The world of TikTok beauty is vast and full of charm. It can also be a real minefield of misinformation thanks to unregulated influencers. So as more and more TikTokers started showing off their long, lustrous locks under the “rosemary for hair” tag (to the tune of 32 million), we decided to dive into the trending treatment.
But first, let’s back up a bit. Last year, we shared everything you need to know about a similar beauty trend that is going viral: rice water. Thanks to social media, the ancient ritual dating back to the Heian period in Japan has become popular among Generation Z, introducing millions of people to the vitamin B-rich wonders of leftover rice water.
Then hairstylist Audrey Victoria posted a mesmerizing 10-second clip of her luscious long locks declaring to her 2.3 million followers: “Rosem water is water new rice”.
A challenger has appeared. But does rosemary water work for hair movement? We decided to investigate.
Featured image of Riley Reed.
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Rosemary water: Open the package of proof
Unlike other popular TikTok home treatments, there is actual evidence proving the effectiveness of rosemary water on hair growth. In a 2013 study examining how rosemary leaf extract could help treat hair loss, it was found to inhibit testosterone from attacking hair follicles – a byproduct of the condition.
Another study comparing rosemary oil with minoxidil (Rogaine) found the two oils to be comparable, while those using rosemary oil reported less scalp itching than those using minoxidil.
And finally, a 1998 study investigating the effectiveness of aromatherapy on patchy hair loss found that, of those who applied rosemary and lavender oils to their hair every day for seven months, 44% experienced saw an improvement in hair loss (compared to 15% who used only a carrier oil).
But it should be noted, most studies have focused on the effects of rosemary oilnot rosemary water – although both share the same key ingredient.
“Typically, for active ingredients, the oil-soluble ones outperform the water-soluble ones in terms of effectiveness,” explains cosmetic chemist Ginger King. Attractive.
Is rosemary water for hair growth worth advertising?
The main consensus seems to be that, in terms of hair growth, a regular old jar of rosemary oil is more likely to yield results than water or rosemary tea. Just be prepared to be patient — nothing happens overnight, and most of our cited expert studies have taken place over the course of several months.
But in essence, it’s not bad to boil a few sprigs of rosemary, pour water into a spray bottle, and occasionally itch your scalp. Rosemary’s antibacterial properties can help reduce dandruff and improve scalp health, which is key to strong hair. Plus, rosemary hair water definitely smells good – much better than rice water which tends to fade over time.
There are a number of great products infused with rosemary oil, including Kiehl’s Magic Elixir and Aromatica’s Rosemary Root Enhancer (it’s even available in a spray bottle), but if you’re looking to try a more DIY approach, consider blending oil-based.
Below, Taylor Rose, one of the most powerful vocalists on TikTok space rosemary water, shares her rosemary oil recipe.