Castor oil is a type of vegetable oil that is extracted from the seeds (known as castor beans) of the Ricinus communis plant. Learn more about castor oil and how to use castor oil for hair growth below.
Is Castor Oil Good for Hair Growth?
Is castor oil good for hair growth? There is generally a lack of research, but existing studies suggest that it is possible. The main active ingredient in castor oil is ricinoleic acid, which is a type of fatty acid like omega-3s. Ricinoleic acid has been found to possess anti-inflammatory properties.5 That suggests that castor oil may help to reduce inflammation when applied to the scalp.
Castor oil is also a natural lubricant and moisturizer. Applying it to the scalp may help to prevent dandruff and dry skin while providing protection from breakage and dry ends.6 Studies also show that castor oil may help to improve the luster of hair, which may improve the look and aesthetic of hair.7
Which Castor Oil Is Best for Hair Growth?
The best castor oil for hair growth is organically sourced and cold-pressed. Proponents believe that the cold-pressed process yields an oil that is of higher quality and more nutrient dense.6
In terms of specific type, supporters generally recommend Jamaican black castor oil for hair growth, especially for people with thick, coarse, or dry hair. The research is lacking, but anecdotal evidence suggests that regular use of Jamaican black castor oil resulted in hair regrowth in people experiencing thinning hair along the nape and hairline.4
Considering the types of ingredients used, it’s a good idea to read labels as well as castor oil for hair growth reviews. Avoid products containing strong, artificial fragrances and preservatives.
How to Use Castor Oil for Hair Growth
1. Add 1/2 cup of castor oil to a pan.
2. Add 1/2 cup of aloe vera gel to the same pan.
3. Add 1-2 tablespoons of honey to the mixture.
4. Mix the mixture under low heat and add 2 cups of water.
5. Boil on low heat for 3 minutes.
6. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and wait until it cools down. Keep mixture in the fridge.
7. Shake bottle before spraying into scalp. Spray the solution close to hair roots.
8. Leave the oil on for 30 minutes to three hours before washing your hair.
9. Blow dry clean hair.
As castor oil is thicker and heavier than other forms of oil, it is recommended to dilute it with another plant-derived oil, like jojoba, argan, or coconut oil, and with a small amount of water. This can also help to tone down the smell of castor oil, but you can also include a drop of your favorite essential oil in the mix.
From there, rub the mixture into your scalp. A little bit of oil can go a long way. Work the oil from the scalp into the ends of your hair, which may protect against breakage and improve texture while providing a noticeable shine.
Cover your hair with a shower cap followed by a warm towel. This locks the oil in while preventing it from dripping onto your clothes. Leave the oil in for 30 minutes to three hours before washing your hair as normal.8
You may be wondering, “How often should I use castor oil for hair growth?”. The answer varies, but most expert recommend limiting it to just once or twice per week. Doing it too often can cause buildup, contribute to matting, and create an oily scalp.6
Types of Castor Oil for Hair Growth
#1 Grade Castor Oil
#1 grade castor oil, alternately known as first special grade (FSG) castor oil, is a technical grade of the oil used for industrial purposes. This type of castor oil is made by refining commercial grade castor oil and putting it through a bleaching and filtering process. FSG castor oil has a variety of applications, from coatings for vitamin supplements to the manufacture of polyurethane casting resins.1
Sulfated Castor Oil
Sulfated castor oil, sometimes referred to as Turkey Red castor oil, is a chemical combination of castor oil and sulfuric acid. This allows for an oil that is completely water soluble, meaning that it can easily disperse in water. It is commonly added to soaps, lotions, and bath products.2
Hydrogenated Castor Oil
Hydrogenated castor oil is castor oil that has been treated with hydrogen. This makes the oil more stable while raising its melting point, which allows it to stay solid at room temperature. This is also why hydrogenated castor oil is sometimes referred to as castor wax. Thanks to its hard, waxy consistency, hydrogenated castor oil is commonly used in polishes and deodorants.3
Jamaican Black Castor Oil
Derived from Jamaican castor beans, Jamaican black castor oil is unique partly for its characteristically deep amber color, compared to the pale yellow or colorless pharmacy-grade castor oil. This comes as a result of the castor beans’ roasting process. Jamaican black castor oil also tends to be thicker in consistency than plan castor oil.4