How Castor Oil Can Improve and Regrow Your Hair

How Castor Oil Can Improve and Regrow Your Hair

Castor oil is one of the best natural hair treatments to strengthen your hair and give it luster and shine. Well known for its health benefits, castor oil can rejuvenate your hair and give it the thickness and strength you desire. Many people also apply castor hair regularly to their scalp to encourage hair growth and prevent hair thinning and hair loss.

As well as helping hair to grow thicker, castor oil helps to detangle hair, reduce frizz, and keeps your scalp and hair well moisturized. The other benefits of castor oil on your hair are that it helps to keep dandruff away, keep your scalp healthy, and clears scalp infections. You can also add other ingredients to castor oil to boost its hair growth potential.

This article looks at the scientific research behind the benefits of castor oil for your hair. You will also find out if any studies have shown a link between castor oil and hair growth. You can also use the natural castor oil hair treatments that I will mention in this article if you want to get great, healthy looking hair.

What is Castor Oil?

Castor oil is a pale oil with a mild odor that is obtained from the seeds of the castor oil plant – Ricinus communis.  According to the journal Lipid Insights, castor oil’s main component is ricinoleic acid which makes up 90% of its content.1

Castor oil has been well known for its medicinal properties. It’s often used as a laxative, but has a wide variety of other health benefits, including many pertaining to hair and hair growth, as well as for skin. For example:

What is Jamaican Black Castor Oil (JBCO)

Jamaican black castor oil (JBCO) has become a very popular oil to use on the hair and scalp. Jamaican black castor oil has a darker appearance and is used by many people to boost hair growth. The dark color of JBCO comes from the ashes of roasted castor oil seeds being added to the oil.

What are the Benefits of Castor Oil for Hair?

The rich fatty acid content of castor oil makes it perfect for massaging into your scalp to keep it healthy and moisturized.

The International Journal of Molecular Medicine and Advance Science reports that castor oil contains antifungal and antibacterial properties. Castor oil also contains various vitamins and minerals which help to boost scalp health.2

Because castor oil is rich in fatty acids, applying it to your hair will help to give your hair an amazing shine. You will also find that it’s easier to manage tangles and you will have less frizz. Castor oil is also commonly used to regrow eyelashes and eyebrows, improve their thickness and make them shiny and healthy.

Many people have found that Jamaican black castor oil is just as great for your hair as regular cold pressed castor oil.

Castor Oil for Hair Growth

Apart from castor oil helping to keep your scalp healthy and adding shine and silkiness to your hair, castor oil can help encourage healthy hair growth. There has been some interesting scientific research on the properties of castor oil’s effect on preventing hair loss and encouraging hair regrowth.

The Journal of Ethnopharmacology reported that castor oil can help to prevent hair loss in people with androgenic alopecia. Researchers found that ricinoleic acid inhibits a compound associated with hair loss – prostaglandin D2 (PGD2). The study concluded that natural remedies containing ricinoleic acid have the potential to be used in “high-efficacy hair loss treatment.”3

Regarding the role of prostaglandin D2 in male pattern baldness, research has found that balding men have more PGD2 on their scalp. Therefore many treatments to reverse the effects of hair loss concentrate on inhibiting PGD2.4

Castor oil is anti-inflammatory

Another way that castor oil can boost hair growth and help prevent hair thinning is that it is anti-inflammatory. The Cleveland Clinic reports that inflammation around the hair follicle hinders growth and can result in weaker strands of hair.5

A study in the journal Mediators of Inflammation found that ricinoleic acid reduces skin inflammation when topically applied.6

Castor oil keeps the scalp free of infections

Castor oil is also antimicrobial and can help prevent hair loss that is caused due to fungal infections, bacterial infections, or air pollution. The American Journal of Clinical Dermatology reported that fungal infections caused by the Malassezia fungi can result in hair shedding and bald patches.7

Also, a study in 2015 found that the increase of air pollution causes toxins to affect the hair follicles on the scalp resulting in increased loss of hair.8

Many studies have confirmed that castor oil is antimicrobial and contains antioxidants and can help to kill off bacterial, fungal, and other infections on the scalp and skin. This also helps rid your scalp of free radicals that can cause hair loss and premature skin aging.9

Other Benefits of Castor Oil for Hair and Scalp

There is no doubt that castor oil has amazing benefits for your hair and scalp. Of course, it will take some time and patience to see results when using castor oil for hair growth. However, there are other benefits to your hair that you will notice much sooner.

