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Castor Oil for Hair Growth: How to Use?

March 22, 2022
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Someone recently asked me a particularly fascinating question: Does castor oil have hair growth properties, or can it make hair thicker? I had never considered this before, but I found someone online who said castor oil does these things. I discovered that many websites are discussing this issue, but I wanted to know if there is enough clinical evidence to support the effects of castor oil. So, in this article, I will look for any research on the hair-growing effects of castor oil. Does castor oil have the impact of growing and strengthening hair? Let’s see what we can find.

What is castor oil?

what is castor oil

Castor oil is an oil extracted from castor seeds. The scientific name of castor seeds is Ricinus Communis. Castor oil has long been used to treat a variety of conditions, but if you’re old enough (thankfully, I’m not one of them), you may remember that it was used as a laxative and to punish those who disobeyed the child.

Castor oil and hair growth: What might it do?

Although I couldn’t find any conclusive articles on whether it works, some websites say castor oil works by increasing lymph node circulation in the scalp. Castor oil does contain many nutrients, such as various vitamins and fatty acids. A lot of websites use this to boast about the hair-growing effects of castor oil, but only some websites provide evidence to prove its effect.

Another theory is based on inhibiting a hormone-like substance called prostaglandin D2 (PGD2). Some studies have found that the scalps of bald people contain higher levels of PGD2 than those of everyday people. Ricinoleic acid, a component of castor oil, can inhibit the effects of PGD2.

At least one article suggests that ricinoleic acid can inhibit the effects of PGD2. In theory, inhibiting the effects of PGD2 should mean hair growth. However, there still needs to be more studies on the hair-growing impacts of ricinoleic acid based on human experiments. If you are interested, I found a review about PGD2 and hair loss. You can learn more about the role of PGD2.

Research on the hair growth effects of castor oil

How Castor Oil Promotes Hair Growth

Regardless of its theoretical basis, the best way to prove whether castor oil works is to see if any relevant human studies – in vitro and animal experiments do not count. To find corresponding studies, I searched for the following keywords in the National Library of Medicine:

  • Castor oil hair
  • Castor oil baldness
  • Ricinus Communis hair
  • Ricinus Communis Bald
  • Castor oil PGD2
  • Ricinus Communis PGD2

Likewise, I checked on Google and ClinicalTrails.gov. These keyword searches will yield evidence based on human experiments published in medical journals.

Unfortunately, I haven’t found any evidence that castor oil has any hair-growing properties. I have also seen people on many websites saying castor oil can prevent hair loss. But again, I found no evidence that it prevents hair loss.

I can’t find any human experiments proving that blocking PGD2 function on the scalp can restore hair growth or alleviate hair loss. But I did find an article that said castor oil can improve hair color. In other words, when the light hits the hair, the hair looks more beautiful.

The lack of experimental evidence doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. The trend of using castor oil for hair growth isn’t big enough for the scientific community to study it properly. If I find new relevant research in the future, I will list it here.

What are the benefits of castor oil for hair?

Even though it doesn’t help our hair grow, castor oil has many benefits. For example, it can help you lock in moisture and relieve irritation, providing a suitable environment for hair growth. So, if you want hair growth, there’s no reason you shouldn’t use castor oil to set yourself up for success.

What are the benefits of castor oil for hair?

Benefits of castor oil for hair

Castor oil is especially beneficial for oily hair. This vegetable oil prevents dandruff and fungal and microbial infections. Dandruff, hair loss, and severe hair loss worry many people. Castor oil can prevent bacterial and fungal problems on the scalp and improve peeling and dandruff. The omega-6 fatty acid content in castor oil results in shinier hair, reaching the root of the problem and improving circulation in the hair follicles.

Massaging slightly warm castor oil onto your scalp (or eyebrows) can stimulate hair follicles and promote growth. Castor oil’s antifungal and antibacterial properties also reduce dandruff and scalp infections.

Castor oil contains various amino acids, vitamins, and minerals and can be used as a hair mask. After washing your hair, you can take an appropriate amount of castor oil, apply it directly on it, and massage it gently for ten minutes, then wash it with clean water. If you insist on doing this, people’s hair quality will improve. It prevents hair from drying out and falling off and prevents black hair from turning gray.

Which hair types can use castor oil?

