The seeds of the castor plant is crushed, pressed and squeezed to extract castor oil. It is also called Ricinus communis, or commonly known as the Palma Christi plant. This plant is largely found in the tropical areas of India and Africa. The oil from castor plant consists of 18 fatty acids including ricinoleic acid and also its nutritional content including proteins, Vitamin E, omega-6 and 9 fatty acids, and minerals. Castor oil has been famous throughout the world due to its natural anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties. Therefore, it is used for the treatment of various skin problems, acne, hair loss, skin rashes and fungal infections. From the time of Egyptian civilization, due to its magnificent benefits on health, hair, and skin castor oil is used in different massage oils, cosmetics, textiles, soaps, and even in medicines. It is also commonly used as a laxative for maintaining good bowel motion.
Is Castor Oil Good for Hair?
For decades, castor oil has been proved to be very much very good for health, hair, and skin health and thus used as home remedies to cure different diseases related to scalp, hair, and skin. Castor oil is considered as the age-old beauty treatment product for keeping your hair healthy, lustrous, and strong. With the regular use of castor oil, it not only boosts the hair growth by 3-5 times than the usual one but also takes good care of your scalp and other hair-related problem. The very high content of ricinoleic acid in castor oil helps to ensure proper nutrition for the hair follicles. Its high protein and Vitamin E content act as a magic potion for your proper hair health. It also prevents hair thinning, dry scalp, hair loss, split ends. Castor oil is also beneficial for the natural growth of eyebrows and eyelashes.
How Castor Oil Functions to Improve Hair Condition?
Castor oil is generally applied on the scalp to prevent and to use as a remedy for hair loss. It's antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties have made it effective against hair conditions like dandruff, split ends, folliculitis, and scalp infections. The high content of ricinoleic acid in castor oil helps to improve circulation of blood to the scalp and thus induces hair growth. The ricinoleic acid of castor oil also helps to balance the pH of the scalp by replenishing the scalp's natural oil contents. It helps in undoing the damage resulting from the usage of any harsh chemical hair products that has led to over alkalinity. The antioxidants and Vitamin E in castor oil also maintain the keratin protein in hair stands and help to keep them stronger, shiny, smoother, and less tightly curled.
What Type of Castor Oil is Good for Hair Growth?
Castor oil which is hexane-free, unrefined, cold-pressed, 100% pure, virgin and processed are usually very good for your hair or massaging the scalp. Generally cold-pressed pure virgin castor oil retains its ingredients' 100% natural value, but usually is very viscous and thick to apply. Therefore, you can mix any less viscous healthy natural or essential oil with it like jojoba oil or argan oil for better, easy and quick application. Even you can mix any hair-healthy herbs with this castor oil to get much better results.
There are basically two types of castor oil that are commonly used for hair care – one is organic castor oil and another one is Jamaican black castor oil. Both the type has same nutritional value but Jamaican black castor oil is little more alkaline. So if you have a dry or itchy scalp then it is recommended to use organic castor oil due to its less alkalinity. However, if you have a healthy scalp and straighten hair texture, then you can use Jamaican black castor oil for more benefit from penetration and cleansing.
Beneficial Effect of Castor Oil on Hair
Castor oil is one of the best hair growth solutions, as it also tends to provide various other beneficial effects for your hair so that it can grow in much healthy, thicker and stronger way. Let's check out a few benefits of castor oil on hair:
- Controls Hair Fall: The ricinoleic acid present in a larger amount in castor oil induces better blood circulation in the scalp which, in turn, helps to maintain scalp and follicle health and thus decreases hair fall. It also strengthens the roots of hair by nourishing your scalp and even protection against microbial infection.
- Increase Hair Growth with Castor Oil: Castor oil contains omega-6 and 9 essential fatty acids that penetrate deep inside the hair roots and shafts and thus restores the optimum health of hair and boosts hair growth.
