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Castor Oil Benefits For Hair

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Introduction

Castor oil – it may seem like this plant-based oil is the new kid on the block, but castor oil has actually been used in the world of hair care for centuries. So why does it seem like this miracle oil is only popping up now? Well, it may have a lot to do with the shift towards “natural beauty” that’s currently happening across the world. More and more hair care enthusiasts are demanding more naturally-based products and adopting the use of plant-based oils. So should you be jumping on the castor oil bandwagon? the answer is – probably! In this article we’re breaking down everything about castor oil and hair care. We’re exploring the hype behind castor oil’s benefits, best practices and DIY routines to help you uncover its secrets! 

What Is Castor Oil?

Castor beans come from the Ricinus communis plant.

Castor oil is derived from the beans of the Ricinus communis plant either through a cold-press or distillation process. It’s believed castor oil was first used by the Ancient Egyptians and then spread to other parts of the world where it became increasingly popular. The oil that is obtained from the beans has many beneficial properties and has been used widely as an ingredient in the world of cosmetics and beauty. Just a small amount of castor oil contains numerous fatty acids which can be both hydrating and nourishing for your hair. However, these are not the only benefits castor oil can bring to your hair care routine. Here’s 5 things we love about castor oil for hair care!  

The Benefits of Castor Oil For Hair

You may have heard some claims that castor oil can make your hair grow faster or that it can help you overcome balding. Unfortunately, claims like these are simply not backed by any scientific evidence and are not true. However, castor oil has many other benefits for your hair, making it well-worth introducing to your routine! 

1. Nourished Roots

Your roots and scalp are two of the most important aspects of your hair’s health. Our roots need nourishment and hydration in order to thrive. Castor oil contains proteins, fatty acids, vitamin E and A, minerals and omega-6 fatty acids. When we apply castor oil to our hair, especially to the scalp and roots, we’re providing them with essential nutrients. Additionally, the antioxidants found in castor oil can help fight off free radicals and reduce the rate of oxidation which further improves the appearance of your roots.

2. Locks Down Moisture

Person with curly hair covering their face.

Castor oils keeps your hair hydrated.

Castor oil is rich in linoleic acid, which is a type of monounsaturated fatty acid. These types of fatty acids are known to be occlusive (barrier-creating) moisturizers when applied to the hair because of their ability to keep your hair hydrated. They lock down the moisture in the hair shaft by preventing water from escaping and this helps to keep your hair hydrated for longer periods of time. When our hair is properly hydrated it appears less frizzy and dull and it gives off a more vibrant appearance. 

3. Stimulates Blood Circulation

Due to the high amount of fatty acid content found in castor oil, it may help to stimulate and increase blood flow to the scalp. It’s believed that fatty acids may encourage blood vessel dilation, which is when our blood vessels widen, allowing blood to flow through faster and with less restriction. This then increases the blood flow to the hair follicle and ensures that it gets the water that it needs, as well as the nutrients for healthy hair growth. You can improve the blood flow even more if you give yourself a gentle scalp massage while applying the castor oil. 

4. Soothes The Scalp

Healthy hair starts at the base, the scalp, an area that can often be overlooked in hair care. The ultra-moisturizing properties of castor oil allow it to be soothing and hydrating for your scalp. It also contains properties that are potentially anti-inflammatory making it a fine choice for treating scalps that are dry, irritated and flaky. While there is no evidence to say that castor oil is an all-in-one scalp issue solution, it certainly contains benefits that can help prevent dryness and irritation. 

5. A Silky-Smooth Appearance

Castor oil’s ability to lock down moisture in the hair shaft leads to yet another advantage from this versatile oil. When the hair shaft is properly lubricated, it increases the flexibility of your hair and this can lead to less breakage. Castor oil can help give your hair a healthier look by increasing its shine and giving off a silky-smooth appearance. It also makes your hair so much easier to detangle and manage, this is a benefit that will make curly-haired people appreciate castor oil even more! 

Best Practices For Using Castor Oil On Hair

You can go down to your nearest supermarket and get your hands on a bottle of castor oil immediately, but before you do, don’t forget about these tips which complement the benefits of castor oil. Using these tips can take your hair care experience with castor oil to the next level! 

1. Combine With Other Essential Oils

Essential oils

Castor oil makes a great base for experimenting with essential oils.

