Hair loss is not usually a cause for concern but it can be highly distressing so people are often driven to make agonising decisions to correct it. Despite the psychological cost of hair loss, having a hair transplant may be an off-putting solution to many people, leaving them to suffer in silence. However, evidence suggests you do not have to go under the knife to restore your head of hair.
Research has found that applying certain essential oils to your head can promote hair growth.
One promising essential oil is rosemary oil, which is extracted from the herb native to the Mediterranean region.
The hair-growing benefits are attributed to the properties found in the oil.
One study found that carnosic acid, the active ingredient in the plant, healed tissue and nerve damage.
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Why does this help hair to grow? The ability to heal nerve endings may rejuvenate nerves in the scalp too, in turn possibly restoring hair growth.
Other studies have drawn a direct link between applying rosemary oil and hair growth.
One trial pitted the essential oil against minoxidil, an over-the-counter drug commonly used to treat hair loss.
Both were used on human subjects with male or female pattern baldness – which means permanent hair loss that runs in the family.
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Results showed that rosemary essential oil was just as effective a minoxidil.
During the process, it helped the side effect of itchy scalp more successfully than minoxidil.
Bolstering the findings, two separate clinical reviews also acknowledge rosemary’s hair growth potential.
The former cites a study with successful hair regrowth in people with alopecia who used essential oils.
Rosemary oil: Evidence attributes the benefits to carnosic acid, an active ingredient in the plant
One of these essential oils was rosemary.
In the latter review, rosemary essential oil was described as a hair loss restorative. This was due to its circulation-improving effects.
Furthermore, an animal study of rosemary leaf extract (different from the essential oil) showed it stimulated hair growth.
This occurred when hair loss was triggered by testosterone (as in pattern baldness).
“Losing hair can be upsetting. For many people, hair is an important part of who they are,” explains the NHS.
According to the health body, if your hair loss is causing you distress, your GP may be able to help you get some counselling.
“You may also benefit from joining a support group, or speaking to other people in the same situation on online forums,” it says.
To find out more information, try these online support groups:
- Alopecia UK
- Alopecia Awareness