Dr. Ansell also highlights a study from 2013 conducted on mice, which we briefly touched on in the previous section. In a nutshell: Rosemary oil may prevent hair loss caused by DHT, but since this study was done on animals, we don’t know if humans would experience the same effects. 

Above all, pinpointing the cause of your hair thinning or loss is crucial. Dr. Murphy-Rose stresses that while rosemary oil and minoxidil can be good options for treating hormonal thinning caused by DHT, they might not be the optimal solution for every individual. With various causes of hair loss in play, the right treatment approach can differ. For the best course of action, it’s best to seek professional guidance from a board-certified derm.

How to use rosemary oil for hair growth

Since the risks of negative side effects are low (more on that below), it likely won’t hurt to work it into your hair-care routine. If you’re still eager to harness the potential hair-growing powers of rosemary oil, Dr. Ansell recommends this simple technique:

  1. After washing your hair, take five drops of rosemary oil (pure or diluted) in your hands. Dr. Cheung adds that using a dropper may help prevent dispersing too much or making a mess.
  2. Gently massage the oil into your scalp while tilting your head to prevent any dripping into your eyes.

Dr. Ansell advises starting with every-other-day usage and gradually increasing it to daily application. Remember, some brands might recommend specific techniques, so be sure to check those instructions, whether on the packaging or online. (For instance, some brands recommend washing off more potent rosemary oil formulas after 15 minutes, while others can be left on overnight and washed off in the morning.)

Patience is key; Dr. Murphy-Rose confirms that rosemary oil and minoxidil are two of the most effective topicals available but emphasizes that “rosemary oil, like minoxidil, must be used consistently for several months before you see results, if at all.” As you might imagine, you’ll need more than one bottle to reap its potential benefits.

What are the potential side effects of using rosemary oil for hair growth?

According to Dr. Cheung, the risks and side effects are minimal. However, it’s important to note that not all rosemary oils have the same concentration or potency. Dr. Cheung advises starting with smaller amounts and being mindful of any signs of scalp irritation or itchiness.

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