When it comes to trying something out for healthier, thicker hair, we’d try almost anything. It’s not a surprise that the hair care market was worth USD 93.8 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 109.8 billion by 2026. From different kinds of oils, masks, shampoos, and conditioners to hair growth pills and salon treatments, there are tonnes of products out there that promise a mermaid mane. And we’re here to decipher another alleged hair growth solution today: Castor Oil!
Castor Oil Origins
Although it originates in tropical East Africa, it is widely used in India and Africa for tropical and medicinal purposes. The origins of Castor oil can be dated back to almost 4000 BC in ancient Egyptian tombs. It was widely used in Egypt to treat eye irritations, as a facial oil, and in wick lamps for lighting. Now, the oil is used internally for digestive stresses and externally for beauty purposes. While the castor plant is native to Ethiopia, it’s now grown everywhere for commercial uses. The plant produces beans which are then cold-pressed or heat-processed (which gives us Jamaican Black Castor Oil – detailed later in the blog) to secrete the oil. There can be slight differences in color and thickness among castor oil brands because of the processing methods (color, scent, weight), although this leads to only slight variabilities in the nutritional content of the oil.
Castor Oil For Hair: Benefits
#1 Helps With Hair Fall & Alopecia
Castor Oil’s magic ingredient in ricinoleic acid has been linked to inhibiting PGD2, which is responsible for androgenic alopecia. The fatty acid also opens the cuticles and clears out any impurities which might be blocking healthy hair growth. Further, the oil helps in better penetration of any other natural ingredients you’re using the castor oil with. In the long run, this is a beautiful benefit that will support your strong & thick mane ambition.
#2 Can Stimulate Hair Growth
The ricinoleic acid in castor oil stimulates the receptors responsible for blood vessel dilation. When these vessels dilate, the circulation in your scalp increases and receives a fresh flow of blood replete with nutrients. This will help your strands flourish and give you stronger tresses that are less prone to hair fall. The oil’s many nutrients also balance the pH levels of the scalp, which again seals the hair cuticle and doesn’t let the hair fall out easily.
#3 Moisturises Hair
Castor Oil is a superb moisturizer. It’s good at both retaining and sealing moisture. The oil has many nutrients that nourish the hair, but ricinoleic acid is the main one that plays the role in maintaining moisture. It’s a natural humectant that draws water molecules from the environment and preserves that into your hair. This is the reason why those with curly and frizzy hair benefit the most from castor oil.
#4 Clarifies Cuticle
The unique makeup of castor oil means it’s an effective and gentle method to cleanse the cuticle of any dirt and product buildup. The antimicrobial properties of the oil fight dandruff, scalp infections, and folliculitis. This further clears the cuticle of any unwanted substances and makes them clearer to support the hair length.
#5 Promotes Shine
Castor Oil is full of antioxidants that give the natural keratin in your hair an extra boost and make them shinier. The hydrating properties of castor oil also make each strand bouncy on its own, which makes them reflect light. You’ll see these glossing benefits of castor within a month of consistent usage.
How To Use Castor Oil For Hair Growth?
You can use castor oil directly on your hair or you can try these castor oil hair masks, sorted according to hair woes:
Castor Oil For Hair Growth
- 2 tbsp Castor Oil
- 3 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Capsule of Evening Primrose Oil
Empty out one capsule of EPO and mix it with olive and castor oil. Apply on your hair roots and the lengths. You can leave on this mixture for 30 minutes or overnight. Wash off with mild shampoo and condition afterward
Both castor and olive oil contains nutrients, and antimicrobial agents that over time can strengthen the hair follicles and moisturizes the strands to increase the life span of each hair, and make it seem like your hair is growing quickly. Evening primrose oil is a star ingredient in the pack as it contains gamma-linoleic acid, which blocks DHT, reduces inflammation, and stimulates healthy hair growth. It also contains arachidonic acid that has been proven to support new hair growth and make existing hair longer.
Castor Oil For Hair Fall
- 1 tbsp Castor Oil
- 2 tbsp Aloe Vera
- 1 tbsp Amla Powder
- 1 tbsp Bhringraj Powder
Mix the ingredients well together for a smooth consistency. You will have to add water to the pack to reach the desired density or you can add more aloe vera gel. Spread the pack evenly all over your hair. Keep it on for 30 to 45 minutes and rinse off with a mild shampoo.
This is an ayurvedic hair pack and ingredients amla & bhringraj have been proven by several studies to be effective in hair fall and hair growth. Bhringraj for hair helps in increasing the anagenic phase of hair growth cycle and is better than minoxidil to stimulate hair growth. In the same way, amla proliferates cells in the hair shaft that promotes hair growth and reduces hair breakage from the roots. Castor oil and aloe vera gel in the hair pack helps with moisturization, sebum control, and soothes the scalp to create an environment conducive to strengthening hair from the roots.
Castor Oil For Hair Moisture
- 1 Egg White + Yolk
- 1 tbsp Honey
- 4 tbsp Castor Oil
Whisk well egg white + yolk with honey & castor oil. Apply the mask onto your scalp and hair length evenly. This mask can be messy, so wear clothes accordingly. Leave on for around half an hour. Wash off with normal water and use a mild shampoo.
