What is Castor Oil?

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Can Castor Oil Grow Hair, For Real?

There’s a lot of contradictory information out there about castor oil. One side says castor oil grows hair like weeds, the opposing side claims castor oil doesn’t stimulate hair growth at all. Huh? Is there no middle ground in this? We think not. Read on to find out why.

But wait, first things first: castor oil DOES grow hair. Just wanted to clear that up. Now let’s see why it does, and why some people say it absolutely doesn’t.

What Is Castor Oil And How Is It Good For The Hair?

Castor oil is derived from the seeds of the castor plant, the botanical name of which is ricinus communis. In this article, we’re referring to regular, cold-pressed castor oilJamaican black castor oil is discussed in a different article.

Castor oil has a number of benefits for the scalp, in particular. And of course, the scalp is responsible for producing healthy hair, and for holding on to it so it doesn’t fall out.

Some common scalp problems are: dandruff, dry scalp, psoriasis, scalp that’s suffering from heat/chemical burns or gene-related alopecia. These ailments cause your scalp to produce hair that’s less optimal – or can cause it to drop your hair strands altogether.

Consider this: Say a friend of yours just gave you a beautifully smooth blowout. She handles that round bristle brush like a pro. The session was so relaxing you nearly fell asleep. A few hours later you feel little prickles in your scalp, then bumps – right in the area where your hair likes to break off. There’s trouble brewing, but here’s how castor oil might help.

  1. You may not have felt it, but your scalp might be burnt. This is highly likely, since the troubled, and therefore sensitive, area of the head is prickling. Castor oil is anti-inflammatory. It can help relieve the inflammation that’s causing the bumps.When a hair follicle is in distress, the skin surrounding it swells as a protective measure. But while the follicle is focusing on saving itself, the swelling could loosen the hair strand from the follicle. And tragedy ensues.
  2. As for the prickling of the burnt follicles, castor oil, too, helps relieve discomfort.
  3. It could be that the brush wasn’t clean. This can cause a similar reaction on your scalp. Castor oil is antibacterial and antifungal, as well.

Moms With Castor Oil

Castor Oil image from Flickr - Black Hair Spot

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/25740150891

Up until now, you’ve probably been wondering: “Is castor oil the stuff my mother used to give me when my stomach hurt?” Yes, it’s the very same stuff from the bottle that lived in the back of her linen closet or pantry.

When you were forced to down it as a kid, you didn’t know all the goodness it contained. Your mother may not have either! That’s how traditions are. Only the old folks know. We just knew, never get a stomach ache because Mom would hold out that nasty spoon of thick and rich castor oil.

The memories.

Castor oil has been used for thousands of years for good health. Like other natural substances, castor oil and its derivatives are widely used by pharmaceutical and other industries. The full range of its capabilities, however, are not made public. When castor oil is discussed, allegations of toxicity are thrown in somewhere. Declarations about its safety from the International Journal of Toxicity, on the other hand, are ignored.

Ricin, a toxin, is only found in the raw, watery bean mash. Because ricin is not oil soluble, it does not filter into the oil during processing, whether the oil is cold pressed, refined, or refined using the Jamaican black castor method.

Castor Oil’s Active Ingredient Is ‘Concentrated’

The full properties of castor oil are too lengthy to be mentioned here. But one of the reasons castor oil is so good at what it does is because its active ingredient is concentrated naturally within the oil.

The active component in castor oil is primarily ricinoleic acid, which is an Omega 9 fatty acid. Ricinoleic acid makes up 90% of castor oil. This gives castor oil increased abilities as compared to other oils. It is on the level of a serum. It can also be mixed with other ingredients and still remain very effective.

Which brings us to the meat of the matter or, rather, the hairy hair of it.

How Does Castor Oil Grow Hair?

Ricinoleic acid is close enough in structure and action to stand in for the scalp’s hair growth activator, a prostaglandin called PGE2. When massaged into the scalp, castor oil (via its active component ricinoleic acid) literally mimics the hair growth stimulator PGE2. In the most important ways, i.e., for hair growth (right?), the scalp cannot tell the difference between PGE2 and ricinoleic acid.

In case you’ve come across one of the hater websites that says castor does NOT grow hair, let’s get a little more specific with proof that it DOES. Remember, while sifting through this information, that castor oil mimics the function of the hair growth prostaglandin, PGE2.

