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Is Rosehip Oil Good for Hair Loss? Evidence Review 2024
Dr Meena Zareie (GMC)
Medically reviewed by
Dr Meena Zareie (GMC)
Updated on May 9, 2024

You may be wondering whether rosehip oil is good for hair loss, since its purported hair health benefits have started to receive a lot of attention online. There is no simple answer to that question since few scientific studies have been conducted to examine the properties of rosehip oil when applied to your hair and scalp. 

Some researchers have looked at the composition of rosehip oil and deduced from its fatty acid and natural antioxidant content that it could strengthen and protect your hair strands and help treat some common scalp problems through its anti-inflammatory properties [1].

However, studies on human participants are needed in order to determine to what extent your hair can benefit from the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of rosehip oil when applied topically and the best way to use it. 

Keep reading this article to find out all you need to know about:

  • What rosehip oil is and what it contains
  • The evidence behind rosehip purported hair benefits
  • How you can use rosehip oil on your hair
  • The best evidence-based alternatives to rosehip oil for hair loss
Table of Contents

What is rosehip oil?

a basket of rosehips

Rosehip oil is extracted by cold press from the seeds of a wild rose bush that grows in many parts of the world. Traditionally, rosehip oil has been used for cosmetic purposes, as it is believed to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is thought to help smooth wrinkles, tighten skin and even help treat conditions such as scars, acne, eczema and burns [2].  

It is also used as a traditional remedy, as it is believed to have systemic health benefits, such as protecting your heart, reducing cancer risk and promoting brain function [2].

Recently, rosehip oil has started to receive more attention online for its purported hair benefits, such as stimulating hair growth, strengthening, moisturising and protecting the hair fibre, reducing oxidative stress and UV-induced hair damage and reducing scalp inflammation. However, at this time, there is insufficient research to determine whether these properties manifest when applied topically to your scalp and hair, to what extent and under what circumstances.

What does rosehip oil contain?

Generally speaking, rosehip oil has the following composition (although the proportions of its elements can vary significantly depending on the type and origin of the rosehip seeds, as well as the extraction method [2][3):



small jars of rosehip oil

Fatty acids:

  • Linoleic acid (35.9-54.8%)
  • Alpha-linolenic acid (16.6-26.5%)
  • Oleic acid (14.7 – 22.1%)
Antioxidants (tocopherols, carotenoids)
Phenolic acids and their derivatives
Vitamins A, E and C
Some minerals in small quantities (depending on the extraction method) – Iron, Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium, etc.

Is rosehip oil good for hair loss?

At present, no scientific studies on people have been conducted to examine whether applying rosehip oil to your hair and scalp can prevent, stop or reverse hair shedding or hair loss

There is only one reference to research performed to study the hair growth effect of rosehip oil in mice. A small study was able to observe that rosehip oil made mouse hair move faster from the shedding phase to the growing phase of the hair growth cycle [4].

However, even if their findings were confirmed (one study is insufficient to document this effect), there is no guarantee that the oil would have a similar effect when applied to the human scalp.

Robust research on human participants would be necessary to prove the effectiveness of rosehip oil for hair growth and the conditions under which this growth can be achieved. 

However, rosehip oil may indirectly contribute to curbing some of your hair shedding by moisturising your scalp and strands and thus avoiding a dry scalp that can cause hair loss and hair breakage due to friction. 

What are the hair health benefits of rosehip oil? 

Here are some of the purported hair health benefits of rosehip oil and the science behind them. In most cases, significantly more research is needed in order to confirm the claimed benefits and to determine the rosehip quantity, quality and method of application needed to obtain good results. 

Rosehip oil can make your hair grow faster

There is no scientific research to attest that rosehip oil can make your hair grow faster. However, getting a well-balanced diet, rich in omega 3 and 6, vitamin A for hair and vitamin C for hair can indeed help your hair move to the growth phase quicker and remain in it for a longer time. And since rosehip oil contains these elements, it may be that using it on your hair and scalp can make your locks grow faster. 

However, vitamins and nutrients do not have the same effect when ingested as they do when applied topically and it is unlikely that the quantity of vitamins and omega acid absorbed through your hair and scalp would be sufficient to create a strong effect. Moreover, supplementing vitamins only helps when you have a vitamin deficiency which causes hair loss. If you already have a healthy diet, it is unlikely that adding more nutrients will make your hair grow faster. 

Rosehip oil may help strengthen your hair fibre and make it more elastic

One study performed on samples of natural, dyed, damaged and shampooed human hair revealed that rosehip oil had some effects in making hair strands more elastic and more resilient to breakage (as did other essential oils, such as grapeseed oil). It also found that the fatty acids in its composition could make up for the natural oils stripped by shampooing [5].

While further research to this effect is needed, it is an indication that using rosehip oil on your hair might help reduce breakage, especially if you have dry, brittle hair which breaks off easily.

Rosehip oil may protect your hair from environmental damage

Most researchers agree that the unsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants in rosehip oil can protect your hair strands from damage due to oxidative stress and exposure to UV rays.

Excessive exposure to sunlight is not good for your hair, as UV radiation can degrade your hair fibres, making them dry and fragile. Moreover, it can alter the colour of your hair,  causing unsightly yellowing in light-coloured strands.

However, antioxidants such as those found in rosehip oil are likely to provide some natural protection against this kind of hair damage [6].

However, since the composition of rosehip oil varies greatly between formulas, it is difficult to determine the quantity of oil that you would need to use to reap the most benefits.  

Rosehip oil may moisturise your hair and reduce split ends

The fatty acids contained in rosehip oil have softening and moisturising properties which have been documented by science especially in the field of skin care [7]. These properties may translate to hair care, making rosehip oil a good conditioner.

