There are claims that both castor oil and rosemary oil help to make the hair look thicker and fuller, but which one is better? I tested both oils out on my own hair and scalp over a period of 6 months. This post contains all the pros and cons of castor oil vs rosemary oil for hair growth, as well as my own results with both oils.
Castor Oil vs Rosemary Oil for Hair Growth – My Experience
When I used castor oil and rosemary oil on my hair, I was using the Nature Spell Natural Rosemary Oil and the Pukka Castor Oil. I tried the oils separately over a period of six months, applying them to my hair and scalp once a week.
My hair is naturally thin, fine and quite dry, and I have suffered some hair loss over the past few years. Before trying castor and rosemary oil, I had tried liquid biotin supplements, and the grow gorgeous hair growth serum, but didn’t see good results.
When I first started using the Pukka castor oil, I found it to be extremely thick and difficult to apply to thin hair. It was also very sticky and I felt this actually ended up pulling extra hairs out. By comparison the rosemary oil was much lighter, less sticky, and absorbed better into the hair.
Overall I found that both oils helped to add moisture to my hair and make it less dry and brittle. I didn’t find any significant growth with either oil unfortunately, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t work for you.
In this post I have listed the benefits and pros and cons of each oil, as well as links to clinical trials. At the end I have also included some DIY beauty recipes that you can make at home.
Whether castor oil or rosemary oil is the better option for you will depend on your own hair type. If you are looking for a natural hair growth oil I also recommend you consider fenugreek oil and pumpkin seed oil. I hope this post helps you to decide which one is right for you.
Why I prefer Rosemary Over Castor Oil for Hair Growth
My personal favourite out of the two oils is rosemary oil. This is because it’s lighter, and easier to use. I also found I had better results with rosemary oil in achieving glossier and shinier hair.
Also, when looking at the clinical trials that have been done with the two oils, only rosemary oil as been proven to be effective in promoting hair growth.
One clinical trial which looked at the effect of castor oil on alopecia, showed it had no effect at all. Rosemary oil on the other hand was shown to be as effective as minoxidil in promoting hair growth.
Castor oil is also extremely thick and sticky, and it can lead to a condition called acute hair felting. This is where the hair becomes tangled and matted, and resembles a hard bird’s nest. From my own experience I found my hair became easily matted and stuck together when I used the castor oil, compared to the rosemary oil.
Castor Oil vs Rosemary Oil for Hair Growth – Summary
|Castor Oil||Rosemary Oil|
|Consistency||Thick, heavy oil||Thin, lightweight oil|
|Scent||Almost no scent||Moderate herbal scent|
|Benefits to Hair||Helps to reduce hair breakage and frizz, as well as soothe a dry scalp||May help treat hereditary hair loss and improve blood flow to the scalp|
|Other Beauty Benefits||Retains moisture in the skin||Tones the skin and prevents acne|
|Nutrients||Vitamin E, Omega 6 and 9 Fatty Acids (including ricinoleic acid)||Pantothenic Acid, Niacin, Thiamin, Folate, Riboflavin|
- What is Rosemary Oil?
- Use of Rosemary in History
- Rosemary Oil Benefits for the Hair and Skin
- What is Castor Oil?
- Castor Oil Uses in History
- Castor Oil Benefits for the Hair and Skin
- Can You Mix Rosemary Oil with Black Castor Oil?
- FAQs on Castor Oil vs Rosemary Oil for Hair Growth
- Homemade Beauty Recipes with Rosemary Oil
What is Rosemary Oil?
As an essential oil, rosemary is primarily used for aromatherapy in skincare products to reduce stress and enhance memory. Rosemary oil, however has other benefits for the hair and skin including improving circulation and reducing acne.
Rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis) is part of the mint family, along with sage, marjoram, lemon balm, and thyme. It is a fragrant herb that thrives in dry climates.