  1. There are four receptors that PGE2 normally binds to, in order to initiate certain bodily functions. Ricinoleic acid only binds with two of those receptors. These two receptors, EP3 and EP4, are the same ones that are responsible for hair growth.
  2. PGE2 stimulates hair follicles in the early phase of growth.
  3. The common hair growth drug, minoxidil (Rogaine), works to increase PGE2 production and also normalize its production in those who are combatting hair loss. Findings suggest that the mechanism behind the hair-growth stimulating effect of minoxidil is the stimulation of PGE2 synthesis.
  4. Higher levels of PGE2 helps keep cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy from losing their hair

Castor oil works on the scalp because PGE2 is naturally present there. It just needs a boost. PGE2 is not present on every surface of your body. So don’t worry, it won’t be growing hair on your lips. It’s serum quality for eyelashes and brows, however. (Yes!)

How To Use Castor Oil

If you remember Mom’s spoonful of castor oil, you’ll also remember how thick it is. It can act like the opposite of a detangler with all the friction it can cause between hairs. The last thing you want to do when applying a castor oil hair mask for growth, is to lose hair due to the way you apply it! Maybe that’s what happened to the castor oil haters.

Anyways! Blend castor oil with a lighter oil to reduce the viscosity. Add olive oil or jojoba, bit by bit, stirring with your finger, until it the castor oil no longer feels sticky. Then massage it into your scalp for a few minutes.

From here you can leave the oil blend on for twenty minutes to an hour. You can cover your hair with a shower cap, if you like. Then wash it out with a nourishing shampoo (sulfate free). Castor oil is NOT the type of oil you should continue to reapply, over and over, without washing it out. Unless the castor oil is part of a water-based lotion or cream, wash it out before re-applying. This is because it converts into a gum easier than other oils.

If you are serious about growing/regrowing your hair, massage it in daily. But if your scalp starts to get a little tacky, cleanse it.

If you just want general benefits and a slightly increased rate of growth, use castor oil as your pre-poo on wash day.

Note: All things considered, hair growth is still a complicated process. You can compound it’s effects with a well-researched formula that contains castor oil as the main ingredient. A synergistic formula will grow your hair faster.

What Are The Best Castor Oil Hair Growth Products?

When you have a well-made product, the other oils and ingredients work together with the castor oil to increase its benefits, as if there weren’t enough already! Castor oil penetrates easily into the scalp and also helps other ingredients penetrate better, too.

Try the following:

  1. Hair Regrowth Serum - Black Hair Spot


    Eden Kingdom Essential Formula D Hair Regrowth Serum. The recommended use is once daily. Very helpfully, this company includes before and after hair growth testimonials.

  2. Hair Topical Wick and Strom Bottle - Black Hair Spot


    Wick & Strom Apex Crown Extra Strength Hair Revitalizing Topical Solution. The company claims their product works as good as, or better than, products like Rogaine. They also have a 30 day guarantee if you’re not pleased with the results. They say your hair will definitely be fuller in four weeks time.

    Both the above products are also anti-dandruff. These companies know well that issues like dandruff or dry scalp can hamper growth.

  3. Apricot Castor Oil from Thirsty Roots - Black Hair Spot


    Thirsty Roots Apricot Castor Oil. Another all-natural hair growth (and strengthener) oil. This product is appropriate for all hair types and styles. This includes relaxed hair and for use under protective styles.

  4. Amla &Olive Heavy Cream with Castor Oil and Ayurvedic Botanicals - Black Hair Spot


    If you’d also like to layer in the benefits of castor oil for the scalp (and hair), try Qhemet Biologics Amla & Olive Heavy Cream. It contains castor oil, too, along with a lot of other good stuff.

As far as the information that reaches the public from the scientific world, castor oil seems to be a well guarded secret. Most published studies are sponsored by the mega corporations in different industries – who themselves use what’s being studied. Depending on the market, they might publish material that supports something or rejects it. Or they won’t publish anything at all on the subject. That’s what we found.

And it’s understandable. We can see how castor oil might pose competition to the already popular regrowth products on the market. (Wink!)

Do you suffer from hair breakage or alopecia? What do you use for regrowth? Do you know someone who wants more new growth or thicker hair? Share this article!  

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