Rosemary essential oil is a promising alternative for hair growth promotion!
Humanity has a curious relationship with hair – we try hard to get rid of it in some places while simultaneously researching ways to regrow it in others.
Androgenetic alopecia is the most common type of hair loss in both men and women. The most widely used treatment is topical minidoxil – the active ingredient in Regaine, Rogaine and other hair-regrowth preparations.
A 2015 randomized comparative trial put the standard treatment to a test by comparing it with Rosemary essential oil.
Half of the 100 participants used 1ml of a Rosemary oil lotion (approx. 1% Rosemary essential oil) twice a day, while the other half used 2% solution of minoxidil in the same way. After six months of this treatment, the patients were evaluated by two dermatologists, as well as through a self-reporting questionnaire. (The chemotype of Rosemary was not mentioned, but reading between the lines appeared to be 1,8-cinoeole. The lotion base was not described.)
The Rosemary oil group saw significantly better results: a greater increase in new hair growth, significant decrease in hair loss and also less side effects.
The study argues that the effects may be due to the essential oil relaxing the muscles and thus promoting better blood flow to the follicles in combination with anti-oxidant properties.
The findings are supported by a 2012 trial in which a blend of essential oils, including Rosemary, was successfully used for alopecia areata (a different type of alopecia).