Rosemary hair oil may be the best kept secret for actual hair growth… but there's a catch

Rosemary hair oil may be the best kept secret for *actual* hair growth… but there's a catch

We've unlocked the secret for actual, real hair growth and here are 7 to shop now.

Rosemary hair oil has officially been dubbed the holy grail of hair growth and for good reason. Many girls with long, lustrous hair have been gatekeeping the secret of their lengths for way too long and we're all finally in on the secret.

It's no wonder that #rosemaryoil has amassed over 200million views on TikTok. Although this simple yet special concoction of rosemary sprigs and olive oil has been used for centuries to promote hair growth and improve hair quality, specially in the Mediterranean region, more recent studies have shown its exact effects and how they work.

A 2015 study comparing rosemary oil to minoxidil (a popular hair regrowth treatment) — where people with DHT-related hair loss used either rosemary oil or minoxidil twice a day for six months — showed that after six months both groups had seen significant increases in hair growth. However, the group that was treated with rosemary oil had more hair growth than the minoxidil group. 

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This result suggests that rosemary oil may promote hair growth but only in the long term. In the same study, scalp-itching was more common in the group that received minoxidil. This also suggested that rosemary oil could be a better option for people with a history of allergies or skin irritation.

The science is telling us that it works but as with anything there is a catch, rosemary oil needs to be applied in the right quantities, often enough and under specific conditions. Here is everything you need to know about implementing rosemary hair oil into your hair routine for your best-est and longest hair yet.

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Does rosemary hair oil help hair grow?

“Rosemary oil has been scientifically proven to have positive effects on hair growth. Studies have demonstrated that rosemary oil can stimulate hair growth by improving blood circulation to the scalp and promoting the proliferation of hair follicle cells. Additionally, the oil has been found to possess anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which can help to prevent hair loss and improve overall hair health. Its ability to increase cellular metabolism in hair follicles also contributes to its effectiveness as a hair growth stimulant.” says Dr Nick Fisherman, Trichologist at Watermans Hair

It's also important to note that hair growth can also be influenced by a variety of factors, including genetics, nutrition, stress, and hormonal changes, and the use of rosemary oil alone is unlikely to be the panacea for all hair growth.

How long do you have to use rosemary hair oil to see growth?

The studies conducted have indicated that no genuine and exponential hair growth from the oil will be seen up until the six month mark. They also suggest that for that to happen there should be generous use of the oil at least twice a day.

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Is it safe to apply rosemary oil directly on the scalp?

Rosemary oil should be applied directly on the scalp instead of down the strands of the hair or the ends, as it's more effective on promoting growth from the root for best results, even though it has properties that repair damage on split ends. 

As with any product, doing a patch test to prevent an allergic reaction is a must. All you need to do is apply diluted rosemary oil in a small patch of the skin(perhaps the back of the ear) and wait for 24 hours. Any redness, swelling and itching is a sign that you should put it down. 

Dr Nick Fisherman also recommends: “When applying rosemary oil to your hair and scalp, it's important to dilute it with a carrier oil such as jojoba, coconut, or olive oil. This helps to prevent skin irritation and ensures that the oil is evenly distributed throughout your hair. It's best to leave the oil on your hair for at least 30 minutes before rinsing it off with shampoo and water.” 

Some rosemary oils are ready for use on the hair, with pipet or pump dispensers that allow for the right quantities to be applied to the scalp. Here are some to try below:

Pacifica Scalp Love Rosemary Mint Serum

Weleda Revitalising Hair Tonic

JVN Hair Complete Pre-Wash Scalp Oil

Fable & Mane Holiroots Hair Oil 55ml

Can you apply rosemary oil directly to your hair strands? 

“Using rosemary oil directly on your hair strands can provide additional benefits such as improving hair texture, reducing split ends, and enhancing shine. To apply rosemary oil directly to your hair strands, you can add a few drops of the oil to your regular shampoo or conditioner, or create a hair mask by mixing the oil with a carrier oil and leaving it on for 20-30 minutes before rinsing. However, it's important to note that using too much rosemary oil directly on your hair can lead to dryness and irritation, so be sure to use it in moderation and dilute it properly with a carrier oil.” Dr Nick Fisherman warns.

