One of the best and popular oil treatments which help increase hair growth is castor oil. In fact, many women (and even men) all over the world use this oil to achieve thicker and fuller hair not just on the scalp but also on the eyebrows and eyelashes. But, what is castor oil and where does it come from?
Castor oil is a pale colored vegetable oil with a mild odor, which is obtained and extracted from the seeds of the castor oil plant known as Ricinus Communis. Its main component is ricinoleic acid, which makes up 90% of its content.
It is often used in cosmetics as well as in manufacturing industries to make pharmaceutical medicines, perfumes, polishes, waxes, and hair treatment products. Since it is made with all natural ingredients and is considered to be organic, it is perfectly safe for topical application or external application on hair, skin, and even nails. Experts say that it is also safe for internal consumption.
Castor oil is known not just for its help in enhancing hair growth, but also for its medicinal properties. It is often used for laxative, but cold pressed castor oil is primarily used for the hair and skin. It can be used as an ingredient for facial oil cleanser or can used on its own to help reduce the appearance of stretch marks and eye stye.
Contents and Properties of Castor Oil
Castor oil is one of the most beneficial oils as it contains vitamin E, minerals, proteins, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties that can all be related to growing healthier and stronger hair. Its medicinal benefits can also be attributed to the fact that it has an unusual chemical composition, which consists of up to 90% of ricinoleic acid and a triglyceride of fatty acids, including Omega 6 and 9.
Ricinoleic acid is the primary reason for castor oil’s hair benefits because it helps improve blood circulation in the scalp, thus improving hair growth. It has the ability to penetrate the pores of the skin and the hair follicles so it can provide nourishment better and enable the hair follicles to restore growth normally.
Castor Oil for Hair Growth
Castor oil helps in keeping your scalp and hair healthy while also adding shine and silkiness to your hair. But, it is most known for its ability to encourage and promote healthy hair growth. In fact, this benefit has been the subject of many studies trying to research on castor oil’s effect on encouraging hair growth and also preventing hair loss.
Studies showed that castor oil can help people who have androgenic alopecia by helping prevent hair loss. Researchers also found that ricinoleic acid, which is abundant in castor oil, blocks prostaglandin D2 or PGD2, which is a compound that is commonly associated with hair loss. Because of the findings, it was concluded that castor oil, which is a natural remedy containing ricinoleic acid, has the potential to be used in high efficacy hair loss treatments.
Castor oil is anti-inflammatory and this is another property which can help boost hair growth and prevent thinning hair. Inflammation around the hair follicles can impede hair growth and can also result to weaker hair strands. Ricinoleic acid can help reduce skin inflammation when applied topically, hence the benefit of castor oil.
Castor oil can also keep the scalp clean and free from any infections. Another one of castor oil’s properties is being antimicrobial, which can be beneficial in preventing hair loss caused by fungal infections, bacterial infections, or even hair pollution.
Fungal infections, specifically the one caused by Malassezia fungi, can result in bald patches and hair shedding. Additionally, air pollution causes toxins to have a negative effect on hair follicles on the scalp, which may also result in increased hair loss.
Several studies have already confirmed that castor oil has antimicrobial properties and also contains antioxidants which can help ward off bacterial, fungal, and other infections that may occur on the scalp and skin. This means that castor oil can be really helpful in getting rid of free radicals that can cause hair loss and bald spots.
Other Hair and Scalp Benefits of Castor Oil
Aside from its great benefit of promoting hair growth, castor oil has many other benefits for your hair and scalp.
- Castor oil is a great hair conditioner as it will lock in moisture to your hair and scalp. A small amount of castor oil can already restore shine and texture to your hair while also keeping your hair follicles healthy and nourished.
- Castor oil can also help treat split ends by regularly using a castor oil mask on your hair. Because of its fatty acid content, it can nourish your hair and give it a luxurious shine.
- Castor oil can help get rid of dandruff and fight itchy scalp. Since castor oil has antifungal properties, it can help you get rid of the causes of dandruff quickly. You just need to apply a castor oil hair mask once a week and you will soon notice the difference. By consistently and regularly doing this, you will notice fewer flakes and lesser itch, until they completely disappear.
Side Effects of Using Castor Oil
Some of the main side effects of using castor oil are related to skin reactions and gastrointestinal upset. These side effects are most likely caused by the oil’s actions on the intestinal wall. When consumed, the oil is broken down by the small intestine into ricinoleic acid, which acts as an irritant to the linings of the intestines.
These effects are also the reason why some people who use or consume castor oil have reportedly experienced digestive discomfort, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal side effects. That said, those who suffer from cramps, ulcers, colitis, prolapses, irritable bowel, diverticulitis, or hemorrhoids, should avoid using castor oil to prevent possible adverse reactions.
Using castor oil in high doses may also cause dizziness or light headedness. It may also cause skin rashes due to an allergic reaction, so make sure that you do a small skin patch test first before using it as a topical treatment.
How to Use Castor Oil
Castor oil can be used as a hair treatment, especially when you notice that you have been experiencing a lot of hair fall, when you have split ends, when your scalp is dry, or when you just want to have thicker and healthier hair.
