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Is Castor Oil The Secret To Hair Length?

Here’s why you should have this beloved oil in your arsenal.
17 Nov 2021
Hair oils can completely change your hair and natural hair care routine. Whether you’re looking to lock in moisture, nourish your scalp or even promote hair growing longer, there’s an oil for every hair care concern. One of our favorite oils for hair growth that supports long locks is none other than castor oil.

As far as oils go, castor oil is pretty impressive. Along with supporting long length, it also nourishes and moisturizes your hair and scalp. If that’s not convincing enough, it also adds shine, clarifies your scalp, and helps smooth hair for styling. The multipurpose oil is a game-changer and well worth the hype.

If you’re interested in using castor oil in your routine, there are a few things you should know like, there’s more than one. Don’t worry—we have all the tips and tricks for using this nourishing oil. Read on for everything you need to know about choosing and using the best castor oil and, of course, which Carol’s Daughter products are full of this miracle ingredient.

How Does Castor Oil Hair Growth Work?

Castor oil is a vegetable oil that’s pressed from castor beans. It’s rich in fatty acids that help to restore proteins and other nutrients into hair. It has significant levels of ricinoleic acid, which is a natural humectant. This means it helps hair and skin retain moisture by preventing water loss. It’s one of the reasons why curly hair, in particular, takes so well to castor oil.

Castor oil is usually clear, but there are types of castor oil that can be dark brown—more on that later. It’s also a very thick oil, so it can be heavier or fine hair. Castor oil for hair has a lengthy shelf-life, so not only does a little go a long way, but it also lasts for a long time.

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What Are The Different Types of Castor Oil?

Now that you know what castor oil is, let's get into the types of castor oil for hair and how they differ.

Pure castor oil

As we mentioned before, pure castor oil is usually clear. Many times pure castor oil may be labeled as cold-pressed. The cold-pressed version of this oil is believed to be the purest and best option since there was no heat or chemicals used in the extraction process. If you’re looking to apply castor oil from root to tip, the pure version is best for you.

Jamaican Black Castor Oil

Another form of the popular oil, Jamaican or black, is usually darker. The darkness of the Jamaican Black Castor Oil is a result of the creation process, which involves roasting the castor bean. The ash from this process leaves the oil a dark brown color and lends its unique scent. Aside from the color difference, black castor oil has a higher pH level, which is more alkaline than the other version and is best when used on the scalp only unless you’re using it as a sealant during the styling process. The benefit of this is that it tends to be more clarifying and may help open the cuticle. This is a significant benefit if you have low porosity hair that has trouble letting water and moisture in. Since a healthy scalp is the foundation of hair length, applying Jamaican Black Castor Oil to the scalp may be a great method for encouraging longer hair.

So how do you know what type is right for you? It’s a matter of preference and how you want to use it. The best castor oil is the one you like most. The formulation process of black castor oil is believed to create an oil with more benefits. However, either oil is an excellent addition to your natural hair care routine.

Does Castor Oil Stimulate Hair Length?

Let’s get to the bottom of whether castor oil for hair can stimulate your strands and cause growth. The ricinoleic acid in the oil is known to stimulate the receptors responsible for blood vessel dilation. When this happens on your scalp, hair follicles receive a rush of nutrient-rich blood that can help strands flourish. However, there’s no absolute scientific evidence that castor oil is a growth stimulator. What we can say for sure is that it definitely helps rebalance the hair’s moisture levels. Ultimately hair that is well-hydrated, strong, and flexible is more prone to growth.

What Are The Benefits of Castor Oil?

Castor oil is, in many ways, an easy remedy for a number of hair and skin woes. Here are some of the ways it helps improve the health of hair.

1. It moisturizes

As mentioned, castor oil is a fantastic moisturizer. It’s ideal for both retaining and sealing in nourishment. Castor oil has a heavier consistency than other oils, making it a good solution for sealing hydration into both dry hair and skin. Use the Hair Milk Refresher Spray as a curl reviver and rehydrator in between washes or whenever you feel your hair getting dry.

2. It clarifies

The darker, ash-infused version of castor oil works well as a pre-shampoo treatment. This can help open up the cuticle before deep cleaning any product buildup away with a sulfate-free shampoo.

3. It helps with styling

Because castor oil is so good at making weak hair stronger, it’s a useful ingredient to have when styling more delicate pieces of hair like your edges. When styling your edges, reach for the Black Vanilla Edge Control Smoother, which has castor oil in it for safer slicking.

4. It makes hair more pliable

After only a few styling sessions with the castor oil-enhanced Black Vanilla Moisture and Shine Hair Smoothie, you’ll likely notice that any dryness and brittleness is gone. It makes strands more flexible and less likely to snap off and break.

5. It enhances shine

Much like other oils, castor oil for hair adds a healthy shine to dry and dull hair. It doesn’t soak into hair as some oils do, so you’ll see its glossing benefits even if you only apply a small amount.Try adding Healthy Hair Butter to your routine to maximize shine.

6. It increases blood flow to the scalp

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, it is not possible to grow healthy hair if your scalp isn’t healthy first. In fact, proper blood flow to the scalp is an essential component of hair length and castor oil does just that. Applying castor oil to the scalp increases the blood flow or circulation. What works even better is if you apply the oil and follow up with a scalp massage. It’s simple, but very effective.

7. It helps keep scalp imbalances at bay

Even though circulation is essential, a healthy scalp is about much more than blood flow, but castor oil helps with this, too. Thanks to its antibacterial and antifungal properties, inflammatory skin conditions like dandruff and itchiness are kept at bay. It’s also known to help relieve flaking and dryness, too.