How Castor Oil Promotes Hair Growth

All hair types can use castor oil to add moisture and softness. But how and how often you use castor oil depends on your hair type. But no matter how you use it, you’ll want to add a clarifying shampoo to your routine once a month (or once a week if your scalp is in poor condition). Prone to oil) to dissolve the product buildup that may occur with regular use of castor oil.

How often should I apply castor oil to my hair?

The frequency of applying castor oil to your hair can vary based on personal preferences and your hair’s needs. As a general guideline, many people find using castor oil once or twice a week sufficient. This allows time for the oil to nourish the hair and scalp without making the hair overly greasy.

However, individual hair types and preferences may differ, so you can adjust the frequency based on how your hair responds. If you have dry or damaged hair, consider more frequent applications. On the other hand, if your hair gets greasy quickly, apply it less often.

It’s important to note that consistency is vital when using castor oil for hair care. Results may take time, and regular, ongoing use is often recommended to see the full benefits. Additionally, always be mindful of how your hair reacts to the oil and adjust the frequency accordingly.

What are the risks of using castor oil on hair?

The most significant risk of using castor oil on your hair is potential scalp acne and buildup since it is very heavy and occlusive. To help limit the risk of acne, avoid applying castor oil to your hairline and be extra careful before bed, as castor oil can transfer from your pillowcase to your face, causing potential breakouts.

Suppose your hair is already lacking in moisture. In that case, castor oil may make your hair look drier because it prevents extra water from penetrating your hair, so to avoid unexpected dryness, before you add castor oil, make sure Your hair is filled with other moisturizers like shea butter, glycerin, and panthenol. You can also use a castor oil deep conditioner (either a formula made with castor oil or adding a few drops to your favorite conditioner) in your daily routine to keep your hair from looking dry.

And, like all ingredients and products, there’s always the chance of irritation and allergic reactions, so before applying castor oil to your scalp, do a little test on your neck, especially if you have sensitive skin.

How to apply castor oil to hair?

How to apply castor oil to hair?

Choose High-Quality Castor Oil:

Ensure you use cold-pressed, hexane-free, and ideally organic castor oil for the best quality and effectiveness.

Gather Your Supplies:

  • Castor oil
  • Optional: Carrier oil (such as coconut oil or jojoba oil) for dilution
  • Wide-tooth comb or brush
  • Old shirt or towel (castor oil can stain fabrics)
  • Shower cap or plastic wrap
  • Optional: Dilute Castor Oil (if desired):
  • Castor oil is thick, and some people prefer to dilute it with a lighter carrier oil to make application and removal easier.

Section Your Hair:

Divide your hair into sections to ensure even application. Use hair clips or ties to keep cells separated.

Apply the Castor Oil:]

Apply castor oil to your scalp and hair roots using your fingertips or a cotton ball. Massage the oil into your scalp using gentle circular motions.

Work Through the Length of Your Hair:

Once the scalp is covered, apply the oil to the length of your hair, concentrating on the tips if you have dry or damaged ends.

Optional: Use a Comb or Brush:

Use a wide-tooth comb or brush to distribute the oil evenly through your hair.

Cover Your Hair:

Cover your hair with a shower cap or wrap it in plastic to enhance absorption. This creates a warm environment that helps the oil penetrate the hair shaft. Leave the oil on your hair for at least 2-3 hours, or you can leave it overnight for a more intensive treatment.

Wash Your Hair:

Wash your hair thoroughly with a gentle shampoo to remove the oil. You may need to shampoo twice to ensure all the oil is extracted.

Condition (Optional):

Follow up with a conditioner if needed, focusing on the lengths and ends of your hair.

Gently pat your hair dry with a towel. Avoid rubbing vigorously to prevent damage to the hair cuticle.
Repeat this process once or twice a week for best results. Consistency is critical when using castor oil for hair care. Adjust the frequency based on your hair’s needs and how it responds to the treatment.

Final thoughts:

Regrettably, castor oil does not have the capability to stimulate hair growth independently (only genetics and overall health can do that). But it’s still hydrating, which means it will keep your scalp and hair moisturized, which is a perfect environment for growth. Remember to be wary of everyday behaviors that can lead to hair loss and breakage, such as wearing super tight hairstyles (think braids and tight ponytails), brushing your hair too hard, and using excessive heat styling. Because even castor oil is moisturizing, but its effect on hair growth is limited.

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