A derivative of castor beans, castor oil has long served as a multipurpose remedy. Growing, gleaming, “Rapunzel-ish” hair, along with wound healing, anti-inflammatory, and acne reduction properties are some of it’s purported benefits.
But what are these castor oil for hair benefits that have the natural beauty world so excited? We take a closer look.
Castor Oil Hair Benefits
Well, there is good news and bad news. Let’s do the good part first – there are millions of testimonies out there from people who have tried castor oil on their hair and reported a dramatic improvement. So, it works.
However, there is not much scientific research to back any of these claims.
Now that we have cleared the air, here’s what castor oil can do for your hair, based on the available study-based evidence and user feedback:
1. Increases Circulation
Castor oil is rich in ricinoleic acid, which may help increase blood circulation to your scalp. It is known to stimulate a receptor referred to as prostaglandin E2, leading to the dilation of blood vessels.
Dilated arteries allow more oxygenated, nutrient-rich blood to flow into your scalp, potentially promoting healthier, faster hair growth.
2. Locks in Moisture
Castor oil is a known humectant. In simpler terms, it makes for an excellent tool for locking moisture and shine in your hair. Moisturized hair has higher chances of growing healthier and shinier.
3. Antibacterial and Antifungal
Castor oil is an age-old antimicrobial remedy used in modern and traditional medicine all over the world. This property also makes it an effective weapon against dandruff, folliculitis, and scalp infections that may hinder the growth of your hair.
4. Balances pH
Another upside to having the ingredient ricinoleic acid is that castor oil may help establish a pH balance on your scalp. This equilibrium helps protect and replenish your scalp’s natural oils.
It may also help reverse damage caused by the long-term use of harsh chemicals through hair products. What’s more, it will remove the “no-poo” related damage that results from too much alkalinity.
5. Cleanses Hair
Castor oil is polarized – it literally attracts dirt within the hair and on the scalp. This attribute helps cleanse the skin, gently reducing dry scalp as well as flaking.
Castor oil is rich in antioxidants believed to promote the keratin in your hair, helping make that mane grow smoother, sturdier, and less fizzy.
How to Use Castor Oil on Your Hair
There is no one-size-fits-all technique for castor oil application to the hair, but you can always find your perfect fit approach depending on your hair type and objectives for using the oil.
Experts advise that you only use it about twice a week. Also, you want to let it sit on your hair and scalp for at least two hours, although some people prefer overnight. Moreover, consider using a shower cap to prevent the oil from staining your clothes or sheets.
Diluting your castor oil with other plant-based oils is not a bad idea either. This move may be helpful if you find your castor oil too thick and difficult to remove. The combination may also diffuse the scent of castor oil if you do not fancy it.
How About Castor Oil for Eyelashes and Eyebrows?
In case you are wondering, you may use castor oil cautiously to nourish your brows and lashes. The trick is to use a tiny amount.
You could rub it between your fingers before applying it on your eyebrows or use a mascara stick to do your eyelashes.
Using castor oil on your hair may help with:
- Hair growth and strength
- Dirt removal
- pH stabilization
- dandruff, folliculitis, and infection prevention