As a child, you probably remember taking castor oil as a laxative, usually under the direction of your parents, and hating it. As an adult with hair-related issues, fortunately, you will find your opinion on it may may change because of the benefits of castor oil for hair growth that can work to your advantage! Read on to learn how, or check out the best castor oils for hair growth here!
Is Castor Oil Good for Hair?
ABSOLUTELY! Castor oil is a highly recommended way to keep your hair healthy. It's an oil that provides amazing nutrients for your hair, helping it in a number of ways - including moisturizing properties as well as its moderate antiviral and antimicrobial properties, making it great to fight fungus and bacteria.
The vegetable oil, a product of pressing the seeds of the castor oil plant, ranges in color from colorless to pale yellow complemented by a distinct odor and flavor.
Castor Oil Benefits for Hair Growth
What are the benefits of castor oil for hair? In a few words, it works by restoring moisture to dry hair, preventing further hair loss, and promoting hair growth!
It contains ricinoleic acid, a nutrient that is known to improve hair growth and increase circulation around the scalp. This acid also helps to rebalance the natural oils in your scalp, adding a healthy sheen to your hair and can even keep your hair healthy if you blow dry or dye your hair.
There are a few ways to use this essential oil to reap the benefits. One of them involves a great recipe while the other is straight application. The former takes a little more work, but has more benefits. The latter is easier to do, but a little more expensive. Both should be done regularly (2-3 times/week) for the best results.
We detail both below.
Castor Oil Treatment Recipe and Routine
If you want to maximize the castor oil benefits for hair growth, you can mix 1 tablespoon castor oil, 1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil, and 2 drops rosemary essential oil. Apply the mixture to your scalp and hair; massage it in for best results. After an hour or two, rinse it off with warm water and clarifying shampoo. Repeat the process 2-3 times a week.
Aside from hair growth, the castor oil benefits for hair also include:
- Dandruff removal (Mix 2 tablespoons castor oil, 2 drops tea tree oil, and 1 tablespoon aloe vera gel)
- Dry and damaged hair treatment (Mix 1 tablespoon castor oil and 2 tablespoons argan oil)
- Hair fall treatment (Mix 1 tablespoon castor oil, 1 tablespoon almond oil, and 2 drops clary sage oil)
- Split ends treatment (Mix 1 tablespoon castor oil, 1 tablespoon coconut oil, and 1 egg)
- Deep conditioning treatment (Mix 1 tablespoon castor oil, 1 tablespoon coconut oil, and 1 small avocado, mashed)
In all these home remedies, just mix the ingredients in a small bowl, apply the mixture to your hair and scalp, and rinse off either after two hours or overnight depending on your desired results.
Straight Castor Oil Application
How much castor oil to use?
What usually works best for people is 1-1.5 TBSP. of castor oil. 3 tends to work for most people with long hair, but if you have particularly thick hair then try 4.
Start off with 1 tablespoon first, but there is no real risk to having too much. If you have shorter hair (such as a pixie cut) then try half a tablespoon at first. Apply the oil with a dropper to best manage portions.
The oil should add a nice sheen, but your hair shouldn't be overly oily. It's hard to gauge how much is right, but these are great starting points.
Routine and Maintenance
Typically, you'll want to put it on for about 2-3 hours at a time. This makes the evenings the perfect time to add it in your hair so that it can soak up the nutrients.
Frequency: 2-3 times a week, as needed.
How to Remove Castor Oil from Your Hair
Removing castor oil from application isn't the easiest thing to do - it is, after all, an oil. Although castor oil won't damage your hair, many people don't want the feeling of the oil in their hair all night. Here are some recommended ways to remove it:
- Crack an egg, whisk it until smooth, and apply it to your hair for 10-15 minutes. Best to do in the shower since it's messy.
- Shower, then condition -> shampoo -> condition again. It's a bit of an anti-pattern, but the first application of conditioner can help break down the oil. Then you shampoo and condition again as you normally would
- Leave it on all night then use a gentle natural or mud shampoo. Your hair will have soaked up most of the oil so it's pretty easy to clean at this point
Science Behind the Benefits
What makes the benefits of castor oil for natural hair possible? We looked into the composition of castor oil to find the answer.
Castor oil contains several natural compounds crucial in hair growth. First, it contains ricinoleic acid, an essential fatty acid that penetrates the skin’s pores including the scalp and hair follicles to provide them with nourishment. Both the hair and scalp can become healthier resulting in better hair growth.
Studies have also shown that ricinoleic acid can also promote the production of prostaglandin (PGE2), a lipid compound known to promote hair growth. When PGE2 becomes depleted for any reason, there can be hair thinning and even baldness.
Second, castor oil contains Vitamin E and omega-6 fatty acids, which are useful in treating split ends, dandruff, and itchy scalp. These substances also make hair shinier, bouncier, and healthier. Combine with a hot oil massage for maximum effects.
Safe and Effective for Use on Humans
Castor oil is safe for internal consumption and external application, especially on the hair, skin and scalp, and nails. Both men and women, as well as children and adults, can take advantage of the castor oil for hair benefits, too.
We have to say that men and women with alopecia, a type of hair loss caused by a hormonal imbalance, can safely apply it on their hair and scalp without causing further hair loss.
Castor oil also doesn’t have side effects, unlike over-the-counter prescription treatments for hair loss, because of its all-natural property. Furthermore, it’s also more affordable, both in terms of its price and its application since you don’t have to visit salons and dermatologists’ clinics to use it. It can also be mixed with other natural ingredients to provide additional benefits for the scalp and hair.
Types of Castor Oil for Hair
The health benefits of castor oil for hair also depend on the type used. We recommend two types, namely:
Organic or cold-pressed castor oil
This is directly extracted from the castor seeds without heat involved in the extraction process. For this reason, the nutrients in the seeds are largely preserved in the resulting oil so it’s a great solution for damaged hair.
Jamaican black castor oil
This is made by roasting the castor seeds and then pressing them to extract the oil, thus, the black color. The benefits of black castor oil for hair come from the fact that it’s more effective at penetrating the hair follicles and cleaning the hair strands. It's typically pure and natural, with very little additives and chemicals.
Of course, the benefits of castor oil for hair can only be enjoyed if and when you apply it on a regular basis on your scalp and hair! Depending on the severity of your hair problems, such as the rate of hair thinning, you may have to use castor oil between two and three times per week. We don’t suggest over-application as it can also have side effects, such as oily scalp and hair, a less-than-appealing idea.
Be sure to take the appropriate measures to prevent further hair damage, too. These include choosing and using hair products from the shampoos and conditioners to the top rated hair steamers; avoiding rubbing your hair with towels; and protecting your hair from the sun.
Unfortunately, because everybody is a unique snowflake, castor oil may not work for everyone. If you tried this and it doesn't work try out a shampoo for hair loss such as Pura D'or