DIY Beauty: homemade rosemary hair tonic rinse

I used to spend quite a bit of time with my mom concocting our own hair tonic. We would go around our estate to search for morning glory, which would then be dried and soaked in a bottle of brandy. The concoction was then our own DIY hair tonic to apply to our scalp to promote hair growth. It was quite fun all right and I think it did help somewhat but I grew out of it due to the embarrassment of walking around smelling like a drunk. Anyway, I don’t really like the idea of applying hair tonic on my scalp because my hair would get all clumped up and looking greasy. So I was quite happy to experiment with this new recipe I chance upon from a book – the rosemary hair tonic rinse!

Good for oily scalp and hair loss
This looks like a popular recipe because I read some reviews about it on the forums. Apparently, it is effective for controlling greasy hair and promote hair growth because rosemary cleans our hair follicles. In addition, I also learn that the recipe is particularly recommended for people with dark hair and the rinse can also give luster to dry hair. The best part is, it’s really easy to prepare and all I need is rosemary and water.

Herbal and medicinal scent
Rosemary is notable for its use in a variety of dishes. The leaf of the plant, however, is used for medicinal purposes and is also popular in many beauty products. Once boiled with water, the medicinal smell is rather strong. But it’s not an awful medicinal smell; more like a herbal type of pleasant scent. I also like the fact that the ingredient is easily available at the supermarket. I got mine from Cold Storage.

Strain the boiled mixture
As mentioned, you only need two ingredients – rosemary and water. I emptied two packets of the rosemary into a pot with 150ml of water and brought the mixture to boil. Once the mixture boiled, I turned the fire to a lower heat and let the water simmer for about 20 minutes before letting it sit in the pot to cool. When the rosemary tonic is completely cooled, I strained the liquid into a water bottle and threw out the rosemary.

Use as a final rinse over the hair
So here you see a bottle of the rosemary hair tonic. You can also store them in those small empty mineral water bottles – use and discard. I don’t use this daily but twice a week. What I do is to pour over my hair after shampoo and conditioning, leave it to drip and then towel dry after that. I understand that some people mix this rosemary hair tonic with some vinegar but personally, I’m good using it by itself as the rosemary herbal scent is rather strong. Can’t tell yet if it has any effects but I like that it leaves my hair feeling cleaner (tried using it without conditioner and my hair was squeaky clean) and it’s also soothing and invigorating to my scalp. Hopefully, I’ll have thicker hair to report down the road!

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  1. Carrie says

    This is so cool!! Both my brother and I have problems with oily scalp/hair and am really glad there are DIY remedies for this. And I LOVE the smell of rosemary!! Really gotta try this, so excited!! Thanks for sharing 😀

    • sesame says

      There are quite a lot. I’m kind of more into haircare now so will look out for more recipes to try. If good, I’ll share. :)

  2. says

    what a coincident!
    i’m just starting to make my own shampoo and one of the ingredients is rosemary.

    i guess i’ll be rinsing my hair with the rosemary water after shampooing…

      • melmok says

        yes, it is.
        am using castile liquid soap with tea and herbs.

        the first time i tried using it, it didn’t foam..
        then after a few times of adjustment, it foamed.

        i guess, i didn’t add enough of the castile soap the first time.

  3. says

    Oh… I’m so going to try this one. 😀 How long does it last? I read that herbal water loses its effectiveness within a few days. I hope this one can last at least up to a week. :)

    • sesame says

      I use it twice a week so I just keep it in the fridge for max 4 days. 150ml should give you around 2 washes.

  4. Audris says

    Easy does it. I love the scent of Rosemary, but does it smell different after boiling?

    Have a good weekend ahead :)

    • sesame says

      Try Ecobeau – I’ve reviewed it before.

  5. Caramel says

    I have tried using a combination of lavender essential oil, Rosemary essential oil, water and vinegar to rinse my hair as well. It works great too! My hair seemed like it bounced into life after one wash!

    • sesame says

      Oh okay, I read about using the essential oil too. So great to know it’s working so well for you.