- Castor Oil Helps Prevent Dandruff and Scalp Infection: Dandruff commonly affects due to underlying causes of itchiness, bald patches, or oily scalp. Ricinoleic acid and antimicrobial properties of castor oil not only maintain the pH balance of the scalp but also make it healthy and fight against dandruff.
- Removes Split Ends from the Hair: Castor oil helps to fill up the damaged fissures of keratin structure in the hair shafts. It, therefore, penetrates deep inside the scalp to smoothen rough hair cuticles and increases the tensile strength of the hair strands, thus prevent from breakage or splitting.
- Castor Oil Helps to Thicken the Hair: Omega-6 and 9 fatty acids of castor oil enters deep into the outer layer of the hair shaft and thus reduces hair fall and encourages hair re-growth to make your existing hair strands stronger and thicker.
- Natural Moisturizer and Conditioners: As the castor oil penetrates deep inside the hair shafts, it makes the hair less prone to shed off moisture and thus makes it healthier and softer. Due to its exceptional conditioning properties, castor oil creates a coating on the hair shaft to restore the hair cuticles.
- Castor Oil brings back Shine to Hair: Regular massaging with castor oil locks the moisture within hair stand and helps to regain the lost hair texture and finally make your hair look glossy and shining.
- Stops Premature Greying of Hair: Castor oil possesses the natural property to restrict the signs of greying of your hair and thus also prevents your hair from losing its coloring pigments.
How to Use Castor Oil to Get Good Hair?
- Castor oil can be used for various hair conditions. Some of the ways of using castor oil is mentioned below:
- To enhance hair growth or to reduce excess hair loss you need to mix some amount of coconut oil along with castor oil in a bowl. Then start massaging the scalp well. You can also heat the oil before applying for better absorption. Once finished, leave it for overnight and finally on the next day rinse off your hair completely with dry shampoo.
- For an effective remedy to help reduce dandruff problem or cure scalp infection, mix 1 tablespoon of castor oil with the same amount of olive oil and 2-3 drops of lemon juice and apply this nicely on scalp and leave for 30 minutes and then wash off with shampoo.
- To reduce split ends, mix 1:1 of castor oil and jojoba or olive oil and apply thoroughly on all sections of your hair stands and rinse off after half an hour. For moisturizing or conditioning your hair naturally, you need to apply some amount of castor oil to your scalp or hair for at least 10-15 minutes before using any shampoo. Another way to moisturize or conditioning your hair naturally is by mixing some amount of castor oil with aloe-vera gel, little of honey and 1-2 drops of lemon juice and then you need to apply the mixture to the roots of hair strands and leave this for 30 minutes before washing with shampoo.
- Hair serum recipe of castor oil induces hair re-growth or prevents greying of hair. The only thing is you need to mix 1 tablespoon of argan oil or jojoba oil along with 3 tablespoons of castor oil and then pour it drop by drop and massage it into the scalp for at least 5 minutes to increase blood circulation and then wash off.
How Often to Use Castor Oil for Hair?
This absolutely depends on the type of hair you have and the problem you are facing with it.
If you want to treat hair loss and to make hair thicker and stronger, you will need to massage your scalp with castor oil for at least twice in a week, but for better results, you can apply castor oil on hair for 3-4 times a week for a few months continuously.
For the treatment of split ends and to increase its shine, you can use the castor oil as a moisturizer or conditioner at least once in a week. However, don't use it excess. A pea-sized amount is enough otherwise you scalp will become over-oily.
For other hair problems, it is recommended to use castor oil and massage it at least twice in a week for minimum 1-2 months to get the best promising result.
Castor oil is frequently looked at as a beauty and health treatment and is often considered as a remedy for constipation or to increase white blood cells, but it has a history of being used for other healing and beauty enhancing treatments also. Although castor oil is highly beneficial, it's not recommended to use it without testing the oil on your wrist or upper arm before using it, to make sure that you don't get any allergic reaction.