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Can rosemary oil help with hair loss caused by alopecia? 

Alopecia is a medical condition that can cause hair loss that can affect any body part but there is no known cure for it yet. However, rosemary oil has been reported to help with hair loss caused by alopecia, but only anecdotally, since Rosemary oil stimulates hair follicles and improving circulation to the scalp. Dr. Nick Fisherman believes that rosemary oil alone is not the cure for alopecia, and it may not be the most effective treatment. However he adds: “incorporating rosemary oil into your hair care routine may still have beneficial effects on hair health and growth, and it may be worth discussing with a healthcare provider or dermatologist as part of a comprehensive treatment plan.” 

Are there side effects from using rosemary oil on your hair? 

Rosemary oil is generally quite safe, but as with anything, there is always potential of an allergy occuring, so it's best to do a patch test before using the oil all over your scalp.

Ruka Save Me Serum

Watermans Grow Me Shampoo

Now in the midst of a sea of rosemary hair oils, one stood out amongst many Curly and afro girls everywhere who are all probably no strangers to this iconic Mielle Organics Rosemary Mint Growth Hair Oil, however, it seems that the beauty corner of TikTok just caught on recently. 

Tiktok creator Alix Earle, known for her chaotic get-ready-with-me makeup tutorials, recently shared her top 2022 Amazon purchases. On top of her list there was none other than the Mielle Organics Rosemary Mint Hair Oil. “I’ve only been using this for a little over a month, and I’ve already seen tremendous hair growth,” she shared. 

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Like all Mielle Organics products, this hair oil was designed for afro and curly hair textures in mind. In fact, the website reads: “Use it on protective styles, including braids and weaves.” Its powers lie in the formulation. This natural oil is a special blend of nourishing ingredients like rosemary, avocado, and castor oil, which work together to strengthen and nourish the hair.

Mielle Organics Rosemary Mint Growth Hair Oil

Naturally there was a flurry of comments from people with straighter hair complaining that it was a bad recommendation as the product weighs the hair down too much, or it's too thick and hard on the scalp after continuous use, however, the vast majority of reviews on the app are booming, including from hair experts and trichologists.

Retailing for £10.99 on Superdrug, the product has been adorned by the textured hair community for a while, with no signs of losing its cult following. Its ability to promote hair growth, with a formula that stimulates the scalp, encouraging stronger and healthier hair is impressive. The oil itself is also great for combating dryness and breakage, thanks to its moisturising properties. In addition to its hair benefits, Mielle Rosemary Hair Oil has a refreshing and invigorating scent that many users love. It's the perfect finishing touch to any hair care routine, leaving hair looking and smelling great.

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No trending product review comes without a bit of drama, and it’s all unfolding out of the clock app, onto Twitter, where many Black women are frustrated that this product is being advertised to be a straight hair hero, when in fact it’s specifically formulated for textured hair or protective styles.

While others don’t see the benefit in gatekeeping a product of a Black-owned brand, vocalising that putting on different demographics of people onto a product like this, from a Black family business can also create leverage for Black beauty businesses. However, experts have weighed in.

Professor of linguistics at Carnegie Mellon University Uju Anya wrote on Twitter that Black women have legitimate reasons in this case for gatekeeping, essentially addressing the fact that brands that once were created to cater and address issues from a community that was left behind when it came to hair and beauty, then started changing their formulation and raising their prices to accommodate white women, subsequently losing its quality and authenticity to cater to Black women. Users on TikTok became concerned.

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However, Mielle as a brand, as well as its founder Monique Rodriguez, have explicitly stated that they have no intentions of changing their formulations to accommodate a new demographic and will insist on bridging the gap in the hair market for Black women. “We remain forever committed to developing quality, efficacious products that address the need states for our customers’ hair types” says Monique.

Monique added: “As a woman of colour, founder and creator of Mielle, I promise that we have no plans to change the formula of the Rosemary Mint Scalp and Hair Strengthening Oil. We pride ourselves on being a brand that solves problems for the needs of our consumers.” 

So on that note, we’re ready to stock up, because we know what happens to any viral TikTok product, those two dreary words — sold out. So don’t walk, run…

For more from Glamour UK Beauty Writer Shei Mamona, follow her on Instagram @sheimamona