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Castor oil hair: Achieve longer and stronger hair

by Lotte Lindgren on Jun 20, 2023

Read through by Dorthe Kristensen

Hairdresser and former co-owner of the award-winning hairdressing chain Zoom by Zoom
With many years of experience in the hairdressing industry, Dorthe has advised many customers about hair and hair care. Dorthe has read through this blog entry to ensure high quality and professionalism. This blog post is professionally updated on January 26, 2024.

Table of contents

Do you want longer and stronger hair? Then you should consider using castor oil. Castor oil has been proven to be an effective treatment for hair growth and is easy to use at home. In this guide, we will tell you everything you need to know about castor oil for hair growth and how to use it for the best results. Read on for more information!

Table of contents

What is castor oil?

Castor oil is a vegetable oil extracted from the seeds of the castor plant. The American plant has been used for centuries for medicinal and cosmetic purposes due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Due to its high content of ricinoleic acid, castor oil is known for its moisturizing properties, which can help fight hair loss and promote blood flow to the scalp, which will contribute to normal hair growth. Castor oil can also be used as a massage oil for the scalp and can help reduce dandruff or dryness in the scalp .

How is castor oil extracted?

The production process of the castor oil implies that the seeds from the plant must first be cleaned and dried. They can then be ground down to a fine mass and pressed for the oil. There are both cold-pressed and hot-pressed castor oil, where the difference lies in the temperature during the pressing.

Cold-pressed castor oil is more health- and skin-friendly than hot-pressed and has anti-inflammatory properties.

The various techniques to extract the oil also include chemical processes or solvents. It is important to pay attention to the production method, as it can result in a more or less pure oil with different properties.

Cold-pressed castor oil is often considered the most health- and skin-friendly version due to its high nutritional content and anti-inflammatory properties. This type of oil works well as a massage oil for the hair or as a moisturizing treatment for dry skin.

Heat-pressed castor oil, on the other hand, lost some of its beneficial substances during heat treatment, but is still considered effective against hair loss and stimulating hair growth thanks to its high amount of fatty acids.

Castor seeds turn into oil

What are the benefits of castor oil for hair?

 

Castor oil has long been recognised for its ability to promote hair growth. This is mainly due to the oil's high content of ricinoleic acid, which is an acid that helps increase blood flow to the scalp, thereby stimulating the hair follicles with nutrients. This improved blood circulation can also help to improve hair health and appearance as it ensures a better supply of nutrients to the hair roots.

In addition to promoting blood flow to the scalp, regular use of castor oil can also improve the quality of existing hair. The oil has a moisturising and anti-inflammatory effect on both hair and skin, which contributes to healthier and shinier hair. This can be particularly beneficial for those suffering from dry and damaged hair, as the oil can help restore moisture balance and seal the hair cuticle, resulting in smoother and more manageable hair.

Another benefit of castor oil is its antibacterial properties, which can reduce dandruff and itching on the scalp. This makes the oil suitable for massage oil as it can help soothe an irritated or inflamed scalp. By reducing bacteria and fungus that can cause dandruff, castor oil can help maintain a healthy scalp environment, which in turn can contribute to healthy hair growth.

Scientific evidence for the effect of castor oil on hair

Castor oil, also known as American oil, has long been known for its potential to promote hair growth and improve hair health. But what does the scientific evidence say about this claim? Let's take a closer look at the research behind castor oil's effect on hair.

One of the primary reasons why castor oil is considered to promote hair growth is the oil's high content of ricinoleic acid. Ricinoleic acid is a natural omega-9 fatty acid which is believed to have a stimulating effect on hair follicles by increasing blood flow to the scalp. This can potentially result in increased hair growth.

There are a number of studies that point in the direction that it can have an effect on hair and scalp health. But there is no definitive result on these studies.

It is important to note that these studies are still limited and more research is needed to confirm and expand on the findings. Therefore, one should be cautious in drawing definitive conclusions based on these studies alone. It is also important to remember that individual results may vary as hair growth and hair health depend on many factors such as genetics, lifestyle and nutrition.

How to use castor oil for hair growth

Castor oil is a popular ingredient for promoting hair growth and strengthening hair strands. You can use castor oil as it is, however it is important to get hold of a good quality oil to ensure the best result. You can also mix it with other hair oils to your advantage . Gently massage the oil into the scalp and distribute the rest of the oil down the lengths of your hair. Leave the oil on for at least 30 minutes before rinsing thoroughly with shampoo.

For best results, you should use castor oil on your hair once a week. It can also be beneficial to combine the use of castor oil with other natural ingredients such as aloe vera or coconut oil for additional nourishment and care of the hair. Always remember to consult your hairdresser or dermatologist if you experience problems with your hair growth or have sensitive skin on the scalp.