Rosemary has been used since ancient times in herbal remedies to treat a wide range of conditions including high blood pressure, alzheimer’s disease, and male pattern baldness. It also helps to relieve nasal congestion and eliminate bad breath.
Rosemary is also popular in aromatherapy since the scent reduces cortisol levels in the body. The oil has a woody fragrance that provides health benefits such improving cognitive function and boosting the immune system.
Rosemary in the form of rosemary oil also plays a role in skincare. It’s a useful ingredient in acne treatments, and in boosting blood circulation in the skin.
Use of Rosemary in History
Rosemary was considered a sacred plant in Ancient Greece. Ancient greek scholars ate rosemary to help improve their memory and cognitive function. The Ancient Greeks wore rosemary around their necks when they wanted to boost their performance.
Rosemary was also used in folk medicine as a pain killer. In recent times studies have shown that rosemary is indeed effective in the management of pain.
Rosemary is also an ancient symbol of remembrance. Today is is used in Australia and New Zealand as a commemorative symbol to remember those who died in the first world war.
Rosemary Oil vs Rosemary Leaf Extract
Rosemary oil should not be confused with rosemary leaf extract. When it comes to skincare, rosemary leaf extract is better suited for those with sensitive skin compared with the oil. This is because the oil contains fragrance that may cause side effects and skin irritation in sensitive individuals.
In fact, one of the components of rosemary extract, rosmarinic acid, actually has a calming effect on the skin and helps to reduce inflammation and redness.
This post only looks at the benefits of rosemary oil, not rosemary extract. Rosemary oil is preferable if you are making your own aromatic skin or haircare products at home.
Rosemary Oil Benefits for the Hair and Skin
1. Helps to Prevent Acne
Rosemary oil can be used to prevent acne since it has antibacterial properties and can be used to control oil production. It’s often found in skincare products which target acne prone or oily skin.
One study showed that both tea tree and rosemary oils exhibited antibacterial activity against the bacteria that causes acne. Both oils can be added to scalp care products to help reduce active acne and prevent future breakouts.
If you suffer from acne on the scalp, try adding a few drops of the essential oil to your shampoo or hair mask. You could mix a couple of drops of rosemary oil with a teaspoon of a carrier oil and massage this into your skin.
2. Helps Wound Healing
Rosemary oil has been shown to help enhance the healing of skin wounds. This is thought to be due to its oleic acid content. Since rosemary oil also has antimicrobial properties, it is effective at helping the skin to heal whilst protecting it from infection.
One study showed that both tea tree essential oil, rosemary essential oil or a mixture of both oils together had wound healing potential. Since rosemary oil contains powerful antioxidants it helps to nourish the skin and promote repair.
3. Reduces Dark Circles and Puffiness Around the Eyes
Since rosemary oil is able to stimulate blood circulation and lymphatic drainage, it is good at expelling toxins from the skin. This can be helpful in decreasing puffiness and dark circles around the eyes.
You may want to add a few drops of rosemary essential oil to a carrier oil before using a jade roller on your face. It will help to eliminate toxins and reduce puffiness around the eyes.
Rosemary oil is often found in face masks that help to detoxify the skin. Using the oil on a regular basis can help to improve the appearance of dull skin and reduce dark circles.
4. Tones the Skin
Rosemary oil is an astringent which balances and tones the skin. This means that it helps to reduce oil, tighten the pores, and improve skin tone and texture. Using rosemary oil regularly in your skin care can help to make your skin appear more matte, less oily and more even toned.
A few drops of rosemary oil can be added to a DIY face toner to help reduce pore size and improve the overall complexion. Rosemary oil works especially well for oily skin types. It regulates sebum production and prevents the pores becoming clogged.
5. Increases Blood Circulation
Rosemary oil is useful for improving circulation in the body and this can be helpful for the skin as it can help with problems such as poor circulation and cellulite.
