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What oil opens hair follicles?

How to use rosemary oil for hair growth, according to an expert

If you’ve noticed that your hair hasn’t been looking quite as full and voluminous as it once was, you’re not alone. According to the Cleveland Clinic, it’s estimated that more than 50 percent of women will experience noticeable hair loss — and there are so many reasons why it can happen. Everything from hormones to diet and stress can affect the appearance and quantity of your hair.

While there are plenty of great products on the market that can help you get thicker and healthier locks, some come with a high price tag and a risk of skin irritation. But, there is a more natural and affordable option that may do the trick.

One plastic surgeon previously went viral on TikTok after he posted a video saying that rosemary oil could be as effective as minoxidil (the star ingredient in Rogaine products). As evidence, he cited a 2015 study that showed that the essential oil had the same effect on growth as minoxidil and it was less likely to cause scalp itching. Since then, many other users have posted their own success stories on the app — and videos featuring the #rosemaryoil tag have garnered more than a billion views.

So we tapped Dr. Michelle Henry, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, to get all the details.

Does rosemary oil help with hair growth?

While there are a few essential oils that can help to stimulate hair growth, Henry said that rosemary oil tends to be a top choice. «Rosemary oil is equivalent to 2.5 percent minoxidil, which is pretty impressive,» she said. «It’s something that we can use during pregnancy or for patients who just don’t want to use minoxidil or are intolerant to it,» she said. Because it’s non-toxic and tends to be well-tolerated, almost anyone could incorporate it into their routine. «It’s safe to use as long as you appreciate the scent — which many do,» she added.


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While experts still aren’t entirely sure how it works, the belief is that it improves circulation in the area, which can lead to cellular turnover and growth, Henry said. As an added bonus, it’s also anti-inflammatory, and because inflammation plays a big role in a lot of hair loss conditions, like central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia (CCCA) or alopecia areata, it can be a helpful tool in managing and treating those issues.

Gya Labs Rosemary Essential Oil

Gya Labs Rosemary Essential Oil

Gya Labs Rosemary Essential Oil

$ 17.99

How to use rosemary oil for hair

To use it, Henry suggests mixing the oil with a carrier oil (like grapeseed or coconut oil), which will help your skin better tolerate the ingredient. Massage the concoction onto your scalp twice per day.

Another option is to use products that feature the oil as an active ingredient, Henry said.

In case you are curious to try the trend, we’re sharing seven top-rated hair products with rosemary oil that you can add to your beauty cabinet to help give your locks a boost.

Rosemary oil products for hair

Aveeno Fresh Greens Blend Sulfate-Free Shampoo

Aveeno Fresh Greens Blend Sulfate-Free Shampoo

Aveeno Fresh Greens Blend Sulfate-Free Shampoo

$ 10.79
$ 10.69
Bed Bath & Beyond

Made with oats, rosemary oil, peppermint and cucumber, this shampoo promises to soothe your scalp and add moisture and volume to your hair. It has more than 3,700 five-star reviews from shoppers who say that the formula has made their hair look and feel thicker and smoother.

BosleyMD BosRevive Volumizing Shampoo

BosRevive Volumizing Shampoo For Color-Treated Hair

BosRevive Volumizing Shampoo For Color-Treated Hair

$ 26.00
$ 41.99
$ 21.00

BosleyMD is well-known for creating effective hair loss solutions for both men and women. And this BosRevive Volumizing Shampoo is designed for people with non-color-treated hair who have noticeable thinning. In addition to rosemary, the cleansing shampoo also contains pumpkin seed extract and saw palmetto, two ingredients that the brand says can further help inhibit hair shedding and encourage growth.

Weleda Rosemary Conditioning Hair Oil

Weleda Rosemary Conditioning Hair Oil

Weleda Rosemary Conditioning Hair Oil

$ 24.95
$ 18.99

According to reviewers, this hair oil is great for adding volume and moisture to your mane. «Totally transformed my hair,» one reviewer wrote. To use, simply add a few drops to wet or dry hair and comb through. You only need to use a little at a time, so reviewers add that one bottle will last for a while.


Shop 11 expert-recommended products to help regrow thinning hair

Aveda Rosemary Mint Purifying Shampoo

Aveda Rosemary Mint Purifying Shampoo

Aveda Rosemary Mint Purifying Shampoo

$ 20.70
$ 21.00
$ 19.72

Along with rosemary, this shampoo features ingredients like micelles and white vinegar which help to remove product buildup without stripping the hair. «I have been using this shampoo for two years and absolutely love it,» wrote one verified Amazon reviewer. «I have super fine/thin hair. Typical volume adding shampoos tend to make my hair dull and waxy. This rosemary mint shampoo cleans my hair really well and leaves it soft, shiny and full without the waxy feeling and dull look.»

