Castor Oil is a thick vegetable oil obtained from the castor seed, rich in antioxidants and ant-inflammatory properties. It has been used as a remedy for acne and other skin conditions for years, including dermatitis and psoriasis.
While there is little scientific evidence of castor oil being helpful for hair growth, it is indicated across the blog and traditional science sphere of being helpful for hair growth.
Benefits of Castor Oil for your Hair
Castor oil may help with the following:
Improve hair appearance
Castor oil deeply nourishes your hair follicles and scalp, therefore can provide a layer of hydration which helps improve your overall hair appearance
Provides Nutrients to your hair
Castor oil contains omega-9 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory by nature. This means castor oil can help fight off hair loss associated with inflammation.
Anti-bacterial and Anti-fungal
Castor oil contains naturally occurring anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. So it maybe useful in helping reverse hair loss where the hair loss is due to an infection.
While there are no scientific studies as such linking castor oil to re-growing hair, it is thought the benefits of nourishing your hair follicles and providing omega-9 fatty acids, while eliminating inflammation are helpful in stimulating hair growth, particularly when used with a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle (i.e. exercising, meditating).
Can Castor Oil help grow facial / beard hair?
Facial hair is different to other hair on your body. And unfortunately, using castor oil alone won’t help grow facial or beard hair.
It may however indirectly support beard hair growth. Because it has the ability to reduce inflammation, fight of bacteria and fungi, and help hydrate your hair – castor oil may provide a healthy skin surface to promote hair growth.
If you’re suffering from facial hair loss or lack of growth, you need to look at the overall picture.
- Do you suffer from any bacterial or fungal infection in the regions of your beard?
- Do you have inflammation (characterised by eczema / puffiness)?
- Does your diet contain nutrients and is your lifestyle promoting good blood circulation to your body overall?
By identifying whether there are blockages in any of the above, castor oil could help provide solutions to the greater problem and as a result, give you the chance to grow a fuller beard.
How to use it
As with any application, apply a couple of drops of castor oil to your palms and rub together. Apply into your beard or on your face, really rubbing it in and massaging into your beard and facial skin.
This will help the oil absorb more readily into your skin and promote the blood flow and hydration.
Wash off after about 20 minutes to half-hour.
Note – Castor Oil is a thick oil and can cause other problems such as clogged pores. So, if you are using it, it is advisable to ensure you can really wash out thoroughly, or you may find it works the opposite way as intended.
Precautions and side-effects
Castor oil is thick. Applying it is difficult enough and by doing so, you can block your hair follicles and pores if left in for too long, or not washed out properly.
This could interfere with the natural oil production (sebum) of your skin, which could result in your skin overproducing oil and lead to acne or other skin conditions.
If you suffer from any skin condition, you may suffer from aggravation or irritation so it maybe best to use less, or mix in with a carrier oil to help reduce the potential side-effect impact on your skin.
Castor oil is not proven to help re-grow hair, but its benefits could provide the right conditions to help promote facial hair growth.
The type of castor oil used is also important.
Most supermarkets offer a traditional “Castor Oil” – which are cold pressed. Black Castor oil, which first roasts the seeds before extracting, and Jamaican Castor oil, where the seeds are crushed, heated and then pressed to extract the oil.
While there is no right or wrong, the one you use does have an impact with how it is absorbed by your skin. Some prefer Jamaican castor oil, however because it contains ash (through the roasting process), the alkaline content can open your hair cuticles, which may not be a good thing if not closed as it can lead to friction and breakages.
Whereas, traditional castor oil is more commonly used to help fight off frizzy and dry hair.
The type you use will depend on your hair type and lifestyle.