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Rosemary Oil For Beard Growth: Does It Work?
Dr Meena Zareie (GMC)
Medically reviewed by
Dr Meena Zareie (GMC)
Updated on January 12, 2024

Rosemary oil is an effective essential oil for hair growth. Recognised for its antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, it’s been shown to rival Minoxidil 2% as an effective scalp hair growth agent [1].

But what about using rosemary oil for beard growth? 

Although rosemary oil for hair growth has promising research behind it, it doesn’t work the same way for facial hair. Applying rosemary oil could actually hinder your beard growth, rather than help it.

Here, you’ll find out the facts about rosemary oil for beard growth, including the benefits, drawbacks, and side effects.

Table of Contents

Is rosemary oil good for beard growth?

No studies have yet investigated whether rosemary oil works for beard growth. But they have shown that rosemary extract can block the production of a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) [2].

DHT is a male sex hormone or androgen which is responsible for male pattern baldness. But unlike the hair on your head, your beard actually needs DHT to grow [3]. That’s why Finasteride and other DHT blockers don’t work for beard growth [4]. 

Blocking DHT production is bad news for your beard. But rosemary oil does have other benefits that may help your beard grow, especially if your facial hair follicles are less sensitive to DHT.

Does rosemary oil block DHT?

Yes, rosemary oil can stop your body converting as much testosterone to DHT. Like other DHT blockers, it reduces the activity of the 5-alpha reductase enzyme, which converts testosterone to DHT.

Research suggests rosemary leaf extract can reduce 5-alpha reductase activity by up to 95% at a concentration of 500 µg/ml [2]. So applying it to your face can reduce facial DHT levels, limiting beard growth.

The benefits of rosemary oil for beard growth

As a DHT blocker, rosemary oil probably isn’t the best beard growth remedy. But it may also have some positive effects on your facial hair growth.

Here are three science-backed benefits of using rosemary oil for beard growth.

1. Rosemary oil fights free radicals

Rosemary oil contains strong antioxidant properties that can fight free radicals [5]. Free radicals are highly unstable molecules that can cause destructive reactions in your body that lead to oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress can damage cells, increasing the risk of alopecia barbae — a type of alopecia areata that affects the beard. Neutralising free radicals can minimise the impact of oxidative stress on your beard.

2. Rosemary oil promotes circulation

A healthy blood supply is essential for successful facial hair follicle growth, maturation, and maintenance [6].

Rosemary oil can stimulate blood circulation to the area where it’s applied [7]. Better blood circulation means more nutrients are carried to the follicles, helping promote beard growth.

3. Rosemary oil reduces inflammation

Inflammation can trigger beard hair loss if you have an autoimmune condition like alopecia barbae. It may also cause pustules, small abscesses, infection, and scarring alopecia in the beard area [8].

Rosemary oil has been shown to contain anti-inflammatory compounds, which may reduce these effects [9].

What are the side effects of rosemary oil?

As an essential oil, rosemary oil has minimal side effects and isn’t known to cause significant health problems. 

However, rosemary oil may sometimes irritate your skin or cause an allergic reaction. As a result, it’s always recommended that you perform a patch test first using a diluted rosemary oil blend. Learn more about how to dilute rosemary oil for hair.

How many times should you use rosemary oil for beard growth?

Because no studies have conclusively shown whether rosemary oil works for beard growth, the recommended frequency of use isn’t currently known.

Rosemary oil isn’t guaranteed to improve your beard growth, so it’s important to talk to a trichologist before you start using it. 

They will be able to tell you how often you should use rosemary oil on your face, and what concentration is best.

If you’re using rosemary oil for scalp hair growth, find out how long to leave rosemary oil on your hair.

Alternatives to rosemary oil for beard growth

Despite its benefits, rosemary oil limits DHT, so it’s not the best treatment for beard bald spots.

Instead, consider using one of the following proven beard growth solutions.

1. Topical Minoxidil

Minoxidil is one of the most effective treatments for beard hair loss. While not yet licensed as a treatment in the UK, many trichologists recommend topical Minoxidil for facial hair growth thanks to the growing body of evidence supporting its use [10].

2. Corticosteroids

Steroid creams for hair loss can effectively treat alopecia barbae, especially in the early stages [11].

Not all steroid creams are appropriate or effective, so speak to a beard hair loss specialist about which corticosteroid treatment you should try.

3. Beard transplant

If your beard doesn’t respond to non-surgical treatments, a beard transplant may be the most effective way to regrow your facial hair.

The Wimpole Clinic’s beard transplant specialists offer natural-looking beard transplants using the latest hair transplant techniques:

before and 8 months after beard transplant

Before and eight months after a 1,500 graft FUE beard transplant.

Ask a beard regrowth specialist

It’s important to seek advice from a hair loss specialist before you start using treatments that may actually be detrimental to beard growth, such as rosemary oil.

At the Wimpole Clinic, our patient advisors are available to give you as much free advice and guidance as you need to make an informed treatment decision about your beard hair loss. Book a free consultation to learn more.

Rosemary Oil For Beard Growth: Does It Work?, Wimpole Clinic

Dr Meena Zareie (GMC)
Medically reviewed by Dr Meena Zareie (GMC)Updated on January 12, 2024
The Wimpole Clinic offers FUE Hair, Beard & Eyebrow Transplants & Trichology.
Talk to a specialist ☎ 020 7935 1861.

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