A dermatologist and trichologist share whether or not this viral ingredient can actually improve hair thickness.
massaging hair oil into scalp with fingers
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We all want thick strands and, chances are, one of your hair care goals is to find products and ingredients that support their overarching health. The latest buzzword making the rounds—courtesy of TikTok—is rosemary oil, which allegedly drives hair growth. But can this essential oil actually lead to new growth? To separate fact from fiction (read: the latest viral trend), we turned to board-certified dermatologist and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine Jeannette Graf, MD, and trichologist and HairClub hair health expert Shab Reslan. Below, these experts share whether or not rosemary oil actually leads to new hair growth.

What is rosemary oil and how does it benefit your hair?

Rosemary essential oil is extracted from the rosemary plant, an evergreen shrub with needle-like leaves and a woody scent. Studies have shown that it has a myriad of health applications; as a result, it is a popular ingredient in many of today's beauty products. According to our experts, rosemary oil has several hair-related benefits. Dr. Graf notes that it can soothe itchiness on the scalp and improve the blood circulation around the hair follicles. Rosemary oil also contains anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties to eliminate build-up, says Reslan, and is a potent antioxidant (which means it protects your hair from environmental aggressors).

Does rosemary oil promote hair growth?

The short answer is yes. "Rosemary essential oil can help stimulate healthy, thick hair," affirms Dr. Graf. "The oil can speed up the process of cell turnover and growth, which can work as a natural remedy to grow thicker hair. Since it is an anti-inflammatory, it is used for [preventing hair loss], as well as regrowth."

How should you apply rosemary oil to your hair and scalp?

Both Dr. Graf and Reslan explain that rosemary oil is beneficial for all hair types. "The properties of this oil work to create healthy hair follicles and prevent further damage," says Dr. Graf. And while you can apply it to the ends of your hair, rosemary oil is best worked into the scalp, says Reslan. "Mix a few drops of rosemary oil with any carrier oil, like argan or sweet almond oil, and massage it into your scalp 20 minutes before you jump in the shower," she says, adding that it will invigorate and nourish the skin on your head. "You can even mix it into your shampoo." Dr. Graf agrees, and adds that you can also add a few drops into the hair care products you use after your shower.

Which hair care products have rosemary oil as a star ingredient?

Better yet, choose a hair care product that has already been formulated with this superhero ingredient. Dr. Graf recommends the Mielle Rosemary Mint Oil ($9.99, mielleorganics.com) or the Kiehl's Magic Elixir ($22, kiehls.com) for a healthy scalp and thicker hair. Reslan recommends the Maxxam Normalizing Shampoo ($16.99, shop.hairclub.com) and the Hair Reconstructor ($19.99, shop.hairclub.com) as a weekly treatment to help treat damaged hair.


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