Thursday, February 22, 2024

From Rosemary Shampoo to Oil, Does This Hair Health Trick Really Work?

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It’s been over a year since Mielle’s Rosemary Mint Scalp & Hair Strengthening Oil first went viral on TikTok. But the trend shows no sign of slowing down as products from rosemary shampoo to rosemary oil continue to fly off shelves.

According to recent findings from wellness marketplace Fresha, which analyzed Google search trends, queries for rosemary shampoo and rosemary oil have jumped 135 percent since Alix Earle’s TikTok video went viral in December 2022. In the year since, the hashtag #rosemaryoil has totaled more than 1.5 billion views and #rosemaryoilforhairgrowth surpassed 220 million views.

Earle praised the oil developed by Monique Rodriguez, founder of Mielle. Rodriguez is Black and the hair oil was primarily developed for textured hair like hers. Earle, who is white, received a fair amount of criticism after putting the oil on her top Amazon picks in 2022.

rosemary sprig
Does rosemary oil really improve hair? Photo courtesy Jocelyn Morales | Unsplash

Concerns surrounding the video included the demand from white people making the oil harder to get for Black people; communities of color are generally underrepresented in retail stores already, and critics said that with aisles and aisles of options tailored to white women, they should shop elsewhere. The Mielle craze left one of the only options for the Black community in short supply.

There were other concerns too, namely that Mielle was at risk of changing the hair oil formula to better suit white-woman hair. There’s precedence, according to Teen Vogue writer Siraad Dirshe, who confirmed suspicions the brand SheaMoisture — a brand created by Black women for Black women — changed its formula to tailor to its growing white customer base.

“A post dating back to November 2015 on the popular natural hair and lifestyle site Curly Nikki discovered that SheaMoisture had in fact changed the formula of one its most popular products. A likely explanation for the new formula? The brand was intentionally trying to attract a new customer base with lightweight products (read: white women),” Dirshe wrote.

Is all the buzz warranted?

The anecdotal evidence a la #hairtok says rosemary oil stimulates and promotes hair growth, battles against dandruff, and prevents premature greying. According to Healthline, there’s research to back up at least some of those claims.

Research has linked an active ingredient in rosemary oil to healing nerve damage, which could help with stimulating the scalp and encouraging hair regrowth. Other studies have also linked it to protection from hair loss as well as hair growth products like Rogaine (minoxidil).

Rosemary oil has also been linked to overall hair health and shine with continued use.

HairTok recommends using rosemary oil as part of your hair care routine — but don’t expect major results overnight. It could take several months to see benefits.

How to use rosemary oil for hair

Rosemary oil use depends on your hair type and texture.

If you have thinner, lighter, and easily damaged hair, you should use the oil once a week as a treatment.

For thicker hair, you can use it 2-3 times per week.

A little goes a long way; you’ll need about five drops of rosemary oil mixed with a carrier oil such as jojoba or coconut oil. Massage the mixture evenly into your scalp after a bath or shower. You can leave the oil in or rinse it out. If rinsing, let sit five to ten minutes before rinsing. Then brush or comb and style as usual.

Rosemary oil hair care products

From the product that started the craze to rosemary shampoo and conditioner, these rosemary hair oil products are good starting points for your scalp and hair health.

mielle oil

Mielle Rosemary Mint Strengthening Hair Oil

Mielle Organic’s restorative Rosemary Mint Strengthening Hair Oil gives dry, thirsty tresses deep moisture that lasts.

public goods hair oil

Public Goods Rosemary Hair Oil

This organic single-origin Moroccan rosemary essential oil is as pure as it comes. No fillers, additives, or carrier oils.

jvn hair

JVN Hair Pre-Wash Scalp Oil

Use this nutrient-rich scalp oil to nourish your scalp before you wash. It blends sustainably sourced ingredients including rosemary extract and neem seed extract to promote balance and strength for healthier hair.

aveda rosemary

Aveda Rosemary Mint Shampoo and Conditioner

Aveda’s 97 percent naturally derived clarifying shampoo gently clarifies normal to oily hair for a squeaky clean reset that leaves your hair and scalp shiny.

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