How to Use Castor Oil to Stimulate Thick Hair Growth - hair buddha
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How to Use Castor Oil to Stimulate Thick Hair Growth

castor oil for hair growth


Have you heard the amazing bamboo story?

It’s quite popular now, but if you haven’t heard it goes like this…

You plant the bamboo and water it. But nothing happens the first year. Not a single bud or twig appears. You do the same thing the next year, and nada, still no sign of life. So you keep watering and protecting the area in the hope that it will sprout. Another year passes, then another year and another year. No plant.

But then finally in the fifth year, something amazing happens…

The bamboo tree grows 80 feet tall in 5 weeks. Your patience finally pays off, and you reap soaring bamboo tree.

Just one problem:

If you are losing hair at a rapid rate, you would detest waiting for years for some treatment to work. Right? You would want a quick, if not a magic potion that grows hair overnight.

But what if I tell you that such magic oil exists and thousands and thousands of people have tried and tested it to grow back hair in bald spots. And you know what, it’s not some gibberish sounding oil that you have no idea ever existed. It’s the very humble, Castor Oil.

Castor oil was not always this famous for hair, but in recent years, it has garnered a lot of interest, and it could be because of its healing properties that help clear out the scalp toxins and fungus to promote beautiful hair.

Before we delve into benefits of castor oil for hair, let’s first find out where this sticky oil comes from.

Native to India and Africa, Castor oil is pressed from the beans of…. you guessed it: Castor Plant.

Castor oil for hair growthThe castor beans are quite peculiar looking, they have smooth, shiny surface with dark brown mottling, which makes them look like insect. Also, castor seeds are released into air with some drama. Once the castor fruits are matured, they burst open to release the seeds over several meters.

Having grown up in India, I have come across castor plant on the road-side, but never got to witness the seed explosion. Come to think of it, castor plant or you can call it a small tree as it can get to 8 to 10 meters in height, was not something we would go nearby as it has spiky fruits and that deterred the proximity.

Castor oil for hair growthI also want to talk a little about the leaves of castor plant. The leaves are very large and palmate (finger like) with 7-9 lobes. Castor leaves are used in ayurvedic medicine to treat joint pain as well as to cure jaundice.

And the oil is also very medicinal. It’s a world famous laxative (although I never tried it). Castor oil has been used in the traditional medicine for arthritis, muscle sprain and ache, cysts, skin conditions and fungal infections.

And what about hair? Well, that is the whole point of this article. Without further ado, here’s why castor oil is so guud for hair growth.

What Can Castor Oil Do That Other Oils Can’t?

What makes this oil so unique is the abundance of ricinoleic acid – which makes up 90% of the fatty acid content. And it’s damn good for your hair.

To begin with, ricinoleic acid is a humectant, meaning it helps to draw moisture from the air into the hair strands. So your hair will be more glossy and healthy

Another amazing thing about ricinoleic acid is it has strong healing properties. 

Many a times dandruff and scalp infection can evoke a inflammatory response. And this causes the blood vessels in the scalp to constrict, reducing the nutrients supply to the hair follicles.

Application of castor oil ensures that your scalp and hair follicles stay clean and healthy. All thanks to its anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal effects.

In addition, castor oil boosts blood circulation as well as stimulates lymphatic drainage of the area applied. And if that area is your scalp, this means it can speeds up the removal of toxins and thus allow hair follicles to function optimally.

And that’s not all. The antioxidants in castor oil protect your scalp form free radicals which are another cause of hair thinning and loss. Ricinoleic acid’s free radical scavenging abilities can help you to reduce the levels of cell damage within your hair follicles.

Okay, this was all goody, good, but does castor oil has science to back it up?

So far, there are no direct studies done on castor oil to prove that it can grow thicker hair. But then who is going to sponsor such cost extensive research as there is no product to sell and no profits to be made.

The good news is that there is a strong anecdotal evidence to support castor oil benefits. I have heard from close family and friends, but I know that’s not enough. I have also read hundreds of testimonials online where they report denser and fuller hair.

Moreover, castor oil has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties (source). And as we saw above healthy scalp equals healthy hair. So this makes the case for castor oil.

But the Proof is in the Pudding, and until you don’t try it you won’t know if it works or not.

How to Use Castor oil and Find Out for yourself How Good it is

Castor oil for hair growth


Since castor oil is very thick and viscous, you don’t want to apply in straight away. Mix it with other nourishing carrier oils like coconut, almond or jojoba to make it more apply-able. You can experiment with various combinations and permutations, and trust me this math is more fun to do. I already did my C&P, and here’s the blend my hair loves:

  • 2 teaspoons castor oil
  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 3 drops peppermint essential oil (optional, add for extra boost)

Place the oils in a bowl and mix well.

