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November 15, 2011

Castor Oil for Healthy Natural Hair Growth

By Dr. Phoenyx Austin of DrPhoenyx.com

Ok ladies- last week we chatted a bit about one of my favorite essential oils- peppermint oil. Now this week we’re going to get into one of my favorite carrier oils- castor oil!

I’ve known about this natural emollient since I was waist high. And I particularly love this oil because it is extremely rich vitamin E and essential fatty acids that are important for healthy hair growth.

A few benefits of castor oil:
  • Is an excellent emollient and humectant for skin and hair
  • Is a treatment for hair thinning and hair loss
  • Prevents the dry and itchy scalp
  • Has anti-fungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties- so it can be effective for treating skin/scalp infections like ringworm.
A Word On Jamaican Black Castor Oil…

Many women want to know why there’ so much buzz about Jamaican Black Castor Oil (JBCO). So let me give you a brief rundown of what JBCO is and why it’s different from other types of castor oil.

Manufacturers will use different types of processing methods when extracting oils from plants. And an oil will be either unrefined or refined based on how it was extracted from a plant. Unrefined oils retain most if not all of their nutritive properties, while refined oils will lose some (or possibly all) of their nutritive properties.

Jamaican Black Castor Oil is simply a raw, unrefined form of castor oil. So it is a form of castor oil that has retained most, if not all of its nutritive properties. It is simply a high quality form of castor oil. And this is why JBCO is so highly sought after and wildly popular among women.

Castor Oil and Healthy Hair Growth

Castor oil is a great hair oil, but it can be very thick and viscous. So some women may end up having a bad hair experience with the oil. In fact, it’s not uncommon for a woman to get immediately turned off from using this oil because it left her hair all sticky and icky. Still this oil is simply amazing for the health of your hair and scalp. So check out these few tips on how to best use castor oil. Then try out this oil for a few weeks- who knows, you may just fall in love too!

Tips for Using Castor Oil:

1. Moisturize Hair First
Before using any emollient (i.e. hair oil or butter), you always want to make sure that your hair has been wet first (i.e. your hair that has been moisturized first). Emollients don’t “moisturize,” they simply “seal” moisture in. So the best way to use castor oil is on wet hair.

2. Use Less Oil
Castor oil is very thick and viscous so you don’t need to be “heavy-handed” with use. Using a lot of castor oil won’t increase its benefits- it will just make your hair sticky and limp. And with castor oil, as well as many other emollients, you will find oftentimes that when using “less is more.” Also, because it is a “heavier oil,” some women do prefer to only use castor oil on certain parts of their. For example, some may only use castor oil the edges of hair as opposed to using it all over their hair.

3. Mix With Other Oils
Since castor oil is so thick and heavy, it may be best to “lighten” it up with other oils. There’s no law that says you can’t mix your emollients. In fact, I’ve been using a great mixture that includes equal parts castor oil, olive oil and fresh rosemary. This is a wonderful hair oil- and it smells great too!

Is castor oil a part of your hair regimen? How do you use your castor oil? What type of castor oil do you use?

If you’d like to send a comment/question to Dr. Phoenyx, you can find her on her Facebook and Twitter. Dr. Phoenyx Austin is a writer, media personality, and physician.

74 Chime in!:

Anonymous said...

I love castor oil. My hair is growing like crazy since I started using it daily on my hair in the past 5 months.

Anonymous said...

I love castor oil as well and I mix alittle with olive oil...it works great...I also use alittle to moisturize my face with in the winter...it also works great...

Anonymous said...

I love castor oil & use the brand shown above. I haven't used it by itself on my hair - I mix it with shea butter, almond oil & Vitamin E and it has a wonderful creamy consistency. I use it every night after adding moisture to my hair. I also use straight castor oil on my heels and feet and they look and stay smooth all day.

Anonymous said...

CO hasn't eliminated my SSK, but I'm still liking it anyway. :-)

I tried it under a two-strand twist and curl that I dried under the bonnet hair dryer. I have since tried to replicated the style without heat, but wasn't able to duplicate the stretched softness I achieved. *sigh*

Still expirimenting with CO under gels; using ICF and ECO, but have not found the happy ratio.