Eggs contain vitamins, which when applied topically, make hair more resistant to damage, and prevents them from losing moisture. Honey is a natural humectant that draws moisture from the surroundings and makes hair lustrous with just one use. Castor Oil is also rich in fatty acids and makes hair more bouncy & healthier over time.
Castor Oil For Dry Scalp
- 1 tbsp Castor Oil
- 3-4 tbsp Aloe Vera Gel
- 1 tbsp Jojoba Oil
- 3-4 drops of Ylang-Ylang Essential Oil
Mix all the ingredients together well. Massage onto your scalp and hair lengths. Leave on for an hour or two and rinse off with a mild shampoo and conditioner.
Castor Oil’s rich in ricinoleic acid that is a fantastic moisturizer. Likewise, aloe vera is rich in water which helps condition the hair and locks in nutrients, treating damaged, dry hair. Jojoba Oil in the pack is a very light moisturizer that permeates the scalp and hair shaft to deep condition and strengthens your locks. Finally, ylang-ylang essential oil balances the oil production of the sebum and makes for an environment conducive to hair growth.
Castor Oil For Better Hair Health
- 1 tbsp Castor Oil
- 2 tbsp Jojoba Oil
- 2 tbsp Coconut Oil
- 1 tbsp Almond Oil
- 2-3 Drops of Peppermint Essential Oil
Mix all the oils together. You can also warm the mixture – before adding the peppermint essential oil – and then, apply on hair. (Heat damages the chemical composition, changes the quality, and makes the essential oil less effective.) Warming up the oil stimulates blood flow to the scalp, helps in better absorption of oils and relaxes the tension of your neck & hairline. Massage the mixture of these oils into your scalp and let the mask sit for 2 hours, or overnight if you wish. Wash off with a mild shampoo & conditioner. To avoid using excess shampoo, run warm water on your tresses for 2-3 minutes. This loosens up the oil and drains any extra. This will automatically result in less shampoo being used for taking out the products.
Castor Oil deeply hydrates the hair and stimulates hair follicles which strengthens the hair and prevents them from shedding. Jojoba Oil has hair restorative properties and imitates sebum that naturally moisturizes and softens the hair. Coconut Oil in the pack has lauric acid that removes any excess sebum and product buildup; plus, helps in adding a natural shine to hair. Even almond oil makes your hair smooth and also fills the gaps in the hair at a cellular level to restore the quality of your mane. Lastly, peppermint essential oil helps with hair growth, several studies conclude. Further, it also soothes the scalp of any inflammation, dandruff, and releases stress to give you a lighter head in no time.
Castor Oil For Hair Side Effects
Castor Oil has no reported side effects. But as with everything, it’s better to do a patch test before trying it on. Especially if you’re using it on eyebrows and eyelashes. On hair, natural ingredients don’t always mean better. For instance, coconut oil doesn’t work for me. It just leads to more hair fall, and stickiness, which is weird because it works for countless women and is a part of many hair packs. But I stay away from it. So, even the humble, most natural products can not suit you. Further, castor oil is really sticky and can clog pores, not just on your hair, but also around the hairline, giving you breakouts if you keep it for a long time. It can also get on your pillows and irritate the acne-prone areas of your face. To keep this pesky problem away, avoid leaving castor oil overnight and keep the oil off your hairline.
Jamaican Black Castor vs Regular Castor Oil
While castor oil has taken the beauty industry by storm, so has its categorical product Jamaican Castor Oil. People are going crazy over which one’s better and why you should be using the Jamaican one and the regular one does nothing. Here, we will investigate what actually is the difference between the Jamaican Black Castor Oil & Regular Castor Oil:
The difference between a JBCO & regular castor oil is that of the extraction method. The former is made by roasting the beans, grinding them, and boiling them in hot water. Due to the difference in densities of oil and water, the oil automatically comes up, then it’s filled in bottles and gives us black castor oil. The regular one is made by cold-pressing the beans without roasting or at high temperatures.
Because of the extraction methods, the pH and alkalinity of JBCO are high. Due to high alkalinity, JBCO opens up the cuticles of the hair shaft and aids in better absorption of nutrients. So, not only the star ingredient of castor oil – ricinoleic acid – absorbs better into the hair, but if you’re mixing it with other carrier oils or hair mask ingredients like aloe vera gel, eggs, or bananas, they will be able to nourish & repair your tresses better too. While we’re on that, the content of ricinoleic acid doesn’t get affected by the extraction method and remains the same in both Jamaican Castor Oil & Regular Castor Oil.
The alkalinity is an amazing characteristic to choose JBCO over regular grade castor, but it’s necessary you seal the cuticle shafts after applying JBCO. Studies suggest that high pH can lead to friction between hair and cuticle damage. So, either use hydrating ingredients like papayas, aloe vera, or avocado with castor oil or make sure you condition the hair well after washing. Jamaican Black Castor Oil also shouldn’t be used more than twice a week.
There’s also a difference in color between the two types of castor oils. The regular one is pale yellow in color. The clearer and lighter the color, the purer it is. JBCO has dark, rich because of the presence of burnt askes in it.
