Banishing Bad Hair Days since 1997!™

Best Rosemary Hair Recipe For Darkening Hair?

[caption id="attachment_138" align="alignleft" width="166" caption="Rosemary Herbs"]Rosemary Herbs


Dear Karen,

In an effort to save money I've been reading about different home hair treatments which not only help to darken gray hair but keep hair looking healthy and lush without breaking the bank.

I've been reading about using rosemary herbs as an option.  Do you know if rosemary can actually help to darken hair?  Also, what would be some good recipes to try at home.  I appreciate any suggestions.




Dear Kendra,

Rosemary is known to help darken gray hair over time (although not obvious for a long time) and it is considered to be a stimulant for the roots and the scalp. Many people trying to help stimulate their hair to grow longer or healthier swear by various rosemary infused recipes.

[caption id="attachment_141" align="alignright" width="164" caption="Rosemary Herbs"]Rosemary Herbs

If you have long hair with some hints of gray, you may want to avoid using commercial dyes or colors to protect the health of your hair. Over an extended period of time rosemary rinses and oils are rumored to gently and softly darken gray hair. Rosemary will also eliminate dryness and act as an excellent conditioner.

Besides being rumored to help grow hair faster & prevent pre-mature baldness (no scientific evidence to that at this point) it is also good for knocking out dandruff.

Warning - if you have blonde or light colored hair you may not want to try this recipe as it may darken your hair.

Rosemary Hair Oil Recipe

Rosemary blends very well with others in the mint family. It's especially beneficial when mixed with basil, bergamot, juniper, lemon and cedar.  Basil is a well-known scalp and hair follicle stimulant, but it should never be used without a base carrier oil or mixture.

Keep in mind that any rosemary concoctions will be stimulating and refreshing. This is a very Yang herb that is uplifting, strengthening and invigorating. It increases circulation and will often make the scalp or body feel warm after it is massaged with a rosemary formula or oil.


[caption id="attachment_148" align="alignleft" width="185" caption="Mason Jar"]Mason Jar

Mason, Ball or other sterile class jar with air-tight lid.

1 cup of fresh rosemary leaves (optional, add a smidgen of basil and juniper fresh leaves and/or essential oils to the mix).

Jojoba oil (optional, sesame or sweet almond oil).


Fill the class jar with the rosemary. Cover the rosemary with the jojoba oil so that the rosemary is completely covered. Place the jar in your sunniest window. Let the herbs "steep" for 4 weeks or so.  Turn the jar slightly every day to make sure that the sun m makes equal contact with all sides of the jar.

When the oil is finished steeping for 4 weeks, strain the leaves from the liquid with an all natural paper coffee filter or with a piece of silk.   Filter the mixture into a clean, sterilized amber or dark colored jar.  Store in a cool, dark place.


When you use the mixture pour just enough for your immediate needs into a clean glass bowl.  Heat gently over a double boiler on in a microwave.  Make sure the oil is warm, but not too hot to touch with your fingers. Work the oil into de-tangled hair from the ears down to the ends. Use a cotton ball or your clean fingers to apply the mixture.  Apply a plastic shower cap or pieces of clear food wrap. Optionally you may sit under a hood dryer to add heat.  Another option is to wrap hot towels over the plastic to help the oil soak into the cuticles more easily.

[caption id="attachment_153" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Rosemary Herb"]Rosemary Herb

If you prefer to buy pre-made rosemary hair oil there are a variety of hair oils which are made with natural rosemary.   Various brands have many wonderful ingredients designed to stimulate the scalp, the roots and the hair.

Some hair oils are made with a combination of rosemary leaves and rosemary oil.

Other ingredients which be mixed with rosemary hair oil is basil (one of my favorites).  It can also be mixed with nettle, lavender flowers and burdock root as well as oils of lavender, jojoba and coconut.

Additional Notes

The Rosemary hair oil tonic can be applied every day or as desired. To darken hair you will need to apply as an overall rinse 3x a week. Keep in mind that you hair may take a long time to show a change in the color.

I like to play with these types of recipes in the bathtub because it makes them so less messy. Also, rosemary is good for your skin so if it drinks into your bath big deal.

The rosemary mixture can also be used as an allover final rinse. Use a plastic bowl to catch the liquid as it falls so you can rinse several times.

Honey & Rosemary On Your Hair

[caption id="attachment_155" align="alignleft" width="237" caption="Honey"]Honey

Honey mixed with a little of the rosemary hair oil mixture described above can be used an overall hair softening agent. It's very messy & sticky so if you're going to try it, apply the honey mixture to your hair in the shower after you've first wet your hair.

Note: It's not recommended that you experiment with honey mixtures on dry hair as it will be too difficult to apply.

Do not shampoo your hair first, just wet your hair w/warm water. Squeeze excess water out and then apply the honey to your ends and dry middle hair.

Leave the mixture on for 5-10 minutes and then rinse out. You can follow with a moisturizing shampoo and rinse out conditioner. Have fun experimenting with this amazing herb.  Let me know if you have additional questions.

Best wishes,

Karen Marie Shelton


By submitting your question, you grant full permission to to publish it. Due to the volume of mail we receive, Karen regrets that she cannot respond to every question personally.

To AskKaren a question, send an e-mail to: [email protected]

Social Media Network Information

Please follow us on Twitter at: I look forward to meeting new people from all walks of Twitter and learning from their Tweets.

New On
Active HairTalk Threads
Wanna talk?
HairTalk® is the place for you!
Recent Topics:
Quick Poll
When prepping for your ultimate Valentine's Day celebration, which do you think is most important?
Choice of Handbag
View Results
Daily Hair Tip
For a low maintenance style, try to work with your natural hair type rather than against it. For example, if your hair is naturally wavy, select a hairstyle that works easily with the waves.
Top Gallery Images