Is rosemary oil actually good for hair growth? We asked the experts about the viral TikTok trend

Here's what they had to say

a side profile picture of a woman - rosemary oil for hair growth
(Image credit: Getty Images Peter Griffith 905456520)

If you've been on TikTok lately, then you'll definitely have seen hundreds of videos of people applying rosemary oil to their hair. These videos are racking up millions of views and counting, so why are they so popular?

Many of us have suffered with thinning hair from time to time, and people are claiming that rosemary oil has helped speed up their hair growth and leave them with thicker looking strands.

However, none of the videos we have seen have come from qualified hair experts or trichologists, so it got us thinking, does rosemary oil really work?

Not only that, but people have now started uploading videos showing that after using the oil over a period of time, their hair has started to fall out instead.

We decided that enough was enough, and we went straight to the experts to cut through the noise and find out what rosemary oil actually does. Keep on scrolling to see what they had to say, and while you're here, why not check out our guide to the best shampoo for hair loss and the best hairstyles for fine hair?

Does rosemary oil make your hair grow?

According to Hannah Gaboardi, trichologist and Viviscal ambassador, rosemary oil can help with hair growth. "Rosemary oil is known for improving damage and cellular turnover. This means that blood circulation is improved resulting in more hair growth."

But the benefits don't stop there. "Rosemary oil can also help with nourishment and locking in hair’s moisture," explains Gaboardi. "It has properties that improve blood circulation to the scalp, while getting rid of any bacteria that clogs hair follicles."

How long do you need to use rosemary oil for to see results?

"Rosemary oil is most effective when used a minimum of one to two times a week consistently for at least six months," says Gaboardi. So, videos on TikTok promising hair growth in a matter of weeks probably aren't the most accurate.

Although it does make your hair grow, Gaboardi recommends making sure that you're tackling the hair loss issue from the inside out, and using other products that support your hair health alongside rosemary oil. "In my opinion, this is the best way to maintain hair health. I would advise using the full spectrum of Viviscal products, including the Viviscal Healthy Hair VitaminsThickening Shampoo, Strengthening Conditioner and Thickening Serum. They are a great way to boost your hair condition at home."

How should you use rosemary oil on your hair?

Do a patch test

According to Samantha Stewart, trichologist from The Spencer Clinic of Trichology, always do a patch test before using rosemary oil for the first time. "I would always advise someone to do a patch test to ensure they are not allergic to it. If they experience any form of itching or burning stop using immediately."

Apply to the affected area

If you don't experience any irritation after your patch test, Gaboardi says to apply rosemary oil to the affected area where you are experiencing hair loss. 

Massage into the scalp

Finally, use a scalp massager to work it into the hair.

"Scalp massaging increases hair thickness by stretching the cells of hair follicles. This then stimulates the follicles to produce thicker hair. So using it in conjunction with rosemary oil would be very effective," explains Gaboardi.

It's worth noting that you should never apply pure rosemary oil to your hair. "It must always be diluted with a good quality carrier oil," explains Stewart. "Undiluted rosemary oil can cause scalp irritation or even chemical burns."

We always recommending checking the ingredients before purchasing a rosemary oil for your hair, and if you're using the oil yourself, make sure you’re diluting it with another oil-based product.

Are there any downsides to using rosemary oil on your hair?

When used correctly, there aren't many downsides to using rosemary oil. However, as explained by Stewart, "because rosemary oil has to mixed into a carrier oil, it can make the hair very greasy and will need to be washed off.

"This in itself can pose a problem as if not washed properly, it could leave hair looking greasy and flat."

If this is something you are worried about, not to fear, as there are lots of other things you can do to help stimulate hair growth.

How to help your hair grow

In order to help your hair grow, it's best to take a well-rounded approach, tackling the problem both inside and out.

"You need to ensure you are getting enough minerals in your diet, by eating foods such as spinach, fatty fish, nuts and sweet potato," says Gaboardi. "Take supplements such as the Viviscal Healthy Hair Vitamins, which are great at keeping your hair cuticle healthy and nourished from the inside out."

There are also alternative products you can use. Stewart recommends the Hair Gain Scalp Foam, which is a water-based foam that absorbs into the scalp and leaves no residue. "Not only does the foam support healthy hair, but it ensures that the scalp is in optimum health due to the ingredients' anti-inflammatory properties. After all, a healthy scalp equals healthy hair growth."

Grace Lindsay

Grace Lindsay is currently Junior Beauty Editor at Who What Wear UK and previously was Marie Claire UK's E-Commerce Writer.  With over three years of experience in the fashion and beauty industry, she covers everything from the best make-up and skincare deals to how to shop the stand out trends of the season. When she's not typing away at her laptop, Grace can be found shopping her favourite vintage markets IRL, or catching up on her never-ending list of books to read.