Pura D’Or Original Gold Label Anti-Thinning Biotin Shampoo

Pura D'Or Original Gold Label Anti-Thinning Biotin Shampoo

Original Gold Label Anti-Thinning Biotin Shampoo

$ 29.99

Not only is this shampoo an Amazon bestseller with more than 15,000 five-star ratings, but it’s also a TODAY shopper favorite. The formula, which promises to help reduce the appearance of hair thinning and increase volume of hair is made with a blend of beneficial ingredients, including biotin and pumpkin seed, black cumin seed and rosemary oils.

L’Oréal Paris EverPure Moisture Sulfate Free Shampoo and Conditioner

L'Or?al Paris EverPure Moisture Sulfate Free Shampoo and Conditioner

EverPure Moisture Sulfate Free Shampoo and Conditioner

$ 13.97
$ 19.98
$ 17.97
$ 13.97

Both the shampoo and conditioner in this set are said to be made with rosemary oil. Made to be used on color-treated hair, they’re said to add moisture, softness and «luminous shine» to dry strands.

Bondi Boost Hair Growth Shampoo

Bondi Boost Hair Growth Shampoo

Bondi Boost Hair Growth Shampoo

$ 29.95
$ 23.95

Celebrity hairstylist Cheryl Bergamy previously recommended this rosemary oil-infused shampoo for people with thinning hair. «It’s packed with vitamins, minerals and amino acids that revitalize the hair shaft, plus gentle cleansers to help whisk away scalp buildup,» she said.

What is the Mielle Rosemary Oil controversy?

Mielle Organics Rosemary Mint Scalp & Hair Strengthening Oil

Mielle Organics Rosemary Mint Scalp & Hair Strengthening Oil

Mielle Organics Rosemary Mint Scalp & Hair Strengthening Oil

$ 11.49

One popular rosemary oil product on the market is the Mielle Organics Rosemary Mint Scalp & Hair Strengthening Oil. Mielle Organics is a Black-owned beauty brand founded by Monique Rodriguez in 2014. According to the company, it creates products designed to promote the health and maintenance of natural hair. This rosemary hair oil is one of the brand’s bestsellers, and is designed to «deeply nourish» 3A to 4C, chemically-treated hair, braids, weaves and both low and high porosity level hair, the brand says.

Recently, the product gained a new following on TikTok after one popular influencer listed it as one of her top Amazon purchases of 2022. And as a result, many Black and brown women took to the comments section of the post to voice their concerns about the product selling out, changing or increasing in price as a result, and therefore becoming harder to obtain by its target audience. «The natural hair product section is so small, y’all have hundreds of brands catered to your hair and we have about 10 that actually work,» one user wrote.

«Black women have legitimate reasons to side eye white folks ‘discovering’ Mielle hair oil,» Uju Anya, a professor in the department of modern languages at Carnegie Mellon University shared on Twitter. «When brands BW [Black women] single-handedly kept afloat start chasing white money, they raise prices, change formulas, and erase BW from their image.»

Following the internet discussion, Rodriguez released a statement saying that saying that the company would not be making any changes to the formula. «My journey with Mielle started from a place of creating the product I wasn’t finding in the marketplace,» she shared. «We remain forever committed to developing quality, efficacious products that address the need states for our customers’ hair types!»

Emma Stessman is an Associate Editor for Shop TODAY.

Penetrating vs Sealing Oils For Hair. Choose the Right Oil!

Hair oils are all the rage on the market, they’ve become more and more popular not only as hair care products you can pick up from large brands but also as DIY home remedies.
Who doesn’t love a cheaper, cleaner, chemical-free homemade solution to a problem? We sure do!
But it’s important to know exactly what oils you’re using and for what reason. Argan oil is certainly trendy, but is it a good fit for you? Let’s find out!

There are two types of oils you can choose from when it comes to haircare: penetrating or sealing oils. They do very different things for your hair, so using them adequately is important!

Penetrating Oils

Penetrating or moisturizing oils are capable of entering your hair shaft and their primary use is to help lock moisture inside your hair shaft. At the same time, they also prevent too much water from entering the hair shaft which can damage the cuticle.

Moisture is one of the key elements needed to strengthen your hair and prevent breakage. You can use these types of oils by themselves, or by adding them to water or a leave-conditioner to help distribute them evenly through your hair. If you use these oils sparingly, you can leave them in your hair because they actually disappear without living a sticky film over your hair!

They make for a great pre-shampoo or sealant and you can also use them as hot oil treatments!

Here are some examples of penetrating oils:

Coconut Oil

One of the most popular hair care oils on the market, coconut oil is absorbed by the hair, and it’s a great way of preventing protein loss in the hair. It’s an excellent moisturizer and as we’ve mentioned above, moisture works wonders against breakage an adds a nice shine! BUT coconut oil isn’t for everyone depending on your Unique Haircare Profile (this is something we teach in Hair Growth Lab program as well) this oil can be your arch enemy or the best oil you’ve ever used.