8. It can help reduce breakage

Breakage is one of the main reasons most of us don’t see the results of hair growth aka length retention. We know this oil can impart dry strands with moisture, which makes them less likely to break or split. And since castor oil is loaded with ricinoleic acid, it is believed to help create stronger and more fortified hair strands. Stronger strands means less breakage and snapping.

What Hair Types Should Use Castor Oil?

While there isn’t a specific curl type that is better for castor oil than another, this oil is best for those who are dealing with dry and weak strands. If you find that your curls are dry, brittle, stiff or you have flaking and itchiness on the scalp, this oil is worth a try.

However, there are different methods that can be used depending on your hair type. For fine and thin hair, avoid applying this oil to the hair shaft. You’ll want to stick to the scalp and the ends, but avoid using it from root to tip. For medium to thick and coarse hair, have fun with castor oil. Apply on the scalp, the hair shaft and the ends. You can even add drops of it to your favorite styling products.

How Often Should You Use Castor Oil?

Castor oil can be a great addition to your curly hair routine, but you want to be sure not to overdo it. Castor oil on its own is a thick and heavy oil so, you may want to test it on your scalp and hair first before working it into your routine. While we want the benefits of this multipurpose oil, we don't want to weigh down our curls or overload the scalp with oils. Start with a small amount one to two times a week in the desired area. Better yet, use products where it is the main ingredient for just as many benefits, for example, a castor oil shampoo.

How To Use Castor Oil For Hair

If you’re new to using oil on your strands, there are a number of ways to use castor oil for hair.

1. Smooth frizzy ends

How you apply castor oil should be based on your hair texture. Because castor oil is on the heavier side, wavy curls from 3A to 3C should focus the application away from the roots. (While amazing, castor oil can really weigh curls down, making them limp and greasy looking.) Use your fingers to work the oil into the bottom two to three inches of hair as your last styling step. If you need all over moisture minus the weight, Coco Crème Curl Perfecting Water Coco Mist Spray is perfect for you. Even though it has castor oil in it, it moisturizes without compromising on volume.

2. Deep treat

You can also use a castor oil-infused hair mask like Goddess Strength Cocoon Hydrating Hair Mask as a repairing treatment. If your hair is really dry or on the thicker and coarser side, apply once a week either as a pre-shampoo or after shampooing treatment. Finer and wavier textures should only be treated once a month. To help the nutrients and moisturizing properties sink in even deeper, apply heat with either a hair steamer, a heated conditioning cap, or by covering your hair with a regular shower cap and hanging out in a steamy bathroom.

3. Try a massage

If added weight isn’t a concern for your texture, treat your scalp to a good castor oil rubdown. The combination of scalp stimulation from massaging and the indirect effects of the ricinoleic acid may help to get stunted strands or broken edges growing—and back to good health.

4. Prep for detangling

Because castor oil helps coat hair so well, it’s a wonderful remedy for detangling. What’s even better is incorporating a conditioner that already has castor oil in it. After shampooing, work the Goddess Strength Fortifying Conditioner with Castor Oil through your hair with your hands from root to tip. Once hair is fully covered in this castor oil conditioner, use a wide-tooth comb to work through any knots and tangles gently. Be sure to comb from the ends upward to avoid too much tugging and potential breakage. A leave-in castor oil cream is the perfect way to end your wash day. We suggest Goddess Strength Divine Strength Leave In With Castor Oil.

5. Make a DIY hair mask

Making your own hair mask at-home is an easy way to refresh dry, brittle locks. Mix a few tablespoons of castor oil with a few tablespoons of coconut oil for a super moisturizing mask that’s ready to use in minutes.

How To Remove Castor Oil From Hair

So you’ve found a new love for castor oil, but you need to know how to remove it from your hair? Fret no more. With a few easy steps you can easily remove castor oil from your strands in no time.

Massage under warm water

If you love cold showers, sorry to say, that won’t work when it comes to removing castor oil from your hair. Since cold water closes up the hair cuticle, it won’t allow any of the oil to be released from the hair. You’ll need warm to hot water to do this. Run warm water over your strands and gently massage your scalp. While you don’t want your water scalding hot, the warmer you go, the quicker this process will be.

Grab a clarifying shampoo

Castor oil isn’t easy to remove, so you’ll need a powerhouse shampoo like a clarifying version. As long as you don’t overuse this product, you shouldn’t have to worry about stripping the hair of natural oils. Consider it more of a hair reset.

Try a cowash

If clarifying shampoos aren’t your thing, try a cowash. It’s gentle on the hair and keeps it moisturized, too. The Monoi Repairing Conditioner is a great option since it's super creamy and helps to reduce breakage.

Rinse with apple cider vinegar

For a more heavy-duty method, consider using apple cider vinegar. Because it’s extremely acidic, it’s great for removing oil and residue from the hair and scalp. It’s similar to a clarifying treatment. To make an ACV rinse, you’ll want to mix it with water and then apply to the hair. Allow the rinse to sit on the hair for 30 minutes and then rinse and shampoo and condition as usual.

Are There Any Side Effects or Concerns With Castor Oil?

While there are several perks that come with regular castor oil application, know that the best castor oil isn’t necessarily a pure one. Using the oil by itself can be hit or miss based on your hair texture. A safer option, particularly if you’re just starting out with it, is to use a product infused with castor oil. The Goddess Strength 7 Oil Blend Scalp & Hair Oil with Castor Oil is a blend of oils, so you’re not only getting the benefits from the castor, but also the additional moisturizing properties of coconut and jojoba seed oils. We know that that castor oil is on the heavier side, so if you’re using it regularly, be sure to do monthly washes with Wash Day Delight Micellar Shampoo to help cut back on any buildup.

Still curious about the benefits of different oils? Here’s Your Guide To Hair Oils For Natural and Curly Hair.

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