Castor oil for hair growth: Secrets revealed

Are you tired of thin, lifeless hair or receding hairline? If you nodded, we (might) have your savior - castor oil for hair growth! But does it REALLY work? Read on!

Updated on Aug 12, 2022 12:35 PM IST  |  1.2M
Castor oil to promote hair re-growth
Castor oil to promote hair re-growth
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Hair fall or hair thinning has gripped people irrespective of age and gender. Although it is fairly common, won't it be good to simply put an end to this problem with a solution that REALLY works?!

In America alone, over 40 percent of people struggle to maintain healthy hair. And over the years, there have been several theories suggesting uncountable solutions. But don't we know better?

We do, unfortunately (sigh). I still remember trying remedies after remedies only to end up disappointed. Now we have another solution - castor oil for hair growth (I feel the adrenaline rising!)

Hold your hopes for a while. We asked the trichologist to reveal the secrets. And here is everything you need to know about castor oil for hair growth.

What is castor oil?

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Castor oil is a soupy nutrient-based oil extracted from the beans of castor. It is a popular oil claiming to enhance hair growth and shine, with potential properties to boost skin care and hair health.

It is rich in antioxidants, nutrients, protein, and fatty acids and is widely beneficial for many households, medicinal, and pharmaceutical uses.

In other words, castor oil is a naturally available vegetable oil broadly used in nourishing skin and hair.

Fun facts about castor oil - a quick overview:

  • Ingredient type - strengthening and hydration
  • Primary benefits - nourishment and protection of scalp and hair strands
  • Who can apply it - anyone, except pregnant woman and people on medications
  • How often should you use it - its an oil, so apply it once a week on your roots and hair and massage it for about half an hour
  • Effective combinations - castor oil works best with coconut or similar nourishing oils.
  • Castor oil for hair growth - maybe, but there is no definite proof.

What are the types of castor oil?

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Before we understand the benefits or risks of using castor oil, let us first understand the various types of castor oils available in the market.

Basically, there are four types of castor oils for you to choose from:

Fresh or Organic castor oil - Fresh and raw castor seeds are juiced under pressure to produce castor oil. In general terms, it is a cold-pressed oil.

Yellow castor oil - It is almost similar to fresh castor oil. The only difference between them is the usage of pressing machines/devices.

Black castor oil - Firstly, roast the castor seeds and proceed to heat them. Once done, extract the oil from these processed seeds.

Jamaican castor oil - The process to extract this oil is a little elaborate.

First, roast the castor seeds. Then use a mortar and pestle to crush and ground the roasted seeds. Proceed to heat them in boiling water. Finally, use a pressing machine to extract the oil.

Out of the four stated castor oils, it is (allegedly) suggested that the Jamaican castor oil provides maximum benefits to your skin and hair owing to the elaborate oil extracting process. It is said to give a lush dark color to your beard, eyebrows, and eyelashes.

However, there is no definite scientific proof to show which oil is superior.

What are the benefits of castor oil for hair?

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Since castor oil is all-natural vegetable oil, it is full of rich nutrients, all of which bring out a few dominant benefits and properties, especially when it comes to hair. These include the following:

  • helps in drawing moisture into the scalp;
  • inexpensive and readily available;
  • it contains ricinoleic acid that provides nourishment;
  • famous for its beauty and topical applications;
  • has anti-inflammatory properties;
  • has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties;
  • boosts skin, hair, and scalp health;
  • prevents the inflammation of hair follicles;
  • promotes shiny hair;
  • improves overall blood flow;
  • helps in nurturing the scalp and strengthening hair strands;
  • effectively cleanses the flaky scalp;
  • encourages lesser breakage of hair;
  • creates a healthier environment on your scalp, making way for better hair growth.

Yet again, there is no science to back up the point that castor oil for hair growth actually works. Nonetheless, you can enjoy the additional benefits of this oil.

Does castor oil help hair growth?

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To be honest, the answer to this question is somewhat a maybe and is purely debatable. Well, as per google reports, castor oil for hair growth is immensely trending. But don't we all know better than to believe such articles blindly.

So to answer your question (which indeed is a valid doubt), Perry Romanowski, a famous cosmetic chemist, boldly states NO, castor oil does not grow hair. Why did she make this statement? Because there is no definite scientific proof or logical evidence to back this hypothesis.

What if we say that the application of castor oil for hair growth is a complete myth! No, we are not making any statement; we are simply picking up on the rational facts. Let us understand these facts before coming to a conclusion.

