Hair loss rarely falls into the category of serious health problems so its impact is too often overlooked. That is not to say it deserves the same attention as cancer symptoms but it does present its own set of problems. Losing a lot of hair over a relatively short period of time can be distressing and its impact on your mental health can be long-lasting.
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Fortunately, hair loss can be remedied and you do have to resort to drug treatments that often come with nasty side effects.
Rosemary oil – a distilled extract that comes from rosemary – has been shown to promote hair growth as effectively as one of the main drug treatments.
The study in question pitted the essential oil against minoxidil, one one of the main drug treatments for hair loss.
Both were used on human subjects with androgenetic alopecia, also known as male or female pattern baldness.
Pattern baldness is a permanent type of hair loss that usually runs in the family.
What did the study reveal?
Results showed that rosemary essential oil was just as effective a minoxidil.
During the process, it helped the side effect of itchy scalp more successfully than minoxidil.
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Alleviating an itchy scalp is important, as hair health body Viviscal explains: “A soothed, conditioned and healthy-feeling scalp is the ideal environment for healthy hair growth”
Supporting the claim, an animal study of rosemary leaf extract (different from the essential oil) showed it stimulated hair growth.
This occurred when hair loss was triggered by testosterone (as in pattern baldness).
What’s more, two separate clinical reviews also acknowledge rosemary’s hair growth-boosting potential.
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The former cites a study with successful hair regrowth in people with alopecia who used essential oils, one of which was rosemary.
In the latter review, rosemary essential oil was described as a hair loss restorative due to its circulation-improving effects.
Rosemary essential oil strengthens circulation.
It is believed this function could prevent hair follicles from being starved of blood supply and dying off, thereby leading to hair loss.
If you are considering drug treatments, finasteride and minoxidil are the main treatments for male pattern baldness, says the NHS.
“Minoxidil can also be used to treat female pattern baldness. Women shouldn’t use finasteride,” warns the health body.
It is also worth noting that these treatments come with considerable drawbacks.
According to the NHS, these treatments:
- Don’t work for everyone
- Only work for as long as they’re used
- Aren’t available on the NHS
- Can be expensive
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