It is a Tik Tok sensation – but what is the science behind Rosemary oil for hair loss? We take a look at the study that lead to the rising popularity of Rosemary oil.

Does Rosemary oil work for hair loss? Can Rosemary oil work for menopause hair loss? How can you increase Rosemary’s effectiveness? And what you need to know before you buy it.

Rosemary has grown considerably in popularity recently, after it went viral on Tik Tok for promoting hair growth. But what is the research behind the active ingredients, do they really work?

We drill down on the scientific study done back in 2015 – and offer new insights into treatments you could do in conjunction with Rosemary to ensure maximum benefit.

Let’s get into it.

Key Takeaways – The Short Version

Rosemary oil has been shown to have equal results to Rogaine 2%. The exact mechanism is unknown but it has been proven to block DHT (androgen) in animal studies. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and increases blood flow to the scalp (which is the same way that Rogaine works). Rosemary oil could work in menopause, if you want to try a natural product jump to Flo Hive picks for Australia, UK and America HERE.

What is Rosemary oil?

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Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis) is a plant with aromatic leaves and flowers. This plant belongs to the mint family (lamiaceae) and is native to the Mediterranean.

Although Rosemary oil is used in perfumes and food for fragrance and distinct taste, it also offers medicinal benefits. Throughout history Rosemary oil has been used to reduce inflammatory conditions. Such as arthritis, asthma and nerve inflammation.

Recent studies show Rosemary oil may can potentially slow down and even reverse pattern hair loss.

The main question at hand is how effective Rosemary oil is when it comes to hair regrowth.

To find an answer to this let us delve into the study conducted on Rosemary oil’s effects on hair growth once again.

Flo Hive Science Scoop

There have been quite a few trials done with Rosemary for hair loss. The most cited study pitted Rosemary oil against Minoxidil 2% (Rogaine).

The study conducted in 2015 used only men.

Yes, just men, yet again!!!!! I know – it is very annoying.

Researchers had 50 men use Minoxidil 2% (Rogaine) on their scalps and the other 50 men used Rosemary oil.

The study was over a period of 6 months. They reviewed the men at 3 months and no change had occurred in either group. But at six months – both groups showed improvement.

Rosemary performed better than Minoxidil/ Rogaine.

The Rosemary oil group had around 6% improvement. The Minoxidil group had only 2% improvement.

You might be tempted to say – only 6%! Why bother?! But Flo Hive thinks 6% improvement is significant. And we have tips on how to maximise your results at home by adding in another device.

So do please read on!

Why would Rosemary outperform Minoxidil? Well, most likely because they used the weaker form of Minoxidil – 2%. For best results using Minoxidil the 5% solution is recommended. You can read our article about Rogaine for Women here which contains 5% Minoxidil.

Why did Rosemary oil work in the studies?

There is a lot of evidence to explain exactly how Rosemary tackles hair loss.

Rosemary oil can reduce inflammation

Rosemary oil is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It has a direct impact on reducing inflammation, which in turn helps combat hair loss.

The next little bit is some serious nerdy science, you can skip or get geeky!

The connection between cytokines, COX-2 enzyme and inflammation – plays a crucial role in understanding how Rosemary oil works.

When our tissues are injured, the damaged cells release signalling proteins called cytokines. Cytokines act as messengers to regulate the intensity of inflammation. After an injury such as a cut or bruise, pro-inflammatory cytokines are released at the site of injury. They signal our tissues to attract more inflammatory cells to aid in healing.

Simultaneously, the injured tissues also produce an enzyme called cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2). This enzyme enhances the production of prostaglandins – another mediator involved in inflammation control.

Together, cytokines and COX-2 enzymes (via prostaglandins) determine how many inflammatory cells reach the site of injury. The severity of injury determines this influx; larger injuries tend to attract higher numbers of inflammatory cells for repair.

By reducing these pro-inflammatory signals through its components like rosmarinic and ethanolic acid, Rosemary oil can effectively reduce inflammation.

Rosemary oil is antibacterial

Microorganisms are currently present on every surface of our bodies. While the majority of bacteria found on the skin are harmless there are some that can produce inflammation. When these organisms multiply on our scalps, they create chronic inflammation that triggers hair loss.

I know it is gross to even thing about!

Rosemary oil has the potential to assist.

Studies indicate that extracts from Rosemary have antimicrobial properties. It can reduce the size of colonies formed by these organisms.

This antimicrobial effect with anti-inflammatory effect – is a powerful weapon against hair loss.

Rosemary oil can reduce DHT

The hormone DHT (an adrogen hormone) has long been associated with hair loss. DHT has the ability to promote hair growth on the face, genitals and body – yet (strangely) promotes hair loss on the scalp.

