Oh, an entire week has gone by already. If you missed the registration date, it’s too late for you to be an official competitor for the grand prize, but you can always do the competition “unofficially” and chart your progress along with the rest of us. Everyone is welcome to participate in whatever form works.
Official competitors are required to log into the site and respond to at least 10 of the 13 weeks of check-ins we’ll be doing the challenge. For each check-in you will post your answers to a few questions, or share your thoughts on a situation we’ll present for discussion. We want to keep things hoppin’ and lively around here!
But first, let’s talk a little bit more about castor oil and how to use it during the challenge, because a lot of questions have come in from naturals who expressed confusion about the best and proper way to use this fantastic oil.
How to Use Castor Oil
Everyone in the natural hair community is looking at Jamaican Black Castor Oil as a powerful secret weapon against hair dryness, breakage and dandruff. Some users of this stuff swear by it as a hair growth aid; others can’t stand it because its thickness and viscosity made their hair sticky and heavy with an oily feel. There are several ways you can use castor oil so you reap all the benefits – the shine, softness and reduced breakage – without the heavy greasiness.
1. Always Moisturize Your Hair First!
Before using a sealant (i.e. hair oil or butter), you should always make sure your hair has been dampened with water or some other liquid. Moisture means water – oils do NOT moisturize. My moisture preference is a mixture of rosewater, distilled water, and aloe vera juice. Topping that with a leave-in conditioner on that is an excellent idea as well, but not mandatory. After you dampen your hair, you should apply a thin layer of your castor oil. Remember, oils don’t “moisturize,” no matter what ads you see may say to the contrary. Butters and heavy oils like castor oil act to “seal” in moisture and conditioner. Remember, oil repels water and the phrase “oil and water don’t mix” certainly applies. The best way to use castor oil is on freshly washed wet hair, or hair that has been spritzed to make it damp as outlined above.
2. Don’t Go Crazy – Watch How Much Castor Oil You Use
Castor oil is very thick and viscous, so being “heavy-handed” with this product is not a good idea… more castor oil is not better. Because castor oil is rather heavy in texture, some women use it straight out of the bottle only on areas of their hair that are thinning and breaking. Typically these are the spots that need the most protection from the elements and the most product support (hairline at temples, nape of neck, and crown of the head are common problem areas).
3. Try Mixing Castor Oil with Carrier Oils
Many naturals find they get better results with castor oil by mixing it with a carrier oil like grapeseed or almond oil, coconut oil, Jojoba oil or avocado oil (all of which are also great for hair growth). You should need no more than about 1-2 tsps to cover your entire scalp and the ends of your hair… perhaps more if your hair is very long or your head is very big. (hahaha!!)
If you have spots on your scalp where your hair is breaking off near the scalp or noticeably thinner, apply to your scalp and gently massage in with the pads of your fingers for 10-15 minutes nightly. Do not rub your fingers around – the idea is to really get in there and move the scalp around against your skull. Your scalp should feel tingly, warm and stimulated when you’re done from the rush of fresh blood providing oxygen and nutrients to your hair follicles.
My personal favorite and highly recommended choice for castor oil is Simply Organics Jamaican Black castor oil, the one with the lavender scent. It absorbs easily into my skin, and has never irritated my scalp. I use a small amount and massage it into my scalp before bed; the lavender scent is soothing and pleasant.
Answer these questions in your post below to officially “check in” as we conclude week one of the Back to the Grind castor oil challenge.
- How did you end up using castor oil? Was it different than what you planned on your registration form?
- Why did you decide to go natural? If you are still relaxed, why did you decide to go straight?
- Name two “pros” and two “cons” for making the switch to natural hair.
That’s it for this week. We’ll be checking the post and noting who “checked in” for the “Back to the Grind” castor oil challenge on our spreadsheet. If you have any questions about the castor oil challenge, feel free to post them here. Someone will get back to you as quickly as possible.
Category: Castor Oil Challenge
About the Author (Author Profile)Blogger, writer, relationships/dating expert, fitness trainer and natural hair enthusiast since 1997. Sharing information from grandmomma, books and scientific journals, as well as my personal discoveries and experiences with natural hair as we journey from relaxers, flat irons and weaves together.
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