I recently had lunch with a business contact who asked me if there were any clinical studies regarding essential oils and hair restoration. A search on PubMed for “essential oils and alopecia” revealed 14 hits—two out of these 14 hits peaked my interest.
The first study compared rosemary oil and a synthetic medication called minoxidil. The second study involved four essential oils: thyme, rosemary, lavender and cedarwood. The writers of both research articles concluded that essential oils were effective treatments for hair restoration.
According to the drug label on DailyMed, minoxidil will not work for everyone and unwanted side effects can occur after use. In contrast to synthetic medications which can cause unwanted side effects, natural essential oils produce side benefits. The smell of rosemary oil can help with concentration; thyme can be used to purify the skin; lavender can calm the emotions and soothe the skin; and cedarwood can assist with mood stabilization.
Hay, I.C., Jamieson, M., & Ormerod, A.D. (1998). Randomized trial of aromatherapy. Successful treatment for alopecia areata. Archives of dermatology, 134 (11), 1349-1352.
Panahi, Y., Taghizadeh, M., Marzony, E.T., & Sahebkar, A. (2015). Rosemary oil vs minoxidil 2% for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia: a randomized comparative trial. Skinmed, 13 (1), 15-21.
This post was published on April 19, 2019. It was updated on August 21, 2020.