Rosemary Oil for Beard Growth - Worth it, or Waste of Money?

Alex Cutler

If you’re looking for ways to boost your beard, there’s a good chance you’ve turned to rosemary oil for beard growth.

Plastered over TikTok, Instagram and YouTube, rosemary oil is being heralded as a miracle cure for patchy beards, with an ability to thicken beards and grow hair where there wasn’t any before.

Sounds great, right? The plot thickens a little.

While some are praising rosemary oil as the cure for bad beards, there are others in the industry saying its impact on DHT could outright kill your beard.

That's two very different opinions - which is it? Will rosemary oil:

  • help beard growth?
  • make your beard fall out?
  • or not really do anything at all?

We wanted to get to the bottom of this, so we enlisted the advice of industry-renowned expert Hair & Beard Surgeon and owner of Mittal Hair Clinic, Dr Mani Mittal. Let’s dive in as he shares his expertise and puts this issue to bed for good.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFBR8jtBFEQ&t=506s

Key Takeaways

  • The relationship between rosemary oil and beard growth is complex, due to DHT's nuanced impact on hair and beard growth.
  • While rosemary oil won't directly promote hair growth, it won't harm it - and it does have other benefits.
  • Other essential oils like Peppermint, Lavender and Tea Tree are great for beards too, while carrier oils like jojoba, coconut & avocado provide nourishing benefits.
  • Dilute essential oils correctly & patch test before use to avoid any potential side effects or allergic reactions.

What is Rosemary Oil?

Spoiler alert - rosemary oil comes from… rosemary bushes. It's extracted from the flowering tops of the bush, commonly by steam distillation. The resulting product is the pure essential oil - the plant in its most potent form.

At first, rosemary oil gained popularity in Greek and Roman times, where it was thought to enhance memory and brain function. In more recent times, it's been found to have a high concentration of iron, calcium, and vitamins A, B, and C – which are hair-healthy vitamins.

The Complex Story of Rosemary Oil for Beard Growth

Rosemary oil has resurfaced on social media for its ability to promote hair regrowth.

This is because rosemary oil is one of nature's most powerful DHT blockers. In fact, one study showed that rosemary oil was as effective as minoxidil for stimulating hair growth in men. This has seen it get a lot of press, and people naturally wondering if it can stimulate hair growth for beards, too. But things aren't quite that simple.

To explain this, we first need to take a look at what DHT is, and the role it plays in male hair growth.

What is dihydrotestosterone (DHT)?

Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is a hormone derived from testosterone that significantly influences male hair loss and male pattern baldness.

“Being a man, you have testosterone coursing through your body, and this testosterone is broken down into a byproduct called dihydrotestosterone, or DHT. If you’re genetically programmed to lose hair, DHT is going to make it happen. said Dr Mani Mittal during our interview.

What role does DHT play in beard growth?

The beard care industry tends to believe that while DHT is deadly for head hair, it's essential for beard growth. This is where the claim that rosemary oil will kill beards comes from - because rosemary oil blocks DHT.

However, DHT's role in beard growth isn't actually that clear cut:

“Everything I’ve learned has shown that DHT is important for beard growth in the puberty phase, but as you get older, it’s testosterone that plays a vital role in how aggressively your beard will grow." says Dr Mani.

"DHT is important for certain things at a certain timeframe, but long-term, it doesn’t have a massive impact on beard growth."

Okay, so is rosemary oil good or bad for beard growth?

When treating patients for hair loss, Dr Mani prescribes them finasteride, a medicine that, like rosemary oil, blocks DHT.

"I have patients who are actively losing hair, and we put them on a medication called Finasteride to stabilise their hair loss. Finasteride acts by inhibiting the enzyme that produces DHT - de facto, your DHT will lower.", said Dr Mani in our interview.

"I’ve got over 1,500 patients actively taking finasteride, and I haven’t once had a patient say ’Mani, my beard is looking weaker.

The verdict: Rosemary oil's ability to suppress DHT won't harm your beard growth. But it probably isn't going to promote beard growth, either.

However, there are some other benefits of using rosemary oil on your beard.

3. Benefits of rosemary oil for beard growth

It Helps Reduce Dandruff

If you’re using rosemary oil, you can say goodbye to that dreaded beard dandruff.

