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What's the buzz around rosemary oil for hair?

  • 4 min read

More and more people are starting to realise how important hair care is in their daily lives. While using a hair mask every now and again is certainly better than nothing, it isn’t a substitute for regularly using hair nourishing ingredients in your routine. 

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) extract is widely used in skincare as a natural retinol alternative, hailed for its ability to deeply nourish the skin. It has also been found to offer a whole host of other benefits for both the skin and hair, making it perfect for use in haircare products such as shampoo, conditioner and hair oil. (Spoiler alert: it is also a key ingredient in our NEW Shampoo Crème!) 

Benefits of rosemary oil for hair

Many of the benefits of rosemary oil for the skin are also benefits for the scalp and the hair – after all, the scalp is still skin! Scalp care is the first step in haircare which should never be overlooked on the journey to healthy hair. 

1. Helps to promote hair growth and reduce hair loss

Rosemary oil has been found to reduce hair loss and also help to promote hair growth. A study that compared the effects of rosemary oil for hair loss to Minoxidil – a medication used to treat pattern hair loss – found both to be effective after six months at reducing hair loss. 

The ingredient has also been found to not only prevent loss of hair, but also stimulate new hair growth. Rosemary oil contains carnosic acid, which is known to heal both nerve damage and tissue damage, and improve blood circulation. The increased blood circulation to the scalp helps to ensure that the hair follicles receive all the nutrients they need to grow healthy hair. 

2. Offers protection against UV damage

Recent studies have shown that rosemary extract helps to protect against UVB-induced DNA damage in human keratinocytes – the most abundant type of skin cell found in the outermost layer of the skin, the epidermis. It’s no secret that excessive exposure to UV rays can significantly damage the skin, causing inflammation, pigmentary changes and among other things, premature signs of ageing such as wrinkling. 

However, UV radiation doesn’t only impact the skin – excessive sun exposure can cause a wide range of issues for the hair too. Some of the UV impacts on hair you can experience include: dryness, reduced strength, rough surface texture, loss of colour, decreased lustre, stiffness and brittleness.

3. Defends against free radicals

Rosemary oil has been found to be a great antioxidant agent, helping to protect against free radicals and other environmental damage. Some studies have suggested that oxidative stress from free radical damage may be a pivotal mechanism contributing to hair weathering. 

Rosemary oil for hair: FAQs

Discover the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions about rosemary oil for hair.

How to use rosemary oil for hair?

There are two main ways to use rosemary oil for hair and reap the benefits, such as protection from UV rays and free radical damage, increased hair growth and decreased hair loss. 

  • Dilute rosemary essential oil in a carrier oil – add a few drops of rosemary essential oil to carrier oil such as jojoba oil or coconut oil and gently massage into the scalp.
  • Use rosemary oil-infused hair care products – less likely to cause irritation, using products infused with rosemary oil such as shampoo is an easy way to reap the benefits of rosemary oil in your routine.

Can rosemary oil cause hair loss?

Rosemary oil helps to promote hair regrowth and prevent hair loss, rather than being the cause of hair loss. The ingredient’s antioxidant properties, as well as its ability to improve circulation and promote nerve growth, make it a useful ingredient to incorporate into your hair care routine for thicker, fuller hair. 

Can I leave rosemary oil in my hair overnight?

Yes, you can leave rosemary oil in your hair overnight to reap the benefits while getting some well-deserved rest. However, it is important not to leave directly-applied rosemary oil on the hair overnight, as this can cause irritation. Only ever use diluted rosemary oil or products infused with rosemary oil. 

Does rosemary oil make hair greasy?

Rosemary oil contains fatty acids – primarily linoleic and oleic acids – so can weigh fine hair down and make more oily hair appear greasy. However, these same naturally occurring acids are some of the key components in ceramides, which helps to hydrate the skin and protect the natural skin barrier. 

Using rosemary oil-infused hair care products can help you to reap the benefits of rosemary oil for hair without worrying about greasy hair. 

Does rosemary oil cause hair shedding?

Rosemary oil helps to improve the circulation in the scalp, ensuring that each hair follicle receives the nutrients it needs to support healthy strands of hair. Poor circulation can lead to dry and brittle hair which breaks, so rosemary oil actively helps to combat this.

Does rosemary oil clog hair follicles?

Rosemary oil is known to have antibacterial properties, helping to eliminate the buildup of bacteria on the scalp. This in turn removes the bacteria that could potentially clog the hair follicles.  

Natural rosemary oil for hair: UpCircle’s Shampoo Crème

At UpCircle, not only are we wild about natural skincare, but we know how important it is to take care of your scalp and your hair too. A hybrid of a liquid and a solid, and brimming with skin and haircare goodies, our Shampoo Crème is the perfect hair care shampoo. It was essential to us to ensure that the product is suitable for all hair types to enjoy, as well as working just as well in both hard and soft water.

Carefully formulated with scalp- and hair-loving ingredients, our new Shampoo Crème includes upcycled pink berry extract, natural rosemary oil, coconut oil and grapefruit oil. Benefit from the antioxidant properties of rosemary oil, scalp-soothing pink berry extract and deeply nourishing coconut oil with our concentrated formula, delivering up to three times as many washes as a liquid shampoo. 


At UpCircle, we take pride in our environmental ethics – we are certified vegan, cruelty-free, plastic negative and B-corp. Discover our full range of organic and cruelty-free products at UpCircle.