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Rosehip oil is commonly used in traditional medicine. Many people prize it for its purported anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial benefits.

Made from the Chilean Rosa canina bush, rosehip oil is an extract made from pressed seeds and fruit. This is different from rose oil extracts, which are made from the actual rose flower petals.

Based on its properties, rosehip oil is now being touted online as a way to promote a healthier scalp and hair. But does the science back up such claims? Read on to learn more.

Overall, rosehip oil is said to have a number of benefits. Among these include:

  • healthy fatty acids, such as linoleic and oleic acids
  • antioxidants, such as lycopene and vitamin C, which can help fight free radicals, boost collagen, and moisturize the skin
  • vitamin A, a known fighter against acne, wrinkles, and sun damage
  • anti-inflammatories, such as polyphenols and vitamin E

But it’s important to know that more research is needed to test these theories.

Rosehip oil for scalp

It’s thought that some of the properties in rosehip oil may translate to scalp health, too. In turn, a healthier scalp may promote healthier hair.

One study on rosehip powder for the face suggests it has moisturizing effects. This may translate to the scalp, but more research is needed.

Rosehip oil for inflammatory scalp conditions

Rosehip oil might help certain inflammatory conditions of the scalp. Another study looked at rosehip powder’s potential pain-relieving qualities for osteoarthritis. It found that rosehip powder can reduce inflammation and pain.

This might translate to rosehip oil being able to treat painful inflammatory skin conditions, like dermatitis (eczema), psoriasis, and rosacea, but more research is needed.

If you have a skin condition that’s causing you pain, visit a doctor for treatment, and discuss trying rosehip oil as a complementary therapy.

Rosehip oil for hair growth

As a rule of thumb, hair growth depends on healthy roots. Certain properties in rosehip oil might help increase the strength of your hair, thereby promoting overall growth. These properties include fatty acids, lycopene, and vitamin C.

It’s important to distinguish between rosehip essential oil and traditional oils made from extracts.

Unlike essential oils, rosehip extract doesn’t need to be diluted with a carrier oil. In fact, some people use rosehip oil extract as a carrier oil for their essential oils.

However, it’s still a good idea to patch test a small amount of rosehip on another area of skin before applying liberally to your scalp.

If using an essential oil, dilute with a carrier oil first. Then, apply the oil to the inside of your elbow, and wait for 24 hours to see whether any allergic reactions develop.

While allergic reactions to rosehip oil aren’t common, there are some symptoms to be on the lookout for:

  • itchy skin
  • redness or hives
  • skin rash
  • crusty skin (or scalp)

Also take care not to get the rosehip oil in your eyes. You can avoid this by using a shower cap when using the oil as a mask, and by carefully rinsing it all out in the shower.

Rosehip oil is meant for topical use only. This is also the case with hair and scalp treatments. Never take the oil by mouth.

Check with your doctor before using rosehip oil. Even topical applications could interfere with medications you take, as well as any preexisting health conditions you might have.

You can use rosehip oil on your hair and scalp as either a mask or spot treatment. Be sure to do a patch test ahead of time to reduce the risk of any negative reactions.

How to make a rosehip oil hair mask

You may apply rosehip oil directly to your hair. Some people prefer warming the oil beforehand, but be sure to test it before applying to make sure it’s not hot.

Massage the oil throughout your hair, making sure that you cover each strand. Place a shower cap over your hair, and leave it on for up to 30 minutes. Thoroughly rinse out the oil before shampooing and conditioning.

While you can use rosehip oil as a mask on its own, you can also experiment with other moisturizing oils. Coconut and diluted lavender oil are just a few options you can use.

Spot treatment for scalp

If treating dryness, dandruff, or an inflammatory skin condition, you can directly apply rosehip oil to your scalp as a spot treatment. Massage the oil into your scalp, and then slip on a shower cap. Rinse and shampoo after 20 to 30 minutes.

With the growing popularity of essential oils and plant oil extracts, rosehip oil and other products like it are widely available. You can find them in natural health stores, specialty grocery stores, and even some drugstores.

You can also check out these products available online.

Rosehip oil remains a much talked about natural hair treatment. Its benefits might even extend to hair health by adding more moisture.

Still, it’s important to remember that the science behind many of these claims made online is lacking.

Use rosehip oil with care, especially if you’re trying to treat any scalp condition. See a dermatologist if you don’t notice any improvements after a few weeks, or if you start to develop side effects.