by Shelli of Hairscapades 

A lot of you have questions about Jamaican Black Castor Oil, and how you can use it for your scalp, edges, and ends. Shelli from Hairscapades gives us the scoop on her experience with JBCO and perfectly describes how and why she came to love it. Read on, and post your questions in the comments!! 

Read On!>>>

Why I Needed JBCO

When I first discovered CurlyNikki.com, I learned of
the principles of moisturizing and sealing. Unbeknownst to me, I had
essentially been doing that with my WnGs, using a leave-in (Infusium 23
or DevaCare One Conditioner) and applying a mix of alcohol-free gel and
Carol’s Daughter Healthy Hair Butter. However, with newly discovered
information about other options in hand, I decided to branch out and
experiment. First, I tried shea butter, which Nikki seemed to love. As
our hair types appeared similar, I thought it might work well for me.
That wasn’t the case. I found that shea butter just seemed to “sit” on
top of my hair and made it feel weighed down without feeling
particularly soft or moisturized. Next, I decided to try virgin coconut
oil (VCO) as it was lighter and I’d read a few good things about it.
Well, it was definitely a lot lighter and my ends looked and felt great
after applying it to my released TnC. But, by the end of the same day,
my ends felt “crispy.” I thought this might have been related to an
apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinse that I’d tried for the first time as
well. But, after a couple more uses of VCO without an ACV rinse, I
decided that it definitely did not seem to keep my hair feeling soft and
moisturized. Therefore, I was still in search of a good sealant and
eventually came across this post on CurlyNikki entitled, Battle of Castor Oils.
The short of it was that the writer was comparing castor oils for use
on her scalp as she’d suffered with eczema for years. She rated JBCO as
the best.

After doing a little more research, I decided to venture into the
world of JBCO. I wanted to try it on both my scalp and hair. Though I
didn’t have any scalp issues, I had read that it could promote
thickening of the hair at the roots and growth, both things that I
desired (there was a JBCO Edges Re-Growth Challenge running on the CN
Forums at the time). I also wanted to try it on my hair to seal as I’d
had less then stellar results with shea butter and coconut oil. So,
around July of last year, I found the Tropic Isle Living JBCO ($5.99 for
4 oz.) at a BSS that caters to a Black clientele. I was very happy to
find this on the ground rather than having to order online and pay
shipping!

I started using JBCO on my scalp and hair immediately. The smell has
been called “smokey” and “nutty,” and I guess that I would agree. I
don’t find it strong, but some do and some even find it intolerable,
though it dissipates quickly in my opinion. The consistency is a little
thicker than olive oil, but not as thick as regular castor oil. However,
despite its viscosity, it’s not sticky, tacky or heavy once applied to
hair with a light hand.

On My Scalp 

When I used it on my scalp, I experienced a lot of itching. Some
commenters on the forum thread made references to this being a side
effect of JBCO use on the scalp. Some stated that it could just mean
that blood flow to the scalp was being stimulated, which meant the hair
was going through a growth cycle. However, my scalp is never itchy and
it meant to me that it was irritated. In my head, irritation leads to
inflammation and scratching, which is counter to growth and can result
in excessive shedding. So, I stopped using JBCO on my scalp. But now,
I’m not so sure that JBCO was the culprit as I have since realized that
amla may have been the source of the problem or, at least, contributed a
lot to it. That being said, I may revisit using JBCO on my scalp, just
to see if it itches, since I’m no longer using amla.

As indicated
above, I didn’t use it on my scalp for long, so didn’t notice any type of
difference in texture. In regard to shedding, I did experience a lot of
shedding during the time I was using JBCO, but I really believe that was
due to amla. So, I can’t give you any insights on that. However, there
was this article by blogger Strawberricurls,
who helped her mother regrow her edges! The woman was very nearly bald
from her natural hairline to her ear due to damaging weaves and
chemicals. Within 5 months, with daily application of JBCO, she
completely regrew her edges!!

JBCO On My Ends…

Now, onto using JBCO on my ends. Different story entirely. O … M …
GAWH!! When I tell you that I fell in love with it from the first use,
I’m not kidding! I used it on these two strand twists that I’d done and
my ends felt like BUTTER! They were sooo soft, supple, smooth, sheeny
and moisturized (I know, I know! Oil doesn’t moisturize! Buuuuuut, it
seals in moisture and a good sealant keeps moisture in the hair leading
to hair that feels moisturized!).

As a Cocktail Ingredient 

I not
only use JBCO to seal my ends, I also use it in my leave-in,
add it to some of my deep conditioners and I’ve experimented with it as a pre-poo oil
for my ends. I’ve recently started mixing it with Extra virgin olive oil, in order to get
the penetrating benefits of olive oil with the sealing benefits of JBCO.
Using a 50/50 ratio mix, I’m also able to extend my JBCO further and
mask the overt smell of olive oil so that I don’t smell like an Italian
restaurant!

Recap: Ways to Use JBCO

  • Promote thickening and growth of the hair at the roots
  • Seal your ends 
  • Add it to your favorite products 
  • Use it as a pre-poo 
  • Mix it with olive oil and use as a sealant 
  • Re-grow your edges with daily application
Anyone use JBCO? If so, how do you use it? How often? What kind
of results are you getting (i.e. increased thickness, regrowth of edges,
decreased shedding, improved moisture retention, etc.)? What are the
pros and the cons? Spill
!