What are the benefits of using castor oil for hair?
Sometimes there are treatments for hair loss that haven’t firmly been established by research yet, but the abundant number of testimonies from individuals with positive results suggests its efficacy.
Castor oil is a natural hair loss treatment that falls into this category. Below is an overview of the benefits of castor oil for hair.
- How can castor oil grow hair?
- What are the side effects of using castor oil for the hair?
- How can I apply castor oil?
- What about a hot oil treatment?
- Can castor oil grow eyebrows?
- Which type of castor oil is best?
How can castor oil grow hair?
Castor oil is a vegetable oil derived from the castor bean, also known as ricinus communis. This plant originates in Northeast Tropical Africa, but its medicinal and cosmetic benefits have been identified and used primarily in India and the West Indies.
There are two types of castor oil, and the method of derivation is used to distinguish between each type. Most commonly, castor oil is clear or pale yellow, but using a boiling technique of extraction leads to black castor oil. The black oil is also unique in that it has a more alkaline makeup.
What are the key benefits of this oil?
This oil is comprised of long chain fatty acids. Fatty acids provide nutrients and influence signalling for hair growth. In addition, castor oil can increase the shine or gloss of hair, and has both anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties.
The oil can coat the shaft to improve flexibility, subsequently preventing damage. Overall, it aids in reversing thinning and promoting additional growth. The chemical composition of castor oil is 90% ricinoleic acid.
This fatty acid indirectly promotes hair growth by causing vasodilation, or increased blood flow, in the scalp. It does this by stimulating a receptor called Prostaglandin E2. This receptor initiates the signalling pathway to dilate blood vessels.
The increase in blood flow leads to a greater amount of oxygen and nutrients delivered to the hair follicle, fostering growth. The growth can typically be seen within three months of applying castor oil regularly. It largely depends on the hair growth cycle.
What are the side effects of using castor oil for the hair?
It is advised to test castor oil on a small portion of skin before applying it to the whole scalp. Some individuals can experience irritation from using this oil, especially if they suffer from dandruff. In rare instances, a condition called hair felting can occur.
This leads to irreversible twisting and tangling of the hair. The only solution is to cut off all hair. In this instance, the use of castor oil eventually causes hair loss by manual removal.
If castor oil is ingested rather than applied topically, it can lead to a variety of side effects. These side effects include:
- Abdominal pain
- Low blood pressure
- Shortness of breath
- Throat tightness
Applying too much castor oil can be damaging to hair. It is a thick substance and can be difficult to wash out, which may warrant multiple applications of shampoos.
This can be harmful to hair. In addition, excess castor oil can block pores and shrink the follicle’s natural oil glands. There are methods to properly apply castor oil to the scalp.
How can I apply castor oil?
The frequency and ideal method of application for castor oil depends on the thickness and type of hair. In every case, it is always best to wet the hair before application so the oil will absorb better.
A good rule of thumb for frequency is to limit usage to once per week or less. If you are wanting to add castor oil to your haircare routine, here are the suggested techniques for each hair type:
For this hair type, castor oil might weigh the hair down and should not be applied directly to the scalp. It is best to use it on the last 2-3 inches of strands before shampooing. It can be left on for ten minutes up to several hours.
Medium/thick straight or wavy hair
As this hair type is thicker, the castor oil can be applied to the entire head before shampooing. To increase the effects, heat can be applied to stimulate deeper penetration into the hair cuticle.
Drops of castor oil can actually be added to your favourite conditioner and left on the ends of strands for a few minutes after shampooing.
This type of hair can withstand the weight of a thicker moisturizer such as castor oil. It can be used before shampooing, added to conditioner, or as a hot oil treatment.
What about a hot oil treatment?
For this, you will need castor oil, an old t-shirt (castor oil can stain), gloves, comb, shower cap, applicator brush, large towel. Below are the steps for a hot oil treatment:
- Wear the old t-shirt to prevent staining on the skin or other clothing garments
- Separate hair into sections
- Apply the castor oil to the scalp using the brush then massage the scalp
- Continue to apply the oil to the rest of the scalp until it is damp
- Put the shower cap on, making sure to cover all of the hair
- The shower cap should be left on for a minimum of two hours
- Wash the oil out using shampoo and then conditioner
Castor oil should always be washed out using shampoo. To avoid having to use multiple applications to remove the oil, you can use a clarifying shampoo and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing with water.
Additionally, castor oil can be diluted by using one part castor oil and one part of another plant-derived oil such as coconut, avocado, sweet almond, or argan.
Can castor oil grow eyebrows?
Castor oil is not only great for the hair on your scalp, it can also be very beneficial for your eyebrows as well. After washing your face, use a cotton swab or your fingers to massage this oil onto your eyebrows.
Which type of castor oil is best?
Most experts recommend cold-pressed castor oil. This version is clear or pale yellow in colour and can be used on the entire head, including hair strands. If you used black castor oil, it is suggested to apply it only to the scalp and not the hair cuticle.
Products that include more benefits than castor oil alone
Castor oil can only do so much to promote healthy hair growth. For anyone seeking to prevent hair loss or thinning, is best to use a holistic treatment that integrates the benefits of a variety of natural ingredients.
Elithairtransplant offers hair care products that are designed to provide all the benefits of castor oil, plus more. Adding those to your haircare routine will stimulate growth while also adding strength and shine. For more hair care products by Elithairtransplant, check out our shop here.
Although research about castor oil is still inconclusive, it has demonstrated an ability to promote hair growth for individuals faced with hair loss or thinning. This oil is made of fatty acids that supply vital nutrients and increase blood flow to the hair follicle.
If you are wanting to add castor oil to your hair care routine, be sure to apply it according to your hair type and be careful not to use it in excess. It can be combined with a secondary oil for easier application and removal.
Do you have any questions or are you suffering from hair loss issues? Then feel free to to contact our friendly team who will answer all your queries. Furthermore, they can also offer a free and non-binding hair analysis.