Whenever a naturalista experiences excessive shedding, slow growth, or just another hair hiccup, one of the most suggested remedy is using a topical treatment to nip the problem. And one very common treatment is castor oil! So what’s up with castor oil? Does it work? How can I use it? What’s the best way to use it? Well I’m going to answer those questions for you in this article,but first let’s take a look at what castor is and what it does for our hair.
Castor oil is a vegetable oil obtained by pressing the seed of the castor oil plant (Ricinus Communis). The pale, yellow liquid has been around for centuries, and the Egyptians were among the first to take advantage of the wonderful benefits that this oil provides for the hair and skin. Due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties this oil is a very common ingredient in many cosmetic and beauty products. Being rich in fatty acids such as ricinoleic, oleic, and linoleic, castor oil works great in treating skin diseases and ulcers especially those that are caused by bacterial or fungal infections.
Many women with afro-textured hair suffer from many ailments associated with their scalp and curls, and though it’s not widely known many of those issues are related to fungal or bacterial infections such as extreme dandruff or hair loss. Castor seed oil contains Undecylenic acid which due to its germicidal and anti-inflammatory properties is able to help treat and reduce hair and scalp ailments that are related to inflammation and bacteria.
Another great benefit of castor oil is that the germicidal, insecticidal, and fungicidal properties related to the Ricin and Ricinoleic properties present in the oil protect the scalp from microbial and fungal infections which are the two primary cause of hair loss.
How Can I use Castor Oil In My Hair Regimen?
Naturalistas use castor oil in a myriad of ways in their hair regimens. Personally I use castor oil in hot oil treatments, pre-poos, scalp oiling, to seal moisture my hair, and in the creations of my own homemade hair products. But on a wider scale castor oil can be used along with other stimulating essential oils in scalp health treatments, hair growth stimulation, and simply just keeping the scalp clean.
Benefits of Castor Oil for Natural Hair
- Increases hair growth and controls hair loss
Castor oil is rich in Omega 6 essential fatty acids which accelerates hair growth and ultimately increase length retention (if hair is card for properly). One important thing to note is that castor oil only help to increase hair growth if the hair has not been growing at its ultimate rate. Hair growth rate is determined by genetics therefore your hair (if it’s healthy) will grow at a set pace even if you try every remedy in the books. Castor oil works to nourish the scalp, keep the scalp clean, and strengthen the roots with the help of essential nutrients. The fatty acids in the oil kills bacteria and fungus thus reducing the chance of hair loss.
2. Fight scalp infections and Dandruff
Since castor oil is anti fungal and anti-bacterial it is the perfect remedy to tackle scalp infections and issues such as bald spots and itchy scalp. These properties fight pathogens and micro-organisms.
3. Serves as a natural moisturizer and sealant
Castor oil is a natural moisturizer, and even though it’s a thick oil it is able to regain lost shine within the hair. Castor oil leaves a coating on the hair shaft which makes it ideal for sealing in moisture.
4. Reduces the Possibility of Split Ends
While our hair needs trimming every now and again to remove damaged ends caused by manipulation , there are measures that can be taken to lessen how often trimming is necessary due to split ends. One thing that I do often is apply castor oil on my ends to keep them moisturized, and this has helped tremendously to retain length and prevent excessive knots and tangles. I apply castor oil after misting my hair with water and applying my leave in conditioner. It is important to only apply oils to your hair after adding water or water based products as neglecting to do so will only amplify dryness.
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