Hair loss disorders are common conditions. One called alopecia is defined as the loss or thinning of the hair that may occur in both men and women and can be further divided into scarring and non-scarring alopecia. This is different from male baldness, which affects men only. Both rosemary and sage appear to be beneficial for alopecia and are used as cosmetic ingredients in various hair care products. If you suffer from hair loss, talk to a dermatologist to find out which hair loss disease you have and which treatment works best for your condition.
Rosemary & Hair Growth
Rosemary, also known as Rosmarinus officinalis, is a common herb used for adding flavor to foods and beverages and also used in the cosmetics industry. Traditionally, rosemary is used for a variety of health concerns including kidney colic, painful menses and respiratory conditions and to promote hair growth. Its key active ingredients are rosmaricinic acid and caffeic acid.
A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial featured in the November 1998 issue of “Archives of Dermatology” concluded that a combination of rosemary and a few other oils is a safe and effective alternative to managing alopecia areata. This condition causes rapid hair loss in patches, particularly from the scalp area, affecting both men and women. The study involved 68 patients; 44 percent who massaged their scalps daily for seven months with rosemary and other herbal oils found significant improvement and hair regrowth.
Sage & Hair Growth
Sage, scientifically known as Salvia officinalis, is another herb widely used in the cosmetics industry, particularly for hair care. Sage-based oil is beneficial for controlling dandruff and treating hair loss, explains Ulrike Blume-Peytavi, author of “Hair Growth and Disorders.” It is medically beneficial because sage is rich in nutrients such as vitamins B, A and C and the minerals potassium and calcium.
Herbal oil applications may help stimulate new hair growth and also manage scalp infections. Combine three to four drops from each of the following: rosemary, sage and peppermint with 1 tbsp. of olive oil. Massage affected areas once or twice daily, recommends the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Consult a qualified health care provider to learn more about rosemary and sage’s benefits for hair loss as well as possible interaction with prescription ointments. Keep in mind that sage and rosemary should not be used as a replacement for any drugs you are currently taking.
- “Indian Journal of Experimental Biology”; Pharmacology of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis Linn.) and its therapeutic potentials; M.R..Al-Sereiti et al.; February 1999
- “Hair Growth and Disorders”; Ulrike Blume-Peytavi; 2008
- "Archives of Dermatology”; Randomized trial of aromatherapy. Successful treatment for alopecia areata; I.C.Hay et al.; November 1998
- Univeristy of Maryland Medical Center: Hair Disorders