Rosemary Oil – Great for Hair, Deadly for Beards

If you’re anything like us, you’ve probably been inundated with content across social media about the massive benefits of rosemary oil for hair.

And those influencers are right. To an extent. But there are some very important details that they miss out.

Rosemary oil is brilliant for your head hair. But it’s deadly for beards.

In this article, we’re going to go through how rosemary oil can help your hair, and why it’s 100% worth steering clear of if you’re trying to grow a beard. Let’s get into it.

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.

But part of the reason rosemary oil has stayed popular is thanks to its rich concentration of iron, calcium, and vitamins A, B, and C – which are hair-healthy vitamins. Which is great.

Okay, so why is rosemary oil bad for beards?

It all comes down to rosemary oil’s relationship with DHT.

DHT stands for “Dihydrotestosterone,” which is a hormone derived from the male sex hormone testosterone. It is considered one of the most potent androgen hormones in the human body. Androgens are a group of hormones that play a crucial role in the development and maintenance of male characteristics.

DHT is responsible for hair loss and male pattern baldness. If you’re in your late 20s or early 30s and are starting to see thinning hair and a receeding hairline (Alex sobs), then DHT is to blame.

Rosemary oil blocks DHT, making it brilliant for men looking to stave or reverse the effects of male pattern baldness.

However, the story is a little different for beards.

Because science is confusing, DHT plays a positive role in beard growth. You want DHT for your beard.

So, if you use rosemary oil on your face, like all of those influencers are telling you to, then you’re not helping beard growth – you’re directly hindering it.

Want to improve your head hair? Rosemary oil it up. Growing a beard? Steer well clear – and ignore any companies who include rosemary oil in their beard care products.

Benefits of Rosemary Oil for Male Hair Growth

A lot of men (me included) would love thicker head hair.

While most people settle for the “just leave it be” technique, you might have better results when using rosemary oil. 

Here’s what it can do:

Stimulates Hair Follicles

For a lot of men, a lack of head hair growth can be caused by DHT – a byproduct of testosterone. DHT blocks hair growth by shortening the growth cycle and shrinking your hair follicles – which leads to thinner hair.

But don’t sweat – that’s where rosemary oil comes in. 

Rosemary oil can fight off any DHT present in your system. That increases any head hair growth that was stopped by this compound. 

And that’s not all it does. It can also stimulate hair growth – turning any damaged hair follicles into healthy hair follicles.  

A seven month long study showed that rosemary oil also increased hair growth by 44%. In the same study, popular hair-healthy oils, like jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, and tea tree oil, only boosted growth by 15%. 

Thankfully, jojoba, grapeseed, and tea tree oil are safe for use on your beard. You can learn about them, and other popular essential oils for beard growth, here.

Helps Reduce Dandruff 

If you’re using rosemary oil, you can say goodbye to that dreaded 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 scalp itching – which means less hair down your drain.

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

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

That’s just another reason why rosemary oil can be so beneficial for any guys looking to improve head hair growth.

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 beard balms (like Underdog).

Niacin helps nourish damaged, dry, or brittle strands of hair. It can help strengthen, soften, and protect your head hair, which no-one is going to say no to.

Reduces Itching and Irritation 

You already know it helps fight off dandruff, but what if your head 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 scalp itch, try rosemary oil.

How to Use Rosemary Oil 

It sounds 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. Ok, maybe not dangerous, but it can cause you some irritation or redness.


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.

Once you pick your oil, it’s a simple three-step process to dilute the rosemary oil:

Step 1: It’s recommended to use a 3% concentration of essential oil to avoid irritation. To achieve this, add 15 drops of rosemary to a jar.

Step 2: Next, add six teaspoons of the carrier oil of your choice to the jar.

Step 3: Finally, mix the two oils together until well combined. 


After the rosemary oil is diluted, you can safely apply it to your head hair.

But first, you’ll want to know how much hair oil to use… 

If you apply too much oil, your hair and scalp underneath won’t be able to absorb it all – leaving you with a greasy shine.

