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We’re Wild About Wild Rose Oil for Hair—Here’s Why

Photo by Anna Efetova/Getty Images

Some of our favorite ingredients are new discoveries, while others have been around for centuries. Such is the case with wild rose oil (also simply called rose oil), which has been used in personal care since ancient Chinese and Persian civilizations—and continues to be a valuable ingredient to this day. Made from petals of the rosa damascena flower and beloved for its nourishing properties and intoxicating scent, wild rose is used in both skincare and haircare products. As a hair oil, it has a number of benefits, so we tapped KEVIN.MURPHY style master and session salon manager Sarah Lund for a little expert insight. Read on to learn more.

About the Expert:

Sarah Lund is a style master and session salon manager with KEVIN.MURPHY.

What Are the Benefits of Wild Rose Oil for Hair?

Wild rose oil—as well as its relatives rosewater and rosehip oil (made from the fruit of the rose)—are popular in all forms of beauty products, including haircare. Either used as an essential oil (in a carrier oil, such as coconut oil or jojoba oil), or as an ingredient in a hair product, it’s equally beneficial. Here’s what it does for our strands:

It’s soothing.

Rose oil can calm irritation in the scalp—think: dryness, flaking, and itching. Rosewater in particular, has “protective, anti-inflammatory properties that calm and soothe, in addition to controlling oil production,” says Lund.

It’s hydrating and nutrient-rich.

Generally, hair oils are known for their moisturizing properties, and wild rose oil is no exception—plus, it’s packed with antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A, and linoleic acid too. “It’s rich in essential fatty acids, making it a superb moisturizer with great healing properties,” explains the pro.

It’s therapeutic.

That fantastic rose scent may have actual aromatherapy benefits as well. According to a 2017 study, when rose oil is inhaled or applied as a topical, it can have relaxing, analgesic, and anti-anxiety effects.

How to Use Wild Rose Oil for Hair

Although it’s particularly popular in treatment and styling products, you can basically use wild rose oil however you choose. “Rose is highly beneficial in the shampooing, conditioning and treatment steps of your haircare routine,” says Lund. 

Even better, it’s a highly tolerable ingredient. “Any hair type can benefit from rose Ingredients—particularly hair that feels dry or listless,” says the pro. “It’s great for hair that requires moisture but needs a lightweight feeling product on the hair.” That said, the rose fragrance can be strong for some, so if you’re sensitive, you may want to consider another ingredient, or mix the oil into a more neutral product.

The Best Wild Rose Oil Hair Products to Try

1. Best Rose Shampoo:


Courtesy of KEVIN.MURPHY

Healthy hair is a wash away with this scalp-focused shampoo. “It is designed to calm an irritated scalp and reduce oiliness,” explains Lund. It features rosewater as one of its key ingredients, which “has been shown to calm frizz and add shine,” the stylist explains.

2. Best Rose Hair Treatment:

BRIOGEO Don't Despair, Repair!™ strengthening treatment oil

BRIOGEO Don't Despair, Repair!™ strengthening treatment oil
Courtesy of BRIOGEO

Dry hair will be a thing of the past after using this powerful treatment oil. Containing rose flower oil, castor oil, squalane, strawberry seed oil, and a number of other nourishing ingredients, it can repair damage up to 88% in just a few uses (seriously). Plus, it’s free of silicone, parabens, phthalates, and safe to use on colored and chemically treated hair.

3. Best Rose Styling Product:

OUAI Rose Hair & Body Oil

OUAI Rose Hair & Body Oil
Courtesy of OUAI

The rosé-colored oil is totally Insta-worthy, but it’s what’s on the inside that counts: Made with rosehip oil, shea oil, and vitamin E, this multi-use product hydrates as it fights frizz and adds shine. Plus it can also be used as a body oil on dry skin, too. Our advice? Stock up because you’ll go through it twice as fast.

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About the author
Lindy Segal
Lindy is a contributor at IPSY, a beauty and lifestyle writer, and Real Housewives aficionado. She was an editor at People and Glamour, and her freelance work has appeared in Harper’s Bazaar, Who What Wear, and Cosmopolitan, among other publications.
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Article Last Updated December 28, 2021 12:00 AM