Does Rosemary Water Help Hair Grow? An Examination of the Viral TikTok Trend

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The internet is buzzing with DIY hair care remedies, and one such trend that has taken social media, particularly TikTok, by storm is the use of rosemary water for hair growth. With millions of views on videos tagged with #rosemarywater, people are attributing their shiny, healthy, and long locks to a simple homemade concoction of boiled water and rosemary leaves. But does rosemary water truly live up to the hype? Let’s explore the science behind this viral trend and its effectiveness in promoting hair growth and overall hair health.

What is Rosemary Water?

Rosemary water is created by steeping rosemary leaves in water, resulting in an infused liquid that is claimed to have numerous benefits for hair and scalp health. The process involves boiling water with rosemary leaves, allowing the mixture to cool, and then straining the liquid to remove the leaves. The resulting rosemary-infused water can be stored in a bottle and used for various hair care purposes, such as a hair rinse or scalp spray.

The Science Behind Rosemary Water and Hair Growth

Several studies have investigated the potential benefits of rosemary for hair growth and scalp health. Some of these studies have focused specifically on the use of rosemary essential oil, while others have looked at rosemary water or tea. Here, we will explore the findings of these studies and their implications for the use of rosemary water in promoting hair growth.

Androgenic Alopecia Studies

A number of studies have examined the potential benefits of rosemary for individuals experiencing androgenic alopecia, or pattern baldness. These studies have found promising results in the use of rosemary for promoting hair growth in such individuals.

A 1998 study involving subjects with alopecia areata found that 44% of the participants who massaged a mixture of carrier oils and essential oils, including rosemary, into their scalp daily experienced hair growth improvement. In contrast, only 15% of the control group, who used only carrier oils, showed improvement.

Two separate studies in 2010 and 2011 observed that rosemary water for hair growth was particularly effective for individuals struggling with androgenic alopecia.

A 2015 study compared the effectiveness of rosemary essential oil with a 2% minoxidil solution, a popular medication for hair loss. The study found that after six months of use, both groups experienced increased hair counts, suggesting that rosemary essential oil may be as effective as minoxidil in promoting hair growth.

While these studies show promising results, it is important to note that they primarily focus on rosemary essential oil, not rosemary water. However, the potential benefits of rosemary for hair growth may still apply to rosemary water, as the active compounds in the leaves are likely to be present in the infused water as well.

Scalp Health and Hair Hydration

Healthy hair starts with a healthy scalp, and several studies have explored the potential benefits of rosemary for scalp health.

The 2015 study mentioned earlier found that participants who used rosemary oil experienced less scalp itching than those who used minoxidil. This suggests that rosemary oil may have anti-inflammatory and soothing properties that can benefit the scalp.

Esthetician Michelle Ornstein explains that rosemary oil is high in antifungal and antibacterial properties, which may be useful in combating dandruff and other scalp concerns.

While these studies focus on rosemary oil, the potential benefits for scalp health may also apply to rosemary water, as the active compounds in the leaves are likely present in the infused water as well.

Regarding hair hydration, it is unclear whether rosemary water has inherent hydrating properties. However, when used in combination with carrier oils or hair products, it may contribute to overall hair and scalp moisturization.

Hair Shine

While some TikTok users claim that rosemary water can enhance hair shine, there is limited scientific evidence to support this claim. Rosemary oil may temporarily provide shine to the hair when applied, but the long-term effects of rosemary water on hair shine are not well-established.

How to Make and Use Rosemary Water

To make rosemary water at home, follow these simple steps:

  1. Add 5 cups of water and 5 buds of rosemary (1 bud for every cup of water) to a pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Once the water is boiling, leave it for 15 minutes.
  3. Turn off the heat and let the mixture sit in the pot for 25 minutes until it has a “pinkish-reddish hue.”
  4. Strain the finished product into a bottle, removing the rosemary twigs. The solution can be refrigerated and used for one to two weeks if stored properly.

To use rosemary water for hair care, some TikTokers suggest pouring it over the head, saturating the roots and scalp, while others recommend spraying it on. You can also use it as a last step rinse in your shower hair-care routine.

What Experts Are Saying About Rosemary Water for Hair Health

While some research supports the use of rosemary for hair growth and scalp health, experts caution against relying solely on TikTok trends for hair care advice. It is important to consult a board-certified dermatologist or other healthcare professionals before trying any new hair-care product or treatment, especially if you have underlying scalp conditions or sensitivities.

Moreover, the effectiveness of rosemary water or oil is dependent on the quality of the ingredients used. It is essential to source organic or wildcrafted rosemary from reliable suppliers to ensure maximum benefits.

Who Might Want to Try (and Avoid) the Rosemary Water Trend?

Most people with healthy hair and no scalp concerns can try adding rosemary water to their hair care routine. Rosemary oil is generally considered safe for topical use, although some individuals may experience allergies or sensitivities.

It is crucial to consult a certified aromatherapist, integrative doctor, or dermatologist for guidance before trying anything new. Additionally, conducting a patch test before applying rosemary oil or water to the entire scalp or hair is advisable.

Individuals with specific hair or scalp concerns should proceed with caution and consult with a healthcare professional or dermatologist before trying any new product or treatment. Furthermore, anyone currently taking supplements for hair loss or being treated for hair loss with medications should not try rosemary oil or rosemary water, as certain contraindications may occur.

The Bottom Line on Rosemary Water for Hair Health

In conclusion, while rosemary oil has been associated with certain hair-related benefits, the scientific evidence supporting its effectiveness is limited, and there is no scientific evidence of rosemary water’s impact on hair health.

However, rosemary water may have some positive anecdotal effects on scalp health, hair growth, and the appearance of hair. Individual results may vary, and it’s essential to consider personal hair characteristics, potential allergies, and seek professional advice before trying any new hair-care trend.

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