Who doesn’t dream of long hair that can be styled in a ponytail, a bun, or in simple waves easily? But considering our lifestyles, the dirt, and the pollution, our long hair goals often seem unattainable. That is, unless you have a simple growth-boosting remedy up your sleeve.
While castor oil or Ricinus communis is well-known for its amazing health benefits, and has been in use for centuries across industries, its benefits for hair often go unnoticed. The majority of its nutritional content is made up of ricinoleic acid, omega-6 and 9 fatty acids, vitamin E, and minerals (1).
The oil is extracted from castor seeds through the process of pressing. Castor oil is mainly colorless or pale yellow with a very mild odor. It feels sticky and thick, so many prefer blending it with a lighter oil prior to usage. It consists of a total of 18 fatty acids. Castor oil is also a humectant, which means it attracts and retains moisture in the hair and skin.
Let’s proceed to know more about how to use castor oil for hair growth and other hair related issues.
Castor Oil For Hair Growth – Is It Effective?
Castor oil is becoming a popular remedy for hair loss and a helpful ingredient for hair regrowth. On an average, your hair grows by about half an inch every month. With the regular use of castor oil, hair growth can be boosted by three to five times the usual rate. It not only spurs hair growth, but the hair also becomes noticeably thicker within a few months of use. Castor oil also can make your eyelashes and eyebrows longer and thicker.
The Scientific Reason
Castor oil’s antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties make it an effective treatment for scalp infections. Its high protein content makes it very valuable to maintain hair health.
It also helps battle infections such as folliculitis, a condition that causes inflammation of the hair follicles. The unusually high content of ricin oleic acid in castor oil improves blood circulation at the scalp, ensuring better nutrition for the hair follicles.
This acid also helps balance the pH of the scalp. Castor oil is rich in antioxidants that support the keratin in hair, making it smoother, stronger, and less frizzy.
What Type Of Castor Oil Should You Use?
There are three types of castor oil that are popularly used for hair care – organic castor oil, Jamaican black castor oil, and hydrogenated castor oil. While the castor seeds are originally from Africa, they made their way to Jamaica due to the slave trade.
We recommend the Organic/Cold Pressed Castor Oil
• Extracted directly from the castor seed with no heat involved
• Uses a mechanical and non-chemical method called expeller pressing
• The cold pressing ensures there is no degradation of any of the nutrients present in the seed
• It is pale yellow in color
• If you have curly hair and an itchy or dry scalp that is prone to irritation, it is recommended that you use unrefined, hexane-free organic castor oil as it is less alkaline than Jamaican black type
Benefits Of Castor Oil For Hair
Growing your hair is not just about increasing the rate at which it grows. Healthy hair growth involves a multitude of other factors, such as hair health, nutrition, the health of your scalp, etc. Castor oil is an ideal hair growth solution because it tends to the various needs of your hair so that it grows out thick and healthy. Let’s take a look at a few benefits:
1. Controls Hair Fall
The ricin oleic acid present in castor oil improves blood circulation to your scalp. This, in turn, improves follicle and scalp health and reduces hair fall. It strengthens the roots of your hair by nourishing your scalp and providing protection against microbes.
2. Encourages Hair Regrowth
90% of castor oil’s nutritional content is made up of ricinoleic acid. This, combined with the omega-6 and 9 fatty acids, penetrates the hair shafts and roots and nourishes it, restoring its optimum health and boosting hair growth.
3. Treats Dandruff
Dandruff is usually caused by an underlying issue such as an oily scalp or itchiness. The antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties of castor oil make it an effective treatment for battling dandruff. Ricinoleic acid is also known to balance the pH of the scalp, making it healthier and an unfavorable environment for dandruff.
4. Reduces Split Ends
Castor oil fills in the damaged gaps of keratin in the hair shaft. It increases the tensile strength of the hair, making it less prone to splitting and breakage.
5. Thickens Hair
Castor oil penetrates the outer layer of the hair shaft. The added regrowth and reduced hair fall make your hair thicker and stronger (6).
6. Is A Natural Conditioner
As we mentioned above, the oil penetrates the outer layer of the hair and fills in any damaged spots of keratin. This process, by itself, smoothest the hair by restoring the hair cuticles. It also makes the shafts less prone to loss of moisture.
7. Darkens Hair
Castor oil can help you achieve richer and darker hair naturally. The humectant effect of castor oil enables your hair to retain the required moisture, increasing its dark shade
8. Protects Hair From Damage
The fatty acids present in castor oil form a protective layer on your hair and protect it from sun damage and loss of color. It replenishes the natural oils and protects your scalp from the damage caused by harsh chemicals present in dyes and hair products.
9. Provides Shiny Hair
As explained earlier, castor oil provides your hair with a protective coat along the shaft. This, in turn, reflects more light and makes your hair smoother and shinier