Castor oil helps to fight itchy scalp and gets rid of dandruff. The antifungal properties of castor oil will help you quickly get rid of the causes of dandruff. By applying an anti-fungal castor oil hair mask once a week you will soon notice that your scalp has fewer flakes of skin and won’t itch as much.

Castor oil treats split ends. You can say goodbye to lackluster hair and split ends if you regularly use a castor oil mask on your hair. This is because the fatty acid content of castor oil nourishes your hair to give it a luxurious shine.

Castor oil moisturizes your hair. Castor oil will lock in moisture to your hair and scalp and is the perfect hair conditioner. A little castor oil is all you need to restore shine and texture to your hair and keep your hair follicles healthy.

What is the Best Castor Oil for Hair?

If you want to use castor oil to improve the look of your hair, help encourage hair growth, or prevent hair loss, what is the best kind of castor oil to use?

It is recommended to use regular, cold pressed unrefined organic castor oil on your hair. There is generally no, or very little, smell to castor oil and it is easy to use.

You could also try Jamaican black castor oil (JBCO) for its hair-boosting benefits. Jamaican black castor oil has a more pungent smell to it because ash from the roasted castor beans is added to the natural oil. Many people have used JBCO for hair growth and found that it works very well.

For many people, it comes down to a matter of personal preference in using castor oil or Jamaican black castor oil on their hair. You should always make sure that your castor oil is 100% organic and for cosmetic use.

How to Use Castor Oil to Combat Hair Loss and Encourage Hair Growth

It is very easy to use castor oil as a natural hair growth stimulant. Because castor oil is quite thick, you only need a small amount to get amazing results on your hair. Here is the best way to use castor oil as a natural treatment for your hair.

How often should you use castor oil?

If your aim is to treat hair loss, you will need to apply castor oil on your scalp at least twice weekly, but it’s even better if you can do it three or four times per week for several weeks. You can also add rosemary essential oil which is known to stimulate hair growth, or peppermint essential oil which has also shown to encourage hair growth, and also work out to find the cause of the hair loss.

For split ends and increased shine, Use castor oil 1-2 times a week on your scalp to help keep your hair healthy and shiny. Be careful not to use too much of it (a pea-sized amount should do) or you can end up with an over-oily scalp. However, some people recommend applying castor oil 3-4 times a week for the first couple of weeks.

When to use castor oil?

You should use castor oil on damp, not wet, hair. This helps the oil to get absorbed well into your hair and it is easier to manage.

Wrap your hair in a warm towel (you can also use a shower cap) and leave it for two to eight hours. You can also leave it overnight. This will give the castor oil enough time to penetrate the hair follicles and hydrate your scalp and hair thoroughly.

How to remove castor oil?

Castor oil can be tricky to get out of your hair. It may take a couple of washes with shampoo to remove all the oil from your hair. However, when you dry and style your hair you will instantly see the difference.

When should you expect results?

Castor oil works to strengthen your hair strands and improve hair growth. However, you shouldn’t expect a quick fix. Your hair takes time to grow and castor oil will gradually improve the health of your scalp and hair. So stick with regularly using castor oil every week to see improvements in hair growth.

Where to buy castor oil? Many natural food stores or pharmacies stock 100% organic castor oil. Or you can buy castor oil or Jamaican castor oil online. Buying online has the advantage because you can read users’ reviews of the product to find the best castor oil for your hair. For example this organic castor oil has thousands of reviews and this Jamaican black castor oil has more than 5000 reviews.

Homemade Castor Oil Hair Masks

Here are some of the best castor oil hair masks that will help to stimulate hair growth and give your hair an amazing shine. These hair masks also include natural ingredients that are scientifically proven to boost hair growth and revitalize hair.

In these castor oil hair masks, you can use either regular castor oil or Jamaican black castor oil depending on your preference.

As a general note, castor oil has a thick consistency, so you can mix it with coconut oil, olive oil or jojoba oil in a half and half ratio. This will make the mask easier to distribute throughout your hair. You can add these oils to any of the following castor oil hair masks even if it’s not in the ingredient list.

Castor oil and peppermint oil mask for hair growth

Castor oil and peppermint oil are the perfect combination for hair mask to help hair grow back and fight hair loss.

Studies have shown that peppermint oil helps to accelerate hair growth. The journal Toxicological Research found that peppermint oil stimulates the hair follicles and encourages hair regrowth.10

How to use:

For this home remedy for hair growth, you just need some castor oil and peppermint oil.

