What’s the deal with the rosemary oil postpartum hair loss hype?
I didn’t experience major post-partum hair loss with either of my babies.
That said, I lose so much hair anyway when showering – less since I stopped washing it more than every three or four days – I may just not have noticed. And, since having kids, I can’t work bangs anymore. The hair just isn’t there, and if it is, it breaks.
Asking over the desks, TRB Partnerships Manager Harriet says she definitely experienced postpartum hair loss. But more around the front of her hairline, with ‘baby hair’ making an appearance some time after birth. And, in fact, that her hair started falling out more during pregnancy, than after.
For sure, we’re all different. But in terms of treatment, rosemary oil has shot up in popularity in the last year. And that’s not just for postpartum hair loss. Rosemary oil can support hair growth during non-pregnancy related hormonal shifts, as a result of alopecia, post-infection or illness, after cancer treatment and more.
So, how does it help, according to the science? Which are the best-sellers? How long will it take to see results? And, are we ok to use it while breastfeeding? Let’s deep-dive rosemary oil for hair growth, before and after babies (and beyond).
Rosemary oil benefits, for hair loss
Native to the Mediterranean, Rosemary oil has been used for centuries, as a traditional treatment for hair health, plus an array of other health and wellbeing concerns. Specifically for hair, the benefits of rosemary oil start with scalp health and can include:
- increased blood circulation
- hair follicle support
- supporting damaged hair and re-growth
- all of the ‘antis’ (inflammatory, fungal, bacterial and oxidant), helping with dandruff and comfort
- scalp hydration and relief from itchiness
- encouraging nerve growth
- a ‘blocker’ effect on the effects of DHT (a hormone which contributes to male pattern baldness)
With rosemary oil, we’re very much talking about the root of the problem, so to speak, and scalp health. Things like healthy blood flow, fending off even slight infection and inflammation status are crucial for a healthy scalp, and hair growth.
And, taking postpartum hair loss as our main focus, these benefits can boost our scalp in its regrowth job, after our hormones have shifted several times over.
Should I invest?
First off, rosemary oil hair washes, shampoos and treatments range in price. There’s a reason they’ve gone somewhat viral on TikTok – they’re pretty affordable – with the bestseller riding high on Amazon setting you back around $8.
That’s another aspect of the huge popularity – you really don’t need to spend much to try one out, and many options in the US and Europe have achieved cult status thanks to offering that holy grail of wellbeing – affordable and really effective.
Minoxidil or rosemary oil?
Professional trichologists (hair and scalp experts) usually recommend minoxidil as the best active ingredient to combat hair loss. It’s effective, but with the added benefit of being a more natural remedy, rosemary oil has held its own against minoxidil in clinical studies, even delivering less itch, for testers.
The bottom line here is that rosemary oil moisturizes the scalp, helping to reduce dryness and itchiness. It also prevents hair loss, and can help thicken and grow your hair more steadily, once you’ve given it a spot in your regular hair care routine.
Can I apply rosemary oil directly to hair?
Again, think scalp. Along with gorgeous-smelling hair, you really want to focus on the scalp, when applying rosemary oil. The most effective DIY technique is to mix 3-5 drops of rosemary oil on your palm with a small amount of carrier oil – jojoba and coconut are great – and massage into the scalp.
You can then wash it out and reap the silky-softening benefits on your hair, or go for a product that does the job for you, like a rosemary oil shampoo or wash treatment.
So, think scalp then hair, and be sure to mix it with that carrier oil or your shampoo. Rosemary oil can irritate the skin for a minority of people, so go gently and stop using if you’re in discomfort.
Can you use rosemary oil in hair when breastfeeding?
The jury’s out and this one is very much up to you. Many women opt for rosemary oil as a natural alternative to harsh chemicals which treat hair loss, particularly during breastfeeding.
Remember you’re using rosemary oil for hair loss topically – never swallow or take it orally.
When will I see results?
As with many botanical treatments, this isn’t an overnight fix. But with moms seeing back-to-normal hair growth on average a year postpartum, rosemary oil can certainly speed things up.
Expect noticeable results around six months after you begin treatment with rosemary oil, and don’t give up if you see nothing at all by three months in. Studies show it does take that full six months to see real regrowth.
Which oil is best?
With so many lovely options to go for, here are my top picks – all available in the US and UK and packed with botanical goodness and efficacy at a good range of price points.