Castor Oil

What is Castor Oil?

Castor oil is a very thick and sticky oil that comes from the seed of the Ricinus Communis plant. The oil colour is between clear to very light yellow and, it has a very mild odour. The Ricinus Communis plant can be found in Africa and Asia and, it’s believed that the Egyptians were the first to discover the benefit of this oil. They used it not only in their beauty regimen and as medicine (eye irritation, stimulate labour in pregnant women) but also for other practical day-to-day activity and living necessity (such as an oil for burning their lamps). The oil is non-toxic, biodegradable and most importantly renewable.

Why is Castor Oil good for both the hair and skin?

Castor oil has many anti-fungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties that help to treat things like ringworm, dandruff, dry itchy scalp and skin. The Ricinoleic acid (12-Hydroxyoleic Acid) in castor oil consists of roughly 90% of the fatty acid; this helps to balance the pH of the scalp and creates an environment that is unsuitable for dandruff.

This oil is a humectant, which means it attracts and traps the moisture (water particles) from the air into the skin and hair. Just like all other oils, castor oil locks in the moisture (water) in the hair, which helps to keep the hair hydrated for longer; the longer moisture stays on the hair strands, the less like it will be prone to breakage and split ends as hydrated hair is flexible, manageable and, healthy. Castor oil penetrates the hair outer layer and fills in any damaged keratin on the strands. This locks in the moisture, keeps the hair hydrated and therefore, making the hair soft and manageable. It also adds shine and lustre to the hair as it forms a protective layer on the hair shaft; this helps to reduce frizz and premature greying, hair thinning and hair loss.

Castor oil is commonly used in today’s modern world as a laxative for constipation, uneven skin tone, acne and many other skin conditions.

How to use Castor Oil on hair?

Like with all oils, castor oil is best applied on wet or damp hair as it seals in the moisture. Due to the thickness of the oil, only the smallest amount needs to be applied to the hair.

Possible disadvantage of using Castor Oil?

Castor oil has few side effects if consume or absorb in a large amount such as:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhoea
  • Muscle cramps
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Hallucinations
  • Fainting
  • Shortness of breath and chest pain
  • Skin rash
  • Throat tightness
  • We highly recommend that medical advice should be sought as there might be underlying health issues when using castor oil for hair loss.
  • Stained clothes (best to wear an old t-shirt or unwanted clothes)

 

Resources and References:

Tadimalla, R.T; 2020; 9 Side Effects Of Castor Oil You Should Be Aware Of; StyleCraze; https://www.stylecraze.com/articles/side-effects-of-castor-oil-you-should-be-aware-of/#gref

Kandola, A; 2018; Benefits of castor oil for the face and skin; Medical News Today; https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319844.php

Wong, C; 2019; Using Castor Oil for Hair Growth; Very Well Health; https://www.verywellhealth.com/using-castor-oil-for-hair-growth-4172190

Winney; 2019; Benefits Of Using Castor Oil On 4C Hair; LovingKinkyCurls; https://lovingkinkycurls.com/benefits-of-adding-castor-oil-in-your-4c-hair-care-routine/

Walton, N; 2014; How to Use Castor Oil for Natural Hair Growth; Naturally Curly; https://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/ingredients/how-to-use-castor-oil-for-natural-hair-growth

Hartfield, W; 2020; Castor Oil For Hair Loss Study Review; Hairguard; https://www.hairguard.com/castor-oil-benefits-for-hair/

Heather; 2012; 8 Benefits of Castor oil for natural hair & a warning!; Neno Natural; https://www.nenonatural.com/hair-blog/8-benefits-of-castor-oil-for-natural-hair-a-warning

Jostylin; 2019; My Experience Using Castor Oil to Grow Natural Hair | 4C Afro Hair Review; Jostylin; https://jostylin.com/how-to-use-castor-oil-to-grow-natural-hair-4c-afro-hair

Kelly AJ1, Kavanagh J, Thomas J; 2013; Castor oil, bath and/or enema for cervical priming and induction of labour; NCBI; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23881775

Photos by: CDC on Unsplash

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