  1. Mix 100ml castor oil with 2-3 drops peppermint oil.
  2. Massage the castor oil hair directly into your scalp by parting your damp hair.
  3. Keep doing this until you have covered your whole scalp.
  4. Leave the castor oil hair mask for 2-3 hours (or overnight) before washing it out with shampoo.
  5. For best results, use at least 2 times a week to boost hair growth.

Jamaican black castor oil and rosemary oil for hair growth and shiny hair

Jamaican black castor oil will encourage faster hair growth and help to keep your scalp free of infection. This hair mask also includes rosemary oil and coconut oil to help your hair grow stronger and faster.

The journal Skinmed reported that rosemary oil for hair growth is just as effective as some pharmaceutical applications that address hair loss issues. In fact, research showed that rosemary oil had fewer side effects than minoxidil when being used on the scalp to treat alopecia.11 Minoxidil is a pharmaceutical drug used to treat hair loss.

You can add coconut oil to this hair treatment because of its amazing benefits for your hair. For example, the Journal of Cosmetic Science reported that the structure of coconut oil helps to nourish hair and prevent protein loss.12 Coconut oil also has antibacterial properties and it helps rosemary oil penetrate your scalp and hair shafts to boost growth.

How to use:

This Jamaican black castor oil, coconut oil and rosemary hair mask helps to keep your scalp healthy and encourage hair growth. Here is how to make the hair treatment at home:

  1. Mix together 2 teaspoons Jamaican black castor oil, 2 teaspoons warm coconut oil, and 2-3 drops rosemary oil.
  2. Massage the warm oil into your scalp for 5-10 minutes. This helps to stimulate blood circulation to your scalp, rejuvenates the hair, and stimulates hair growth.
  3. Leave on for 2-3 hours (or overnight) before washing out with your favorite natural shampoo.
  4. Repeat at least twice a week for the best hair growth results.

Castor oil and garlic hair mask to boost hair growth

Although it may sound unconventional, garlic is a great natural ingredient to help hair grow faster. The antimicrobial properties of both garlic and castor oil will also help to control other scalp issues like dandruff and itching.

A study published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology reported that a gel containing garlic helped to induce hair regrowth and treat hair loss symptoms.13

You can also add some tea tree oil to the hair mask to help combat fungal scalp infections. Various studies have confirmed the fact that tea tree oil is a natural antifungal agent.14 Tea tree oil has many other benefits for your hair and scalp.

How to use:

This hair mask recipe contains garlic oil and castor oil to improve the health of your hair and stimulate hair growth. You can find simple instructions on how to make garlic oil in my article about the benefits of garlic for hair growth.

  1. In a bowl, mix 5 tablespoons garlic oil, 1 tablespoon castor oil, and 1 tablespoon warm coconut oil.
  2. To this mixture, add 10 drops tea tree oil, 5 drops rosemary oil, and 5 drops peppermint oil.
  3. Massage small amounts of the natural hair treatment to your scalp until your whole scalp is covered.
  4. Leave on for 2 hours before washing out with a good quality natural shampoo.

Castor oil and olive oil for healthy hair

Olive oil is another excellent oil to boost the health of your hair. When combined with olive oil, castor oil is an even better hair mask because the antioxidant properties of olive oil remove free radicals from your scalp.

The journal Clinics in Dermatology reported that virgin olive oil is a natural skin protector and is an important source of antioxidants.15

How to use:

If you have dry and brittle hair that breaks easily, then make your own castor oil and olive oil hair mask to help improve your hair condition. This is what you should do:

  1. Mix 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons castor oil.
  2. Add 6-8 drops of tea tree oil (or peppermint oil or rosemary oil) and thoroughly mix.
  3. Apply to your scalp, taking some time to massage in the hair treatment.
  4. Leave for 2-3 hours and then wash out with your favorite shampoo.
  5. Use 1-2 times a week to encourage hair growth and add shine to your hair.

Jamaican castor oil and onion juice revitalizing hair mask

Onion juice is another potent ingredient that you can use along with Jamaican black castor oil to revitalize your hair and keep a healthy head of hair.

