Castor oil for hair growth

Will the oil actually help your hair grow? We investigate
  • 22 May - 28 May, 2021
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Beauty

For years, the beauty industry has collectively touted the benefits of drenching our strands in basically every kind of oil you can think of. Coconut, olive, black seed, jojoba, and even more delicate essential oil offerings like rosemary, lavender, and cedarwood have all been praised. But there's another oil that's been raising an eyebrow for being a life-changing hair growth oil: castor oil.

Many people have experienced impressive results after applying castor oil to their brows with the goal of increasing hair growth. Naturally, this bodes the question: Shouldn't the age-old remedy work the same type of magic on the tops of our heads? Here at MAG, it's our job to take hair health and our never-ending quest for luminous, shiny strands seriously. So we wanted to dig a little deeper into this hair growth oil and all its glossy potential. To help us out, we’ve done some digging. Read on:

What is castor oil?

Castor oil is a nutrient-dense oil extracted from castor beans. It has many medicinal, household, and pharmaceutical uses, and is also widely used in skincare and cosmetics for its healing properties.

The benefits of castor oil

Castor oil has a slew of benefits including strengthening strands, promoting hair growth, and nourishing dry scalp. And while the oil itself can't make the hair grow, it's loved for its ability to create a healthier environment on the scalp that makes for way better hair growth.

While there's no concrete scientific evidence on why castor oil is so beneficial for the hair, it's certainly a well-loved oil in the beauty industry. Castor oil can in fact be useful in certain cases of hair loss. Unlike most other oils, castor oil has a nutritional makeup composed of a powerful mix of proteins, vitamins, fatty acids, and antioxidants. Thus, it comes as no surprise that the oil is a wonderful way to nurture the scalp and fragile hair follicles while simultaneously encouraging healthier, faster hair growth. For this reason, castor oil has increasingly become a key ingredient in hair products.

And, for those who experience flaking as a result of dry scalp, castor oil can help. Castor oil is known to be an effective and gentle method of cleansing the skin. Because it's polarised, the castor oil actually attracts dirt and effectively cleanses the skin. This and its high content of ricinoleic acid may help improve blood circulation in the scalp, which leads to nutrition for the hair follicles, stronger strands, and less breakage. Plus, castor oil is a humectant, which means it's an excellent vehicle for locking in moisture and shine. And as we know, moisturised hair is far more likely to grow at an expedited, healthier rate.

In addition to its efficacy for the scalp, castor oil is thought to enhance and increase the absorption of other products. If incorporated into your normal hair ritual, your other products might actually penetrate more effectively, which will only do your hair's health and growth ambition a favour in the long run. After all, a residue-filled scalp does not make for a healthy mane.

How to use castor oil on hair

Since it is an oil, a little will go a long way – it's all about moderation and being cautious. You want to avoid overdoing it or getting it in your eyes and other sensitive areas. That said, experts seem to agree the oil is safe enough to cautiously experiment with at home. Start out with a patch test, keep expectations realistic, and heed their advice of using a small amount during application to ensure you don't experience any adverse reactions. It's also often recommended you don't use it more than once a week.

To use, warm the oil in your palms before working it through the roots of your hair and brushing it out toward the ends. Leave it in for 15 to 20 minutes minimum, and then shampoo it out of your hair. You can wet your hair beforehand in order to make the oil soak in better.