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The use of rose water for hair has not been extensively studied. But rose water does have beneficial properties that may make it good for the hair and scalp.
- Rose water is a mild astringent which may help to reduce oiliness and dandruff.
- It has anti-inflammatory properties, which may make it beneficial for certain scalp conditions, like psoriasis and eczema.
- Rose water’s fragrance is calming and soothing. While this quality may not make your hair look any lovelier, the fragrance of rose water wafting from your locks may help lift your mood. The scent might even help relieve headaches and reduce irritability.
- Many women with curly hair swear by rose water’s ability to calm down frizz and add shine.
You can buy rose water ready-made or make it yourself. If you are buying rose water, look for one that doesn’t contain added preservatives, such as ethanol.
Ways to use rose water for hair include:
- Pour it onto hair as a rinse after shampooing, or, after shampooing and conditioning. Leave it in your hair or rinse it out after several hours or overnight.
- Add rose water to your favorite shampoo or conditioner.
- Use a spray bottle to spray rose mist onto your hair anytime you want to decrease frizz or add a spritz of scent.
- Apply rose water using cotton swabs directly to the scalp. To reduce dandruff and itching, gently massage it in. Shampoo and rinse as usual afterward.
If you want to make rose water at home, start with a half dozen fragrant roses. Many hybrid varieties of modern-day roses were cultivated for size or color instead of scent, so sniff before you buy. You’ll also need distilled water.
- To start, gently remove the rose petals from their stems and rinse them under warm running water in a colander.
- Place the rose petals in a large pot and cover with the distilled water
- Cover the pot with a lid.
- Simmer the rose petals on medium heat for around 20 minutes or until the petals lose their color.
- Strain the rose petals out of the rose water and discard the petals.
- Store the rose water in one large or several small glass jars in a cool place, away from direct sunlight.
One of rose water’s uncontested attributes is its scent. Try experimenting with different types and combinations of roses to see which scents you like best. There are hundreds of varieties of roses and possibly, thousands of hybrids you can choose from.
You can also try adding ingredients to rose water that are known to be beneficial to hair. These include herbs, such as Gotu kola, or a few drops of an essential oil, such as lavender or rosemary.
There are other DIY treatments which might have similar benefits for hair.
For example, you can try diluting apple cider vinegar with water and using it as a scalp rinse to reduce dandruff.
You can also use cooled-down rosemary tea as a hair rinse, to help soothe the scalp and reduce minor irritations.
Shop for apple cider vinegar and rosemary tea online.
Rose water is safe for most people to use. However, if you’re allergic to roses, don’t use rose water on your hair.
If you have severe dandruff or an itchy scalp condition, there may be more effective, clinically proven treatments, such as dandruff shampoos, that you might wish to try instead of, or in addition to, rose water.
The cultivation of roses, rose oil, and rose water is thought to have started thousands of years ago in ancient Persia, an area now known as Iran. Rose water may have first been made by Avicenna, a Persian physician and alchemist who lived during the 10th century.
As noted above, rose water is made by distilling rose petals with steam or boiling water. Typically, the most fragrant rose varietals are used for this purpose. These include Rosa canina (wild rose, also known as dog rose), Rosa damascena (damask rose) and Rosa centifolia (cabbage rose).
The resulting mixture has a gentle, pleasing scent and potential beauty benefits for skin and hair.