Healthy hair is a wish we all hold. Some of us may even be working on longer, thicker hair. But due to the pollution and our hectic lifestyle, we are left with little or no time to care for our hair. Wouldn't it be nice if there was a quick and efficient option to fall back on, without much hassle? If you have been in a similar search, the wait is over! The answer lies in the castor oil. Castor oil is an antidote, and it doesn’t take much to ward off these problems.
Why Use Castor Oil for Hair?
Is castor oil good for hair? – YES. On an average, human hair grows half an inch per month. But castor oil is said to boost that growth. Castor oil is a one-stop solution to treat frizzy hair, split ends, thinning, dry scalp, and the overall growth.
It is a natural oil. So, it neither has the chemically caused side-effects nor burns a hole in your pocket. Using Castor oil for hair regrowth is a much-accepted remedy.
How does Castor Oil Works?
The effects of castor oil on hair are many folds. Ricinus Communis or Castor oil is made from castor seeds, rendering it high in nutrients like unsaturated fatty acids (Omega 6, 9), and Vitamin E. Omega 9 helps the oil to penetrate deep into the hair follicles, nourishing the hair roots. Consequently, it also helps to fight a condition called folliculitis, which is caused by inflammation of the follicles. Thus, for a treat of hair fall castor oil is widely recommended. It prevents the hair follicles from letting go of the hair strands too quickly.
Also, this oil has high quantities of Ricinoleic acid which improves blood circulation in the hair follicles at the surface. Its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral qualities make it further beneficial for several hair problems.
Castor oil also helps maintain the pH level of the scalp, keeping dandruff at bay. Its antioxidant properties give the hair an extra smoothness and shine.
Benefits of Castor Oil for Hair
Now that we have looked into the scientific underpinnings of castor oil let us go into details about the castor oil benefits for hair.
1. Castor Oil for Hair Fall Control
As mentioned earlier, the presence of Ricinoleic acid stimulates the circulation of blood in the scalp. It transports the nutrients into the follicles, reducing inflammation and hair fall. It strengthens the roots and tackles the unhealthy microbes.
2. Castor Oil for Hair Regrowth
While its Ricinoleic acid helps reduce hair fall, the Omega 6 and 9 nutrients aids in penetration of the nutrients deep into the scalp. This enhances the regrowth of hair, as well as prevents the old hair from falling off prematurely.
3. Fights Dandruff
Effects of castor oil on hair also include tackling dandruff. Dandruff is caused by the oily scalp or imbalance in pH levels of the scalp. So, the oil’s properties of fighting fungus, bacteria, and virus, and restoring the pH level contribute to the prevention of dandruff.
4. Deals with Split Ends
Split-ends are easily treatable by castor oil. Castor oil fills in the gaps in the hair shaft and enhances the tensile strength of the hair. This means that under tension, the hair is less likely to break-off.
5. Increases Hair Volume
Because castor oil is so effective at reducing the breakage and splitting of the hair, the thickness and volume of the hair increase considerably.
6. Castor Oil as a Natural Conditioner
As it nourishes the follicles and strengthens the hair shaft, effects of castor oil also include acting as a natural conditioner for hair, by preserving moisture.
7. Hair Gets Darker
Because it moisturizes the hair, castor oil makes the hair grow dark. The texture of the hair improves after a few usages.
8. Repairs Damaged Hair
Did you know that the hair loses its colour due to damage from the sun? However, using castor oil prevents damaged hair from happening, as the fatty acids form a protective layer over the scalp as a shield.
9. Shinier hair
Given the above benefits, shiny hair is a result of regular use. Castor oil repairs damages from dirt, dust, pollution, and dyes.
What Type of Castor Oil is Good for Hair?
First off, you need to be careful with what kind of castor oil you are buying. Do make sure to buy natural castor oil and not the one for industrial usage. The latter comes for lubricating machinery and has other chemicals mixed with it. Natural castor oil is light yellowish. It is produced by pressing the castor seeds under high pressure to release the oil. Other kinds include -
1. Jamaican Black Castor Oil (JMCO)
The Jamaican variety is dark in colour, in contrast to the light yellowish hue of the other type of oil. This is because the castor beans are roasted, and the ashes from the roast get mixed with the oil. This oil is not 100% pure. Yet the properties are similar, and the choice depends on personal preferences.
2. Hydrogenated Castor Oil
In this kind of castor oil, hydrogen is introduced into pure castor oil, through the process of hydrogenation using a nickel catalyst. It ends up with a waxy, relatively odorless castor oil. This also increases the shelf life.
How to Use Castor Oil on Hair?
