The elixir for hair growth: Rose water
No longer a relic of hair treatments from days gone by - hack your hair growth and gain inches with this throwback natural ingredient.
Roses are red, water is blue, blend the two together and you get a powerful hair-growing elixir just for you. Now the rudimentary poetry is out our system, let’s talk about rose water.
Heralded for hundreds of years for its beautifying benefits – Cleopatra, was rumoured to take goat’s milk and honey baths with roses – the romantic flower contains skin-loving vitamins and anti-inflammatory qualities. When it comes to hair, not only does it have a pleasant scent, rose water has been extensively studied because of the nutrients it contains, which is why it’s finding new fans today. Made by steeping or steam-distilling rose petals in water in order to separate the plant’s essential oils, its pH is similar to that found in hair strands. This makes it a potent ingredient for restoring the hair’s porosity, improving hydration and enhancing hair growth.
“Applying rose water topically can have many benefits,” says trichologist Ebuni Ajiduah. “I recommend it to clients with persisting scalp issues. Continued use has led to to a clearing up of dandruff and a visible improvement in hair growth.”
Today’s pared back lifestyles, induced by lockdown, mean many of us are shunning extensive grooming treatments. More of us are taking beauty cues from the past and implementing old-school, natural ingredients into our current routines. So, if you’re concerned your hair growth has stalled for years, or you’re just curious about how rose water can solve issues like a dry, itchy scalp, then read on…
Follicle boosting vitamins to gain growth
Rose water is loaded with strengthening vitamins such as A, D and B3 as well as antioxidants and flavonoids that prevent the scalp and follicle cells from ageing, instead stimulating them to thrive. Jackie Gilbert Bauer, Head of Product Development at hairstory. com explains: “Rose water contains some powerful antioxidants and it is especially beneficial to the scalp. These antioxidants protect the cells in the skin against all types of damage. Similar to aloe vera (another top ingredient used in our formulas), rose water also has anti-inflammatory properties and can help soothe the scalp of all types of skin irritations.”
During protective styling season when we tend to wear braids, canerows and crochet styles to keep our tresses safely tucked away, our scalp can often fall prey to neglect and suffer from dandruff and build-up. Rose water has a mild astringent quality and as such offers a refreshing tonic to combat any build-up and grime that may occur on the scalp. You can pour your rose water into a spray bottle, part your hair and spritz directly onto the scalp to calm it.
Quenches thirsty curls
With the change in season, you’ll undoubtedly find your hair becoming parched and starved of moisture. Rose water is a practical way to add nourishment and hydration to thirsty hair, especially if you’re not a fan of loading up on heavy creams. This can can act as a light top up on hydration. The clue is in the name: rose water. It uses distilled water as a primary ingredient and is therefore a quick and easy way to infuse your hair with the nourishment it craves during the colder months. Drink up.
Conditions dry hair
As mentioned, rose water is made from dousing rose petals in water to create a rose-oil infused tonic. The floral concoction conditions and nourishes the hair naturally. For added impact you can apply rose water to your hair prior to washing it, or add to your usual shampoo and conditioner as an intensive treatment if your hair is feeling particularly dry.
Controls oily scalps
One of the reasons experts love rose water is because it contains an astringent-like quality, so unsurprisingly it’s an effective tonic for mopping up excess oil from the scalp. Trichologist Ebuni Ajiduah, who specialises in treating afro textures, suggests applying your rose water mix to a ball of cotton and dabbing it onto the scalp to zap any unwanted shine or just refreshen it. Due to the natural anti-inflammatory and antibacterial components of rose water, it will help to calm and reduce any itching and swelling you may be encountering. This is particularly useful if your hair is in a protective style for the winter period.
Feature image by Richard Miles