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How Long Should You Leave Rosemary Oil In Your Hair?
Dr Ahmad Moussa (FRCS)
Medically reviewed by
Dr Ahmad Moussa (FRCS)
Updated on January 12, 2024

Rosemary oil is an essential oil that can be used to promote hair growth. Multiple studies have shown it has strong potential as a treatment for male pattern baldness [1-3].

Like all hair loss treatments, using rosemary oil for hair growth takes time to work. For each application, you can apply the rosemary oil to the balding areas of your scalp for up to 12 hours before washing it off. The longer you can leave it, the greater the chance that it will have a positive impact on your hair follicles.

Here, we’ll explore how long you should leave rosemary oil in your hair, how to use it, and how often you should apply rosemary oil for best results.

Table of Contents

How does rosemary oil work for your hair?

Rosemary oil is a natural DHT blocker. That means it can stop dihydrotestosterone (DHT) from binding to receptors in your hair follicles [3].

DHT is a key hormone that contributes to male pattern baldness. By preventing DHT from binding to your follicles, you can slow hair loss and possibly promote regrowth.

How to prepare rosemary oil for scalp application

As a pure essential oil, rosemary oil can cause skin irritation if it’s applied directly. If you find rosemary oil irritates your scalp, consider using a diluted rosemary oil for hair. Find out more about how to dilute rosemary oil with a carrier oil (such as coconut oil) before application on the scalp or hair.

Studies have shown that applying up to 2ml of rosemary oil to your scalp per day is safe and effective [2]. By comparison with 2% Minoxidil, rosemary oil causes less itchiness, and similar levels of scalp dryness, dandruff, and greasiness.

If you haven’t used rosemary oil before, perform a patch test before you apply it in larger volumes. Wait 24 hours to see if you have a reaction to the oil.

Want to use premixed rosemary oil blends? Check out the best rosemary oil for hair in our expert review.

Can I leave rosemary oil in my hair all day?

Yes — as long as it doesn’t irritate your skin, there’s no reason why you can’t leave rosemary oil in your hair all day.

In one study, patients were advised to apply 1ml of rosemary oil to their scalp every 12 hours and massage it into their thinning areas [2]. This led to some regrowth after six months of twice-daily application:

before and after results of using rosemary oil

If you have any irritation or sensitivity, reduce application time. Leaving rosemary oil on your scalp for just an hour may help with hair growth (though you might need to use it for several months before you see visible improvements).

See more rosemary oil for hair before and after images.

Is it OK to leave rosemary oil in your hair overnight?

Yes. Provided you don’t have any adverse reactions to rosemary oil, you can leave it on your hair overnight.

If you decide to leave rosemary oil on your scalp, protect your pillowcase by wearing a shower cap or sleeping on a towel.

What happens if you don’t wash rosemary oil out of your hair?

Not washing out rosemary oil can leave your hair prone to greasiness and scalp buildup. So while it’s OK to leave rosemary oil in your hair for as long as you’re comfortable, it’s still a good idea to wash your hair regularly.

How long should you use rosemary oil for?

Studies have shown that rosemary oil can improve hair count with just three months of daily application [2]. It doesn’t work overnight; you’ll need to apply rosemary oil to your scalp consistently to see results.

Can too much rosemary oil damage your hair?

There’s currently no evidence that rosemary oil can damage your hair. While long-term use without washing it out can lead to cosmetic problems like greasiness, this is easily resolved by washing your hair regularly.

More studies are needed to conclusively prove that rosemary oil doesn’t harm your hair or scalp.

However, rosemary oil for beard growth may have a detrimental effect. Rosemary oil blocks DHT, which is needed for facial hair growth. So avoid applying rosemary oil to your face if you’re concerned about this.

Should you use rosemary oil for hair loss?

Rosemary oil hasn’t been officially licensed as a hair loss solution, but evidence suggests it can be a safe, effective treatment for those with androgenetic alopecia (pattern baldness). As long as you’re not allergic or sensitive to any of the ingredients, you can safely try using rosemary oil for hair loss.

Other DHT blockers may be more effective at stopping or slowing your hair loss, such as Finasteride and Dutasteride. To find the right hair loss treatment for you, book a free consultation at the Wimpole Clinic.

Teams at our nationwide clinic locations can help you establish the best hair loss treatment for women or the right male hair loss treatment.

How Long Should You Leave Rosemary Oil In Your Hair?, Wimpole Clinic

Dr Ahmad Moussa (FRCS)
Medically reviewed by Dr Ahmad Moussa (FRCS)Updated on January 12, 2024
The Wimpole Clinic offers FUE Hair, Beard & Eyebrow Transplants & Trichology.
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