Castor oil doesn’t sound all that appetizing. It’s not. Consuming the oil can cause intense digestive issues. However, using it in your hair is a different story. Castor oil can improve the health of your hair and scalp. It can even help to regrow eyelashes.
Read on for more information about how organic castor oil can give you radiant, luscious locks.
What Is Castor Oil?
Castor oil comes from the seeds of the Ricinus Communis plant. Pure castor oil is clear in color and has no flavor or odor. The oil is very thick and sticky. It has a consistency of an oily honey.
This video shows the cold-pressing process at work:
It has been used for thousands of years as a health and beauty treatment.
Today, castor oil is still used as part of a health and beauty routine. There are few, if any, scientific studies that have investigated castor oil’s benefits for hair. According to Natural News, alternative medicine practitioners recognize its therapeutic properties.
Castor Oil Can Help Your Hair Grow
If you have a problem with thinning hair or just feel like your hair stops growing once it reaches a certain point, a castor oil hair treatment can help. The ricinoleic acid in the castor oil is an antifungal and antibacterial agent. It can help get rid of microbes on the scalp that could be hindering hair growth. [source]
The Science of Eating says that the thickness of the oil may coat the hair fibers, protecting them from elements that could make them fall out or break off. [source]
Short, wispy hairs that stick out along your hairline or part are indicators of breakage and split ends. One reason that some people can’t seem to grow their hair long is that it breaks off as it reaches a certain length. Coating the strands with castor oil can help prevent breakage and split ends.
When the hair is coated with pure castor oil, moisture is locked inside. This makes your hair look healthier.
Hair shrinks as moisture evaporates. Rapid swelling and shrinking can lead to breakage. Castor oil prevents hair from shrinking as quickly, helping it to remain stronger.
Castor oil’s effects on hair growth aren’t limited to the head. It can help thicken the hair on the eyebrows, eyelashes, and even beards. If you have over-groomed your eyebrows and they’re not growing in as thick as they once were, you can use castor oil to fill them in. The Huffington Post also refers to pure castor oil as an alternative to the lash growth serum Latisse.
Can Castor Oil Thicken Hair?
Some resources say that castor oil hair treatments can thicken your hair. According to Science and Natural Hair, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that it enlarges the actual hair strand. However, castor oil’s composition allows it to coat the exterior of each strand. This may make your hair appear thicker. [source]
According to Science-y Hair Blog, certain types of oils are adept at penetrating the hair strand. These oils can make fine hair look greasy. Castor oil falls somewhere in the middle. This makes it an ideal oil for intensive conditioning as well as for superficial smoothing. [source]
Castor Oil May Help With Scarring
Castor oil penetrates the skin efficiently. It is theorized that the oil breaks down deep scar tissue to smooth and soften the skin. Research shows that castor oil also reduces inflammation deep in the layers of skin. [source]
The combination of these actions can help reduce scarring. If you have an existing wound, castor oil can stimulate the lymphatic system, according to Oilypedia. This can encourage healing. [source]
If you have scar tissue that’s creating bald patches in your hair, try treating it with castor oil.
Castor Oil Can Eliminate Dandruff
Flakes in your hair may be caused by several factors. Castor oil treats just about all of them.
- If your dandruff is caused by dryness, castor oil will moisturize your scalp.
- If your dandruff is caused by a fungus, castor oil will deliver antifungal properties.
- For dandruff caused by bacteria, castor oil will provide antibacterial benefits.
- For dandruff caused by inflammation, castor oil is anti-inflammatory.
You don’t have to understand the cause of your dandruff to treat it with castor oil. This oil should take care of most of the common causes of flakes.
How To Use Castor Oil For Hair
The homemade castor oil treatments described below are easy to make and require few ingredients. You can add essential oils to any of the treatments for added benefits.
Some essential oils that can also help fight bacteria and fungus and help the hair grow are tea tree, rosemary, and peppermint. Lavender has antimicrobial properties. Most people enjoy the sweet, herbal scent. If you prefer a musky scent, frankincense also has antibacterial and antifungal capabilities.
#1 – Thicken Hair at The Hairline
If your hair is thinning at the hairline, place a few drops of castor oil in the palm of your hand. Dip your fingertips into the oil. Rub them together with the fingertips on the other hand.
Sparingly apply the castor oil from your fingertips onto the hairline. If you’re heading out of the house, don’t use too much.
You can use the oil more generously if you’re doing a treatment at home. Wash the castor oil out as usual when you shampoo your hair.
As with most therapeutic treatments, it helps if you do it regularly.
#2 – Lash and Eyebrow Enhancer
If you want thicker, lusher eyebrows, use castor oil as a regular treatment. Buy a mascara wand that you’ll use just for the treatments. Dip it into the castor oil and brush your brows with it every night before bed. Blot off any excess with a tissue.
To help your eyelashes grow, Consumer Health Digest explains that you should apply castor oil to your lash line using a cotton swab. Apply it as you would eyeliner. The best time to do this is before bed.