Research published in the Journal of Dermatology found that onion juice can be used to treat male pattern baldness. The juice from onions helped to stimulate hair re-growth and make hair grow faster. In fact, patients showed result within 4 weeks of regularly putting the onion juice on their scalps.16

How to use:

Win your battle against hair loss by using a castor oil and onion juice hair mask weekly. This is what you should do:

  1. Mix together 2 tablespoons castor oil and 2 tablespoons onion juice.
  2. Massage the hair treatment into your scalp making sure that your entire scalp is covered.
  3. Leave the hair mask for 2 hours.
  4. Wash out with a natural shampoo then dry and style as usual.

Jamaican black castor oil moisturizing hair mask

Honey, aloe vera, and Jamaican black castor oil combine to make a great moisturizing hair mask to help keep your hair lush and prevent split ends.

Honey has been shown to help reduce itching, scalp dermatitis, and flaking thanks to its soothing antibacterial and antifungal properties. A study published in a European medical journal found that honey also helps to reduce hair loss that is associated with seborrheic dermatitis.17

Aloe vera is a great all around treatment for your skin and scalp to help lock in moisture and reduce inflammation.18

How to use:

To make this moisturizing hair mask to keep your hair silky smooth and encourage hair growth, this is what you should do:

  1. Mix 1 tablespoon castor oil, 1 tablespoon pure aloe vera gel, and 1 tablespoon honey.
  2. Massage into your scalp for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Leave for 30 minutes to help improve the health of your scalp and condition your hair.
  4. Rinse out with your favorite natural shampoo.

Castor oil hair serum

You can also use castor oil as the basis for a homemade hair serum for shiny-looking hair and to keep your hair in good condition.

How to use:

  1. Mix together 3 tablespoons castor oil and 1 tablespoon jojoba oil.
  2. Put the castor oil serum into a dark colored dropper bottle.
  3. Use the dropper to apply small amounts to your scalp and hair roots while your hair is still damp.
  4. Continue doing this until you cover your whole scalp.
  5. Lightly comb your hair to coat all your strands of hair.
  6. Dry and style as usual.

If you find that the castor oil serum leaves your hair too oily, try using less on your scalp.

Other Natural Methods for Treating Hair Loss

Onion juice was found to be a natural treatment for hair loss and for promoting hair growth, and I’ve mentioned in my article on how to use onion juice oil to improve and regrow your hair.

Rosemary can also help in treating hair loss and you can get more information on how to use it in my article on how to use rosemary for treating hair loss.

According to a research garlic can help you to grow your hair – get the full instructions in my post on how to use garlic for hair growth.

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) can also encourage hair growth – get all the information in my article on why you should wash your hair with ACV.

There are certain foods and nutrients that you must include in your diet in order to have healthy, shiny and strong hair – read about them in my article about the best foods and nutrients for healthy, strong and shiny hair.

Peppermint essential oil can also help you to regrow your hair.

Saw palmetto is another natural ingredient which can stop hair loss and promote hair growth.

You can also combine castor oil with almond oil for hair growth. Almonds and almond oil contain a high amount of magnesium. One of the reasons for hair thinning is a magnesium and zinc deficiency in the body. So, by regularly massaging sweet almond oil onto to your scalp, you can help boost hair growth and prevent further hair loss.

For more information about castor oil, read my article about the most amazing benefits and uses of castor oil.

Medical Sources

  1. Lipid Insights. 2016; 9: 1–12.
  2. Int J Mol Med Adv Sci. 2015; 11(1): 9-12.
  3. J Ethnopharmacol. 2015 Dec 4;175:470-80.
  4. Exp Dermatol. 2014 Apr; 23(4): 224–227.
  5. ClevelandClinicMed. Hair disorders.
  6. Mediators Inflamm. 2000;9(5):223-8.
  7. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2006;7(4):263-6.
  8. OmicsGroup. Understanding hair loss due to air pollution.
  9. ISRN Pharmacol. 2012; 2012: 563267.
  10. Toxicol Res. 2014 Dec; 30(4): 297–304.
  11. Skinmed. 2015 Jan-Feb;13(1):15-21.
  12. J Cosmet Sci. 2003 Mar-Apr;54(2):175-92.
  13. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2007 Jan-Feb;73(1):29-32.
  14. Lett Appl Microbiol. 2007 Jun;44(6):613-8.
  15. Clin Dermatol. 2009 Mar-Apr;27(2):159-65
  16. J Dermatol. 2002 Jun;29(6):343-6.
  17. Eur J Med Res. 2001 Jul 30;6(7):306-8.
  18. Herbal Medicine. Metabolic effects of aloe vera.

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