Have you tried it?
But it turns out protecting your locks is far easier than you’d think, and it’ll cost you just under £10. May we present castor oil, one of beauty’s best kept secrets (and favoured by Demi Moore, who in case you didn’t notice, has incredible hair)?
Made from castor seeds, castor oil is high in vitamin E and essential unsaturated fatty acids like omega-6, which stimulate blood circulation on the surface of the skin, giving hair growth a helping hand.
We asked trichologist Sally-Ann Tarver (The Cotswold Trichology Centre & Theradome) for her thoughts on the hair hero ingredient. ‘It’s quite hard to get hold of in its raw form these days,’ says Sally-Ann. ‘But it is used in many black hair formulas due to its deep moisturising properties.’
So how does castor oil help your hair?
‘Castor oil is rich in minerals, vitamins and essential fatty acids all of which are great for your hair and scalp,’ says Vincent Allenby, creative director at Trevor Sorbie, Manchester.
It might be a good product to consider using around the changing of the seasons, advises Headmasters Artistic Ambassador Gareth Williams: ‘Castor oil benefits the scalp because of its moisturising properties.
‘It improves blood circulation to the scalp and helps to soothe flaky, itchy scalp environments, which is perfect to use during the changing of the seasons. Containing lots of fatty acids, the oil really does help to heal the hair’s fibre, so you get smoother hair.’
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How do I use castor oil for my hair?
But Vincent Allenby warns that using the oil in its raw form (if you do manage to get hold of it) is not a good idea. ‘If using it on your hair make sure it is diluted with something such as argan oil or jojoba oil as on its own it’s too heavy for the hair and could be a little troublesome rinsing.’
As an example, if you do wish to treat your hair with castor oil, you may wish to mix three spoonful’s of castor oil with one of coconut oil and one of jojoba oil. The smell of castor oil is not exactly the stuff of spa treatments, either, so using a drop or two of essential oil in your mixture will make your treatment more enjoyable. Coconut oil – which is great for skin too – also boasts a host of hair benefits, as does argan oil for hair.
Heat the oil over hot water until warm (never in the microwave – a burnt scalp is not enjoyable) before applying to your hair and rinse well after you’ve given the oil time to work.
The experts at Pukka Herb also recommend massaging the oil into your scalp, through the ends and then rinsing twice with shampoo to get rid of any residue. If your hair is particularly dry, leave overnight. Only do this once a week.
Does castor oil boost hair growth?
Quite possibly. Castor oil contains ricinoleic acid and omega- 6 essential fatty acids, which when used topically may boost blood circulation to the scalp, stimulating healthy hair growth.