DIY hair care involves a lot of mixing and matching of carrier oils and essential oils. Experimenting with different bases and essential oils can help you find the perfect combination for your unique hair needs. We recommend using castor oil as a carrier oil and adding a few drops of other essential oils for extra nourishment and hydration. Rosemary oil is a popular pairing with castor, as are tea tree or lavender oil. Each essential oil can add their own spice to the party, helping you get nothing but the best care for your hair. 

2. Massage Castor Oil Into The Scalp (blood circulation)

We mentioned before that castor oil helps to stimulate blood circulation on the scalp, and the benefits that this creates for your hair. If you lightly massage your scalp while you’re applying the oil to your hair, you have an even better chance of increasing the blood flow to your scalp. You can do this by gently pressing your fingers into your scalp to spread the oil around evenly. Or you can use a scalp scrubber. A scalp scrubber (aka shampoo brush) is a tool used to give scalp massages. It also helps you work products into your hair. Not only is this good for your scalp, but it feels so relaxing as well!

3. Leave Castor Oil In Your Hair Overnight

Once you’ve applied castor oil to your scalp and hair, you don’t need to wash it out immediately. In fact, it serves you better to leave it in overnight for the best results. We recommend applying castor oil to wet or damp hair and then styling your hair in a loose braid. Once you’ve completed the braid, wrap your hair in an old t-shirt and allow the magic of castor oil to sink in overnight. Your hair will be nourished, hydrated and appear thicker the next day. Just don’t forget to properly wash the castor oil out of your hair the morning after you apply it.

DIY Castor Oil Hair Masks

Make your own DIY hair care treatments using castor oil. There are a number of other naturally-derived ingredients you can use from the comfort of your own home. We’ve done our research and we’ve found these three castor-oil-based hair masks to be the most effective – though your mileage may vary!

1. Castor Oil, Avocado And Honey 

Woman holding avocado to eye.

Avocado can provide essential nutrients for your hair.

To create this nourishing hair mask all you need to do is blend together 2 tablespoons of castor oil, mash up one ripe avocado, and add-in 1 tablespoon of honey to the mixture. The consistency should be smooth, and resemble mashed potatoes for example. Apply the mask to damp hair, and use a scalp scrubber to massage the mixture evenly from your roots to your ends. Allow it to sit in your hair for 30-45 minutes. The castor oil will nourish your roots and hair, while the avocado provides essential nutrients and the splash of honey adds moisture and shine. When the 30-45 minute period is up, rinse and wash your hair with your regular routine. 

2. Castor Oil, Tea Tree And Aloe Vera

Some of nature’s finest ingredients work in tandem to nourish and hydrate your hair in this fantastic DIY hair mask.  Simply combine 2 tablespoons of castor oil with 5-6 drops of tea tree oil and 3 tablespoons of aloe vera gel. Mix the ingredients thoroughly in a bowl to form a consistent blend. Apply the mask to damp hair, ensuring even distribution, and leave it on for 20-30 minutes. Rinse it out with your regular shampoo and conditioner routine. This mask is ideal for people with dry, flaky scalps because tea tree oil helps soothe the scalp and fight off flakes, while the castor oil nourishes and moisturizes the hair and scalp. Aloe vera, known for its hydrating and conditioning properties, also adds moisture to the hair.

3. Castor Oil, Coconut And Rosemary

Last, but not least, this DIY hair mask gives you a thicker-look, while adding deep hydration and promoting shine. To create this nourishing DIY hair mask, combine 2 tablespoons of castor oil with 3 tablespoons of coconut oil and a few drops of rosemary essential oil. Mix the ingredients thoroughly to ensure a well-blended mask. Apply the mask to damp hair, covering it from roots to ends, and leave it on for 30-45 minutes. Rinse the mask out with your regular shampoo and conditioner routine and see the results for yourself! These DIY recipes are not set in stone, and you should feel free to experiment and play around with different combinations of hair masks to see what works for you!

Conclusion 

While claims that castor oil can make your hair grow faster are not true. There are many other advantages of using it in your hair care routine that make it too good not to use. Be sure to adopt our best practices, such as combining it with essential oils. Also remember that massaging it into the scalp improves blood circulation, and leaving it in overnight to enhances its effectiveness. When it comes to DIY beauty, the stage is yours! Play around, experiment, and let castor oil be your hair’s new best friend – it’s time for your tresses to steal the show!