Castor Oil For Hair Loss and Hair Growth: How Does it Work?
If you’re looking at miracle cures for hair loss, then you have probably come across castor oil at some point. On this blog post, you’ll find everything you need to know about applying castor oil, hair growth, and general hair health.
What is Hair Loss?
Before we talk about how castor oil can be used for promoting hair growth, it’s first important to understand why we lose hair.
On a daily basis, we typically lose between 50 and 150 hairs without even noticing. This is nothing to worry about and just a result of the natural life cycles of our hair follicles.
However, when we begin to lose more hair follicles than we can replace, then this is called hair loss. Another name for this process is telogen effluvium. Hair loss can either be temporary (alopecia areata) or permanent (male pattern baldness & female pattern baldness).
Why Do We Suffer With Hair Loss?
There are a number of different reasons as to why we suffer with hair loss. Believe it or not, there’s plenty of difference as to why men and women lose hair as well. From environmental and genetic factors to overall hair health, it’s often difficult to tell!
Depending on your reason for losing or thinning hair, this is also going to affect how effective castor oil is going to be at treating your condition.
- Genetic Factors – pattern baldness (categorised by the Norwood Scale and Ludwig Scale)
- Environmental Factors – stress, diet, depression (read our “Does Sertraline Cause Hair Loss?” article)
- Medical Factors – autoimmune conditions, pregnancy, chemotherapy etc (read our “Hair Loss and Chemotherapy” article)
What is Castor Oil?
Castor oil comes from castor beans. Most commonly, it is used as a laxative! However, some people believe that using castor oil on a weekly/monthly basis can encourage hair growth. So, are you going to incorporate castor oil into your hair care regimen?
Castor oil is also a long chained fatty acid that, when applied to the scalp, can (theoretically) help hair growth, cleanse the scalp, and offer moisturising properties. That being said, there is little scientific evidence supporting its efficacy for hair growth.
You can find castor oil at any reputable health and wellness shop. In the UK, you should try somewhere like a Holland & Barretts. You can even buy castor oil over the internet!
Is Castor Oil Effective and Will it Make My Hair Grow?
Evidence supporting the efficacy of castor oil or castor beans and hair loss is incredibly sparse. There is little more than anecdotal evidence supporting castor oil’s benefits in preventing hair loss.
That being said, there is also no evidence showing castor oil to be unsafe to apply. So, there is definitely no harm in giving castor oil a go as a treatment to promote hair growth. But, maybe begin with a few drops to start!
If you’re looking to let your hair grow or fend off hair loss, then we would definitely recommend beginning with something like Minoxidil for hair loss, or finasteride. These would likely be more effective and a board certified dermatologist would probably recommend them as well, over castor oil.
Is Castor Oil Safe To Use as a Hair Treatment?
Yes, castor oil is safe to use as a treatment for hair loss. However, if you’re ever unsure about how to apply it, you should definitely speak to a board certified dermatologist!
You should always make sure you purchase the correct castor oil for hair type. Whether you’re wanting to apply Jamaican black castor oil, pure castor oil, or diluted castor oil, just make sure you’re always following the instructions thoroughly. Using too much, or too high a concentration could have negative effects.
How Does Castor Oil Work For Hair Growth?
Castor Oil has natural anti-fungal, antiviral and antimicrobial properties which may make it perfect for scalp health. If you’re suffering with scalp conditions that create a dry scalp, then castor oil may be for you.
As well as having great hair caring properties, castor oil will also improve blood circulation on the scalp area. This can help to repair damaged hair, encourage healthy hair growth in the follicle root!
Whilst castor oil certainly isn’t going to slow signs of pattern baldness in the way something like dutasteride or finasteride will, it’s always wise to think about your scalp health and preventing dry hair.
Castor Oil: How Can It Be Used?
In most cases, castor oil is used as a scalp treatment to moisturise the scalp and encourage your hair to grow. You can think of a castor oil treatment in the same way you would coconut or jojoba oil.
All you will need to use castor oil is safely is an old t-shirt, old brush or Tangle Teaser, a towel, and a shower cap.
Applying Castor Oil: How To Guide
If you’re wondering how to apply castor oil, then definitely take notice of this application guide:
Begin by putting on an old t-shirt, jumper, or vest to prevent staining on your clothes. The last thing you wan to do is get it all over expensive items of clothing!
Section off your hair. You can always use hair clips or bobbles if you have longer hair. Castor oil definitely works best on the scalp. You want the carrier oils to reach the scalp and minimise any chance of overly oily hair.
Put on the rubber gloves and begin applying the castor oil to your scalp using an applicator brush. If you don’t have an applicator brush, something like a shower brush or Tangle Teaser should work fine! Apply the oil into your scalp and hair cuticle.
Apply castor oil to the rest of your hair follicles by using your comb to get an even coverage. Your aim is to moisturise the scalp (in a similar way that you would apply coconut oil).
Once applied, put on a shower cap and make sure all of your hair is contained inside. Be sure to leave castor oil in your hair.
If there is any leftover castor oil on your clothes or neck, mop this up with a towel.
Leave the shower cap on for at least two hours. However, if you can leave your hair overnight then this may be best! This gives the oil enough time to penetrate the scalp, hair follicles, and hair shaft.
After you have left the castor oil in your hair, be sure to wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner.
Now you know how to apply castor oil as a treatment!
Conclusion – Would We Recommend Castor Oil For Hair Loss?
So, would we recommend castor oil as a treatment for hair thinning and loss? Well, probably not. There are plenty of other treatments that could make your hair grow over castor oil. If you haven’t already tried other treatments like finasteride or minoxidil, then we would definitely recommend these.
However, if you really want to try using castor oil for hair loss, then there’s no evidence to suggest this would be a bad idea either! If you’re worried about hair loss, then why not book yourself in for a free consultation with us?