The Potential Benefits and Risks of Rosemary Water for Hair Health

Rosemary oil’s potential benefits for hair are well-documented, but what about rosemary water? Rosemary water is made by boiling rosemary leaves in water and letting the mixture cool for several hours. Many people claim that rosemary water can improve hair health due to its antifungal and antibacterial properties, but is this true?

 Unfortunately, there is no solid scientific evidence to support these claims. Henry states that there is no specific research on the effects of rosemary water on hair health, and any claim about it should be approached with caution. Moreover, even though rosemary oil is known for its beneficial properties for hair, there is no guarantee that rosemary water will have the same effects. That being said, rosemary water can still have some benefits for hair as a moisturizing and refreshing hair treatment. However, it is important to note that each person has different hair characteristics and results may vary depending on individual hair qualities. Ultimately, if you want to try rosemary water as a hair treatment, it is important to consult a healthcare professional or dermatologist for personalized advice based on your hair type and scalp condition. Although rosemary water may potentially offer some benefits for hair, it is important to exercise caution and not expect miraculous results.

The Rise of Rosemary Water as a Hair Care Trend

Rosemary water has become a popular trend in hair care lately. Most people with healthy hair and no scalp issues can try adding rosemary water to their hair care routine. However, it is important to note that some people may be sensitive or allergic, so caution should be exercised.

Rosemary oil is generally considered safe for topical use and side effects are rare. However, in some people, using rosemary oil on the scalp may cause irritation and inflammation. It is recommended to avoid trying something new before consulting a certified aromatherapist, integrative physician, or dermatologist. Additionally, excessive use or high concentration of essential oils such as rosemary oil can potentially cause skin irritation or allergic reactions.

It is important for individuals with specific hair or scalp problems to exercise caution before using rosemary water or rosemary oil. Before trying any new product or treatment, especially if they have underlying scalp issues or sensitivities, it is always advised to consult a healthcare professional or dermatologist.

There is absolutely no scientific evidence regarding the effects of rosemary water on hair health. However, it can be said that rosemary water may have some anecdotal positive effects on scalp health, hair growth, and hair appearance. Individual results may vary, so it is important to take into account your personal hair characteristics and any allergies before trying any new hair care trend and seeking the advice of a professional.

What is Rosemary Water?

Michelle F. Henry, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City and a clinical instructor in dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College, explains that rosemary water is created by infusing rosemary leaves in water, resulting in an infused liquid. On her video, Niomi gives a recipe for making rosemary water: she explains to start with 5 sprigs of rosemary (1 sprig for every cup of water) and 5 cups of water in a pot over medium-high heat, then “leave it for 15 minutes when the water boils.” Next, turn off the heat and let the mixture sit in the pot for 25 minutes until it turns a “reddish pink” color. Finally, remove the rosemary branches and strain the finished product into a bottle. The solution can be stored for one to two weeks if cooled and stored properly.

As for its use, some TikTokers recommend pouring rosemary water onto the scalp to nourish the roots and scalp, while others suggest spraying the water onto the hair. Niomi suggests using it as the final step in your hair care routine in the shower.

What Experts Say About Rosemary Water for Hair Health?

The so-called miracle elixir of rosemary water according to TikTokers? Here’s what the experts have to say.

Rosemary water can stimulate hair growth

There is research that supports the plant’s potential to stimulate hair growth. In addition to the 2015 study cited by Niomi, which found that rosemary oil was as effective as 2% minoxidil after six months of use, a small study published in 2013 supported the ability of rosemary leaf extract to promote hair regrowth in participants with androgenetic alopecia.

However, Michelle Ornstein, an esthetician and founder of Enessa Skincare in Los Angeles, explains that there is a big difference between the oil or extract used in studies and the potency of a DIY water. “The manufacturing of a volatile oil involves using professional and sterile equipment at controlled temperatures rather than evaporating a cooked plant under high and non-uniform temperature conditions,” says Ornstein.

In volatile oils, the process of extracting the concentrated oil from the plant involves steam distillation without overheating or creating a “burnt” oil. “The byproduct of the volatile oil is the hydrosol or hydrolat, which is less concentrated and water-based, but contains most of the same benefits as the volatile oil, but in a less concentrated way,” she says.

Ornstein also adds that the effectiveness of rosemary water or oil depends on the quality of its components. “In other words, they must be organic or from reliable and natural sources,” she says.

However, even when looking at the benefits of stronger rosemary essential oil, Dr. Henry supports that more research is needed to establish a direct link. So far, available studies are small and preliminary and do not suggest any certain long-term benefits. There is also no specific study on rosemary water for hair care.

It is also important to note that volatile oils are not regulated by the FDA in the United States. Before applying any new essential oil or extract-based product, even homemade, to your hair and body, it is important to consult a certified aromatherapist or integrative practitioner.

Rosemary water can improve scalp health and contribute to healthy hair. According to a 2015 study that examined the use of rosemary oil, participants who used this oil had less scalp itching than those in the minoxidil group. Ornstein declares that rosemary oil is known for its antifungal and antibacterial properties and may be helpful in fighting dandruff as well as other scalp issues. However, Henry notes that scientific research on the effect of essential rosemary oil on scalp health is limited and these studies focus on rosemary oil rather than rosemary water. Therefore, further research is needed to better understand the potential link between rosemary water and scalp health.

Regarding the claim that rosemary water hydrates hair, Henry states that this is not really valid. “Rosemary itself does not have natural moisturizing properties,” she says. However, she adds that when rosemary water is combined with carrier oils or hair products, it can help to hydrate the hair and scalp more generally.

Rosemary water can give temporary shine to the hair when applied, but Henry is not convinced that rosemary water can increase hair shine in the long term and there is no research on the subject. “It can improve the appearance of hair by adding a brilliant shine, but the effect is temporary and may vary depending on individual hair characteristics,” she says.

Most people with healthy hair and no scalp issues can try adding rosemary water to their hair care routine. As for side effects, rosemary oil is generally considered safe for topical use. However, Henry notes that some people may be allergic or sensitive to it. The use of rosemary oil on the scalp can cause irritation and inflammation in some people. It is therefore very important to consult a certified aromatherapist, integrative physician, or dermatologist before trying anything new. Henry declares that “a patch test is recommended before applying rosemary oil or water to the entire scalp or hair.”

In addition, excessive use or high concentrations of volatile oils such as rosemary oil can potentially lead to skin irritation or allergic reactions. People with specific hair or scalp issues should proceed with caution. Henry adds that “before trying any new product or treatment, especially if there are underlying scalp problems or sensitivities, it is always recommended to consult a healthcare professional or dermatologist.” Furthermore, people who are currently taking supplements for hair loss or receiving medical treatment for hair loss should not try rosemary oil or water as this may have contraindications.

In conclusion, although rosemary oil is associated with some hair-related benefits, there is limited scientific evidence to support its effectiveness and there is absolutely no scientific evidence of the effect of rosemary water on hair health. Henry states that there may be some positive anecdotal effects of rosemary water on scalp health, hair growth, and appearance. “However, individual results may vary and it is important to take into account personal hair characteristics, potential allergies, and seek professional advice before trying a new hair care trend,” she adds.

Leave a Comment