If you’re looking for a product to boost hair growth, you may have come across the popular option of castor oil. But, does it really work? We’ve consulted with experts and trichologists to bring you the facts.
Understanding Castor Oil and How it Works
Castor oil is a derivative of castor beans, and it’s rich in fatty acids, specifically ricinoleic acid. Castor oil has been used for centuries in various beauty applications, including hair growth.
However, William Gaunitz, a certified trichologist and founder of Advanced Trichology, cautions against solely relying on castor oil for hair growth. In an interview with Oprah Daily, he stated, “Although some clients swear by it, castor oil has not been clinically proven to stimulate hair growth. For some, the oil may be too heavy and cause hair breakage.”
Can Castor Oil Really Promote Hair Growth?
The answer isn’t a simple yes or no. While there’s no direct evidence that castor oil can directly promote hair growth, it can indirectly assist in the process. Containing high levels of omega 6 and 9s, and vitamin E, castor oil possesses anti-inflammatory properties, which can improve scalp health and nourish hair follicles.
According to Gaunitz, regular use of castor oil, particularly in combination with other proven hair growth products recommended by dermatologists or trichologists, can yield positive results. However, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Castor oil may be helpful for individuals dealing with inflammatory hair loss, but it may not have a significant impact on severe male or female pattern hair loss or nutritional hair loss.
How Often Should You Use Castor Oil?
If you want to improve scalp health and promote healthier-looking hair, use castor oil two to three times a week, says Gaunitz. In some cases, it’s possible to use castor oil daily, but it should be mixed with 50 percent coconut oil to prevent sticky buildup.
To use castor oil, simply put a few drops in your hand and gently massage it into your scalp. You should keep the oil on your hair and scalp for 45 minutes to an hour before rinsing it off with your preferred shampoo and conditioner.
Can Castor Oil be Left in Your Hair Overnight?
While it’s possible to leave castor oil in your hair overnight, it’s not recommended to leave any oil on your hair for more than four hours. According to Gaunitz, leaving castor oil in your hair for more than four to six hours can cause it to break down and attract dead skin cells and debris, potentially leading to inflammation.
How Long Does it Take for Castor Oil to Work?
Castor oil starts to reduce inflammation and improve the balance of microbials, including fungus and bacteria, within 15 to 30 minutes of use, says Gaunitz. However, it may take up to six to eight weeks of regular use to see positive results in hair growth. Continued use of castor oil is necessary to sustain its benefits.
In conclusion, while castor oil may not be a miracle solution for hair growth, it can undoubtedly improve scalp health and nourish hair follicles. When used regularly and combined with other proven hair growth products recommended by dermatologists or trichologists, castor oil can be a valuable tool in your hair care routine.