While castor oil benefits for hair are incomparable; it is slightly on the thicker side of oil. So the question commonly arises – how to use castor oil for hair? It needs to be diluted using other oils. It has a strong smell, which then needs to be diluted with essences. Do not worry! The trick is not complicated at all!
You Will Need
- Castor oil – 3 tablespoon
- Jojoba oil/coconut oil/almond oil – 1 tablespoon
- Rosemary/Tea-tree/Peppermint essence – 3 drops
- Jar – 1
- Bowl with warm water – 1
- Towel - 1
How to Prepare -
- To prepare, pour in the castor oil, the other carrier oil and any of the essential oils into the jar.
- Cover it and shake it well.
- Place the jar over the warm water for a few minutes. This is done so that the oil is warm enough to percolate through the scalp, but not too hot to burn the skin. Warming helps maximize the castor oil benefits for hair.
- Try a patch test on the side of your neck under the ear. If there is no irritation, you are good to go.
How to Apply
- Place the towel over your shoulder, dampening your hair a little
- Dab the oil onto the scalp. Make sure the oil reaches the hair roots.
- You may also use a cotton ball.
- Once your scalp is covered, start massaging the oil in circular motions. This helps the oil to spread evenly, as to seep down the skin. However, do not overdo the massaging, beyond 5-10 minutes.
- After the scalp is done, slowly bring it down to the tips of your hair gently.
- Soak off excess oil using the napkins.
- Set a timer for 20 minutes. Wait.
- After 20 minutes, apply shampoo to remove the castor oil. You may have to shampoo it twice or thrice.
How Often to apply
During the initial phase, use it 3-4 times a week. In a month, you will start noticing considerable effects of castor oil on hair. Once the difference is noticed, you may reduce the usage to once a week. Try avoiding this during the summer.
How to Remove Oil?
Castor oil is a little sticky. So even while following the procedure above, one needs to keep certain steps in mind. Trust me! These steps will make removing the oil much easier!
Use lukewarm water to wet the hair. This eases removal of the oil.
Apply shampoo gently onto the scalp and hair. Work in a circular motion to make a rich lather. The lather helps to evade the stickiness of the oil.
After washing it off, use a live-in conditioner for 5 minutes.
Wash that off with cold water. This helps to seal the pores.
Dry using a towel.
Castor Oil Recipes
Apart from the recipes mentioned above, you can also try out different recipes as castor oil hair mask.
1. Castor Oil Hair Serum
- Castor oil – 3 tablespoon
- Argan oil – 1 tablespoon
- Mix the ingredients and apply it to the roots of the hair for 5 minutes.
- Wash it off with lukewarm water and shampoo.
- This works best with dry and damaged hair.
2. Castor Oil for Dandruff Treatment
- Castor oil – 3 tablespoon
- Aloe vera gel – 1 tablespoon
- Tea Tree essence – 2-3 drops
- Pour in the ingredients in the jar and mix well.
- Apply it for 15-20 minutes on the scalp. Wash it off.
Tips for Using Castor Oil
- Try using unrefined, cold-pressed hexane free castor oil.
- Since castor oil is thick, try diluting it with other oil (jojoba, sweet almond, coconut oil, argan oil, etc.).
- More frequent or daily use is not necessary for the effects of castor oil on hair.
- It works best on damp (not wet) hair.
- If facing difficulty removing the oil, apply a whisked egg onto the scalp before shampoo.
- Using a conditioner before shampoo eases the removal of the oil.
- Do not forget the patch test if you are not sure that you are not allergic to castor oil.
How Much Time Does it Take to Work?
The hair will look shinier and enhanced in texture from the first 2 uses itself. But for a significant reduction in hair fall, if used 3-4 times a week, the results of thicker hair start showing in 4 weeks.
Where to Buy Pure Castor Oil?
Castor oil for hair care purposes should not be purchased from hardware stores. It is also not easily available in many regular stores. So there are two options – buy online or from a reputed store.
Castor oil can be purchased from a chemist or food stores selling natural oil. Some stores selling vitamin supplements may also sell it. However, buying it online provides you with a plethora of choices, without the hassle of searching for it on foot. Make sure the brand or the retailer is reputable.
I hope this article has been helpful in explaining the uses and benefits of castor for attaining thick and healthy hair. If you keep the points in mind, it should just be a piece of cake!
JAMAICAN BLACK CASTOR OIL, COLD-PRESSED ORGANIC, 100ML
- Jamaican Black Castor oil is a popular and natural oil for HAIR HEALTH & GROWTH
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- Omega-9-rich Jamaican Black Castor Oil is popular for BEARD GROWTH & CARE.
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Written By - Mitakshara Medhi
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