Unlike most other oils that contain a large amount of fat and little of anything else, castor oil contains large amounts of vitamins, fatty acids, antioxidants, and other nutrients. There are many other popular hair masks out there, but with all of the castor oil benefits, especially the antioxidants, it has become an even more popular method of encouraging healthy hair growth.
You have to be careful when using this oil, though. If you use too much of this oil on your skin, it can cause irritation or other issues. This isn’t always the case, but it is best to start with just a little bit and work your way up from there to see what is comfortable for your skin type.
If you notice any skin discomfort when using the oil, you should immediately wash your hair and discontinue use. While issues are rare, you do have to still be careful.
Castor Oil Benefits For Hair Growth
- Traps moisture
- Smooths the hair cuticle
- Gives hair more shine
- May improve blood flow and circulation in the scalp
- Moisturizes the scalp
- Eases dandruff
Castor Oil As A Normal Part of Your Beauty Routine
Because this oil is believed to increase the amount of absorption of your other beauty products, it may be beneficial if it is included as a normal part of your beauty routine. By doing so, your other beauty products will become more effective. This is possible due to the castor oil’s tendency to attract oil and effectively remove it from your scalp, leaving fresh, clean skin for the other products to soak into.
Additionally, this all-natural oil cleans your scalp in a natural way while also improving blood circulation. This can lead to the hair follicles receiving extra nutrition, and it can lead to stronger, healthier hair strands, and less hair breakage. It may also lock in moisture, giving your hair a healthy shine and potentially inhibiting hair growth.
In order for your hair to grow, your body needs specific vitamins and nutrients. Some of these nutrients include iron, vitamin D, zinc, magnesium, and B-complex vitamins. Each of these aids hair growth in some way, and a deficiency in any one of the them could prevent hair from growing or being healthy.
The vitamins that castor oil contains are iron, magnesium, zinc, vitamin E, vitamin D, and many other nutrients and vitamins. By using this oil on your scalp, you are allowing your body to absorb more of these beneficial nutrients.
As you have just read, this oil contains many of the vitamins that you need in order to inhibit hair growth. This could mean that it would aid hair growth while also offering many other benefits, as well.
The Downside to Castor Oil For Hair Growth
Unfortunately, this oil isn’t free of downfalls. Experts have differing opinions about the effectiveness of this oil for hair growth.
Some say that it will only work for conditioning the hair and scalp, not for growing hair. Other experts have said that it may cause hair to fall out due to irritation, inflammation, or an allergy to the oil. Still, there have been some experts who point out the anti-microbial composition of the oil and how it plays a role in a healthier scalp, but they have also pointed out that there is no proof that it inhibits hair growth.
On rare occasions, negative side effects could occur when using this oil for hair growth. Essentially, you will have to decide if the castor oil benefits outweigh the possible but rare negative side effects. These side effects might include:
- Acute hair felting (a rare, irreversible disorder that causes the hair to tangle into a hard mass)
- Skin rash
- Hair loss
- Allergic reaction
While all of these side effects may sound terrifying, there are safe ways to experiment with it at home. Experts do agree that using this oil in small amounts or diluted with safe products is safe and maybe even beneficial to your scalp and hair. One other option is that you could use castor oil halfway down your hair and to the end of your tips since those are typically the drier parts of hair, and it will avoid contact with your scalp.
Steps For Using Castor Oil For Hair Growth
After considering all the possible but rare side effects of the oil, if you decide that you want to try it, there are certain steps to follow. Those experts who do say that the oil can inhibit hair growth also seem to agree on the steps you should take when using it.
Test for possible skin irritation.
The last thing you want to do is cover your head in the oil, only to find out that it caused irritation, inflammation, or an allergic reaction on your scalp. You never know if you may be allergic to it, or if your skin just doesn’t agree with it, so it is best to test a small spot on your scalp before a full application. Doing this could prevent hair loss and other major issues.
Massage just a couple of drops into your scalp.
Remember, you don’t want to use too much, just in case there is a negative reaction. You also won’t need very much, as oil goes a long way. Just a little bit of this oil contains all the nutrients needed to inhibit hair growth and give your skin added moisture and nutrients.
Rub a couple drops into the midsection of your hair and your tips.
This is likely the driest part of your hair, so it can use a little additional moisture and shine. It will help prevent breakage and repair split ends. Since applying it to this part of the hair would not involve contact with your scalp, it is safe to use more.
Set a timer for two hours.
Two hours seems to be the most popularly recommended time length for leaving the oil on your hair to inhibit hair growth. There is no certain answer, however, as some experts say to leave it in overnight, and some say only for a couple of minutes.
If your scalp starts to feel uncomfortable in any way, such as itching, burning, or anything like that, you should wash your hair immediately instead of waiting the two hours. Other than that, the length of time is up to you, but two hours seems to be a safe guess.
Cover your hair with a shower cap or drape a towel around your shoulders and back.
You may even consider draping a towel on any furniture or flooring you may potentially drip on. This oil may stain, so it is best to prevent the issue instead of regretting it later.
Wash all of the oil out.
Unfortunately, this part normally takes a while. The oil really attaches to the hair, so you may have to wash your hair a couple of times before it makes a difference, and then a couple more times to get it to not seem greasy.
How to Wash The Oil Out of Your Hair
Since this oil can be difficult to wash out of your hair, beauty experts have suggested several tips to make the process easier. These tips include a specific process to follow. That process is as follows:
- Use mildly warm water
- Lather the shampoo in your hands before putting it in your hair
- Massage your scalp gently with your fingertips
- Leave the shampoo in for one minute or longer
- Using warm water, wash your hair
- Massage hair while running warm water over it to remove any leftover shampoo
- Wash your hair again the same way
- Apply leave-in conditioner to your scalp, hair, and tips
- Leave the leave-in conditioner on your hair for five minutes
- Wash the leave-in conditioner out with cold water
- Gently towel dry your hair, then allow it to air-dry
- Use a comb, not a brush, to comb through your hair
Final Thoughts On Castor Oil For Hair Growth
While most experts agree that castor oil has no direct impact on hair growth, it can potentially still help. If your hair breaks easily, this oil has all the properties that can make your hair stronger, healthier, and have more moisture. This could stop the breakage and, in turn, help your hair grow longer.
While experts cannot seem to completely agree if castor oil benefits actually inhibit or enhance hair growth, they do seem to agree that using a little oil every once in a while is safe and potentially beneficial to your hair and scalp.
It is important to remember to use caution when you first use the oil, however, as it can cause hair loss due to scalp irritation or an allergy. Testing for skin irritation before covering your head with it may be best initially.