Most of us are used to popping a sprig or two of rosemary in our roast dinner, but aside from the cooking connection, it actually happens to be a very versatile herb.
Rosemary essential oil is made from the rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)shrub, which is an evergreen and is characterised by its needle-like leaves and woody fragrance.
While these shrubs may be native to the Mediterranean – Tunisia, Morocco and France1- they can be found growing in the UK, Mexico, America and northern Africa.2
So how else can you use rosemary oil in your daily routine? With a lot of online buzz about its alleged benefits for your hair and skin, we dive into the detail in this article.
How is it made?
As with most essential oils, rosemary oil is extracted from the leaves and yellow flowers of rosemary shrubs, using a process widely known as steam distillation.2
How to use rosemary oil for your hair
There’s so much you can do with rosemary oil. From massaging it into your skin to adding it to your shampoo, here’s how to use rosemary oil for your hair:
Dilute 5 drops of rosemary oil with 10ml of Miaroma base oil and gently massage into your scalp, using your fingertips or a scalp massager.4
Either let it soak into your hair for a while or leave it for 5-10 minutes before rinsing it out with warm water.
If you like to keep your haircare products natural, you can try adding a few drops of rosemary oil to your shampoo or conditioner, before using it as normal.
If you’d rather not mix up your own rosemary oil hair products, thankfully there are a range of shampoos, conditioners and hair masks with the correct amount of rosemary essential oil already in it.
Other ways to use rosemary oil
Dilute it with a carrier oil, such as jojoba oil, and then apply it to the soles of your feet or other parts of your body.
(Tip – use 1 drop of rosemary oil per 1 teaspoon of carrier oil for children and 3 to 6 drops of rosemary per 1 teaspoon of carrier oil for adults).
Put 8 to 10 drops into a diffuser and breathe in the rich herby and earthy-slightly citrusy scent.
Breathe it in directly from the bottle or sprinkle a couple of drops of it on to a cloth or tissue and gently inhale it.
Bathe in it
Run a warm bath and add 4 to 6 drops of rosemary oil. Then relax in the bath for at least 10 minutes to allow the aroma to work.4
How often can you use rosemary oil on your hair?
Since rosemary oil (when used with a carrier oil) is generally considered safe, it can be used daily. But if you find you are experiencing some sensitivity, try using it less or check in with your hairdresser or a medical professional for personalised advice
Benefits of rosemary for hair
Rosemary oil has soothing properties.5 As a result, there are lots of benefits to using it, including these four:
Promotes hair growth
Using rosemary oil for hair growth is something that’s been widely researched. In fact, two different scientific reviews from 2010 ad 2011 cite it as a potential option for hair growth.6,7
In addition to this, one study from 2015 found that rosemary oil found that it can help certain conditions like androgenetic alopecia.8
Itchy scalp driving you mad? Rosemary oil may be able to help. The same study we mentioned above also concluded that it can help to ease scalp itchiness too.8
Supports healthycirculationin your scalp
It’s thought that rosemary oil when massaged can create a warm feeling that can help to support healthy circulation.9,10 These effects on your circulation may also be the reason that it benefits your hair, as it allows the follicles to thrive if the blood supply was limited before.11
Other benefits of rosemary oil
Rosemary oil is thought to help improve thinking, concentration and memory levels due to the fact that it helps prevent the breakdown of the brain chemical, acetylcholine.12
When 35 healthy people applied diluted rosemary oil on their skin during a research study, they felt more alert, energetic and cheerful 20 minutes afterwards.13
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How to use rosemary oil safely
- Always do a patch test to make sure it doesn’t cause the skin to become sore and sensitive your skin
- Always dilute it first with a carrier oil before putting it on your skin
- Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on how to use it.
How to use rosemary oil safely
4 interesting facts about rosemary
- Rosemary gets its name from the Latin phrase, ‘Dew of the Sea,’ because it’s native to the Mediterranean’s sea cliffs. The name is also representative of its drought-resistant properties.14
- Rosemary oil is related to basil, lavender, sage and myrtle because the shrub it comes from is part of the mint family, which the other herbs are also a member of.15
- Rosemary smells similar to mint, but with a woody and balsamic undertone.16
- There are over 150 different types of rosemary. The variation of rosemary essential oil depends on its geographical location.17
The final say
Rosemary oil has been used throughout the centuries for a range of different reasons. But even recent research suggests that it can have some benefits for your hair and even your mood.
And a reason that it has gained so much traction recently could be that it’s easy to use from the comfort of your own home – and it doesn’t cost the Earth.
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Last updated: 23 June 2022
The advice in this article is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP or healthcare professional before trying any supplements, treatments or remedies. Food supplements must not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.
Author: Donia Hilal, Nutritionist
Joined Holland & Barrett: Jan 2018
Bsc in Nutrition, Registered Associate Nutritionist and Certification in Pre and Post Natal Nutrition
Donia started her career as a freelance nutritionist, later she joined Nestle as their Market Nutritionist to help support their healthier product range, before joining the team at Holland & Barrett in January 2018.
Donia has over 6 years experience as a Nutritionist and also works with clients on a one to one basis to support their goals which include weight loss, prenatal and postnatal nutrition and children’s health.
Read more from Donia
Author: Michelle Kemp, Regulatory Affairs Associate
Joined Holland & Barrett: Aug 2005
Michelle joined Holland and Barrett in 2005 as a Customer Services Advisor where she worked for a total of 6 years.
She left H&B to pursue a career within the public sector and later returned in 2013 where she continued to support the Customer Services department and further developed by qualifying as an advanced product advisor working alongside a team of nutritionists.
She then moved to buying as a FNSS Raw Materials Coordinator before joining the Regulatory Affairs Department in 2017 as a Regulatory Affairs Associate. After 3 years in this role, she then moved to the Beauty team where she expanded her knowledge to focus on the beauty industry.
Michelle is now working on both own-label and branded beauty lines, ensuring that these products and all relating marketing material comply to the EU, UK and International Cosmetics Regulations.
Michelle has 3 children who take up a lot of her time, but when she has a few spare minutes she enjoys walking, fitness and cooking.
Read more from Michelle