Back to the Grind: Castor Oil Challenge Week 1 Check-In

08/22/2013 | By | More

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.

Week One: Check In Questionssimply organics jamaican black castor oil extra strength castor oil challenge

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.

  1. How did you end up using castor oil? Was it different than what you planned on your registration form?
  2. Why did you decide to go natural? If you are still relaxed, why did you decide to go straight?
  3. 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.

Stay natural!

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Category: Castor Oil Challenge

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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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  1. folamix says:

    How did you end up using castor oil? I continue to use castor oil for my scalp massage.

    Why did I decide to go natural? I was tired of getting perms and my hair was thinning. Once I discovered I didn’t have to cut all my hair off (I had long hair) and could transition, it was full steam ahead.

    Two pros and two cons of natural hair? Two pros-no more perms, inline with my personal beliefs, Two cons- require a little extra care, requires patience.

  2. dajestanley says:

    How did you end up using castor oil? I used the castor oil on my scalp and hair like I planned.

    Why did I decide to go natural? Was tired of relaxing/touching up my hair. Plus I had times when it was very hard for me to care for my hair, and because of my hair being relaxed, my hair was dry a lot and was breaking off. As weird as it sounds, being natural combats that some for me.

    Two pros and two cons of natural hair? Pros: Don’t have to worry about touch ups, and I have curls. Cons: Not all natural hair products work, and sometimes it takes longer to do my hair.

  3. monicaf monicaf says:

    I used castor oil as a sealant and on my scalp… I musy say it does make my hair more softer

    I decided to go natural so I can grow my hair out but I never knew I was gonna be soo into natural hair like I am now :)

    Pros about natural hair- don’t have to worry about constantly flat ironin ur hair and it grows faster than perm hair
    Two cons- hair gets tangled and u have to have A LOT of patience

  4. themaglotus says:

    I used castor oil as a sealant on my twists at night and dabbed just a little on my edges in the mornings.

    I decided to go natural for 2 reasons. The first was that I was flat-ironing daily and my hair started breaking off badly. It was an added bonus that me chopping my hair off pissed my ex-husband off :)

    The pros: I don’t worry about sweating or rain. If it gets wet, who cares?!?!
    The cons: People constantly ask when I’m gonna “do something” with my hair. It gets annoying especially because I like letting my hair do what it does.

  5. MrsGrizzly says:

    #1-I began using castor oil after reading the possible benefits on a natural hair care website (the name has since escaped my memory). No, it was purely out of curiosity.
    #2-I decided to go natural because I felt it was time for a conscious change. Without a head, the body can’t survive, so I decided I needed to take better care of it.
    #3-Two pros: the rain is no longer the boogeyman and it awesome to see what my hair is like without chemicals. Two cons: hair product roulette and costs that can accompany this new lifestyle

  6. kkmpd_1 says:

    1. I use castor oil in my deep conditioner, sealant and I also oil my scalp.

    2. I decided to go natural it was actually by accident I moved to Germany a year in a half ago and started wearing braids. In a year my hair has growing unbelievably it is so much more healthier now than it has ever been and I love the texture. I just recently clipped off my perm.

    3. Pros: I can wash and go anytime. When I had my perm I didn’t swim or want to get wet now that is no issue. Cons: I don’t think I have any cons I was never a product junkie I still use the same products I used when my hair was permed.

  7. how do I use castor oil ?
    oiling my scalp and temples and hot oil treatment

    why I went natural?
    I was scalp issues,like dryness and eczema

    pros and con’s to being natural?
    pro: diversity and being free of trying to look a certain way

    con’s: having to wait so long for it to grow out.

  8. elainegenialee says:

    1. I use Castor Oil right after washing my hair, and everyday after i mix castor oil with water and coconut oil and spritz it on my hair

    2. I went natural because I was tired of having to relax, and my hair was unhealthy

    3. Pro: wetting my hair everyday not having to worry about keeping it dry
    Con: TWA state! can’t wait to get to the point when I can do twist outs!

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