Step by step guide to applying castor oil to hair

Wash your hair and dry it lightly with a towel before applying castor oil. Make sure the oil gets a little warm, for example by rubbing it between your hands.

Apply the oil in small amounts directly to the scalp with a brush or fingertips. Gently massage the scalp in circular motions for approx. 5 minutes to stimulate blood circulation and increase the absorption of the oil.

Spread the oil evenly through the lengths of your hair, if desired, and leave it on overnight or at least 30 minutes before washing your hair again. Repeat this process every week for best results.

Also remember to always test the product on a small area of ​​your skin before use for possible allergic reactions.

How to make your own scalp treatment with castor oil

Making a homemade scalp treatment with castor oil is an easy and effective way to care for your scalp. Here's a simple recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons castor oil
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil (optional, but can add extra moisture)
  • 5 drops rosemary essential oil (optional, but can help stimulate hair growth and improve scalp health)

Instructions:

  • Mix castor oil and any coconut oil or olive oil in a small bowl.
  • If you choose to add rosemary essential oil, add it to the mixture.
  • Warm the oil slightly by placing the bowl in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes. This will help the oil penetrate the scalp better.
  • Apply the oil evenly to your dry scalp using your fingers or a brush.
  • Use your fingertips to massage the oil into the scalp in circular motions for about 5-10 minutes to ensure the oil is well distributed and stimulates blood circulation.
  • After the massage, you can leave the oil on for a further 30 minutes or even overnight for extra intensive care.
  • Rinse the oil out with warm water and a mild shampoo. You may need to wash your hair twice to remove all the oil.
  • Repeat this treatment once a week or as needed to maintain a healthy and hydrated scalp.

Apply castor oil to the lengths

How often should you use castor oil for hair growth?

Use castor oil once a week to see results. If you use the oil several times a week, avoid overdosing as this can result in greasy and heavy hair. After applying the oil treatment, it is also best to avoid hot styling tools.

To sum up:

  • Use castor oil at least once a week
  • Avoid overdose
  • Avoid using hot styling tools after treatment

Tips and tricks to get the best result with castor oil for hair

Add a few drops of rosemary oil to your castor oil treatment for extra stimulation of hair growth. Rosemary oil has been known for its stimulating properties on the hair follicles and can increase blood flow in the scalp, which can lead to better hair growth . Remember to dilute the oil with castor oil before use.

Maintain regular care using practical treatments such as oils until your goals are achieved. Depending on your desire for length and strength, you may need to apply castor oil to your hair several times a week over a longer period of time. Hair care is also about patience and consistency.

Always try to choose natural products without additives and chemicals to avoid damage to the hair. Castor oil is already a natural product, but it is important to make sure that the other ingredients in your hair products do not damage your hair more than they repair it. Natural ingredients such as aloe vera or argan oil can also be effective supplements to your care routine, making your hair shiny when used together with castor oil.

Possible side effects of using castor oil for hair

Although castor oil has many benefits, there can also be some side effects when using it in your hair:

Allergic reactions: Some people may be allergic to castor oil. It's important to perform a patch test on a small area of skin before using the oil in your hair to ensure no allergic reactions occur.

Heavy consistency: Castor oil has a thick and heavy consistency, which can make it difficult to wash out of the hair. This can result in greasy or heavy hair if the oil is not removed properly. In this case, it is important to clean the scalp well, for example with a scalp brush or scalp scrub.

Over-moisturising: If castor oil is used in large amounts or too often, it can lead to over-moisturising of the hair. This can result in hair that feels greasy or oily and can also make hair more vulnerable to damage.

Clogged pores: If the oil isn't properly washed out of the scalp, it can lead to clogged pores and acne on the scalp, especially for those with a tendency towards oily hair or acne.

It's important to use castor oil with caution and not overdo it to avoid these side effects. If you experience any of these side effects, stop using the oil and consult a doctor or dermatologist.

What else can castor oil be used for?

Castor oil is a versatile oil that has many uses beyond hair care. Here are some other areas where castor oil can be used:

Skincare: Castor oil is known for its moisturising properties and can be used on the skin to hydrate and nourish. It can be particularly beneficial for dry areas such as elbows, knees and heels. The oil can also be used to soften and condition the skin on the lips and around the nails.

Makeup remover: Castor oil can be used as an effective and natural makeup remover. Due to its thick consistency, it is particularly good for removing waterproof makeup and mascara, while moisturising and nourishing the skin.

Massage oil: Due to its moisturising and soothing properties, castor oil can be used as an excellent massage oil. It can help relieve muscle tension and soreness while leaving the skin soft and moisturised.

Eyebrow and lash growth: Due to castor oil's ability to promote hair growth, it can also be used to strengthen and promote the growth of eyebrows and lashes. Apply the oil gently to the eyebrows and lashes every night before bed for best results.

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