Rose oil has long been used to promote a, well, rosy complexion. Rose oil has an intricate chemical composition that consists of some 300 different compounds. The same properties that nourish a person’s skin also nourish a person’s hair. While beneficial, rose oil is expensive to produce. It takes close to 8,800 pounds of flowers to make about 34 fluid oz. of the oil. That translates to about 30 roses for a single drop of oil.
Rose oil is noted for its hydrating and emollient properties. These help moisturize hair and skin and fight any dryness or dehydration, according to Deramaxime Bio-Cellular Skin Care Co.
Rose oil also has stimulating, antiseptic, antiviral and bactericidal properties that are beneficial to hair and skin, making it useful as a general scalp tonic, according to Deramaxime Bio-Cellular Skin Care Co. Rose oil’s main constituents include citronellol, which provides fragrance; phenyl ethanol, which has antimicrobial properties; the natural antioxidant geraniol; and farnesol, an antibacterial that also helps regulate oil production in the skin.
Rose oil is used in Ayurvedic medicine practices to augment skin health, which is necessary for good hair health. Rose oil is said to treat skin dullness as well as acne caused by pitta imbalance. Pitta, in Ayurvedic medicine, is one of three doshas, or organizing principles, that are responsible for maintaining good health. It addresses the elements of water and fire and is concerned, in part, with the digestive, endocrine and enzyme systems in the body. Rose properties for skin are cooling and moisturizing, according to Ayurvedic specialist Rama Kant Mishra, a member of the Council of Maharishi Ayurveda. The council consists of 80 of the world’s foremost Ayurvedic experts.
Rose oil has anti-inflammatory properties that can promote scalp health, according to research published in the June 2008 issue of the Phytotherapy Research journal. The study noted, however, that further research is needed to determine the best preparation of rose oil for treatment of skin diseases.
If nothing else, rose oil’s relaxing properties can help hair growth. Hair loss and stress are often related, according to the Mayo Clinic. People can utilize rose oil effectively in aromatherapy to combat stress, reports the June 2009 Complementary and Alternative Medicine Report. People don’t even have to inhale the scent to gain a benefit, according to a study at Srinakharinwirot University in Bangkok, Thailand. The study found that people who had rose oil applied but could not smell it were more relaxed and calm than people who received a placebo. According to the University of New Hampshire, rose oil is effective in treating stress and depression.