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How to use castor oil for hair?

Is castor oil good for hair? Does applying castor oil really pay off and when it doesn’t?

In the world of beauty products, castor oil for hair is like a crown for a queen – it’s hard to find a revitalizing shampoo or mask without this popular ingredient we all know as a magic potion for hair growth. But does it really help? Or it’s just another publicity stunt? The truth is out there, and we are going to get to the bottom of it.

What does castor oil do for hair? For better understanding, let’s find out what this substance exactly is.

What Is Castor Oil?

This is a vegetable oil extracted from the seeds of Palma Christi, a perennial flowering plant, also known as castor oil plant. Initially, it appeared like a more affordable replacement of castoreum or secretions from the beaver’s castor sac. Classic castor oil has no color and smell while it is loaded with minerals, fatty acids, and vitamin E. It doesn’t dry up with time and doesn’t leave an unpleasant film on the skin and hair.

Castor Oil Benefits for Hair

Is castor oil good for hair? Sure it is. Yet, not in the way we all know about. In fact, scientific reviews show that there is no connection between the speed of hair growth and the usage of this oil. So, the main myth is busted: your genes control your hair length and its growth while castor oil doesn’t. But it can help to get rid of a dozen other problems.

And here we have reached the first truth: if you want to get a worthy treatment from castor oil, apply it mainly on the scalp rather than just the hair. It is all about the ricinoleic acid that produces anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial effects on the skin. That is why it is still helpful to utilize castor oil for hair loss, and it is good for hair regrowth as it makes your skin and hair follicles healthier.

For dry hair, the oil is a very good treatment option, as its fatty acids are capable of locking moisture, thus making the hair look smoother and softer. If your problem hides in hair thinning or split ends, go for castor oil – it’s a perfect filler for curly hair, and specifically for natural hair, since it moisturizes and carefully fills in all the damaged spots without overloading your hair. Black castor oil is more appropriate for thicker hair due to its greater density – the oil will add shine and condition your hair.

How to Use Castor Oil for Hair (Uses, Dosage, Masks)

Now let’s take a closer look at how to use this magic remedy and learn what the best friends of castor oil are.

The first thing to remember is that you should apply a mask with oils no more than twice a week. And you don’t need any step-by-step manuals for this – just massage a dab of the oil into your scalp and let it soak for 15-20 minutes. Then rinse it out. That’s all. Except for choosing the best oil to mix with castor oil for a more customized approach:

Almond oil adds elasticity and shine.

Argan oil is the best assistant for the split ends treatment.

Black seed oil will increase the anti-microbial effect.

Vitamin E and aloe vera soften the scalp and make the hair glossy. The same effect will give a castor oil and coconut oil blend.

– If you want to improve blood circulation, then use a mask with warm castor oil and tea tree oil. It will gently warm up your skin and enhance blood flow to the scalp. For the best effect, put on a shower cap and a towel to make the oil stay warm as long as possible.

– For an extra nourishing mask, mix castor oil and an egg yolk in a blender. The resulting mayo-like mixture will give your hair amazing luster. But do not rinse off the mask with hot water to prevent the yolk from curdling.

– 1 small ripe banana with 1 tsp. of honey and 1 tsp. of castor oil will add a natural sheen to your hair.

Types of Castor Oil for Hair

The choice of the best castor oil for hair is dictated by your hair type. It is all about the hair structure and the effect you want to get from the oil. There are a few versions of it:

Pure castor oil for hair is a classic option with no artificial ingredients added, though this label doesn’t always mean that it is cold-pressed. It has an extra-light texture and can be used on any hair type. But it should be mentioned that it won’t produce a breathtaking effect on thick or African-American hair.

– A yellow-colored substance with the “Organic castor oil for hair” label on the bottle is more likely to be cold-pressed oil, chemicals-free and mechanically extracted, with all of the benefits included. You can use it for thin, curly, and straight hair, for damaged ends or even for eyelashes and eyebrows.

Black castor oil for hair is produced from fried seeds. The roasting process results in the formation of substances that help hair follicles produce keratin which improves hair health. So, if you want to enhance the beauty of your hair dramatically, this oil is the thing you should definitely try.

Jamaican black castor oil for hair has a thicker texture because it has been boiled with ash. According to some opinions, this helps to enrich the oil with useful minerals found in coal. Although there is no scientific evidence to that, such a heat treatment makes the oil more viscous and thus suitable for very thick hair. So, those with thin hair should be careful with it to avoid overloading of more delicate hair types.

Castor Oil Before and After Pictures

If you still have doubts about castor oil usage, see our before and after photos that are sure to inspire you.

Castor Oil for Hair – Side Effects

Any type of castor oil can be bad for hair only in one case: if you have an allergy to any of its components. So, before you start using it, ask your doctor or make a self-test at home by putting a couple of drops of the oil on the bend of your elbow and leaving it for a few minutes. If your skin stays clean and healthy, you can start using the oil safely. Oh, and of course there is one more negative effect of castor oil for hair (read – “any oil”) – if you overuse it.

How to Wash Out Castor Oil

Castor oil is thick, that’s why washing it off your hair may be a problem. Here are some tips. You can wash out a castor oil mask with warm water by using your usual shampoo. Possibly you will need to shampoo multiple times. Be ready for this. Still feel oil buildup after shampooing? Try applying a conditioner, and let it sit for 20 minutes. Apple cider vinegar rinse will work too. Women also recommend using dry shampoos to remove excess oil.

Although the accelerating effect of castor oil for hair growth has not been scientifically proven, its positive influence on the scalp and hair is difficult to deny. Therefore, if you like to treat yourself with masks made from natural components, a bottle of castor oil can safely take place on your bathroom shelf.

Featured Image: Papa Rozier
by Donna Sullivan
Donna is a hairstylist with 8 years of experience. Ask her about any hair-related problem (haircuts, hairstyles, colorings, hair care) and get a pro advice!