Rosewater is among the oldest natural substances used for skin and hair care. Be it the medieval Greeks or the Middle Eastern civilizations, various cultures have used rosewater for a number of reasons.
The soothing fragrance of rose in itself is medicinal. It is used widely for what we now know as aromatherapy. However, there are many other benefits of rosewater as well, and not all of them have to do with its fragrance.
Rosewater is nothing but a decoction that is a result of steeping rose petals in clear water. Rosewater, however, is different from rose oil. Rose oil goes into the making of perfumes and concentrated perfumes called ittar.
Apart from skin and hair care, rosewater is also used for many other purposes. Rosewater is essential for a number of religious practices. It is a core ingredient in many dishes, especially those originating from the Middle East. The use of roses in perfume is well-known and some of the most popular perfumes in the world are derived from roses.
Why you should use rosewater for hair
First things first, rose water is not going to work for everyone, just like thousands of other natural substances. However, rosewater does not pose any threat except in exceptional cases. There are no common side effects of using rosewater, especially when you apply it topically. In fact, many of the skincare and haircare products you use might already have rosewater or rose oil in them.
One of the main reasons you should use rosewater is because it has the same pH level as human hair. That makes it safer to use than many other natural hair care ingredients.
Rosewater is also rich in minerals and vitamins that are extremely beneficial for human hair. Apart from the important vitamins, rosewater comes with anti-inflammatory properties. Not only do you take care of your hair, but also of your scalp. As most hair care experts say, the care for hair begins at the scalp.
Here's another reason you should give rosewater a shot - it is easily available and does not cost much. Even if you cannot use raw rosewater, rosewater-infused shampoos and hair masks give the same benefits. When looking for all-natural hair care ingredients, we often go to great extents to learn about exotic flowers, plants, fruits, leaves, and so on.
However, exoticism is not always an accurate marker of efficiency. If your ingredient of choice is so rare that you have to hunt down the internet to find a local dealer, you might be better off with something simpler. For sustainable haircare, go for something easily accessible like rosewater.
Benefits of rosewater
There are tons of benefits of rosewater, and not many of them are well known and well documented. Despite the cultural pervasiveness of rosewater as an active ingredient for hair and skincare, its properties have not been extensively studied in labs.
The few studies that were done found that rose has numerous beneficial properties. From calming our nervous system to fighting diabetes to preventing signs of aging, rosewater has many benefits. Rose is also great for eye care.
Rosewater works well for hair primarily because it has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. The active ingredients of rosewater nourish and protect the scalp and hair. Shampoos and hair products that use rosewater provide the nutrition of rose along with the cleansing properties of regular shampoo.
Things to be careful of
However, remember that not all rose shampoos or hair masks are the same. Rose should be a primary ingredient of these products. Apart from that, if your shampoo is filled with harmful chemicals like parabens and SLS, rosewater will not make it much better. Do not go blindly for any shampoo or hair care product that claims to have rosewater in it.
Rosewater and rose oil have quite different properties, and they cannot be used interchangeably. For example, rose oil has a much more intense fragrance, and it may not be soothing for everyone. Rosewater, on the other hand, has a mild, pleasant, and universally loved fragrance. The texture and properties of rosewater and rose oil also vary greatly.
If you are buying rosewater hair care products in the United States, note that they can be a bit more expensive than regular drugstore hair care products. That's because the best roses still grow in the Middle East, using high-quality roses does come with a cost. However, it should be absurdly high because the availability of roses is pretty high.
Who should use rosewater for hair?
Unless you have an allergic reaction to rose, you can use rosewater for hair, and even the face. Rosewater, unlike rose oil, is mild and easy to use. It does not pose any threat of damage if used incorrectly.
In the worst-case scenario, you will not experience the full benefits. Nothing bad would come of it even if you use rosewater incorrectly. At the same time, using rosewater is fairly simple. If you are using rose-infused shampoo or hair mask, you can use it just like any other shampoo or hair mask.
If you have only used chemical-laden hair care products all your life, rose can be a good ingredient to start the transition. Using rose-infused shampoos is just like using a regular shampoo, without the harmful chemicals. You can start with rose to see how the all-natural route goes for you. Once you start seeing changes, you can experiment with a broader range.