That’s because rosemary completely does away with any dandruff thanks to its antimicrobial and antifungal properties.

A reduced amount of dandruff means less beard itching – which means less beard hair down your drain.

Think about it. When you’re itching your beard, you’ll pull at least one hair out by accident.

And the more beard dandruff you have, the more you feel the need to scratch your beard.

That’s just another reason why rosemary oil can be so beneficial for anyone in the process of growing their beard.

It Provides Nourishment for Hair

Remember when we said rosemary oil was rich in iron, calcium, and vitamins A, B, and C?

Well, that’s not all it has.

Rosemary oil also has a strong mix of niacin – which is a common naturally occurring ingredient in shampoos, conditioners, and some beard balms (subtle plug - check out Underdog).

Niacin helps nourish damaged, dry, or brittle strands of hair.

It can help strengthen, soften, and protect your beard, so you can focus on what’s truly important – growing it out.

It Reduces Itching and Irritation

You already know it helps fight off dandruff, but what if your beard is itchy without dandruff?

Then you might be dealing with dry skin, an ingrown hair, or even a skin condition like dermatitis.

Yet again, rosemary oil can step in to lend you a hand.

This 2015 study found that rosemary oil decreased scalp itching more than minoxidil – a popular hair growth product.

Again, itching often can lead to hair shedding or thinning. That means you need to stop it as soon as possible.

So, if you’re dealing with beard itch, try rosemary oil.

Other Essential Oils That Support Beard Growth

If you’re looking for essential oils that can support beard growth without the complexity of rosemary oil, consider:

  • Peppermint oil: It stimulates circulation and promotes hair thickness.
  • Lavender oil: It promotes hair growth and has antimicrobial properties.
  • Tea tree oil: It prevents infections and promotes a healthy beard.

These oils make excellent alternatives for beard care.

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil is a fantastic option for beard growth. Its menthol content stimulates hair follicles and promotes hair growth, while its antifungal properties help keep bacteria and fungi at bay.

Plus, it increases blood flow to the beard area, speeding up growth.

Lavender Oil

Lavender oil is another excellent choice for supporting beard growth. It’s known to help improve circulation and prevent skin infections. There's also some evidence to show it can help beard growth, but this comes from a study done on mice.

To top it off, its soothing scent also makes it a pleasant addition to your beard care routine.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil offers is well known for its numerous benefits for beard growth, including:

  • Antibacterial properties that keep acne at bay and a cleaner beard
  • Moisturizing properties that hydrate and nourish your facial hair
  • Adding shine to your beard, giving it a healthier-looking appearance

Use Carrier Oils for Safe Application

Before applying essential oils to your beard, ensure that they are adequately diluted with carrier oils to guarantee a safe and effective application. Carrier oils, such as jojoba, coconut, and avocado oil, not only dilute essential oils but also provide nourishing benefits like moisturizing and antioxidants to the skin and beard.

These carrier oils can be applied directly to the beard or mixed with essential oils to create a scented beard oil.

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil is a popular choice for diluting rosemary oil and other essential oils. Its structure closely resembles the sebum naturally produced by the skin, making it an excellent moisturizer and protector for both skin and hair.

It is non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog pores, too. Added bonus.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is another great carrier oil option for essential oils. It not only helps dilute the oils but also offers numerous benefits for beard care. Its moisturizing properties soften and condition the beard, reducing hair breakage and promoting growth.

Avocado Oil

Avocado oil, packed with vitamins, fatty acids, and antioxidants, is a fantastic choice for diluting essential oils. Its high oleic acid and monounsaturated fat content make it even more beneficial for nourishing the hair and skin, ensuring a healthy, well-moisturized beard.

How to Use Rosemary Oil

The benefits it does have sound good, and you need to try it.

So you pick up some rosemary essential oil and get ready to spread it all over your face.

Hold your horses.

Applying rosemary oil without diluting, or knowing how to use it can be dangerous.

Dilution

To avoid any sort of burning or stinging, you’ll need to dilute the rosemary oil.

Thankfully, that’s pretty easy.

To start, you’ll need to use a carrier oil – or another oil that carries the rosemary oil to your skin.

There are a wide amount of carrier oils you can use. We’ve covered the best ones here.

<