When rosemary oil is applied to the skin, it increases blood circulation to the area. This increased blood flow brings nutrients and oxygen to the skin, keeping it looking radiant and healthy. It also helps to carry away waste products including free radicals. This reduces oxidative stress on the skin cells.
6. Reduces Dryness
Rosemary oil both controls oil production and hydrates the skin. It can be mixed with a carrier oil such as olive oil or jojoba oil, and massaged into the skin to improve the skin’s moisture levels.
Rosemary oil also contains many antioxidants which protect the skin from free radical damage and environmental stress. Antioxidants also help to moisturize and nourish the skin.
7. Promotes Hair Growth
Rubbing rosemary oil on the scalp can help to prevent hair loss. This is because it’s known to increase blood circulation to the scalp and stimulate the hair follicles.
There have been clinical studies which show that rosemary oil is effective at treating hereditary hair loss. One study showed that rosemary oil was just as good as minoxidil at promoting hair growth in individuals with hair thinning.
Other essential oils that promote hair growth, which work well with rosemary include lavender oil or spearmint oil. These oils may be able to stimulate re-growth in individuals with alopecia areata and androgenetic alopecia.
8. Promotes a Healthy Scalp
Since rosemary oil improves blood flow to the scalp, it helps to keep the scalp healthy, and hair follicles nourished. It also helps to control excess oil which prevents your hair becoming greasy and flat.
Topical application of rosemary oil mixed with a carrier oil can improve overall scalp health and reduce scalp infections or dandruff. It can also help to prevent a dry scalp.
Peppermint oil is a good oil to combine with rosemary when making a hair and scalp oil since they both increase blood circulation and nourish the hair follicles.
9. Reduces the Appearance of Cellulite
Rosemary essential oil has diuretic properties, meaning that it helps the body remove excess fluids via urination. This helps to reduce the appearance of cellulite.
Try adding rosemary oil to a body oil and massaging it into areas that contain cellulite. Since rosemary helps to eliminate toxins from the body, it can help to smooth areas of skin and remove impurities.
10. Relieves Itching Caused by Eczema or Psoriasis
Rosemary oil can help relieve itching associated with dry skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. This is because it has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce swelling and redness in the skin. It also helps to hydrate and moisturise dry and irritated skin.
What is Castor Oil?
Like rosemary oil, castor oil has been used for thousands of years in beauty treatments. The oil is made from the seeds (known as castor beans) of the Ricinus communis plant.
Although there is no scientific evidence to prove it, many people have claimed castor oil promotes hair growth and reduces hair loss. It is a popular alternative treatment to thicken hair and eyebrows.
Castor oil is a rich source of vitamin E and omega 6 and 9 fatty acids, which help to moisturise the skin and prevent dryness. It can be used to soothe skin inflammation and help to accelerate wound healing.
Castor oil has also been used for centuries to help pregnant women, and to induce labour.
Castor Oil Uses in History
Castor Oil has been used for thousands for years due to its anti-inflammatory properties, and ability to reduce pain and swelling.
There is evidence that castor oil was used by the Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Indians and Chinese.
The Ancient Egyptians wrote about using castor oil as a laxative on a 3500 year old papyrus scroll, and it’s still recommended as a laxative today.
In Ayurveda, Castor oil is known as Gandharvahasta or Eranda taila. The sweet, pungent, and astringent taste helps to flush salt and toxins out of the system. It is used to help heal alopecia (although there is no clinical evidence that it works), wrinkles, ovarian cysts, constipation, piles, asthma and arthritis.
There is also evidence of castor oil being use to soothe dry eyes, and to induce labour.
Castor Oil Benefits for the Hair and Skin
1. Acts as a Natural Moisturiser
Castor oil is rich in an unsaturated omega-9 fatty acid called ricinoleic acid. The ricinoleic acid in castor oil acts as a humectant, and helps to retain water in the skin. It can act not only as a moisturiser for the skin, but also help to hydrate dry and frizzy hair.