Yes, it is a bit confusing! It is definitely a paradox.

Estrogen and progesterone drop in menopause. Both hormones are able to block DHT in different ways. But as they drop – so does their ability to stave off DHT. Thus leading to hair loss.

Thankfully Rosemary oil can help reduce tissue DHT levels.

A study conducted on mice examined the anti-androgen effect of Rosemary on hair growth. The mice had their dorsal areas shaved and were then treated with testosterone, which acts as a precursor for DHT, in order to halt hair regrowth. Some of the mice were then treated with topical Rosemary leaf extract to determine its impact on their rate of hair regrowth.

What did they find? The mice that received Rosemary experienced improved hair regrowth. Researchers attributed this to the inhibitory effect on androgen receptors.

Other examples of DHT blockers are Nanoxidil which comes as a topical solution (Spectral DNC-N paid link) or oral medication such as Spironolactone.

When there is a reduction in the conversion of DHT in our scalp tissues, it significantly improves prospects for hair restoration.

Rosemary does that!

Rosemary oil may increase blood flow

In a study done on rats, researchers used Rosemary oil to see if it helped.

Researchers found the rats treated with Rosemary had enhanced survival of their skin grafts. Compared to untreated rats. Furthermore, the rats receiving Rosemary had larger blood vessels in diameter.

Therefore Rosemary improved blood flow by increasing the size of blood vessels. Delivering oxygen and nutrients more efficiently.

How to maximise Rosemary oil

Still thinking about that 6% improvement after six months use and thinking – why bother?!

Flo Hive has a suggestion that could see you get better results at home. And if you are willing to use Rosemary oil on your scalp every day for 6 months then one more step could take your results the THE MAX.

And it is a very simple (and often overlooked) way to improve your scalp and reduce hair loss –

Mechanical Stimulation – take your results to the max

The principle is the same as using Rosemary, Minoxidil or hair regrowth helmets. They all have a variety of effects but one thing in common.

They increase blood flow.

Mechanical stimulation can be achieved by microneedling. If doing it at home you only need to do it once a week.

Flo Hive suggests using a derma stamp or a dermaroller. A stamp is pressed into the scalp not rolled on the scalp. But there are a lot of options for microneedling at home. You can read our review of microneedling here.

Where to buy good quality Rosemary oil

It is of course essential that you are using the right oil to ensure success.

There are a LOT of Rosemary oils on the market it is difficult to know which ones are good quality and a good strength.

A lot of Rosemary oil products have Rosemary oil PLUS something else. Usually a carrier oil like Jojoba oil or Avacado oil. But this means you cannot tell exactly how much Rosemary oil you are getting.

So we believe it is best to use an undiluted oil and make your own serum at home.

We recommend products and services based on their research backing, as determined by a review of clinical studies. We receive compensation when readers purchase the products or services we recommend.

Flo Hive has found some oils on the market that meet our standards for use –

The dilution of Rosemary oil to carrier oil is around 1 to 2%. This means that for every 100 drops (which is 5ml) of carrier oil you add 1 – 2 drops of Rosemary.

So – for every 5ml of carrier it is 2 drops Rosemary for a 2% dilution. For example –

100ml divided by 5 multiplied by 2 drops = 40 drops

250ml divided by 5 multiplied by 2 drops = 50 drops

Flo Hive suggests using a derma stamp or a dermaroller. A stamp is pressed into the scalp not rolled on the scalp – this might be easier to use on your hair depending on your hair type. We like the stamp by Koi Beauty –

Conclusion

Yes it could work for menopause hair loss.

You might like to try Rosemary oil and microneedling first – before exploring other options. Flo Hive was genuinely surprised by the science. It is comforting to know there is an effective option derived from nature WITH science to back it up.

Other options for regrowth include –

Red light therapy helmets review

Rogaine for Women review

Nanoxidil serum review

Microneedling review

Rosemary oil review

While menopause is a significant contributor to female hair loss, there can be other causes. These include: thyroid conditions, stress, nutritional deficiencies (iron), certain medical conditions and medication. You need to identify the underlying cause to determine the best treatment.

Make sure you see your healthcare practitioner to rule out any underlying conditions.

Be patient when it comes to hair regrowth. Just like the study we explored – it was done over six months. It can take many months to see a difference – persistence and patience are needed to stick with it and enjoy the rewards.

References

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32455585/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25842469/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24288274/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30181448/

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/24943-female-pattern-baldness#:~:text=After%20menopause%2C%20your%20hormone%20levels,degree%20relatives%20have%20hair%20loss.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22517595/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27994918/

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