Grow long and healthy hair with this DIY rosemary water

The internet is obsessed with growing long, healthy, full hair. Hair slugging tutorials on TikTok are just the latest iteration of this phenomenon, which harks back to heatless curls, scalp massages, and caffeine treatments, to name a few.

But lately, hair growth influencers have tried to keep it simple by focusing on one basic ingredient: rosemary. To jump on this trend, all you have to do is make your own rosemary water spray. It’s easy, inexpensive, and there’s potentially a lot of hair to gain.

How rosemary can help with hair growth

Mediterranean cultures have benefited from rosemary for hundreds of years, says Michele Green, a board-certified dermatologist based in New York City.

And science supports them. In a 2015 study published in the journal Skinmed, researchers compared the hair growth effects of rosemary and minoxidil (the active ingredient in Rogaine) over a six-month period. They found remarkably similar results, with both treatments showing a significant increase in hair count over untreated groups.

[Related: Winter-proof your lips with this DIY lip balm]

Green explains that rosemary owes its hair-growing benefits to its anti-inflammatory properties: the plant’s ability to boost blood flow, allowing hair follicles to receive an adequate amount of blood.

“This provides oxygen and nutrients and prevents damaged hair follicles that lead to hair loss,” she says. As a bonus, she adds, rosemary also has antioxidant properties that help protect the hair and scalp from environmental stressors like pollution and UV rays.

How to make rosemary water

This fragrant herb has several properties. Helen Bradshaw

You don’t need to treat yourself to a serum for your tresses to benefit from this herb: you can make your own rosemary hair tonic at home. Though most studies have focused on rosemary oil, as have many popular TikTok videos, Green says rosemary water works, too, since it has the same main ingredient as the oil.

This format can also be particularly helpful if you have an oily scalp. Because this infusion is less concentrated than the oil, you can use it multiple times throughout the day, which also means you can refresh the gorgeous scent in your hair for an all-day aroma.


  • Time: One hour
  • Material costs: $7 to $30
  • Difficulty: Easy

1. Cut or buy rosemary. If you have access to rosemary at home, cut off about five sprigs from your plant – mine were about six inches each. But if you are not a rosemary grower, this is your sign to start as this herb smells amazing and will always come in handy in the kitchen. In the meantime, buy some rosemary from your local market or grocery store.

You can use more or less rosemary depending on how strong you want your water to be.

2. Add the sprigs to the pot with the water and bring to a boil. Rinse your rosemary lightly to remove any residue and place in a saucepan of water. If the water doesn’t cover the branches, add more until it does.

Bring your mixture to a boil and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. You will probably notice the water turning yellow-green – this is normal. If you want a stronger formula, you can simmer it for an hour or two. As you do this, keep an eye on the pot and add more water if too much of it overcooks.

Pot of boiling water and sprig of rosemary boiling over a kitchen stove
Added bonus: it will make your kitchen smell fantastic. Helen Bradshaw

3. Take your brew off the fire and let it steep. After simmering, remove the pot from the heat and let the rosemary steep for another 30 minutes. Over time, the water becomes darker and rosier.

As with simmering, if you want more potency you can continue to steep the rosemary until it has completely cooled. After you’ve made this recipe a few times, feel free to adjust the steeping and cooking times to whatever suits you best.

4. Strain the mixture and pour it into the spray bottle. Take a sieve and an extra bowl, preferably with a spout for later, and strain the rosemary and any residue left over from cooking. If necessary, repeat the process until you are left with only fortified water.

[Related: Moisturize your pup’s pads with some DIY paw balm]

Finally, pour the liquid into your spray bottle, screw the nozzle back on and you’re good to go.

You can add a bow around the neck of the bottle and some extra sprigs of rosemary if you want to turn your fragrant brew into a cute homemade gift for the haircare lover in your life.

How to use rosemary water for hair growth

Part your hair with a comb and spritz the rosemary water onto your scalp a few times throughout the day. Massage it into the skin for about a minute. (Even without rosemary water, regular scalp massages alone can help with hair thickness.)

When you’re done, store your water in the fridge to extend its shelf life. The mixture should last a week or two if stored properly. If you don’t see results right away, don’t fret. You probably shouldn’t.

“Everyone’s hair growth is different,” says Michelle Henry, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Skin and Aesthetic Surgery of Manhattan. “Early responders can see some improvement in three months, but the timeframe I give almost all of my patients is six months.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *