If you’ve been struggling to grow your natural hair for a while now, I will recommend you check out castor oil due to its rapid hair growth abilities.
Before the natural hair community discovered the amazing benefits of castor oil, castor oil was just a pharmaceutical item that was taken orally to help remedy constipation, stomach ache, speed up child delivery, heal scars and others. Now castor oil is mostly known to thicken hair, regrow edges and speed up hair growth.
History of Castor Oil
Known scientifically as Ricinus Communis or historically as Palma Christi or the palm of Christ, castor oil is a yellowish oil which is derived from the Castor beans of the Castor plant. The medicinal usage of castor oil dates as far back as 1550 B.C where it was used by ancient Egyptians to treat eye irritation. Interesting eh?
How Castor Oil is Made
Pure castor oil is cold-pressed from the seed of castor beans. The medicinal castor oil which is used for laxative purposes is prepared from the contents derived from the first pressing while the castor oil that we generally use on the hair and skin is derived from a second pressing. The end result should be a very pale yellow thick liquid that has a distinct taste and odor.
Where is the castor plant grown?
It’s native to the Ethiopian region of East Africa, although it can also be grown in tropical climates, including the southwestern United States where it abundantly grows as a weed. The fast growth rate and abundance of the castor plant make it an affordable oil for all.
Nutritional Contents of Castor Oil
The reason castor oil remains a holy grail and a testimonial product for many who have used it to revive hair growth is due to its three major powerful essential fatty acid contents. 90% of the fatty acids in castor oil is ricinoleate, while the other two are oleate and linoleate. Don’t know what these are or what they do? No worries, I’ll explain them next.
10 Benefits of Castor Oil on Hair
1. Promotes hair growth & minimizes hair loss
The Omega-9 fatty acid content in ricinoleic acid helps to trigger hair growth, fight baldness and hair thinning. It does this by adding strength to each follicle, providing an extra protective barrier/layer for the hair cuticles against environmental damage. When applied on the scalp frequently and consistently, it helps to improve blood circulation to the follicles, which then triggers hair growth.
2. Treats dandruff and other scalp conditions
Linoelic acid has anti-oxidant properties which makes it a popular ingredient in anti-acne beauty products. This means that its healing properties make it suitable in treating dandruff and other scalp irritation which might impede hair growth and affect hair health.
3. Thickens hair
The thick consistency and medicinal properties of castor oil is the reason why it remains a staple product amongst many Naturalistas.
When applied on clean hair, castor oil is able to form an extra layer on the hair cuticle to prevent premature cuticle damage which can result in thinning hair. This means that castor oil helps to ensure that each hair strand can retain as many cuticle layers as it can, while also providing additional temporary layers to fine hair.
A word of caution for those with fine hair, you want to make sure that you dilute castor oil with a thinner oil such as coconut oil to avoid having your hair being weighed down.
4. Conditions and seals in moisture
The third fatty acid component in castor oil is Oleic Acid. This is an emollient which softens the hair and skin. Oleic acid also helps with moisture retention by reducing the rate of moisture evaporation to the atmosphere. This is great news for those with high porosity hair where moisture retention and dryness is an issue.
To help with moisture retention, you can mix a few drops of castor oil with your deep conditioning treatment or co-wash conditioner.
5. Fights dry hair and breakage
One of the reasons why castor oil will forever remain a holy grail product for me is because of its rich moisturizing properties, which has been a lifesaver for my dry African hair. The thick consistency of castor oil helps to increase moisture retention so that my hair can stay moisturized for a longer period of time.
6. Softens and promotes silky smooth hair
Remember the Oleic Acid in castor oil? This is what actually softens the hair, making it feel silky smooth. To get this silky touch, simply apply a few drops of castor oil on damp hair and on top of your leave-in conditioner. Twist or braid the hair, leave it to dry, then take down the style and run your fingers down your hair to see how soft and smooth your hair feels afterward.
7. Manage split ends
Split ends are unavoidable and inevitable. However, split ends can be minimized, and better managed by the way one takes care of their hair.
Although split ends can’t be treated, it can however be managed so that it doesn’t affect the healthier part of the hair strands. Since castor oil provides a protective layer on the hair shaft, it can also provide split ends with extra strength needed to reduce further hair damage.
8. Promotes Shine
Is your hair lacking in luster? Add a tiny drop of castor oil towards the ends of your hair. Also, make sure to check the ingredients in your shampoo to make sure that they’re not washing away the natural oils on your hair shaft.
9. Regrows your edges
The reason castor oil remains a celebrity in the natural hair community is due to its wonder-working miracles when it comes to hair growth. If you’ve tried all you can to re-grow your edges, it might be time to get yourself a bottle of castor oil.
To really ensure that you get the quickest results, it’s best that you stop doing the things that resulted in your hair loss, increase the frequency of your deep conditioning treatments and apply pure castor oil to affected areas on a daily basis until you start to see results. This can span anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.
10. Promotes beautiful sexy hair
Hair has always been a key beauty feature for men and women since the beginning of time. A woman’s hair can reveal so much information about her diet, lifestyle, environment and socio-economic status. So healthy happy hair can translate into the person feeling more beautiful about themselves.
“How else have you successfully used castor oil on your natural hair?