Applying oil is a simple task, or maybe a little less simple

I know a relative who would simply pour the oil on the top of the scalp and then massage it all over.

I prefer it a more systematic way. I part my hair in the centre and apply a few drops of oil, then part about ½ inch, add more oil, and so on until I have covered both sides and back of the scalp.

I then use my fingers to gently massage the scalp for 4-5 minutes. This also boosts the circulation, bringing in extra nutrients for hair growth. Plus, it’s very relaxing. Doing this before bedtime will ensure you sleep like a baby.

Yes, I do it before bed and let the oil soak in overnight. But you can do it anytime you like and wait for at least an hour before washing it out. (To avoid oil getting on pillow, I place a towel or an old pillow cover).

Bonus tip: Rub tiny amounts on your eye brows for denser growth.

To oil every day or not to oil every day

I wash my hair twice a week and before washing I like to oil it. So, it’s twice a week for me. But you can do it once or thrice, suit yourself.

The burning question for people who have quit using store brought shampoo: How to get the oil out?

I have found success with homemade egg shampoo and reetha-shikakai shampoo. Here’s a tip I want to offer you: apply either of the shampoo without wetting your hair first. This will help to break down the oils more easily and get your hair squeaky clean.

Or if you prefer the store-bought shampoo route, then make sure you buy SLS free natural shampoo such as this. I have another tip here as well: buy clear shampoo and not the creamy ones as they can be hair follicle clogging and cause more harm to your hair.

Like with any natural remedy, Castor oil will Not Work for every body

For some people, castor oil can irritate the skin and cause rashes. Who are those people is not very clear, but my guess is since castor oil is drier feeling oil – meaning it’s less greasy, people with already dry skin can be the affected.

It’s always safe to do a patch test on the inside of your arm and wait for 12 hours to see if you have a reaction. I also find that using neat castor oil is a bad idea. Always mix it with a carrier oil and use the above recipe measure as a guide for creating nourishing castor oil treatment for your hair.

Buying Castor oil: Which is Best for Hair?

Pure castor oil is pale yellow in colour and doesn’t have any smell. When you buy castor oil, look for one that is cold pressed, unrefined and hexane free. Such type of oil will be rich in nutrients and free from any artificial chemicals.

You can Buy cold pressed, unrefined Castor oil here.

Jamaican Black Castor Oil: Black castor oil is obtained after roasting the castor beans. Thus this oil has a darker colour and slightly smoky smell. This oil is said to offer more moisturising benefits, so it will be more suitable for people with dry, coarse hair.

You can buy black castor oil here.

My suggestion would be to try both types and see which one your hair likes: Regular Castor Oil or Black Castor oil

How do you use castor oil for your hair? Share in the comment box below…

Leave a Comment:

Rajesh Hebbar says

Hi Minaz .
I am Rajesh (age 42) happily married with 2 kids from Pune.
Have been reading your articles since a long time .
I have typical male type baldness,front hairline receding & also thinning at the crown.
My father(72) has better hair than me.
Due to travel not able to continue any treatment for a long duration.
Require your honest opinion & suggestion.
Best regards.

    Minaz says

    Hi Rajesh, if you have male pattern baldness you need to assess you entire lifestyle: you stress levels, diet, hair care products. And once your hormones are balanced, I see why not you can have hair of your dreams.
    You can start with above castor oil recipe.

Maria says

Will the Jamaican black castor oil stain/dye the hair? I’m blonde, so I’d appreciate any feedback please and thanks.

Maria C

    Minaz says

    Hi Maria, it won’t stain your hair.

Sage says

Minaz, you are our Hair Angel: 😇 and our Shining Star: 🌟 of All Things Hair & Scalp:💆 and As You Send Your Love To Us, We Send Our Love Back To You: 💞

    Minaz says

    Thanks for your kind words sage 🙂

Melashiw says

Hello minaz i thank you for all your apdates you share every time that is so kind of you!. I have a question what can rose pawder help for?, how do i use it? Anather question my hair is low prosity no matter what i do always dry and brakes espicially front side i always luke messy there is noting ica do about it i try many things can you please help me if you have any adea? Thans!

Beemahanish says


Sheenal says

Hi Minaz

Actually i would like to know the remedy for split ends and dandruff including hair fall

Deepak Ahuja says

Hi Minaz, many thanks for sharing such a wonderful information. A question, can castor oil be used after mixing with mustard oil instead of coconut oil?

    Minaz says

    Yes, if you prefer that.

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