rosemary also has the ability to reduce oil secretion on your scalp, as it shrinks the pores and tones and balances the skin. Those suffering from oily hair could benefit from this, allowing longer periods between hair wash days. 

Benefits of rosemary for skin health

Due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, rosemary is seen as a highly beneficial treatment for the skin. It fights acne and blemishes and improves the skin’s elasticity and firmness, leaving you with healthier and more youthful-looking skin. Some active compounds in rosemary can potentially combat the bacteria causing your acne, leaving you with bright and clear skin. Because it is a strong astringent, rosemary is good for cleaning your pores and improving your skin tone. This will allow the rest of your skincare products to penetrate your skin and work better, leaving your skin clean and fresh.5 

Methods of using rosemary 

Rosemary is commonly used as an infused oil, where it is applied to the scalp or skin to reap the benefits of the compound. There are many commercially available rosemary-based products, including Mielle and Nature Spell, whose rosemary oils became TikTok famous and have helped countless people on their hair growth journeys. Additionally, Nikura sells an oil that is suitable for use on your skin if you are looking for the skincare benefits of rosemary oil. If you are looking for a water-based product, as opposed to oil, rosemary sprays on the market give the same benefits as the oils but may be less messy. 

If you are looking for more budget-friendly options, DIY might be for you! There will be something for you, from homemade rosemary water to hair masks. 

To make a homemade rosemary hair mask, you only need aloe vera gel and rosemary oil. Mix these two ingredients together and mix well until you have a smooth paste. You are then free to apply as you wish! It is advised to leave this paste on your scalp for 30 minutes before washing it off with your normal shampoo. 

Another option is rosemary water, which is made by boiling 2 cups of water, adding 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary, and simmering. Once you allow the mixture to cool for around 30 minutes, your rosemary water spray is ready for use! 

Precautions and considerations 

Rosemary has been found to cause reactions in people who have aspirin allergies and can also worsen asthma symptoms.1 If you suffer from these conditions, you should limit the usage of these items and consult a medical professional before doing so. Patch testing is also a great way to see whether you are sensitive to rosemary, allowing you to act accordingly.

Summary

Over history, rosemary has been proven a versatile household tool. It is great for improving skin and hair health and has a wide range of benefits, including stimulating hair growth, reducing dandruff and fighting acne and redness. Ultimately, it is a cost-effective way to improve these things, contributing massively to your self-esteem and leaving you feeling great and positive about yourself. The necessary precautions should always be taken for anyone, especially if you are asthmatic or allergic to aspirin. Overall, rosemary is a great and effective way to boost your skin and hair health and is recommended for anyone struggling. 

FAQs 

Is rosemary oil good for hair? 

Yes, it benefits your hair in many different ways. It:

  • Stimulates hair growth
  • Decreases itchiness and flakiness 
  • Leaves your hair shiny and smooth

Does rosemary oil actually work?

The results from rosemary oil have been seen all around the world. It can be used for various concerns, but of course, every person is different, so if rosemary oil doesn’t work for you, something else will. 

Does rosemary oil also help beard growth?

Yes! Like with hair on your scalp, rosemary works just as well on beard hair. It can stimulate blood flow where it is applied, meaning regular oiling of the beard area should help your hair grow.6 

Is rosemary oil safe for use around pets? 

There is no research to show rosemary oil is toxic for dogs. However, take the necessary precautions to ensure no reactions from your dogs. These include:

  • Dilute the oil
  • Know your dog’s health status
  • Observe their behaviour when using the oil near them

However, rosemary oil is considered toxic for cats. It should not be used near them or even on them, as the essential oil may increase their risk of seizures. 

Here are a few warning signs that your pet may have essential oil poisoning. You should always remain vigilant and seek medical help immediately if necessary.7

  • Difficulty breathing/ panting
  • Weakness
  • Lethargy 
  • Diarrhoea 
  • Difficulty walking straight 

References 

  1. de Oliveira JR, Camargo SE, de Oliveira LD. Rosmarinus officinalis L. (rosemary) as therapeutic and prophylactic agent. Journal of Biomedical Science. 2019 Jan 9;26(1). doi:10.1186/s12929-019-0499-8 
  2. Rosemary health benefits, nutrients per serving, preparation information, and more [Internet]. WebMD; [cited 2024 Feb 16]. Available from: https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-rosemary 
  3. de Macedo LM, Santos ÉM, Militão L, Tundisi LL, Ataide JA, Souto EB, et al. Rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis L., syn salvia rosmarinus spenn.) and its topical applications: A Review. Plants. 2020 May 21;9(5):651. doi:10.3390/plants9050651 
  4. White A. Rosemary Oil for hair: Growth, uses, and benefits [Internet]. Healthline Media; 2023 [cited 2024 Feb 16]. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/health/rosemary-oil-for-hair 
  5. Gomez LG. Benefits of rosemary oil for skin [Internet]. 2023 [cited 2024 Feb 16]. Available from: https://nikura.com/blogs/living-well/rosemary-oil-for-skin 
  6. Rosemary Oil for Beard Growth: Does it work? [Internet]. [cited 2024 Feb 16]. Available from: https://wimpoleclinic.com/blog/rosemary-oil-for-beard-growth/#:~:text=A%20healthy%20blood%20supply%20is,follicles%2C%20helping%20promote%20beard%20growth. 
  7. Pal M. Pet safe essential oils for cats and dogs [Internet]. Forbes Magazine; 2024 [cited 2024 Feb 16]. Available from: https://www.forbes.com/advisor/pet-insurance/pet-care/essential-oils-for-cats-and-dogs/#:~:text=Rosemary%20oil%20is%20considered%20toxic,consultant%20for%20Embrace%20Pet%20Insurance. 

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This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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