I prefer CO to hair grease. It made my hair feel softer than grease did. Sorry I wasted my $4.50 on that "fad".

Anonymous said...

I've been using JBCO in my Kimmaytube inspired leave-in recipe along with an Argan/Jojoba oil elixir, KKKT and Alove Vera Juice for braid/twist outs and I'm loving it since I am basically putting (after mixing) one product on my hair after I wash. Moisture and sealing all in one.

naturallyappealing said...

I use CO in my Kimmaytube leave in as well. I also use it to thicken my eyebrows. I am almost out of the regular castor oil, next castor oil I get will be the JBCO. I am anxious to try that out especially since most of the nutrients has been retained.

Jada07 said...

I use castor oil in my shea mix and in my Kimmaytube leave in. I use it to seal my ends when I twist, I use it on my edges and in my scalp oil mix. Can you say I luv castor oil! LOL. I also use it mixed with olive oil to do my oil cleanse on my face.

http://www.youtube.com/user/moodindigo7772?feature=mhee

Meli said...

I first made the mistake of using castor oil by itself on my hair. I use the Palma Christi brand of castor oil on the image above. It was a sticky mess and the smell wasn't too nice either.

I currently use CO weekly in my deep conditioner mix. I melt shea butter into an oil, castor oil, extra virgin olive oil, my favorite conditioner at the moment (giovanni's 50/50 balanced conditioner), and Vitamin E (i hope I'm not forgetting a ingredient!).

So far so good, but I'm open to change in my regimen!

I can't wait to use the Jamaican Black Castor Oil next!

Anonymous said...

I live in the San Francisco bay area. Does anyone know where I can buy JBCO or can anyone recommend an on-line store for it? Thanks much.

Jami said...

Dr. Phoenyx, is it true that those who actually work in doing the actual extraction of the oil from the castor bean are harmed during the process from the toxicity of the castor bean? And does this bother you? Peace.

Divaangelic2 said...

THICKEN THE EYEBROWS?!!! Naturallyappealing... SHEER GENIUS!!! I needed to think about this a few YEARS AGO! Kudos... I have yet to try the CO but now it's on my list.... Thanks! :)

Jax said...

Anonymous at 12:54, I buy JBCO from Amazon online. I LOVE IT!!!

Anonymous said...

Hello Dr. Phoenyx,

I was told that black castor oil is dark because it's mixed with ash and/or herbs, not because it's unrefined. I spoke directly to a castor oil processor and was told that castor oil is amber/yellow when pressed directly from the seeds. Refined castor oil is a very pale yellow. While black castor oil may be unrefined, its dark color is unrelated to that.

Anonymous said...

I grew up with the stuff and have always kept a bottle in the house. It's the oil I come back to time and again for dry ends and itchy scalp. just a dab will do.

Annabel said...

@Anonymous 12:56 in SF. I use the type of CO pictured in this post and bought in on vitacost.com.

kydee said...

Ive been using castor oil for about 5 months, I just ran out of my regular refined castor oil and on Sunday while I was in the Beauty Supply store I found Jamaican Black Castor oil which I just started using. Im excited about the JAMAICAN CASTOR OIL because I have heard such rave reviews about it. Overall Castor Oil is one of my faves.

Miss Medi DiJah said...

Question: How do i use this to assist with hair growth? Add to my deep conditioner? Or grease my scalp with it? (I'm not a twist out person, i wear mostly buns)

I AM ... Chance said...

I just started using castor oil and I like it a lot! I learned the hard way that "less is more" but I like that it keeps my hair moisturized for days. I used it with my Eco Styler gel and loved the results. Used one drop before the application of gel gave me softer curls that felt moisturized into day two and three!

onevoiceonechance.blogspot.com

Ms.LondonCurls said...

I use Castor Oil (alot) which is why I need a new bottle. Apply to hair just after its washed and damp or in between wash days. I base my scalp with it and sometime mix with Olive Oil scalp stimulator moisturizer and only use small amount. Less is more for this oil. I love it, the smell and the way my hair feels.

WineGrrl said...

I like JCO, but a little goes a long way....

Candace4life said...