But, if you don’t use enough, you won’t receive the benefits of the oil. 

Below you’ll find the recommended amount of oil based on the size of your beard:

Short beardA few drops (2-3)
Medium length beard4-5 drops
Long beard6+ drops

Now that you know how much to use, you can safely apply the oil like any other hair oil. Here’s how:

Step 1: You’ll want to apply the oil to a clean scalp. Start by washing your hair with hair wash or warm water.

Step 2: Next, dry your hair until damp.

Step 3: Drop the recommended amount of oil into the palms of your hands. Massage them together.

Step 4: Apply the oil to your scalp and hair (just like you would with other products). Start at the base and work your way to the ends until the oil is spread evenly. 

If you don’t want to use your hands, you can always use a board bristle brush (like this one).


There’s only one question left… how often should you apply rosemary hair oil?

Well, there isn’t one answer. It really depends on your skin and hair type.

Here’s what we recommend:

Dry or damaged hair1-2 times a day
Normal haironce a day
Greasy hair3-4 times a week

Potential Side Effects 

When using any product on your skin, you should be aware of the potential consequences. 

That remains the same even when using natural products. 

With that in mind, here are some of the potential drawbacks of rosemary oil:

Allergic Reactions 

If you know you’re allergic to rosemary, don’t try using the essential oil.

However, most people probably won’t know if they’re allergic or not. 

For that reason, if you have other allergies or sensitive skin, we recommend to start with patch testing on a visible area of skin. Be sure to look for any signs of allergic reactions like burning, stinging, or cracking skin.

If you notice any of these, stop using the rosemary oil.


Just like an allergic reaction, you might notice some irritation when using rosemary oil. 

Usually, all that means is you’re using it too frequently or without diluting it enough.

If that sounds like you, take a week off and give your skin a reset. 

Or, you can try our best-selling beard oil that’s infused with a rich assortment of essential oils. It’s great for head hair too.


We’re not saying you’re Ph.D.-worthy, but you sure do know everything about why rosemary oil’s great for your head hair – and absolutely terrible for your beard.

So, go pick yourself up some rosemary oil (we like this one) and start using it. We bet you’ll be impressed with the results. 

Pure Rosemary Essential Oil for Aromatherapy – Pure Rosemary Oil for Hair Skin and Nails – Refreshing Rosemary Essential Oil for Diffusers Plus Dry Scalp Treatment for Enhanced Shine
  • Essential Oils for Hair – Cleansing essential oils like rosemary can help improve your hair care by working as a dry scalp oil exfoliator scalp cleanser and hair shine serum for flawless looking hair
  • Pure Essential Oils – Rosemary is one of the top essential oils for diffusers for home because aromatherapy essential oils for diffusers and other uses help enhance wellness wherever and whenever
  • Rosemary Oil for Skin – Rosemary is one of our favorite essential oils for skin use as a natural cleansing oil with antioxidants great for beauty DIYs best paired with a one of our carrier oils
  • Diffuser Oil – Breathe in the wonderful aroma of natural rosemary aromatherapy oil as the diffuser essential oil fills the air with a clean scent bringing a whole new feel to any room or setting
  • Maple Holistics Quality- Try our rosemary oil essential oil for yourself and see why so many people choose Maple Holistics for their essential oils aromatherapy products and other natural oils

Of course, there are plenty of other products (like ours) that you can safely use on your beard to help it grow healthier and stronger.

Go check them out today to start growing a beard that you’re proud of.

Alex Cutler
Alex is the owner and Editor in Chief of Mission Beard. When he's not researching articles or creating badass beard care products with the MB Crew, you'll find him exploring the great outdoors, training BJJ, or in the pub with a good pint.

Mission Beard is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to products on Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc, or its affiliates.

When you buy a product through a link in one of our posts, we may earn a small commission (at no cost to you) that goes towards supporting our small, independent business.



Please select a store