Avocado Oil

Less known as a hair care product, avocado oil is actually just as beneficial for hair growth! It is also filled with great hair beautifying ingredients such as vitamin A, vitamin E and biotin! Eating avocados or applying the actual fruit to your hair is also beneficial, but the oil is good not only for its ingredients you can ingest but also as a tool to reduce dandruff, detangle your hair and fight breakage!

Olive Oil

Olive oil is readily available in many households and it’s a magnificent moisturizer for your hair! It has countless amazing benefits: of course, as a penetrating oil, it has great moisturizing properties, but it’s also an excellent way to give more shine to your hair! It does this by smoothing your hair cuticles, which also helps with damage such as split ends. Olive oil is also a great oil if you’d like to have a more manageable, moveable hair texture. It won’t stiffen up your hair, so it’ll be easy to style it!

Have you tried to use any of these penetrating oils for your hair already?

Sealing Oils

While penetrating oils can get inside your hair shaft, sealing oils are used to go on top of your hair and keep the useful moisture in! Sealing oils are best used after a thorough moisturizing process, because yes, these oils do keep added moisture in your hair! But they don’t let any new moisture get in.

These usually heavy and thick oils will not be absorbed by your hair, which means that there will be a thick film over your hair once you’ve applied it.

Sealing oils are most commonly used to keep your hair soft and conditioned, so it stays shiny and nice for a longer period of time!

Let’s have a look at some great sealing oils:

Jamaican Black Castor Oil

Due to its thickness, Jamaican black castor oil is a very good sealing oil for the thickest and curliest hair! Its consistency is similar to honey so it’s quite easy to spread, and it has a softening effect, so it holds your hair nicely whilst also allowing enough movement to style. Jamaican black castor oil also has the ability to draw out toxins from your hair, which stimulates hair growth!

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil has a much lighter consistency than Jamaican black castor oil. It is the oil that most closely resembles the natural oils our hair produces! It is a very effective sealing oil, and an added benefit is its soothing effect on the scalp!
If your scalp feels flaky and dry, try giving yourself a deep massage with jojoba oil.

Grapeseed Oil

Grapeseed oil has a similar consistency to jojoba oil: it’s light, it won’t weigh your hair down and it won’t make it feel as greasy as other oils. It’s best used after you’ve applied a leave-in conditioner to seal in that good moisture!
Grapeseed oil is not as thick as Jamaican black castor oil, so it’s best used by people whose hair is thinner or finer in texture.
If the smell of some of the above-mentioned oils bothers you, grapeseed oil has no scent, so this should be perfect for you!
And it’s heat resistant too, which is another added bonus!

So which oil is best for you?

As our mini oil crash course points out, not all oils are for everyone, and not all oils are beneficial for your specific treatment!

That’s why it’s so important to determine your Unique Haircare Profile.

Again, if you’re not sure how to do that — take a look at our Hair Growth Lab program where we guide you from setting your hair goals, determining your Unique Haircare Profile to creating your haircare routine to grow your healthiest hair!

The good news is as soon as you understand how the markup of your hair influences your oil choices it’s easy to connect the dots and find the perfect oil (without spending a ton of money on it).

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What essential oils are best for healthy hair?

Dr. Yoram Harth, MD

Whether it’s hair loss, itchy scalp, hair thinning, or damaged hair, we’re all looking for ways to tackle hair-related problems and promote healthy, voluminous tresses. If you’ve been searching for ways to step up your hair care game, don’t forget about essential oils. We’ve chosen the top 5 essential oils for hair. Learn which oil suits your hair based on its effectiveness and your desired hair goals.

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts obtained through distillation or mechanical pressing. They capture the plant’s flavor and scent and are uniquely aromatic. Each essential oil has a different composition of chemicals, and this variation affects the absorption, smell, and effect on the body.

Humans have been using oils for various medicinal and cosmetic reasons for centuries. One benefit of some essential oils is improving hair health. Different oils can do everything from helping hair grow to adding shine and improving overall strength.

How can essential oils benefit the hair?

There are many benefits of essential oils for your skin and hair. The leading hair perks include stimulating hair growth, reducing dandruff, nourishing hair, controlling oiliness, and decreasing hair loss.

The best essential oils for hair health

People have used essential oils for hair care for many years due to their moisturizing, soothing, and enriching properties. Instead of relying on expensive products that promise hair growth and repair with a long list of questionable ingredients, why not turn to natural ingredients with expert-backed research?

