Since childhood I’ve had a love/hate relationship with castor oil. My grandmother used to give it to us to “clean our insides out” when we had tummyaches after eating too much junk and ended up constipated. She would also use it as sort of a poultice when my grandfather had muscle aches from his job as a pipefitter.
Some scientific research also reports seeing benefits from using castor oil topically (on the skin) due to its antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties. It’s been used with great success to clear up eczema and other skin rashes. Castor Oil also makes a wonderful skin softener and helps dry skin to retain more moisture especially when mixed with other oils and body lotions.
But what can castor oil do for dry natural hair? Lots!
Benefits of Castor Oil in a Nutshell
- Moisturizing scalp, skin and hair
- Promoting hair growth
- Thickens hair
- Moisturizes and protects dry split ends
- Prevents frizzy hair
Castor oil is an extremely thick and somewhat sticky oil. Some women do use it straight out of the bottle on dry split ends; others find benefits to using it directly on their scalp where there is marked hair loss or balding. A little known fact about castor oil is that its regular application can even promote hair growth in men and prevent baldness. Scalp conditions like dandruff can also be prevented by massaging the scalp regularly with castor oil. Using castor oil on a regular basis will result in hair that is shiny, healthy looking and thick.
As a matter of fact, castor oil has been used for centuries to improve hair growth. Castor oil is considered to be a humectant (i.e. a substance which aids in moisture retention) which helps to prevent breakage in dry black hair by keeping it moisturized.
However, most women find the best way to use castor oil is to blend it in a 1:3 ratio with other quality hair oils. That means you would mix 1 tsp of castor oil with 3 tsps. of avocado oil, jojoba oil, grape seed oil, olive oil or whatever your favorite hair oil is.
Castor oil may be too heavy if your hair is fine and think, but its fabulous for thicker, courser hair. Try mixing it with a leave-in conditioner, vegetable glycerin, aloe vera gel and water to use for a leave-in conditioner. Twists retain their fullness and moisture when a dab of castor oil is placed on the hair before a shower or hot bath – the steam helps it absorb into the hair.
One of the best uses of castor oil is as an deep conditioning oil treatment before shampoo day. Mix castor oil with coconut oil, olive oil and avocado oil. Slather your hair with it then pop on a plastic cap. Tie cap securely to your head with a scarf then go to sleep. When you wake up the next day shampoo the oil out. Your hair will be noticeably softer and easier to handle.
Smooth unruly edges for sophisticated off your face styles by mixing a bit of castor oil with aloe vera gel. If you’ve experienced hair breakage or thinning around your hairline or nape area, castor oil can help quickly improve the health of your scalp and hair edges.
Before you apply castor oil on the hair and scalp, warm it slightly. After applying the warm oil, cover your head with a plastic cap and a thick warmed towel. Leave the oil on the scalp for a couple of hours (or even overnight) before washing it off with your regular shampoo. Repeating this procedure for five to seven weeks can bring about some amazing hair growth results.
Jamaican Black Castor Oil
Many naturals swear by Jamaican Black Castor Oil; however I’ve seen no discernible difference between that and any other brand of castor oil. However, if you want to know how you can make your own Black Castor Oil at home, check out this video
As we wrap up our summer months and move into the fall/winter season, we’ll all need to protect our hair from the elements with slightly heavier oils than we may have used during warmer months… castor oil can be a wonderful tool in your healthy natural hair arsenal.
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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