We know castor oil is a viscous nutrient-based oil, so it is prone to contain nourishing properties. This property enables the oil to boost blood circulation resulting in healthier, thicker, shinier hair.

Nevertheless, is there actual proof of hair growth? No.

Although there are multiple testimonials about castor oil for hair growth, they are unreliable because they are merely general comments collected (mostly) from several sources with no practical backup.

On the contrary, castor oil does provide moisture and fights off fungal infection. This, in turn, aids in reducing hair damage generating a condition for better, longer, thicker, richer hair. It may indirectly provide suitable conditions for hair regrowth, and that's about it. If your hair does grow, aren't you one of the lucky ones!

Anyhow, we would rather stick to an unsatisfying universal answer, i.e., maybe. No study, no report, no expert, no dermatologist confirms the application of castor oil for hair growth is cent percent true.

That being cleared, if you are willing to give it a try and use castor oil for hair growth - go ahead. Try it and come to a conclusion. It does not necessarily have to regrow your hair; if you notice your hair becoming shinier and healthier, that in itself is a win! After all, the ulterior motive is to maintain a silky, long lock.

How often can you apply castor oil for hair growth?

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We understood the benefits and potential of castor oil for hair growth. If you still wish to try the oil to determine the practical results on your lifeless hair or plainly want to improve the quality of your hair, use castor oil just like any other nourishing oil.

Depending on the kind of hair texture, you can apply castor oil around a couple of times a week. Make sure to apply it directly to the scalp.

If your hair is severely damaged, you may use this oil every alternate day. Besides, remember to mix castor oil with another (light) nourishing oil like coconut oil. Since castor oil is sticky by nature, mixing it with coconut oil will balance out the oil texture and avoid buildup.

The process is relatively easy. The critical thing to take into consideration here is if it suits your skin. Always do a tester on a small patch of hair before moving on to the entire scalp or any other sensitive area like eyebrows or eyelashes.

Is it safe to leave castor oil in your hair overnight?

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Yes - Yes - Yes - please! Leaving the oil in your hair overnight results in maximum benefit.

The ideal time to let castor oil (or any nourishing oil for that matter) is approximately 6 hours. This stretched time allows the scalp and hair strands to soak up all the nutrients and moisture from the oil, thereby enhancing the chances of getting healthy gorgeous lush hair.

Conversely, leaving the oil in your hair overnight once a week is advisable. In the case of frequent or alternate oiling, do not let the oil sit in your hair overnight, or it may cause inflammation and itching.

Our conclusion is to oil frequently (casually a couple of hours before hair wash), but leaving the oil in your hair overnight once a week is enough (and the best choice).

How long does it take castor oil to show real results?

A minimum of 30 minutes is what it takes for the castor oil to start minimizing the inflammation and enhancing the moisture content in the dry scalp.

For anything more than basic results, you need to show patience. We cannot say that castor oil will start showing hair growth (it may - you never know); however, the quantity and texture of your hair will undoubtedly improve if you continue applying castor oil.

Typically for a sure shot, positive results, continue to use castor oil frequently for at least a couple of months, i.e., eight weeks.

Now another point to remember is you will lose any progress or outcome from the moment you decide not to use castor oil. The result is not permanent. If you discontinue, you will go back to having dull, thin hair.

How to use castor oil for your scalp and hair?

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Place a few drops on your scalp in multiple areas. Rub it gently to spread the oil. Massage it with your fingertips for about 20 minutes. The process is as easy as it goes though you need to be careful about some things.

Here is a tiny list of precautions that you should take care of while using castor oil for hair.

  • Apply sparely - there is no need to overdo it. Applying more oil in one go won't speed up the process of improving your hair quality; it will take its own sweet time.
  • Also, try out on a small patch first (like on your skin behind the ear) to understand how it affects your skin type. If there are no signs of itching or burning, proceed to apply the castor oil to your hair.
  • Thirdly, do not leave the oil overnight in your hair from the very first time. Allow your hair the time to adjust to the stickiness of the oil, and then proceed accordingly.
  • Instead, begin with a 15 minutes treatment. Massage the oil for about 15-20 minutes and wash it off with a mild shampoo. Once your hair is dry, test the amount of oil still stuck to your scalp. Then decide accordingly when to apply the oil next.

How to apply castor oil for hair growth - a step-by-step guide.

