Rosemary Oil For Hair Loss And Its Comparison With 2% Minoxidil

Hair loss and hair thinning have become a common concern among the male and female populations. Androgenetic alopecia is the most common form of hair loss. Hair loss occurs for many reasons, including inherited hair loss conditions, hormonal fluctuations, age, immune system reactions, and infections. While hair loss is a big challenge to cure, rosemary essential oil has been shown to offer benefits to people who want to regrow their hair. This article discusses the use of rosemary oil for treating hair loss.

Meet the expert

Dr. Reena Jogi is a dermatologist who specializes in PRP Hair Restoration in Houston, Texas.


The Science Behind Hair Loss:

Before we delve into the specifics of rosemary essential oil for treating hair loss, let us explain why and how hair loss occurs.

There are plenty of reasons behind hair loss: the use of certain medications, scalp infections, diseases, and nutritional deficiencies. However, in most cases, hair loss in men is known as “male pattern hair loss.” Male pattern hair loss occurs gradually with the aging process due to certain sex hormones, such as dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and inherited genes.

Being a by-product of testosterone, DHA is an androgen found in both males and females. However, its levels are higher in males than females. Although DHT is important during adolescence, it is genetically predetermined to cause male pattern baldness. With time, it prevents new hair growth and negatively affects hair follicles [1].

A wide range of treatments, including natural therapies and FDA-approved medications, are available for hair loss. These treatments either stimulate the growth of your already present hair follicles or target DHT to prevent further hair loss.

What Is Rosemary Essential Oil?

Rosemary is a healing herb and woody perennial used in traditional herbal medicine and culinary preparations. The botanical name for rosemary is “Rosamarinus Officinalis,” native to the Mediterranean region.

Rosemary is also available in the form of essential oil like cinnamon, peppermint, and oregano. Rosemary essential oil is a highly concentrated form of the rosemary plant used for health, beauty, cleaning, and cooking purposes.

In recent years, rosemary essential oil has made its place in the medical industry as a treatment option for hair loss. Many studies have claimed that rosemary oil is excellent for preventing hair loss and encouraging hair growth.

Rosemary Essential Oil As A Hair Loss Treatment:

As an effective remedy for hair loss, rosemary essential oil is known for:

1. Boosting Blood Circulation: Rosemary oil boosts blood circulation in the hair follicles so that they do not die from the blood supply, thus encouraging hair growth.

2. Restoring Nerve and Tissue Growth: Carnosic acid, a diterpene present in rosemary oil, has been reported to prevent nerve damage and restore tissue in the scalp [2].

3. Reducing Inflammation: Rosemary essential oil exhibits anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it helpful for improving cellular generation. Improved cell health then aids hair growth and thickness [3].

The benefits of rosemary oil do not end at stimulating hair growth. Other benefits of rosemary oil are preventing dandruff, itchy scalp, and premature graying of hair.

Does Rosemary Oil Actually Treat Hair Loss?

Although there are limited studies on the effectiveness of rosemary oil in treating hair loss, some scientific research supports the use of rosemary oil for hair growth.

1. It Improves Hair Growth:

One study was conducted to compare the effects of rosemary oil with a non-therapeutic carrier oil. The study included 86 patients who were divided into two groups, with one group receiving the rosemary essential oil and the other group receiving the non-therapeutic carrier oil (control group). After seven months of using the oils daily, about 44 patients receiving the rosemary oil reported improvements in their hair growth compared to patients in the control group [4].

2. It Might Help With Male Pattern Baldness:

Another animal study was conducted to investigate the effects of rosemary oil on testosterone-triggered hair loss. The study revealed that rosemary oil inhibited the binding of DHT to androgen receptors present in the hair [5].

3. It Could Prevent Hair Loss Due To Bacteria And Fungi:

Hair loss can also result from an unhealthy and infectious scalp due to bacteria and fungi. One study conducted in 2017 found that rosemary oil can fight bacteria and fungi that cause hair loss [6].

4. Helps In Hair Regrowth:

Rosemary oil can also help your hair grow back. Two clinical trials were conducted in 2010 and 2011 to acknowledge the potential of rosemary oil in hair regrowth. One clinical trial reported that alopecia patients treated with essential oils experienced successful hair regrowth. Rosemary oil was one of them [7].

In another clinical trial, rosemary essential oil exhibited blood circulation-improving properties, which caused it to restore hair growth in patients [8].

Rosemary Oil vs. 2% Topical Minoxidil:

Topical minoxidil solution, also known as Rogaine, is extensively used for treating male pattern baldness, female pattern baldness, and alopecia, including alopecia areata. When applied to the scalp, minoxidil dilates small blood vessels, exerts its effects on immune cells in the hair follicles, and restores hair growth by increasing cell proliferation. Minoxidil solution of more than 2% can irritate your scalp.

One study in 2015 was conducted to compare the effectiveness of rosemary essential oil with 2% minoxidil, commonly referred to as Rogaine. Their effects were tested on patients with androgenetic alopecia (male and female pattern baldness). Both rosemary essential oil and minoxidil were used for over six months.

The results were quite shocking—Rosemary essential oil promoted hair growth as effectively as 2% topical minoxidil. During the process, the side effects of the itchy scalp were more successfully inhibited with rosemary essential oil than with minoxidil solution. No differences were found between the two oils regarding dandruff, greasy hair, and dry hair [9].

The Bottom Line:

Rosemary is a medicinal plant that has been used for thousands of years as a healing herb. When it comes to hair loss, rosemary essential oil has become a popular treatment option for restoring hair loss. When compared to the 2% minoxidil solution, rosemary oil possesses similar effects in promoting hair growth and inhibiting the side effects of the itchy scalp.

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