It’s no secret that using natural hair oil is a great way to support your strands. Each oil has its benefits, from super moisturizing coconut oil to hair growth supporting castor oil—but there’s one oil in particular that researchers say might be a secret weapon to support the health and wellness of your strands: rosehip oil.
With a sweet tart aroma and a glowing amber hue, rosehip seed oil is an intensely hydrating oil packed with fatty acids and omega 3s that make it a powerful tool in natural skin care. But new evidence suggests that it might be as good for your hair and scalp as it is for delicate facial skin, supporting follicular health and even potentially boosting hair growth.
We took a closer look at the research to find out the truth. Is rosehip oil really the hair health secret weapon you’ve been searching for?
What is Rosehip Oil?
The acidic fruits left behind after roses bloom and wilt, rosehips are often used in medicinal tisanes, or made into breads, jams, jellies, confections, and even wine. In folk medicine, rosehips were often used as a natural remedy for all kinds of ailments, from stiffness and pain to a cure for a broken heart.
Rosehip oil is simply the pressed seed oil that has been extracted from the rosehips of wild rose plants, ideally using cold pressing methods to preserve its full nutritional profile and vitamin content. The oil typically contains both the fruit of the rosehips themselves, as well as the seeds they contain.
Packed with vitamins, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants, rosehip seed oil is sometimes taken orally via dropper. However, it’s more typically used externally to support the health of your hair and skin.
The Benefits of Rosehip Oil
While rosehips themselves have long been used both medicinally and culinarily, rosehip oil has only recently begun to gain popularity as a natural beauty tool. Although still not as popular as other oils like coconut, almond, or jojoba, there is research to suggest that rosehip oil has a host of benefits all its own that makes it worthwhile incorporating into your natural beauty routine.
High Vitamin Content
Packed with high levels of some of the most critical vitamins for supporting hair and skin health, rosehip oil delivers key nutritional support to nourish your follicles and support your scalp.
Rosehip oil contains more vitamin C than many citrus fruits, excellent news for natural beauty experts looking to fight off free radical damage. Vitamin C is a particularly powerful free radical fighter, neutralizing the adverse effects of these damaging unstable atoms.
Rosehip oil is also high in vitamin A, which is often used in skincare to reduce wrinkles and diminish fine lines by rebuilding your skin’s natural collagen. Helping to speed healing and support the skin’s immune system, it can prevent breakup and promote natural moisturizing processes.
Last but not least there’s Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant found in rosehip oil which has been found to assist in reducing inflammation throughout the body. Found in your skin’s natural oils, Vitamin E helps create a moisture barrier to protect skin, while fighting off cellular damage.
Working together, these powerful vitamins effectively soothe, nourish, and support your scalp’s fragile skin.
While all of us could benefit from a little rosehip TLC, this particular combo move suggests that rosehip oil might be particularly effective for those of us who suffer from inflammatory scalp conditions such as scalp ringworm, seborrheic dermatitis, or folliculitis. When your scalp is at its healthiest, your hair can grow long, strong, and beautiful!
Increases Moisture Levels
A well moisturized scalp is a happy scalp, and rosehip oil is excellent at introducing moisture to your most delicate skin, supporting the scalp’s natural biome.
If you’re prone to itchy skin conditions such as eczema, or have particularly dry hair, you’re probably already familiar with the power of moisturizing. People with dry scalps, dry hair, or those that use chemical treatments, heat, or dye their strands benefit the most from regular use of natural moisturizing agents such as rosehip oil.
But even if your scalp tends to get bogged down by natural oils, lightweight rosehip oil can still be a suitable treatment. It’s delicate texture means it’s perfectly suited to moisturizing fine or oiliness prone strands, leaving hair moisturized instead of sodden.
Rosehip oil is particularly effective at teaching less than desirable scalp conditions, such as itchiness, dryness, flakiness, or dandruff. It’s also great at taming frizzy hair and flyaways, and helping to keep split ends at bay.
Packed with nourishing omega-3s and essential fatty acids, cold pressed rosehip oil’s most moisturizing components are gamma-linolenic acid and linoleic acid. Unlike the heavier oleic acids found in animal fats and vegetable sources such as sunflower oil, it won’t weigh strands down or leave a greasy residue behind.
Instead, the omegas and fatty acids in rosehip oil work to maintain a healthy skin barrier, which studies show can help reduce flakiness and reduce overall scalp health. When your scalp is properly moisturized, your strands will be too.
A Great Source of Antioxidants
One of the most powerful weapons in natural hair health, antioxidants helps support your strands by encouraging the production of collagen, the natural connective tissues that form your hair follicles and skin cells. They protect your scalp from free radical damage caused by pollutants, stressors, and other environmental factors, and promote the growth of healthier hair.
And yup, you guessed it: rosehips are ridiculously high in antioxidants. The antioxidant found at the highest levels of concentration in rosehips is lypene, which protects fragile skin from free radical damage caused by the various stressors mentioned above. Lycopene has also been found to be effective in protecting your strands from sun damage, offering a natural form of SPF that can be beneficial to the sensitive skin of your scalp.
Stress is also one of the major factors contributing to hair loss, causing slowed growth, brittle hair, and even hair loss due to stress induced alopecia. If you’re someone who struggles with high stress levels, rosehip oil’s antioxidants may help reduce the impact of stress on your strands.
Side Effects to Look Out For
Unlike other oils, rosehip oil is gentle enough that you don’t need to mix it with a carrier oil to prevent it from causing irritation. In general, it’s considered a very safe and effective solution for natural skin and hair care.
However, like any new beauty product that you’re trying for the first time, it’s always a good idea to do a patch test before you slather it on, to make sure you don’t experience any adverse effects. Apply a little rosehip oil to a patch of skin on your arm, and give yourself 24 hours to ensure you don’t experience any side effects that could point to an allergic reaction, such as irritation, itching, rashes, redness, or crusty skin. If any of these symptoms appear, rosehip oil is not for you! And we hope it goes without saying that you should never apply rosehip oil, or any other beauty product, to broken or irritated skin.
Using Rosehip Oil to Support Hair Health
Once you’ve done your successful patch test, it’s time to start using that rosehip oil to sooth your scalp and give your strands an antioxidant packed, vitamin rich moisturizing boost. Here are some of the most popular ways experts recommend introducing rosehip oil into your hair care routine:
Make a Nourishing Hair Mask
If you’re suffering from a flaky, dry, unbalanced, or otherwise unhappy scalp, a rosehip oil mask might be just the ticket for turning your scalp health around. You can apply rosehip oil directly to your scalp through dry hair and massage in, or apply before a warm shower for extra moisturizing benefits. Work your oil into your scalp, cover with a shower cap and let sit for about 30 minutes, and then wash and style your hair as usual.
Protect Split Ends
Split ends are one of the worst culprits when it comes to hair breakage, and rosehip oil can help. Take a quarter sized amount of oil and massage it into your split ends, taking care to rub it in deeply so the oil is fully absorbed. If you have thicker, dryer hair you can leave it as is, but if your hair is fine and prone to oiliness you may want to give your split ends the hair mask treatment, leaving to sit for about half an hour and then rinsing fully with a gentle shampoo.
Support Your Scalp Health Routine
Rosehip oil is an excellent natural hair health option, but it works even better alongside a product specifically designed to support hair health from the inside out. We love pairing our rosehip oil mask with a healthy dose of Vegamour’s GRO Scalp Detoxifying Serum, which removes scalp buildup and soothes the scalp, locking in moisture where it matters most and supporting your scalp’s natural microbiome. Combined with the natural hair health boosting power of rosehip oil, it’s an unbeatable formula.