To use it as a treatment, you can follow the directions below:
- Wash your hair to ensure that your scalp and hair are clean before applying any oil.
- Warm castor oil in a pot or bowl, using a stove top or a microwave. You can also place the bowl with castor oil in a larger bowl with hot water to keep it warm. Make sure that it does not get too hot. You can also add coconut oil or olive oil if you want.
- If your hair has dried out, moisten it a little and divide into sections. Then, apply the oil one section at a time and massage gently. Continuously massage until you feel that the oil has been completely soaked in. Make sure that you also massage your scalp as a hair massage is not enough.
- Cover your hair with a shower cap and leave it on for at least an hour. Allow the oil to be completely absorbed by the scalp.
- Finally, wash your hair and make sure that you remove all the oil so that there will be no greasy feel. You can shampoo your hair twice if needed.
For best results, repeat the process and follow these steps at least twice a week. Results may not be immediately noticed, but you can definitely see positive changes after at least a month of continued use.
Top 5 Castor Oil Products
- Aria Starr Castor Oil Cold Pressed – 16 FL OZ – BEST 100% Pure Hair Oil For Hair Growth, Face, Skin Moisturizer, Scalp, Thicker Eyebrows And Eyelashes
Aria Starr’s Castor Oil is 100% pure and made with premium quality. It is cold pressed, so you can be assured that the beneficial contents and active ingredients are retained in the process. That means you can fully maximize its benefits when you use it.
It can be your ultimate product for hair care as you can have younger and healthier looking hair with regular use of this oil. Your hair will also feel softer with no more breakage even when tangled. It can also help reduce falling hair, tangles, and dry and brittle hair. You can also use this oil to achieve thicker and fuller eyelashes and eyebrows.
- Pure Organic Cold Pressed Castor Oil USDA Certified for Eyelashes Growth Serum, Promotes Eyebrows & Eyelash Growth from Natural Riches, 1 fl oz Contains five sets of eyelash and eyebrow brushes
Natural Riches’ Castor Oil is also 100% pure and USDA certified. The oil was also cold pressed, which means all the important components are unharmed. It boosts the length and thickness of eyebrows and eyelashes when conveniently applied using the brushes that come with it. This oil also helps promote long term vitality and strength of eyelashes and eyebrows by preventing thinning and breakage.
It is also great for nourishing hair follicles as it is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and Omega fatty acids that are all beneficial to hair growth. For best results, it is recommended to apply the oil to the baseline of the eyelash, eyebrows, on the scalp, or any of your target areas a couple of hours before going to bed to allow for full saturation.
- NOW Castor Oil
Now Solutions’ 100% Pure Castor Oil is a versatile skin care product that can help soften the skin without the use of harsh chemicals. It is expeller-pressed and is virtually odorless and tasteless. It is one of the finest skin emollients that can be found in the market, but its benefits are not only for the skin but also for the hair.
It can help you achieve soft hair by adding a few drops of the oil to your favorite shampoo prior to washing your hair. You can also apply a few drops of the oil to the desired area such as eyelash baseline, eyebrows, or scalp and then massage as needed.
- Organic Castor Oil By Sky Organics 16oz: Cold-Pressed, 100% Pure, Hexane-Free Castor Oil – Moisturizing & Healing, For Dry Skin, Hair Growth – For Skin, Hair Care, Eyelashes
Sky Organics’ Castor Oil is also 100% pure and cold pressed to maintain its best natural state. It is produced with the highest quality standards and sourced directly from the best sources in India. It is rich in vitamins and fatty acids, which makes it a great product to be used for skin care and hair care. It helps nourish and hydrate the skin and also promotes healthier hair growth.
Since it is organic and does not contain any chemicals, it is suitable for all skin and hair types. It also does not contain any artificial additives so you do not have to worry bout any allergies or irritations when used properly. Consistent and regular use of this oil will give you amazing results caused by the nutrients absorbed by your hair and skin.
- Organic Castor Oil – 100% USDA Certified Pure Cold Pressed Hexane free – Boost Growth For Eyelashes, Hair, Eyebrows. Fortify Nails, Skin, and Face with Treatment Applicator Kit
This Organic Castor Oil from Wild West Organics is also certified pure and cold pressed, making it one of the best castor oil that you can use for your skin care and hair care. It is filled with nutrients that can promote hair growth and help you achieve thicker and fuller eyelashes and eyebrows. It also comes with an applicator so applying it is very easy and convenient.
This oil works as a great moisturizer, restoring hair shine and repairing split ends and other hair damages. Consistent use will leave your hair shinier, thicker, and stronger, while also addressing problems of hair fall and thinning hair.
The Bottom Line
Castor oil is an excellent natural product that works wonders in making your hair look shinier, thicker, longer, and stronger. It is generally safe for topical use, but not all users have the same skin type so it is still best to do a patch test first before using it. Also, when choosing a castor oil, it is always best to use a high quality cold-pressed castor oil so that all essential nutrients and beneficial ingredients are retained and you can fully maximize its benefits.