Rosewater is generally safe for children as well. However, if you have doubts, consult a dermatologist or a hair care expert. Unless your doctor asks you to specifically avoid roses, you can use any of these products.
Rosewater uses in hair care
Rosewater has multiple uses in hair care, be it softening hair or dealing with scalp infections. However, many people are still unaware of how rosewater can make their hair better. On the other hand, some cultures, like the Middle East, have used rosewater in their hair care routines for a long time. Many women, and even men, swear by rosewater for hair care.
Now we will see what are the specific conditions that rosewater can cure. Note that there are several benefits beyond this list, and not everyone will experience the same benefits in the same ways.
Rosewater for softer hair
Rosewater is one of the best all-natural treatments for softer hair. We can hardly find anyone who does not want softer hair. Having soft hair is a sign of healthy hair in itself. But the general conditions that most of us face in our day-to-day lives make it difficult to maintain soft hair. Many people, on the other hand, are born with rougher hair. They can have a hard time getting soft hair. As a result, they miss out on some of the most exciting styling options.
Now rose water can make your hair softer in multiple ways. The most obvious way is to use shampoo with rose water and a similar hair mask. Beyond that, you must take special care to avoid harmful chemicals as far as practicable. Instead of washing your hair with regular water, consider a rosewater rinse. It does not have any of the heavy minerals that tap water has and will not harden your hair. It is one of the most natural ways of using rosewater for soft hair.
Let's move on to the other things that rose water does for your hair and scalp.
Rosewater for a healthy scalp
All dermatologists and hair experts agree that the scalp is the most important area of focus if you want to maintain/get good hair. When we use commercial shampoos with chemicals and artificial fragrances, the scalp bears the brunt of the damage.
Scalp care is the first thing that everyone worried about their hair should think of. If you do not take care of it, over time, this leads to hair loss, thinning of hair, and a range of other hair-related problems.
As we already mentioned, rosewater is rich in anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial active components. As a result, it fights and kills off any bacterial or microbial growth on your scalp. When you replace your regular shampoo with a rosewater shampoo, you do not get all the chemical deposits in the first place.
Cleaning your scalp with rosewater is great for a healthy scalp. However, the first thing you should do is throw away your shampoos that have parabens, SLS, and other harmful chemicals. If you want to use a rosewater hair conditoner on top of that, you will have hair that's better than ever.
Rosewater for dandruff
Some people are born with a dandruff problem. No matter what they do, they cannot evade dandruff. The problem is even more severe if you have oily scalp and dandruff. It is not as uncommon as it seems, and dealing with it is a huge issue.
Most people resort to OTC drugs for dandruff care if the regular anti-dandruff shampoo does not work for them. While these medicated shampoos and solutions work, they can have rather serious side effects.
On top of that, dandruff often comes back once you stop using the product. This is not a long-term solution, and more importantly, most people do not need medical-care dandruff treatments. Only exceptional cases can require such harsh procedures.
Rosewater, on the other hand, is mild and gentle on the scalp. Instead of dealing with surface dandruff, rosewater penetrates the scalp to fight the problem inside out. Once you start using rosewater for dandruff removal, you will never go back to chemical treatments. It is a long-lasting solution that works for most people.
Rosewater for frizz
Having long hair comes with challenges, particularly if you are prone to getting frizzy hair. Dealing with frizz is not easy, and cosmetic procedures do not work for a long time. You will eventually have to increase the severity of the treatment to get any results.
If you switch to all-natural options, rosewater is a strong candidate for the role. As we already said, rosewater softens hair. Along with that, it is also an effective agent to get rid of frizzy hair. Using rosewater-based hair products will make your hair much less frizzy. On top of that, it is a long-term solution and has no side effects.
The best thing about rosewater is that you can use it yourself. If you are using raw rosewater, you can simply rinse and wash your hair with it. You can also massage your scalp with it in soft circular motions. Doing these simple things regularly will keep frizz at bay.
Give rosewater a shot if you are tired of chemical options and nothing has been able to tame your frizz down. You can count on rosewater to get the job done, as it has for so many other people.
While there are even more benefits to rosewater, like shiny hair and fresh-smelling hair, these four are the most relatable problems that many people face.
We hope this guide will inspire you to incorporate rosewater into your hair care regime. Once it becomes a habit, you will never go back to your old shampoos, conditioners, and hair masks.