I buy mine from here and I really like it, and the packaging comes quickly. The smell is kinda strong, so I sometimes will mix it with grapefruit oil and good to go with the hair :).
_________________________________________

You can buy JBCO at www.sams247.com

TROPIC ISLE JAMAICAN BLACK CASTOR OIL 8 OZ.
prices are 4oz is $5.29
prices are 8oz is $9.99

or if you want the Lavender scented one its
TROPIC ISLE LAVENDER JAMAICAN BLACK CASTOR OIL 4oz is $6.99
8oz is $11.99

Candace4life said...

ETA there's also a new JBCO they have also added as well called TROPIC ISLE LAVENDER JAMAICAN COCONUT BLACK CASTOR OIL HAIR & SKIN TREATMENT 4OZ IS $9.99

candace4life said...

w/o the lavender I meant lol....

Mrs. Val said...

I love castor oil! I use it on my eyelashes, eyebrows, edges and ends of my hair. I also put it on my husband's face because he's trying to grow in his beard evenly. I've incorporated it into my bedtime routine so I rarely forget to apply it. I have noticed subtle changes since I've been using it. I'm taking pictures monthly to document how the castor oil really affects hair growth and I'm eventually going to post the results once I get several months of data!

tiannareid said...

I love CO.. I saturate my scalp with it and put conditioner on my hair and sit under my steamer. I have very dry scalp especially in the winter( seborrheic dermatitis). I gives my styles longevity so I don't have to wash it every 4-5 days. I wanted to try the JBCO but i have read/seen(youtube) mixed review about shedding. I will be adding it to the brows tonight!!!

Pecancurls said...

I recently started using the Qhemet Biologics Castor and moringa oil. Love it!!! Great moisture retention. Thanks CN for the giveaway and for introducing me to QB!

Anonymous said...

I love it!!! I mix it with my leave-in condish. I also love the old school hair grease, "Hair Rep"...it has castor oil in it...I love to seal with this(makes hair super soft)

Anonymous said...

They still make Hair Rep? LOL! My cuz in STL used it back in the day!

Alex said...

I use castor oil for oil rinses. It helps moisturize my hair and scalp. I use Home Health’s brand found at Whole Foods. I would love to try Jamaican castor oil.

Anonymous said...

i massage my scalp with castor oil and raw avocado oil (another oil that will help hair grow faster) and my twa is sprouting like a weed despite the fact I'm having health problems that are preventing my hair from being at it's best...it's awesome!

Dr. Phoenyx said...

@Jami
Hey Jami! Great question. Actually there are many plants that can make humans sicks- especially if mishandled during processing. As far as castor oil processing, the result of sickness is due to ricin exposure (a toxin found in castor beans). The method of sickness is via inhalation, ingestion, or injection. Ricin poisoning can be treated. Furthermore it's quite rare for trained workers to get sick when handling castor beans and during the extraction process. Unlike average folk, they are aware of the risks and know how to handle castor beans accordingly.

Dr. Phoenyx said...

@Anonymous 1:35
JBCO is darker because the processing method involves burning the castor beans and then boiling in water to extract the oil. This oil is unrefined. No chemicals are used during the extraction process. And the oil appears darker due to the burning process. And yes, castor oil that is amber/yellow appears this way because it had been pressed directly from the beans. However, color is not a good indication of whether an oil is refined or not. Colors are easily added to oils. You have look at the extraction method to determine if an oil is refined or unrefined.

Alancia said...

I mix my castor oil with aragan oil and lavender oil it smells great and works wonders on,the hair

ForHisGlory said...

I use castor oil in my Kimmaytube leave-in and my hair absolutely loves it!

Valerie said...

I love castor oil for my face. Its great as a moisturizer for dry, sensitive skin.

Carla said...

For my hair, I mix castor oil with olive, jojoba oil and a little bit of melted shea butter. I sometimes add rosemary essential oil, or for fun, add a little fragrance (love vanilla).

I also use it solo on my eyebrows, lashes and hairline.

My lashes and edges have gotten so thick over the past few months from using it daily!

Anonymous said...

I like to pre-poo with castor oil. I apply it to dry hair. Should I be wetting my hair first and then applying the castor oil?

Crystal said...