  6. Cara says

    WOW! I love diy remedies.. especially natural ones! I’m in need of thicker hair too! Been using the Yes to Tomatoes shampoo to volumize. Do keep us posted on how your hair turns out! This sounds amazing 😀

  7. says

    I have used rosemary on my hair and I must say I love it….and even its smell the earthy odor which it leaves behind….and it really helped with my hair loss…I even mix this hair tonic with my hair packs…

    • sesame says

      Oh it has helped you? That’s good to know! And yeah, you’re right, the smell is kind of earthy.

  8. millenialuck says

    Hi! Thanks for the useful haircare tips! Gonna try it someday… any updates on how useful this rinse has worked for oily scalp so far?

    • sesame says

      It’s quite good as it keeps the oilies under better control. But I haven’t been using it consistently cos it’s not always possible to get the stocks of rosemary.

      • millenialuck says

        Hi, thanks for the reply! Glad to know about its positive effects on oily scalp… gives me more confidence in trying out the remedy! =)

        • sesame says

          Just know that it will help to some extent, depending on the severity of your oily scalp. And it might take awhile longer for some to experience the benefits.

          • millenialuck says

            Yes, understand that benefits will differ depending on individual’s condition. BTW, any comments on whether it helps reduce hair loss?

          • sesame says

            Hmm…I didn’t notice much effect…not sure. But one reader emailed me to tell me she noticed less hair dropping when using it.

    • Sesame says

      Yes, I think so too. I find it easier when it comes to washing and I can’t use oil on my hair anyway…makes it look all limpy.

  9. Martha says

    Does this darken your hair? I have itchy scalp issues and I would like thicker hair, but I don’t want my hair color (I’m a reddish-blonde) to suffer for it. Thoughts?

    • Sesame says

      Hmm…no, but you can introduce sage into the recipe and that one may darken if it’s strong enough.

  10. Kathy says

    This sounds great, definitely gonna try this out..
    but I just want to know if this will add any more oil to your hair at all ’cause I have to wash my hair daily so it doesn’t get oily.

  11. Monita says

    Thanks Sesame for these wonderful natural recipes for skin and hair.
    Can we use dried sage and rosemary for dandruff prone scalp, I think my scalp isnt oily but since you said “gives luster to dry hair”.
    can you suggest something for baldness and thin hair?

    • Sesame says

      I think rosemary can help but not sure how long it’ll take. Also you’ll probably get better results using an extract from essential oil.

  12. says

    This is great! Can you also use the rosemary water as a type of toner for your face every once and awhile, to treat oily skin?
    Sadie last post is: My Stages of Musical Taste

  13. Nancie says

    Hey i have a question, are you suppose to rinse the rosemary water off your hair after shampooing? Or do you leave it on?

  14. kitunot says

    Hi, did using tea rinse daily help your scalp to last longer w/o getting oily sooner or progressively help to stretch out wash time longer? I have had over production of sebum on my scalp for last 6 mths and hope to nurse it back to at least daily wash (now had to wash it at 20 hrs which is a pain else more hair shedding). also, where is the rosemary brought or 2 bags is equivalent to how many grams? Bought mine from a tea supplier but with only the leaves so I can’t gauge the vol used. Thxs!

    • Sesame says

      It’s more progressive than immediate. I got the rosemary leaves from the supermarket. If you use tea bags, try using three packs to say 500ml of water. I find that the more concentrated the rinse, the better it is.

      Instead of washing so frequently, have you tried using a dry shampoo in between? I have a simple recipe of using equal parts of arrowroot mix with rice flour. It’s very effective to get rid of greasiness in the hair.

      • kitunot says

        Used (Batiste)dry shampoo initially for the fringe part which got greasier sooner than the rest of the head. But for the last 3 wks, have been afflicted with sticky waxy hair (which dries wet-looking) and dry shampoo is the only thing that makes it look normal while i search for a solution. If after resolving it, I would like to phrase dry shampoo out progressively (eg by using rosemary rinse) but not entirely sure if it’s do-able? did you have to use dry shampoo daily now? also afraid of clogging the follicles by using too much/long. I’ve not dealt with a greasy scalp before so it’s really frustrating :(

        • Sesame says

          I still use dry shampoo…out of habit. I don’t use rosemary rinse anymore but I find my hair is not as greasy as before. I used to use shampoo for oily hair but realized it makes my hair more oily so I now use normal shampoo or one for thickening.


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