For years, women have long treated and conditioned their hair with oils like camelia nut, coconut, and jojoba. Now, castor oil is another to have caught the eyes of beauty industries and home remedies.
For those who are unfamiliar, castor oil is a vegetable oil pressed and extracted from the castor bean. Castor oil ranges from colourless to a pale yellow liquid, there are even black versions available. The latter is more commonly known as the Jamaican black castor oil, and it’s a variation that’s boiled with ash which lends its colour and roasted scent. Castor oil can be used on the skin, to restore the skin’s natural hydration balance but it’s also just as beneficial for the hair. Rumour has it, Cleopatra, the Queen of the Nile, even used it in her hair.
Loaded with vitamin E and ricinoleic acid, there’s a multitude of benefits of castor oil. Though many claim that it boosts hair growth, it’s more accurate to say that this anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial oil is a moisturiser and hair thickener and strengthener, and efficient aid for dandruff.
How effective is castor oil for hair growth?
Let us preface this by saying there’s only been one study done showing how castor oil improved the hair’s shine and appearance of volume. But don’t let that discourage you from adding this to your hair routine.
Let’s start with vitamin E. Castor oil is rich in vitamin E, and the ingredient is best known for its antioxidant properties. In 2010, there was a study published where they found that vitamin E supplements improved hair growth for people who experienced hair loss. It also increases blood flow, which is said to improve the overall health of the hair, helps prevent excess oil production, and add lustre to the hair. The ricinoleic acid in castor oil also locks in moisture and keeps the scalp clean and healthy, which, as we know, is essential for our hair to grow and thrive in.
So even though there aren’t enough research or case studies done to determine the correlation between castor oil and hair growth, it suffices to say that its ingredients can help improve the condition of your hair strands to prevent them from breaking off and deliver the appearance of hair that’s fuller and more lustrous.
How should I use castor oil for thicker hair?
Use it about once or twice a week by massaging a small amount of product around the scalp. Keep it on for at least fifteen minutes before rinsing it out and continuing with the rest of your hair routine. There’s no harm in keeping it in for longer, you can let it nourish your hair for hours or even leave it in overnight before rinsing it off the next day – just make sure you use a hair wrap or shower cap to keep the mess to a minimum.
If you have fine hair, look for any cold-pressed castor oil and if your hair is thicker and curlier, then you can consider using the Jamaican black castor oil. And if you wanted to use it for other parts of your body, go ahead and use them on your lashes and brows. Just soak a cotton swab in castor oil and gently sweep it over your lash line, be sure to do it carefully so as to avoid getting the oil in your eyes. But if you do, just rinse it out immediately with water. It’s best to do this overnight, then you can wash it off the morning after.
Keep in mind that regardless of where you use the castor oil, hair, eyelash, or eyebrows, you should wait three months before you make a judgement on its benefits.
If you want to add this affordable hair oil to your hair routine, take a look at the options below.