Natural Hair Care with Rosemary Hydrosol

Rosemary, by Carole Grogloth Molokai, Hawaii, [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Rosemary, by Carole Grogloth Molokai, Hawaii, [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Last updated February 4, 2019

I recently discovered rosemary hydrosol: a wonderful companion to natural hair care. And I'm in love. It compliments shampoo bars beautifully! Read on to learn how rosemary hydrosol can become part of your natural hair care routine. Perhaps, if you’re careful, your bottle will last longer than mine did!


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I don’t remember how I first learned about the benefits of using rosemary hydrosol as a natural hair care product. But once I got a whiff of it, well … let’s just say that the fragrance alone led to the start of a beautiful long-term relationship. And it works, too.

The ups and downs of natural hair care

Although I know of several alternative hair washing methods, I’ve only tried shampoo bars, which I've been using for more than a few years now. And just like with any relationship, it hasn’t always been easy. We've had our ups and downs. Though when I think about it, this has been my experience with conventional shampoos and conditioners, too. My hair tends to accumulate buildup, and since transitioning to menopause, it has also become dry. Ah, ageing is such an adventure; isn’t it?

Culture, economics, and the environment

But once I discovered shampoo bars, having the benefits of few ingredients and no plastic bottles, I was determined to make this natural hair care method work. I'm also intrigued with their history. The idea of washing my hair with the same type of products that people have always used, until fairly recently, connects me to the past and the commonality of a shared ritual.

Shampoo bars also have an economic advantage: They last a long time. For example, last summer, I switched back to a natural shampoo packaged in a plastic bottle because I was traveling and didn't want to think about transporting vinegar for my hair rinse. I went through mounds of shampoo, which unfortunately, was one of the more expensive natural hair care brands. Most shampoos, even the "clean" ones, tend to strip my hair of oils. When I returned from my trip, I quickly used up that pricey shampoo and refused to continue spending so much money. Also, I have a lot of hair. So I go through a lot shampoo in a short amount of time.

Vinegar rinse to the rescue

Colorful painting Titania in a moonlit garden, by MC BennettDrake

Colorful painting Titania in a moonlit garden, by MC BennettDrake

But one common complaint about shampoo bars is that they leave your hair feeling course and tangled. Vinegar rinses (make sure to dilute!) can help with this along with one of the conditioners from Chagrin Valley Soap or Aquarian Bath. Both of these companies also provide tips on how to prepare and use vinegar rinses.

Rosemary hydrosol - the benefits

But sometimes my hair still seems to be lacking something, or my tendency to use too much pomade will get the best of me. Whether you've adopted the alternative hair lifestyle or not, I believe anyone can benefit from the smoothing and softening effects of rosemary hydrosol. Also, it doesn't weigh my hair down— functioning more like a nourishing setting lotion. I've also noticed that it seems to counteract any overuse of conditioning products.

Environmentally friendly, elegant packaging

I buy my rosemary hydrosol from Mountain Rose Herbs, but I'm not affiliated with them in any way. It's certified organic and packaged in an elegant amber glass sprayer bottle, reminiscent of days gone by. I bought the smallest size just to give it a try, but I fret way too much about my hair. I love this hydrosol so much that it's already half gone!

It's tempting to overdo

I had to see what rosemary hydrosol was like on dry hair, damp hair, and wet hair. And if using a small amount is nice, isn't using more only better? Actually, a little bit goes a long way. But as you might have guessed, due to all my experimenting, I'll have to soon order more!

So far, my preference is to apply rosemary hydrosol to damp or dry hair. That way I don't need to use as much.  I continue to use a dab of leave in conditioner or hair oil, as mentioned above, along with a small amount of pomade. I'm still experimenting with how often to use the vinegar rinse.

A bit about hydrosols

And just in case you were wondering, the fragrance of Rosemary Hydrosol is intoxicating. although hydrosols are made through steam distillation of plant material, they're not as strong as essential oils, containing only the water soluble parts.

Give it a try!

Rosemary hydrosol has become the missing piece to my natural hair care puzzle. Furthermore, I'm addicted to the fragrance. How has it worked for you? Meanwhile, I haven't washed my hair in three days. I'm looking forward to using rosemary hydrosol in a bit. But first, I need another cup of coffee! I really was a night owl last night and into the wee hours of this morning. —Laura

If you color or perm your hair, please do your own research before trying any of the products recommended on this page. I'm not a hair consultant, doctor, or adviser on matters of health and wellness. This post reflects my experience with these products and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any type of health condition.

Also, I'm not affiliated with Chagrin Valley Soap, Aquarian Bath or Mountain Rose Herbs. And I don't receive free products or payments of any kind by promoting them. 

I’m passionate about writing and sharing stories on climate, ecology, science and culture. My website remains ad-free and is solely funded by donations. You can also support my work on Patreon. Thank you!


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