Lavender essential oil for hair growth

Lavender essential oil is often cherished for its relaxing scent — and your hair will love it just as much! Lavender has antibacterial and antifungal properties that keep the scalp and hair shafts clear of growth-inhibiting bacteria. This can combat scalp conditions such as dermatitis and dandruff. Since lavender oil is one of the more gentle oils, it can be used on sensitive skin with minimal side effects.

When used in the hair, lavender oil can also be used as an aromatherapy tool to calm the senses, relieve stress, and balance hormones. Three types of hair loss are associated with high-stress levels — telogen effluvium, trichotillomania, and alopecia areata. Since lavender reduces stress and cortisol (stress hormone) levels, it can also be a natural remedy for stress-induced hair loss.

Cedarwood essential oil for reducing hair loss

Cedarwood essential oil is made from various parts of the cedar tree. It has a wonderfully earthy smell and is often touted as a potent anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antiseptic — making it an excellent addition to any beauty regimen! It can stimulate hair follicles and fight hair loss, promote hair growth, and even help those facing alopecia areata.

Topical application of cedarwood essential oil can tighten the scalp’s follicles to prevent further hair loss or thinning. By fighting bacterial build-up on the scalp, cedarwood also encourages the appearance of increased hair volume and promotes hydration to transform dry, lifeless hair.

Rosemary oil for thicker hair

Rosemary essential oil offers primary health benefits such as anti-inflammatory properties, nerve growth promotion, and improved circulation. It enhances cellular generation, which leads to thicker, stronger, and healthier hair. Using rosemary oil regularly can reduce hair breakage and promote overall scalp wellness.

Studies have shown that rosemary oil performs just as well as Minoxidil (a popular over-the-counter hair loss medication) when massaged into the scalp daily. It has also been shown that rosemary can protect against future hair loss and regulate oil distribution by repairing and stimulating cells.

Pumpkin seed oil

Pumpkin seed oil is one of the most effective oils to support new hair growth. It is believed to block the effect of male hormones (DHT) on the hair follicle, reducing miniaturization typical to androgenetic hair loss in women. In addition, pumpkin seed oil also contains vitamin E and fatty acids that act as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents — improving scalp health. In one 2021 study on female pattern hair loss, pumpkin seed oil worked nearly as well as minoxidil foam in promoting hair growth. In this study, 30 women used Minoxidil for three months, and 30 more used pumpkin seed oil. The researchers found that pumpkin seed oil reduced hair shaft width diversity, a sign of new hair regrowth.

Peppermint essential oil for improved scalp circulation

Peppermint is fresh, stimulating, and uplifting. When applied to the skin, it has a cooling effect, can increase local blood circulation, and reduce dryness, itching, and other unwanted scalp problems. Increased blood flow to the scalp is especially beneficial for hair growth during the anagen phase, as it helps deliver essential nutrients and oxygen to starved hair follicles.

If you struggle with oily hair and scalp, peppermint essential oil is also great for helping «train» your hair into shampooing it less often while balancing oil (sebum) production. By clarifying and invigorating the hair without stripping it of its necessary oils, peppermint oil can balance the scalp’s sebum production while nourishing the hair.

Tea tree essential oil for cleansing hair and scalp

Tea tree essential oil is the jack of all trades for natural skincare. Tea tree oil can combat acne vulgaris, cure sweaty feet, and even freshen up your toothbrush thanks to its powerful cleansing, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties. It also does wonders when it comes to scalp health! Tea tree oil is widely used to combat infections and cure dandruff — it can open up clogged hair follicles to improve hair growth, cure scalp acne, and wash away product build-up on the hair. Tea tree oil can nourish the hair’s roots, promoting fullness and flowing locks when applied to the scalp.

How to use essential oils in the hair

A little goes a long way when using essential oils, which should always be used in their diluted form. You can mix one or more types of oils into your shampoo or conditioner for a subtle transition. For a full experience, you can create your own DIY treatment or hair mask by mixing a few drops of your oil of choice into 2 — 4 ounces of carrier oil. A carrier oil can include:

  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Jojoba oil
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Almond oil

Massage the essential oil mixture into the scalp for 2 — 3 minutes using circular motions. Dip your fingers into the mix and work it into the scalp’s sides, back, and middle. Use gentle but firm pressure when applying essential oils to help stimulate blood flow to the scalp. Say hello to natural, healthy hair!

What is the best plant-based hair growth serum for women with hair loss?

The best non-medicated plant-based serum for your scalp should:

  • Block DHT and prevent dermal fibrosis in the scalp
  • Stimulate blood flow by vasodilation of the capillaries
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Reduce the resting phase of the hair cycle and restart the anagen (growth) phase of the hair follicle.


  • Randomized trial of aromatherapy. Successful treatment for alopecia areata
  • Hair Growth-Promoting Effects of Lavender Oil

Find the most effective hair growth products for you by taking the free hair assessment.

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