HEY ALL MY ATLANTA CURLIES!!! The best place to find the most sought after natural products is a hair store called SAGE NATURALCUETICALS! I stumbled upon it about 2 months ago, & I've been a faithful customer ever since. (Its conviently located in the Castleberry Hills lofts) So every 2 wks I'm trying out a new product. The owner is knowledgeable & she first put me on to CASTOR OIL...

The BEST thing about this store is that they carry most of the products that we'd normally have to buy online. I.e. JBCO! they carry the whole line! (+ Oyin Handmade, Aubrey Organics, & ALOT more)

Dont miss their in-store/online BLACK FRIDAY SALE... 30% off! Tell them "Crystal from No Mas sent you!" ;-)

TootsDiva said...

Castor oil is great. I generally use it as a pre poo. I guess im the odd ball. But i can't take the smell much so pre poo with coconut oil mixed with castor oil for a few hrs then wash. In between i will apply it to my edges and ends to retain moisture. The two mixed i find helpful with shine and overall health of my hair the last few months.

Anonymous said...

I love castor oil! When I was younger, my hair had fallen out, and I had a bald spot....Dr's gave medicine and things, and nothing worked. My mother started rubbing castor oil on my scalp and my hair took off growing! Needless to say, castor oil remains a staple in my hair care regimen!

Anonymous said...

Has anyone had a bad reaction to castor oil. I mixed pure castor oil and pure shea butter recently with a little aloe vera gel. It was the first time I used these products on my hair. I left them on over night and by morning, my scalp was itching like crazy. I had to wash my hair and rinse it 4 times before I got any relief. I washed it two more days after that because of continued itching. Also, my hair is now very dry and brittle feeling. I conditioned heavily after each washing, but truly, my hair feels damaged. (it has no chemicals on it - I have been 100% natural for a number of years). I don't have allergies to nuts so I am really perplexed. I have heard so many wonderful things about it. So I have mixed up a 80/20 bottle of olive oil (which I have always used) and castor oil to see if dilution will work, though I'm waiting before trying it until my scalp feels better. I'm holding off on the shea butter on my hair for now, though I'm having no issues with it on my hands. Any suggestions

sandra said...

please where can i buy JBCO in Ghana?

Anonymous said...

Growing up in Jamaica JBCO was our staple for deep conditioning (steaming). Just love love the stuff. Living in the States now, I am currently out and have been using the brand shown above, and to be honest, the smell and consistency is much milder than the JBCO, but in my mind they both get the job done. JBCO may be much stronger as it is unrefined so the results would definitely be more. I have very tightly coiled hair and I use for both pre-poo as well as daily scalp massages - a little does go a long way. It leaves my hair soft and curls defined - not to mention growth/thickness. I just love the stuff.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Do you know if the JBCO is available to buy in Accra, Ghana? Thanks

Anonymous said...

Dont you have castor beans in ghana? u can extract it yourself. i am a nigerian, and because i live where i cant get these oils, i extract my oil. neem oil, avocado, coconut, sesame, just name the hair oils. the only oil i have not been able to extract is mango oil. i will soon dare to extract shea butter, eventhough i dont need to, since it is abundant in the market.

Fast Grow Hair Growth Oil said...

Castor Oil is all over the place, I have found it to be a bit too heavy. Those of you that have used castor oil, do you dilute it with any other oils, or do you apply castor oil only. also do you apply it to the scalp or hair. I have found an oil that seems to be nutritious for scalp and hair, has anyone used it? It's called Fast Grow Hair Growth Oil.

LauraWolfhart said...

Thanks for sharing! I actually prefer argan oil instead of castor oil because it has more benefits and it’s super light on my hair, not greasy. I use Pro Naturals Moroccan Argan Oil (got it online at beyas) and my hair is shinier, healthier, fuller and much stronger :D

Anonymous said...

Has anyone mixed castor oil with tea tree oil?

Karla Yen said...

I use castor oil as part of my wash and go routine. After I add leave in conditioner, I separate my hair into six sections. I run a small amount of castor oil through each section before I shingle a styling gel.

Krishna said...

We heat it in over and then it is easy to apply.

Maureen said...

JBCO may not be available in Ghana. But the blessing that come with living in Africa is that you have easy access to the pure undiluted oils. Just get a bottle of castor oil from your local pharmacy - most pharmacist sell it as laxative. And it comes much more cheaper - and I bet you its richer as its pure from source.

