Rosemary oil for hair loss—Trichologist dubbed 'Hair Whisperer' on if TikTok trend works

Rosemary oil for hair loss? Ricardo Vila Nova, 'Hair Whisperer' examines viral TikTok craze and reveals what REALLY prevents hair loss

Rosemary oil for hair loss: Glass pipette and bottle of essential oil near organic materials on pink background. Trendy selfcare products of the year
(Image credit: Anna Efetova/Getty Images)

Rosemary oil for hair loss is, according to TikTok, as effective as minoxidil in fighting the common issue. As discussions surrounding female hair loss and thinning increase, woman&home spoke to one of the most renowned hair experts on the planet.

For many, fighting hair thinning is a common issue and yet it's often taboo—especially among women. As a result, many choose to suffer in silence instead of addressing their concerns head-on. 

As with the other big social media hair oil trend - mustard oil for hair - many TikTokers claim that using rosemary oil in order to reduce hair loss and promote growth is as effective as the chemical minoxidil, which is found in products like Rogaine.


♬ dancin in the dark - xxtristanxo

Curious to find out whether this was the case or not, woman&home spoke to Ricardo Vila Nova, a trichologist so highly regarded that he's known as 'The Hair Whisperer.'

Ricardo has a degree in Biochemistry, a DSc in BioPhysics, and over a decade of happy customers to show that he knows what he's talking about. As his bio explains, "Vila Nova’s techniques are rooted in science rather than magic, but the results he achieves are nothing other than miraculous."

Ricardo's expertise is tailored to each individual client, which means that if you want a piece of the action you'll have to book an appointment at one of his 212.2 Ricardo Vila Nova Hair Doctors clinics in Harrods, Lisbon, Bahrain (Al Aali) or his residencies in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain (Janabiyah). 

Ricardo Vila Nova standing in front of his tailored treatment bottles.

(Image credit: Ricardo Vila Nova)

In answer to the minoxidil vs rosemary oil conundrum the trichologist explains, "Every product has its own results reaction when it comes to the chemical effect of preventing genetic degeneration of the hair."

Ricardo adds, "However if we look at the more natural ways of maintaining the hair—for example increasing the blood flow, increasing the amount of protein that comes onto the hair—they have the same effect or power when using rosemary oil." 

Focussing on utilizing more natural products, the best essential oils (and the self-gift that is scalp massage for hair growth) is not only as good as the chemical option—it's better. "It's obviously a much gentler, organic way to approach hair preservation and hair metabolism," the trichologist explains.

"Rather than adding an element, something unnatural, synthetic, you will induce the metabolism of the root in terms of increasing root blood flow," says Ricardo. "This, coupled with anti-inflammatory compositions will minimize the build-up of fibrins that will contribute to hair miniaturization."

It's also important to remember that the amount of regeneration possible depends on the genetic hair disposition, if someone has lost a large amount of hair, there's a limit to what can be achieved.

Comparing the importance of scalp maintenance to your daily skincare routine, he says, "If you have hair on the scalp, the main concern is to keep a good scalp constitution—PH, hydration, irrigation, good nutrition. So adding an element like that rosemary oil is much more healthy and better for hair in terms of tolerance because minoxidil contains alcohol etc."

Ricardo Vila Nova massaging a client's scalp during a treatment.

(Image credit: Ricardo Vila Nova)

How to use rosemary oil to promote hair growth

Rosemary oil, mixed with a carrier of course (Ricardo says canola is the perfect option) used infrequently can have an incredible effect on your scalp and hair health.

However, you need to use it infrequently and in a specific way to harness its powers and avoid potentially causing more harm than good.

As  we all know, the problem with oils is that they can cause congestion. "They can congest the follicles. So you need to use it in a moderate way," he says. "You need to ensure you eliminate the excess of oil because if the build-up remains on the scalp it will cause blockage."

1. Use 2—3 times per week max

To maximize the benefits of the product, it's best to use your homemade rosemary and carrier oil concoction two to three times a week.

As with all essential oils, care must be taken not to add too much to your carrier oil and ensure that you do a patch test before using it on your whole scalp.

2. Massage

After mixing your rosemary oil and carrier oil, massage your product into the scalp. Maybe even intensify the experience by using a hairbrush like the Manta Brush which is designed to be gentle on your hair.

Leave it in for an hour or so, or even overnight every now and again for a special scalp treatment, but ensure you do a deep cleanse afterwards.

Manta Brush in White | $30 (£23) 

Manta Brush in White | $30 (£23) 

To effectively stimulate your scalp without pulling at the hair, we suggest investing in a scalp brush, such as a Manta. This brush allows scalp stimulation while also promoting hair health and it's usable on wet and dry hair.

3. Shampoo

You might think this oil treatment is something to use after your usual hair care routine but in actual fact, you have to make sure you get any excess product off your scalp to avoid build-up. This build-up could actually worsen your scalp condition. 

Using the best shampoo, Ricardo advises using, "a good, balanced shampoo, something mild and cleansing," ensure that all of the excess oil is removed.

Then you just style as usual and enjoy the fruits (or should we say herbs?) of your labor.

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day (PhD) Triple Detox Shampoo 160ml | Was $34.50 (£25), Now $23.20 (£16.75)

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day (PhD) Triple Detox Shampoo 160ml | Was $34.50 (£25), Now $23.20 (£16.75)

A non-stripping, color safe shampoo that gently removes buildup from the three big causes: product, pollution and hard water. Reveals soft, shiny, manageable hair and a fresh, clean, revitalized scalp.

Aoife Hanna
Junior News Editor

Aoife is an Irish journalist and writer with a background in creative writing, comedy, and TV production.

Formerly woman&home's junior news editor and a contributing writer at Bustle, her words can be found in the Metro, Huffpost, Delicious, Imperica and EVOKE.

Her poetry features in the Queer Life, Queer Love anthology.

Outside of work you might bump into her at a garden center, charity shop, yoga studio, lifting heavy weights, or (most likely) supping/eating some sort of delicious drink/meal.