Best Castor Oil Online:
#1 UrbanBotanics Cold Pressed Castor Oil
#2 Wishcare Castor & Jamaican Castor Oil Combo
#3 Aloe Veda Cold Pressed Castor Oil
#4 Organic Netra Jamaican Black Castor Oil
#5 Oriental Botanics Jamaican Black Castor Oil
#6 Holy Natural Organic Jamaican Black Castor Oil
Castor Oil For Hair: Before & After
There are MANY MANY personal stories of Youtubers, beauty bloggers, experienced the benefits of castor oil on their hair. Many of them tried the 30-day challenge, where they applied castor oil 2-3 days a week for a month to see results. Inserting some videos & Reddit threads here:
Youtuber Miss Betty tried castor oil for 30 days. She used pure castor oil from a local pharmacy and used it as it is on her hair for 3 days a week and left it overnight. She didn’t mix the oil with any carrier or essential oil. After 30 days, she noticed a lot of baby hairs on the crown of her head, and 2 cm of hair length increased.
In another personal experience, Youtuber Tina Tomato tries castor oil for 30 days, every other day. She used only Jamaican Black Castor oil, massaged it well onto her scalp, and let it sit overnight. After 30 days, she noticed massive improvements in hair quality, the length grew by an inch, and she noticed baby hairs and a bounce on the crown area.
Does Castor Oil Really Help With Hair Growth?
While science & research doesn’t support that (YET!), there have been countless anecdotes of castor oil working for hair growth and hair thinning. From Buzzfeed to Allure, many blogs have posted personal stories of women benefiting from using castor oil for hair growth on their scalp, as well as eyebrows and eyelashes. The Ricinoleic acid in castor oil has been known to stimulate blood dilation in vessels and increase blood circulation in the hair follicles. This environment is conducive to hair growth and better hair health. The fatty acid also has moisturizing properties which help in deeply nourishing the hair follicles from root to tip.
Can Castor Oil Regrow Hair On Bald Spots?
There’s one Reddit thread in which a person started seeing hair regrowth in a bald spot using castor oil. She rubbed the oil every other day on the bald spot and shampooed the next morning. Within 3 weeks, she experienced tiny baby hairs growing in the spot. There have been plenty of women who have experienced castor oil positive experience for bald spots, either alone or as a pack. Like Youtuber Shinny Roops tried a hair pack made of onion juice, castor oil, and hibiscus flowers and leaves and noticed massive hair growth in her bald spots within 6 months. So, you can try rubbing pure castor oil or use a weekly mask to see if it works for you!
How Often Should I Put Castor Oil On My Hair?
You can put castor oil 2 to 3 times a week. It can be mixed with other oils or applied solo on your hair roots and lengths. Leave on for around 2 hours or overnight, and wash your hair in the morning. Castor oil is sticky and will require more shampoo to take off. To manage, run your hair under warm water for 2 to 3 minutes, this helps in loosening up the oil and then, take it out easily.
What’s The Best Oil To Mix Castor Oil With?
Castor Oil is thick and needs to be mixed with other carrier oils to be applied consistently and easily on hair. You can mix the oil with olive, coconut, sesame, or almond oil. You can also mix 2 to 3 of them with castor oil and use them on your hair. Depending on the availability and what oil works best for your tresses, mix different carriers & essential oils and make a pack that’s catered to your needs.
How Long Should I Leave Castor Oil On My Hair?
Castor oil, along with carrier oils like coconut, olive, almond, jojoba, argan, etc., can reap the benefits to your hair within 2 hours. Some prefer to leave the oil overnight, but an hour or two is also enough. For some women, longer oiling hours can be counterproductive. The oil can block the follicles, attract dirt, and will require more shampoo to be taken of causing more dryness. You can safely leave castor oil overnight, but whether it’s something that works for you, is on you to decide. If you’re mixing essential oils with castor oil, like rosemary, tea tree, peppermint, it’s advised to not leave the pack for more than an hour. Essential oils can damage the follicles if left on for a longer time. If you want to leave the oil pack overnight, then add only 1-2 drops of essential oil of any 2 types to the entire mixture.
Can you also use castor oil on eyebrows & eyelashes?
Just like for hair, there’s no scientific evidence that castor oil works for thicker eyelashes and brows, but many personal narratives affirm the same. It’s not an overnight cure surely, but with consistent use, you can see a noticeable difference, given that it works for you. Don’t overdo the application though, because the skin around the eyes is prone to blackheads and acne and you don’t want to solve one problem and welcome another at the same time. Apply just one to two drops on eyebrows and use a mascara brush to put the oil on your lashes. Here’s a Reddit thread that includes a story & comments that positively reflects on castor oil’s ability to grow lashes and brows. Youtuber Patricia B also saw minor, but visible results in her lashes after just 7 days of applying castor oil.
Any home remedy, castor oil or otherwise, is worth a try. Unlike the costly hair packs and salon treatments that will put a hole in your pocket, these are budget-friendly and rarely cause any side effects. So it’s a win-win situation. Let us know how it worked for you at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to read your success stories, and include them here, for our readers.