Saanidhya said...

let me try this!!!! hope this improves my hair's health.....i have been longing to have beautiful hair!!

Saanidhya said...

hope this helps me too!!

Eliyana said...

hey when is the coorect time to apply this oil..i mean do u need to keep it all night or jus an hour is enough....any comments or say on this guyz??

Eliyana said...

when is the right time to put this oil??

tohshika said...

hey thanks karl

Fulindo said...

My hair is pretty thick. I am more interested in the growth aspect of this oil. Even if I don't have thin hair, is it all right if I use this product? For example, are there any cons for me with my hair thickness?

Newly Natural said...

Where do you buy your castor oil? I'm in NYC and I've been trying to find Jamaican Black Castor Oil in the local health food stores, but most of them have only the Palma Christi kind, not the JBCO. Does anyone know where I can find it in the city for a decent price (I found the Tropic Isle brand at one store in Harlem. It was $15.99 for 8oz). Do you order online?

Newly Natural said...

yes. I just read an article on Curly Nikki about this--although you've probably answered this by now since I'm mad late

Newly Natural said...

Never mind, I scrolled down and read some of the older posts

LongHairGUrl said...

Yep castor oil is great. Also have been using this new product: http://www.exoticallure.com/hair-growth-oil.htm
Great post!

Cecilia Walcott said...

I have been using cold press castor oil for the pass three months and my hair loves it. I would to try the Jamaican Black Castor Oil but i live in Barbados and not sure if it is available here.

Cecilia Walcott said...

For some ppl when they start to us Castor Oil it itches. I did not have this issue. which castor oil are u using if is the black castor oil u may be allergy to it. try the cold press one and see what happens and if you get the same reaction u would know that castor oil is not for u

toya said...

I can agree with having a heavy hand with the castor oil, now I realize that I only need a little bit and it works wonderful on my head, especially since my hair is on the thin side. Since I been using castor oil my hair looks thicker and feels thicker...yay love this oil :)

Aviann Ferdinand-Caterson said...

massaged castor oil into our scalp last night... still moist since Sunday...

Scriea LcEmpress Estephane said...

Castor Oil cleanses the scalp, hence the itching. I had that too but washing does nothing, as you found out and instead has created dry hair from too much washing. That's what Castor Oil is good for, if you use it for the first time is that it will take all of the junk out of your scalp.

disqus_rPMK8EzGmm said...

Any body use the phytopolleine universal scalp elixer before I use it supposed to purify the scalp and stimulate the scalp powerful booster for thinning hair fortifies &energizes the hair essential oil of cajput &lemon purify &regulate unbalanced scalp corn oil soothes sensitive scalp cooling sensation don't see how corn oil will cool the scalp paid 32.00 for the bottle will be taking the product back to the store .

disqus_rPMK8EzGmm said...

it might be the mix the aloe vera gel might be whats causing the itch use aloe Vera juice instead look on you tube for kimmey tube think im spelling it right .she will give you a home made recipe.

presshy said...

I use the rite aid catsor oil. Is it the same?

shirnz said...

I just want to say that all that info about black castor oil is better is totally false...I am a born West Indian who moved to the U.S 4 years ago and I have seen my grandfather and grandmother make castor oil and coconut oil and they are both pale yellow in color. There is no question about if it is pure because I saw them make it with my own two eyes. So let's just say that Jamaican Black Castor Oil is a different form of castor oil and regular -pale yellow colored- castor oil is not less pure than JBCO :-)

shirnz said...

It is fine to keep castor oil in your hair until your next wash. It is pretty thick so one drop may be sufficient depending on how much hair you have. I mean I hear alot of people talking about how they only keep it on overnight or for a few hours but in the West Indies we put castor oil on our hair and just do not worry about washing it out right away. It will be absorbed by your scalp anyways. I personally have never even heard of people have reactions to castor oil (unless maybe you are allergic to nuts).

Lo said...

Go to Bedstuy.

labelmebadd18 said...

lucky!

queentiye said...

I lighten the castor oil up with jojoba oil. It seems to work really well at giving my curls definition and adding sheen.

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