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You can apply castor oil effortlessly at home. It is a fairly simple process. To start with, you will need some supplies to make sure things go smoothly without too much mess. The supplies are:

  • Castor oil
  • Old cotton t-shirt
  • Comb
  • Applicator brush or dropper
  • Rubber gloves (not mandatory)
  • Shower cap (to lock in moisture and avoid staining clothing)
  • Hair wash towel

A step-by-step guide:

  • Place an old t-shirt to avoid staining your clothes
  • Part of your hair in sections
  • You can put on your rubber gloves to begin applying the castor oil
  • Using the dropper or an applicator brush to apply the oil directly to the scalp
  • Massage the castor oil into your scalp with your fingertips
  • Continue applying the oil to the rest of your hair, starting from the roots to the lower strands
  • Using a thick comb for even coverage
  • Check if all of your scalp and hair are moist with oil
  • Place your shower cap on once done with the oil application (secure all the hair inside the shower cap)
  • If there are any oil drippings, use a towel to wipe them off
  • Wait for about two hours with the shower cap on to give the castor oil an appropriate time to probe your scalp, hair shaft, and hair follicles
  • Wash your hair with mild protein-rich shampoo. Do not forget the conditioner afterward.
  • Place a soft cotton towel to dry your hair and let it rest
  • Inspect your hair once the hair dries and repeat the process as required.

How to apply castor oil to different hair types?

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Although castor oil is compatible with all types of hair textures, it does not mean that it will necessarily suit you.

We spoke to a hair expert, and they listed certain details to consider when applying castor oil for hair growth.

Straight to medium-fine hair - Rather than soaking the entire hair, go for the ends; that is where nourishment is required. Apply the oil and wash it off without keeping it on for a prolonged time.

Wavy to thick-straight hair - Apply the oil on the overall head, including scalp and ends. For better results, add steam to the oiled hair. Wash it off with shampoo and conditioner after an hour or so.

Loose curls - Mix castor oil with a couple of drops of your conditioner, especially during summers and monsoons.

Heavy curls to tight coils - Apply castor oil on a weekly basis as a means to moisturize your curly hair. Include the oil once in your daily regime, and that would do its work. Remember to go for a detox shampoo once a week to remove any sticky residues of castor oil from your scalp.

Try adhering to these suggestions by the hair expert, and with patience, your hair will bloom again!

What are the best castor oils for hair?

There are quite a few variations of castor oils for hair growth that are readily available in the market today, ranging from cold-pressed castor oils to scented varieties.

Here are some of the most popular castor oils:

  1. Organic castor oil - 100% pure oil without any additional ingredients that you can use for skin, eyelashes, hair, and eyebrows.
  2. Daily hydrating treatment oil - A mix of castor seeds and herbal seeds and suitable for treating frizzy hair
  3. Lavender castor oil - Soothes the skin and nourishes the hair with a sweet lavender scent.
  4. Multi-pack hair mask (deep treatment) - A mix of castor oil and camellia oil and encourages strong, healthy hair.
  5. Organic + Cold-pressed castor oil - Contains nutrients to boost hair and skin health.

Summing Up

Having stated all the facts, hair growth usually depends on a lot of underlying factors. In spite of no actual scientific proof, it is up to you to decide if you are willing to try castor oil for hair growth.

Our suggestion, try the oil on a small patch of hair to check if it suits your skin or hair type. If yes, you may experiment with it for a while to see if it shows any positive results. Alternatively, visit a renowned dermatologist to understand your hair loss reason and hair growth treatments.

Also Read: Rosemary oil for hair growth: Secrets revealed

FAQs

The best type of castor oil for hair growth?
Cold-pressed castor oil

When to avoid applying castor oil?
In the case of a dandruff problem, do not use castor oil as it may worsen the condition.

Can I use castor oil on eyelashes and eyebrows - is it safe?
Yes, you can. However, be very cautious when using it on the eyelashes. Consult your doctor immediately in case of itching.

Does castor oil work on beard growth?
Not exactly proven.

What is the hair type consideration for applying castor oil?
Flaky scalp and dry hair

Can you use castor oil for oily hair types?
It is not recommended. The castor oil aims to make your dry scalp oily and nourished and sticks to the hair strands for a couple of days, even after hair wash. In the case of oily hair, you may feel irritated with an over-oiled heavy head.

Can anyone use castor oil?
No. According to the experts, a pregnant lady should avoid using castor oil. Also, if you are undertaking any medical treatment, it is best to take advice from your doctor before using castor oil.

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