In the morning, wash your face as usual. Continue to use the treatment every day for several weeks to begin seeing results.
A little goes a long way. If the oil drips into your eyes, it can cause redness and irritation. Use just enough for a very thin application. If you have applied too much, keep your eyes closed as you dab them with a tissue or a clean cotton swab.
#3 – Scar Treatment
If you have a wound that’s affecting your hair growth, massage castor oil directly onto it once it has healed. It can help with the healing process and dissolve scar tissue.
Dermatologists say that the action of the massage may be just as beneficial as the oil for reducing scar tissue. Massage a few drops of castor oil onto the scarred area several times a day for best results. Press gently and rub in circles as you massage the oil in. [source]
#4 – Hair Growth Intensive Treatment
To treat any kind of hair loss problems or simply to encourage the hair to grow, perform this deep treatment once every two weeks.
Mix equal parts castor oil and sweet almond oil. Warm the oils gently by swirling in a pan over low heat. Apply the warm oils to your scalp, massaging for 5 minutes.
Work the oil through to the end of the hair. You can use a wide-toothed comb to spread it out.
Twist your hair on top of your head, and cover it with a plastic cap or warm towel. Keep in mind that the oil will stain fabric. Leave on for several hours or overnight.
Wash it out with your regular shampoo. You may need to repeat the shampoo process two or three times to get out all the oil. Follow up with conditioner.
#5 – Dandruff Hair Mask
Blend these effective ingredients and apply to the scalp to get rid of dandruff for good.
Mix together 1 tablespoon of castor oil, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Massage it into your scalp. Leave it on for 30 minutes. Then, shampoo your hair as you normally would.
#6 – Luscious All-Purpose Castor Oil Treatment
Make a luxurious rejuvenating remedy that will lock in moisture, seal frizz, and treat your scalp at the same time. Use this treatment as a massage lotion for your scalp, a deep conditioner, or a leave-in frizz fighter.
If you intend to leave this in your hair without washing it out, only use a tiny bit at a time on the ends of your hair. A little goes a long way.
- Place ¼ cup of coconut oil and ¼ cup of shea butter in a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water.
- Stir the oils until they have melted and liquefied.
- Remove the oils from heat and add ¼ cup of castor oil.
- Beat the liquid oils at medium to high speed for five minutes. The oils should be opaque and frothy.
- Take a quick break if necessary. Then beat the mixture for 10 minutes more. By this point, the oils should resemble liquid whipped cream.
- Beat the oils for 10 more minutes. This will transform them into a meringue-like consistency.
- Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Don’t store the treatment in the refrigerator or it will develop a sandy texture.
Other Uses for Castor Oil
Using castor oil as part of a well-rounded beauty routine can help you bring as much health to your skin as you’ve brought to your hair.
Castor Oil Can Moisturize Your Lips
Your lips don’t make their own oils. Therefore, they’re at the mercy of the elements. Wind, sun, and moisture can leave them chapped and dry.
Castor oil is thick enough to coat the lips and stay there. The fatty acids in the oil help smooth the lips. The combination of the therapeutic and aesthetic effects makes it the perfect natural lip gloss.
To make your own lip gloss from castor oil, simply smooth a drop or two onto the lips. It will impart a glossy shine to the skin and protect it from the elements.
You can add color to make a tinted, glossy lip stain. Squirt one drop of red, violet, pink, or orange food coloring into 1 teaspoon of castor oil and swirl together. Putting this on your lips will give them a rosy glow.
Castor Oil Can Work as Body Lotion
If you made the luscious all-purpose treatment for your hair, you can also use it on your skin. The benefits that castor oil has for scars on your scalp are the same for the skin all over your body. Castor oil moisturizer can help improve stretch marks and moisturize dry skin.
What Kind of Castor Oil Should You Buy?
Make sure that you purchase natural, unrefined castor oil. Refined oils may be blended with other ingredients that could cause irritation. Refined oil can also clog pores.
Cold-pressed oil contains more nutrients than those that are more processed. Natural, cold-pressed castor oil has a pale, golden color.
Another way to extract castor oil is through a process that involves using chemical solvents. This process can leach out nutrients from the castor oil.
You may find commercial castor oil that’s completely clear. This type of castor oil has been further processed to remove iodine. According to Castoroil.in, bleaching may be used to achieve a clear color. Some people want to avoid using castor oil that has been refined with chemicals. [source]
Jamaican black castor oil has a dark tint. Some people assume that this type of castor oil is less refined and therefore more natural. Black castor oil is made from castor beans that have been extensively roasted. The black color comes from the ash that is created during the roasting process.
This type of oil is not necessarily harmful. However, it may contain more impurities than a cold-pressed oil.
Keep castor oil tightly sealed and away from heat and light. Moisture, heat, and sunlight could cause the oil to lose stability. It should have a long shelf life if it’s stored properly.