Furthermore, coating the hair shafts in protective oil can reduce friction between strands and with your clothes and thus, prevent some hair breakage and the development of split ends. 

Rosehip oil may reduce scalp inflammation and help treat scalp conditions

Some of the components of rosehip oil, such as phenolic acids [8] have demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties [1][9] and there is some evidence they may be beneficial in the treatment of systemic diseases which cause inflammation [1]. That is why some researchers believe that rosehip oil can help treat inflammatory scalp problems.

Some studies have been conducted to this extent, revealing that rosehip oil may play a role in treating atopic dermatitis (eczema), by lowering inflammation, softening dry skin and helping the skin barrier repair [10]. This suggests that this remedy may also be effective against eczema of the scalp. However, more research is needed to attest that topical rosehip oil is a good treatment for this and other inflammatory scalp conditions, such as scalp psoriasis

Can I put rosehip oil in my hair?

10 Best And Worst Hair Growth Oils – Expert Review 2024

It is generally considered safe to use rosehip oil on your hair and scalp and many people choose to do so. If you would like to try this remedy for yourself, there are several ways you can do so:

1. Use it directly on your scalp

This can be done by simply pouring a few drops of rosehip oil on your hands and gently massaging your scalp with it. You can then use a comb to spread it on the length of your hair. You may prefer to wash it off after 30 minutes or leave it on overnight. 

2. Use it as a conditioner to prevent split ends

After washing your hair, pour a few drops of rosehip oil in your hands or on a comb and apply it to the ends of your hair, to protect them from splitting. You can leave it in as an extra layer of lubrication.

3. Mix it with your favourite hair products

You can add a few drops of rosehip oil to your regular shampoo or conditioner and then use them the way you normally would.

4. Mix it with other essential oils

You can combine a few drops of rosehip oil with a few drops of some of the best essential oils for hair growth, such as rosemary oil for hair, peppermint oil for hair or black seed oil for hair. Then use them as a hair mask for 30 minutes or overnight.

What are the side effects of rosehip oil?

Rosehip oil is usually well-tolerated by the scalp and not many side effects have been documented [11]. However, as is the case with most substances, it can indeed cause contact dermatitis (allergic reaction) if you are allergic to it [12].

So it is a good idea to test the oil on a small patch of skin before using it on your scalp. If you experience any of the following at the test site, clean it well and do not use the rosehip oil again:

  • Skin redness and irritation or inflammation
  • Skin swelling 
  • Itchiness even after washing your hair
  • A rash of small blisters or red bumps
  • Difficulties breathing (call emergency services if this symptom occurs)

What are the best evidence-based alternatives to rosehip oil for hair loss?

If you are looking for the best ways to stop or reverse your hair shedding or hair loss, there are many scientifically tested treatments and therapies that you could look into:

  • Minoxidil – one of the most commonly prescribed hair growth medications, Minoxidil is often applied topically to widen the blood vessels in your scalp and thus allow them to transport more nutrients to your hair roots.  
  • Finasteride – this medication is among the most recommended and effective in the treatment of male pattern baldness. That is because it inhibits excessive dihydrotestosterone (DHT) production (usually not recommended to pre-menopausal women).
  • Dutasteride – Though it may be more effective in inhibiting DHT production than Finasteride, Dutasteride is not yet FDA-approved for hair loss, but it is still frequently used for this purpose (it is also not recommended for pre-menopausal women).
  • Steroid creams for hair loss – steroid creams are one of the few medications that can be effective in curbing hair loss caused by autoimmune conditions, such as alopecia areata
  • Red light therapy for hair growth –  This therapy helps enhance your cell metabolism by focusing red light of a certain frequency on your scalp. This provides your hair follicles with more energy, stimulating hair growth. 
  • Dermarolling for hair growth –  Also known as microneedling, this therapy uses a derma roller to make very small punctures in your scalp. This triggers your natural healing response and also increases the absorption of topical medication. 
  • Hair transplant – This procedure is safe, quick and effective and it involves harvesting hair follicles from healthy areas of your scalp and reimplanting them into balding spots. The results are normally very good and if performed by a skilled surgeon at a reputable clinic, hair transplants are usually permanent.  

However, keep in mind that each of these treatments works for specific conditions and that some of them can have unwanted side effects or interfere with other medications you may be taking. So be sure to get the recommendation of a trichologist before taking them.

Are you concerned about hair loss?

If you suspect you may be experiencing hair loss, it is a good idea to book a consultation with one of our top trichologists for the first signs of hair thinning and balding. That is because if you are experiencing a condition that causes hair loss, it may progress if left untreated.

The trichologist will examine your scalp thoroughly and provide you with an accurate diagnosis. They may let you know that your hair shedding is caused by one of the most  common types of alopecia, such as:

Once the cause of your hair thinning is determined, they will recommend the best evidence-based, personalised treatment to stop or reverse your hair loss.

Should you learn that your hair loss is too advanced to respond to medication alone, there is no need to worry. You may be a good candidate to get a natural-looking hair transplant.

Recent technological advancements in the field of surgical hair restoration have allowed the best hair transplant clinics in the UK to get a 97-100% success rate, regardless of whether you opt for a FUE or FUT type of procedure. And our before and after hair transplant gallery reflects these results.

Is Rosehip Oil Good for Hair Loss? Evidence Review 2024, Wimpole Clinic

Dr Meena Zareie (GMC)
Medically reviewed by Dr Meena Zareie (GMC)Updated on May 9, 2024
The Wimpole Clinic offers FUE Hair, Beard & Eyebrow Transplants & Trichology.
Talk to a specialist ☎ 020 7935 1861.

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