Rosemary Tea & Hair: What’s True & What’s False

Hand holding blooming rosemary herbs

If you’ve been told that rosemary can help you grow long and beautiful hair, you wouldn’t be the first. Many people swear by rosemary-infused oil as a hair-growth supplement.

Still, does rosemary really support hair growth? What about rosemary tea? Let’s learn about the scientific benefits of rosemary for hair together.

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What Is Rosemary?

Rosemary is an evergreen shrub that produces purple, pink, or blue flowers in the springtime. Although this plant is native to the Mediterranean region, it is now a staple in many herb gardens throughout the world.

Known best for their role in Italian and Mediterranean seasoning, rosemary leaves are flat and needle-like. Sprigs of rosemary are not just used for cooking but are also a fixture in traditional medicine. Rosemary leaves are the primary ingredients in folk remedies that claim to help improve memory, soothe muscles, and even stimulate hair growth.

Because of this, both fresh rosemary and dried rosemary leaves are popular ingredients in many hair care products, such as hairsprays, shampoos, conditioners, hair treatments, and hair oils.

Rosemary Oil vs. Rosemary Tea

Most scientific studies on the effects of rosemary on hair are dedicated to rosemary oil. While both rosemary oil and rosemary tea are technically rosemary infusions, there are some key differences between the two.

First, rosemary oil is, well, an oil. For hair, rosemary oil is applied topically and massaged into the scalp. Rosemary essential oil can also help lubricate dry hair shafts and moisturize a dry scalp.

Meanwhile, rosemary tea is an infusion of rosemary in water. It provides a host of benefits when sipped, but many of these benefits won’t reach your hair. To get the hair-growth benefits of rosemary water, you’ll have to make a rosemary hair rinse.

What We Know: Benefits of Rosemary for Hair

Because much research on the subject has been devoted to rosemary oil, we have little information about rosemary tea and hair. However, there are a few things that we know for sure about rosemary as a general hair helper.

Can Promote Thicker Hair

Rosemary oil can promote thicker hair. In fact, one study found that rosemary oil stimulated hair growth similarly to leading chemical solutions.

As an added benefit, rosemary oil got the job done with fewer unpleasant side effects. In just six months, researchers noticed significant hair growth in subjects who previously had thinning hair. If rosemary oil is that effective, then it’s possible that rosemary tea can help with hair health as well.

Supports Longer Hair

Rosemary oil might also help protect the hair that’s already there. One animal study showed that rosemary leaf extract can help stimulate hair follicles for faster growth and reduced hair breakage.

This may be because rosemary can support better blood circulation. The more your blood is able to circulate, the more efficiently your hair follicles are able to get the nutrients and oxygen they need.

Although the study focused on rosemary leaf extract, rosemary tea has been shown to demonstrate the same circulation support. 

Promotes Scalp Health

Rosemary can help support your body’s defense against bacteria and fungi with its antimicrobial properties. This is incredibly helpful for hair growth because many conditions such as dandruff that can prevent or harm hair growth are rooted in bacteria or fungi.

Rosemary also has soothing properties, so it can calm signs of irritation like dryness and itchiness. Oftentimes, irritation can also lead to hair problems, so rosemary is doubly helpful for our scalps.

Soothes Feelings of Stress

Rosemary is known to soothe feelings of stress and promote feelings of relaxation. Since intense stress can be a factor in many hair problems, this is instrumental in helping you get healthier-looking hair. 

In fact, all forms of rosemary can help promote emotional and mental wellness. This includes drinking rosemary as a tea, applying rosemary oil, smelling rosemary extract, and more.

What We Don’t Know About Rosemary and Hair

Despite everything we know about rosemary’s benefits for hair, there is still plenty of stuff we don’t know, too. Here are some questions that science hasn’t quite answered yet.

Is Rosemary Better Than Medicine For Hair Growth?

While one of the studies we mentioned found rosemary comparable to medicinal hair solutions, there’s no evidence that rosemary is better for your hair. While applying rosemary oil or tea rinses may help your hair, we still recommend listening to your dermatologist first and foremost.

Sometimes hair loss can be indicative of an underlying health condition as well. Because of this, you should always talk to a doctor before trying any home remedies for a potentially serious ailment.

Does Rosemary Lead to Healthier Hair?

While we can point to several benefits of rosemary tea, we can’t say for sure whether rosemary leads to healthier hair. However, we’re hopeful that scientific research will help us understand more about this magical herb soon.

In the meantime, a helpful way to support your hair health is to maintain a healthy diet. Eating a diet full of fiber, healthy fats, and vitamins is a wonderful way to show your hair some love.

Can Rosemary Stop Balding?

As of now, we don’t have any research to suggest that rosemary tea can stop balding. This is especially true for balding that is associated with medications.

If you are balding, there are still options available to you! We recommend talking with your dermatologist to come up with an actionable plan.

How to Use Rosemary Tea for Hair

If you’re ready to start incorporating rosemary tea into your hair care routine, you’re in luck! Here are a few ways you can get started.

Rosemary Hair Rinse

This hair rinse is super easy to make and fits right into your daily hair care routine. You can even use it in the shower!

Simply take a rosemary tea like Calming De-Stress by Tealyra and steep it in boiling water for several hours. By steeping it for this long, your tea is going to have a strong infusion of nutrients that your hair can soak up.

Once you have your concentrated rosemary tea infusion, simply rinse your hair with it and allow it to sit for three to five minutes. After you’re done, rinse it out and let your silky locks air dry.

DIY Rosemary Shampoo

A clarifying shampoo is essential for washing away product buildup and returning your hair to a clean slate. To make this shampoo at home, simply combine three tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with two cups of rosemary tea such as Tabula Rasa by Aesthete Tea.

Keep in mind that this is a clarifying shampoo, so it’s not meant to replace your daily shampoo. This concoction should be used once a week before your normal shampoo. Lather up!

Homemade Rosemary Tea Conditioner

Conditioner is one of the most important products in your hair care routine because it helps to soften your hair and lubricate your hair strands. 

To make a rosemary-based conditioner, we recommend combining one cup of rosemary tea such as Pineapple Sage & Rosemary Herbal Tea by Cherry Valley Organics, two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, and one teaspoon of a carrier oil like coconut oil. Simply place it into a spray bottle and spritz it onto your hair after your shampoo.

If you want to double up on rosemary, you can also substitute the coconut oil for eight to ten drops of rosemary essential oil. 

Final Thoughts

Rosemary is a common herb that has uses in all parts of life. One of its most common uses is as a traditional hair-growth remedy in folk medicine. 

While science does support rosemary’s hair-supporting qualities, there’s still a lot we don’t know about this herb. However, when consumed as tea or used as a topical hair solution, you might just be surprised at what this common garden herb does for your hair.

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Rosemary oil vs minoxidil 2% for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia: a randomized comparative trial | SKINmed 

Promotion of hair growth by Rosmarinus officinalis leaf extract | Phytotherapy Research 

Biological activities of Rosmarinus officinalis L. (rosemary) extract as analyzed in microorganisms and cells | Experimental Biology and Medicine 

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