October 2023

Trending for Hair Loss: Rosemary Oil

Natural hair loss treatments continue to grow in popularity. Rosemary oil is currently being touted as “nature’s Rogaine” on social media. Be prepared to answer questions about this.

Much of the hype around rosemary is referencing one preliminary clinical study from 2015. The study shows that applying 1 mL of a specific brand of rosemary oil to the scalp twice daily for 6 months is as effective at increasing hair count as applying minoxidil 2% in people with male pattern baldness. While promising, there haven’t been any larger-scale clinical studies evaluating its effects since then, so much of this recent buzz is old news.

If patients want to give rosemary oil a try, tell them to look for products standardized to contain 1,8-cineole 3.7 mg per mL – this is similar to the product used in clinical research and seems to be well-tolerated. It might cause sun sensitivity and skin redness in some people, but there aren’t any major safety concerns for topical use. But make sure patients understand that taking undiluted rosemary oil or very large amounts of rosemary leaf by mouth is likely unsafe. Plus, there isn’t any evidence that taking rosemary by mouth benefits hair loss.

Remind patients to be cautious and to talk to their healthcare provider before trying any new trending remedies. And reiterate that these claims about rosemary on social media aren’t based on strong clinical evidence. Check out our rosemary monograph to learn more.

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