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18th Aug 2023

Experts warn against using rosemary oil hair hack in the sun

A new TikTok hair trend (where else would it come from?!) that shows how rosemary oil can improve hair health might have a potential danger people aren’t thinking about…

We’re all looking for that holy grail hack that will positively impact our hair health, and preferably on the cheap, so it’s no wonder the rosemary hair oil trend on TikTok has over 410 million views. People all over the world are reporting remarkable hair growth, reduced hair loss, and a reduction in scalp irritation and dandruff – sounds like the dream, right? Well if online searches in the UK for ‘rosemary oil’ are anything to go by, it might just be: Searches have increased by over 194% since August 2022.

According to the experts, massaging the oil into the scalp will increase the oxygenation of hair follicles, thereby boosting the effectiveness of the oil. They should then leave the oil to penetrate into the scalp for at least 30 minutes.

However – and here’s the dodgy part – many people are going about their lives with a ‘rosemary bun’ forgetting that being outdoors with oil on your head might not be the safest thing for your sensitive scalp area. Using the oil a couple of times a week is reported to significantly increase the chance of experiencing its potential benefits.

Haircare experts at are warning against applying rosemary oil to hair and then going out in the sun without sufficient protection.

SpaSeekers director Jason Goldberg warns that: “Rosemary contains carnosic acid, which is known to heal nerve and tissue damage by improving blood circulation and encouraging nerve growth. This property helps the hair follicles to grow the hair and heal any irritations that people may be experiencing on their scalp.

“However, as the hot temperatures and sunny days return to the UK, it’s important to be aware that applying any oil to the skin will attract harmful UV rays to your scalp and increase the chance of experiencing sun damage – meaning your rosemary oil bun could be doing more damage than good if you’re sat out in the sun.

Your scalp is a particularly sensitive part of your body, and can result in flaking, peeling, redness and soreness if burnt by the sun. To prevent sun damage, avoid wearing rosemary oil in your hair while outside in the sun, and be sure to apply sun cream for hair in order to provide extra protection.”

If you can’t apply SPF to your scalp for whatever reason, we’re here to tell you to either (a) leave off the rosemary while you’re out in the sun or (b) get yourself a hat, a scarf, a towel, whatever – just don’t let that precious scalp of yours burn to a crisp.