Beauty / Trend

Why is everyone talking about rosemary hair oil?

Anyone who considers themself a regular on beauty TikTok will have heard all about rosemary oil. Most will have come by the product via the Mielle rosemary hair oil drama. (In case you need a refresher, we've included one below.) Others might be curious about its lauded abilities to help thicken hair and speed up hair growth. Which is why we're coming to you with all we know about rosemary hair oil – including a round up of products to shop – below.

What are the benefits of rosemary hair products?

There's a reason rosemary hair products have made many ears prick up. For starters, it's a natural remedy, which will always have pull in the beauty world. And while rosemary essential oil has a long history of use as a memory and concentration aid, as far as our hair is concerned it's valued for a whole host of potential properties. One major benefit is its potential to help thicken hair (but more on this in a moment).

Rosemary oil also has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe an irritated scalp, which also includes those who suffer from dandruff or are prone to head acne. What's more, rosemary oil is also noted to decrease breakage and is generally safe for all hair types to use. However you should always spot test before launching into using a new product, especially as essential oils are famously potent and natural raw materials have the power to upset a sensitive scalp.

Does rosemary hair oil actually work?

Here's the thing, yes – according to a couple of preliminary studies – but if we're talking concrete facts, Minoxidil (the active ingredient in Rogaine) is still considered the most effective way to combat hair loss. And if the hair loss you're experiencing is progressive, as it has the potential to be, your best option is speaking to an expert who can accurately diagnose and come up with a targeted treatment plan.

That being said, the research around rosemary hair oil is promising. One study from 2015 compared rosemary oil to Minoxidil for hair growth and after six months, both groups saw significant increases in hair growth. Another older study found that rosemary essential oil was an effective treatment for alopecia areata, an autoimmune condition that causes bald patches around the scalp, face and body.

How do you apply rosemary hair oil and how often?

As with any product that promises results, regular application is best. Depending on whether you create your own rosemary hair oil or simply opt for products where rosemary essential oil is a featured ingredient, this will determine how often and what method you should use to apply.

If a store-bought product, simply follow the directions provided. If it's rosemary hair oil, then you can use it on a daily basis after a shower. However, it's common for people to use it more like a scalp treatment on wash days, where the scalp is drenched in the product and followed with a scalp massage before allowing it to absorb for a couple of hours before being washed out. You should never apply rosemary oil to broken or inflamed skin.

Can I make my own?

If you're angling at making your own rosemary hair oil, it's best to start with a quality rosemary essential oil, as opposed to haphazardly dumping rosemary into a carrier oil and hoping for the best. This is because the people creating these oils are looking at the quality of the raw product, the conditions in which it was grown, and understand the best practice (as well as having the right tools) to properly extracting the oil.

So once you have your essential oil, dilute a couple of drops with another oil-based product such as coconut, argan or jojoba oil for best results.

What was the Mielle Rosemary Hair Oil Drama about?

When 22-year-old TikToker Alix Earle recommended the naturally-derived product to her audience, made with textured hair in mind, it subsequently went viral and sold out everywhere. Not only were stalwarts of the Rosemary Mint Scalp & Hair Strengthening Oil exasperated at the fact that they couldn't access the hair oil, given the offering of natural Afro hair care is so limited, but when white users complained that the oil weighed down their hair, it only added insult to injury.

In the past, when products made for textured hair have gone mainstream, the creators of the product have altered the formula to cater to its new audience of users, as happened in the case of Shea Moisture. This can be particularly frustrating when the product options for textured hair is such a small pool when compared to haircare for white hair, who are spoilt for choice.

Best rosemary hair products

If you're looking to opt instead for rosemary hair products, here are some we'd recommend.

KIEHL'S Magic Elixir

rosemary hair oil


AROMATICA Rosemary Root Enhancer

rosemary hair oil


SACHAJUAN Scalp Treatment Duo




CARTER + JANE Scalpfix

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