Be it coconut, olive, jojoba, black seed (Kim K's fave), or essential oils like lavender, rosemary, and cedarwood, a lot has been said about any and every kind of oil under the sun. All except castor oil.
Not much has been said about castor oils and their benefits for hair growth up until the last decade.
But castor oil is a rich, nourishing oil that's surprisingly good for your hair and scalp!
And the best part? It’s easy to apply, easy to find, and easy on our wallets!
Let's find out more about this miracle oil!
So what exactly is castor oil?
Time for a quick science lesson, babes.
Castor oil is a nutrient-dense oil known for its use in medicines, pharma and domestic homes.
Extracted from the castor bean by cold-pressing, it is widely used in skincare and cosmetics for its healing properties (more on that later).
It's essentially a vegetable oil and is colorless and odorless.
However, you might have come across a slightly yellow or black variation of castor oil in stores.
The darker variation of castor oil is Jamaican black castor oil for hair.
Jamaican castor oil has a thicker consistency and is boiled with ash. This lends a warm, roasted fragrance to the oil.
Castor oil benefits for hair and scalp
Benefits. Benefits. Benefits.
Castor oil is a powerhouse of Vitamin E, minerals and fatty acids that act as a natural emollient. These make castor oil an ideal ingredient for ultra-hydrating conditioners and hair masks.
Plus, if you have scalp irritations, castor oil can come real handy. It helps remove excess oil build-up from the roots and kicks dandruff to the curb.
Besides being anti-inflammatory, castor oil is also antimicrobial in nature. And if that wasn't enough, this miracle oil also nourishes your skin and controls its moisture content. Talk about an all-rounder oil!
Castor oil for hair growth… fact or fiction?
If you are looking for an affordable remedy to soothe dandruff & scalp irritation, then castor oil is definitely your best friend. After all, healthy scalp– healthy hair.
It adds shine to hair and makes it smooth. Furthermore, it nourishes and deeply conditions your hair.
However, the only downside of castor oil is that there aren’t enough scientific studies or evidence to backup these claims. Plus, the root cause of your hair thinning or hair loss may not be able to be remedied with a topical solution.
Hair loss is a nuanced issue that could be caused by anything from stress, to diet, to hormones, to your genes. While topicals like castor oil may set up an ideal environment for growth (scalp & hair care is always a good idea)– If you’re concerned about hair loss we always recommend chatting with your doctor or dermatologist first to determine if there are any underlying causes.
But does that make castor oil a fad?
We think not!
It's proven that castor oil is rich in ricinoleic acid - which helps lock in moisture while promoting a clean and healthy scalp. Basically, all very essential in boosting hair growth.
So if your goal is to get a long, shiny mane, there’s no harm in trying it out!
How long does castor oil take to work?
Truth is, no vegetable or seed oil will magically work overnight to give you magnificent results. It just doesn't work that way. So considering your hair can grow up to half-an-inch every month, it will take you some time to finally achieve that long shiny mane.
Hair grows only when the roots are absolutely healthy. When there is minimal damage. And no split-ends. According to hairstylists, there are no standards as far as how often one should apply castor oil on hair.
However, to reap the best benefits of castor oil, apply it once or twice a week, for a minimum of three months.
And even if you don’t notice any significant hair growth, you will most definitely notice that your hair feels way more hydrated, shiny and nourished!
How to apply castor oil?
There's no particular way to apply castor oil.
Some babes prefer to leave it overnight for deep conditioning.
Others thoroughly massage it to their scalp for better blood circulation.
For a simple scalp treatment, we suggest massaging a generous amount of castor oil on your scalp and the length for about 5 to 10 minutes. Leave it on for up to 30 minutes. Then, wash your hair.
For deep conditioning, massage the oil for 5 to 10 minutes and leave it overnight. Wash your hair with a mild shampoo the morning after.
For eyelashes and eyebrows, lightly dip a Q-tip in the castor oil before swiping it on your brow or lashes. Wash it within an hour with a face wash.
Pro tip: If you use a gua sha or derma roller, it can help penetrate the oil faster, and further into your scalp to help with results.
Castor oil for eyebrows and lashes
Castor oil is a superb lash moisturizing serum; it moisturizes your lashes to make them appear thicker and lustrous. It can also prevent lash breakage. Meaning, a healthier and fuller brow.
But beware, babe. Castor oil can also clog your pores and be detrimental to your eyes, if you are not careful. The skin around your lash and brow is sensitive and prone to clogging. Thus, using castor oil often gives rise to milia, blackheads and acne.
Which brings us next to the…
Side-effects of using castor oil
Castor oil is usually pretty safe. But it can also cause irritation.
For your safety, we recommend you start off with a patch test before you actually start massaging your scalp with it.
And do consult a dermatologist, if your scalp is really sensitive.
Quick note: Castor oil can also ruin your pillowcase and bed sheet. And if it transfers from your hair to face, it can lead to breakouts. Yikes!
Although there aren't too many scientific studies to suggest that castor oil promotes hair growth, you can use it just like any other hair growth oil and see the results for yourself!