If you have an itchy scalp which is caused by dryness, you may find that castor oil is effective soothing the skin and adding moisture.
2. Helps Wound Healing
Like rosemary oil, castor oil may help to accelerate wound healing. The ricinoleic acid in castor oil reduces pain and inflammation, and has been effectively used fo promote wound healing.
In one study, a spray containing castor oil, balsam of Peru, and the enzyme trypsin, helped to heal a surgical wound in an 81 year old man.
3. Reduces Hair Breakage
Castor oil adds moisture to the hair shaft which makes it more flexible and elastic. This means the hair is more pliable and less likely to break or snap.
Can You Mix Rosemary Oil with Black Castor Oil?
Rosemary oil and black castor oil can be mixed together to get the benefits of both oils. Since I found castor oil to be too heavy for my own hair. I mixed half a cup of rosemary oil with only a few drops of castor oil.
You can also add some essential oils into the mixture, which have been known to help with hair growth. Popular essential oils for hair growth include peppermint oil, or eucalyptus oil.
FAQs on Castor Oil vs Rosemary Oil for Hair Growth
Is rosemary oil better than castor oil for hair growth?
Unlike with castor oil, there have actually been clinical trails which prove rosemary oil’s effectiveness in promoting hair growth. Rosemary oil is also a much lighter oil than castor oil, and absorbs better into the hair and scalp.
Can rosemary oil regrow hair?
Rosemary oil may help to reduce hair thinning in people who have hereditary hair loss. One clinical trial showed that rosemary oil was just as effective as minoxidil in promoting hair growth.
Which oil is best for hair regrowth?
As well as rosemary oil, I would also recommend pumpkin seed oil and fenugreek oil for hair growth.
How fast does rosemary grow hair?
Use rosemary oil on your hair and scalp for at least six months before looking for results. Hair can take a long time to grow, and the effects may not be noticeable immediately.
Does rosemary thicken hair?
Rosemary oil leaves the hair looking thick, shiny and glossy. It also helps to stimulate growth at the roots.
Homemade Beauty Recipes with Rosemary Oil
Rosemary oil can be used as part of a homemade beauty routine. Here are a few recipes you can try at home:
Rosemary Oil Recipe to Eliminate Puffy Eyes
Mix 5 drops of rosemary oil, and 5 drops or eucalyptus oil with a tablespoon of almond oil. Massage this mixture under your eye area gently using your finger tips or with a jade roller.
Eucalyptus and rosemary are both excellent oils for reducing puffiness under the eyes. If you want to make a batch of facial oil with rosemary and eucalyptus, you can store it in a small mason jar for up to a month after you first make it.
Rosemary Oil for Cellulite
Mix together six teaspoons of coconut oil, two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and four drops of rosemary oil . Massage in circular motions for about five minutes until the oil absorbs. Wipe off any excess oil with a paper towel.
Leave the treatment on overnight then wash off with warm water the next morning. Repeat this treatment daily for best results.
Coconut oil is a great carrier oil to use for cellulite, as it moisturises the skin and makes it appear more supple.
Rosemary Oil Recipe for Gua Sha
Mix 3-4 drops of rosemary oil with a tablespoon of sweet almond oil or Argan oil. Use this mixture to gently rub the gua sha tool on your face, chin and cheek area in a circular motion. Click here for information on how to use a gua sha.
Using rosemary oil along with a gua sha can help stimulate lymphatic drainage, tone the skin and reduce fine lines. It also helps to slim the face.
Related: Best Face Oils to Use with Gua Sha
This post was all about Castor Oil vs Rosemary Oil for Hair Growth
Thank you for reading my post about Castor Oil vs Rosemary Oil for Hair Growth. If you have tried either of these oils on your hair, please leave me a comment below and let me know how you got on. Remember to wait at least six months before looking for new hair growth. Hair regrowth takes a long time, and you may not see the results straight away.