Castor Oil is a really thick, viscous carrier oil derived from the castor bean or ‘oil nut’.
WHAT’S IN IT?
Omega 6 Fatty Acids
Minerals and Proteins.
BENEFITS OF CASTOR OIL
1. The antibacterial and antifungicidal properties of the rinocleic acid protect the scalp from infections.
2. The Omega 6-Fatty acids nourish the hair and protect scalp from drying.
3. Added shine!
4. It helps keep split ends at bay.
5. It is a good humectant for skin and hair, that is, it keeps your hair moisturised by drawing moisture into the hair.
6. From my experience, it strengthens, thickens and softens hair, and it encourages hair growth!
7. Castor Oil may also be used as a laxative, and if you need help growing your eyebrows, I hear that putting it on every night would help!
HOW I USE CASTOR OIL
1. After I moisturise, I massage it directly onto my scalp, with my fingers.
Some people experience some itching and discomfort initially, when they do this. If this happens, you are advised to mix Castor with another carrier oil, say Olive or Coconut, and slowly introduce your hair to it. Soon enough, your scalp will be ready for plain Castor.
2. I also use it to smooth down my edges.
3. When I put my hair in chunky twists after moisturising, I use Castor to seal my ends.Castor is really thick so I don’t seal my entire hair with it for this reason. Just the ends is fine, because mine are very fragile.
5. And as an alternative to pre-pooing, try mixing Castor oil with your shampoo.
In my quest to find products that work for me, I am happy to have found one more thing that my hair loves. However, I ran through my Jamaican Black Castor Oil (JBCO) pretty quickly during the Castor Oil Challenge, and it’s not the cheapest product on the block. Which brings me to the next thing-
What’s the difference between Jamaican Black Castor Oil (JBCO) and regular yellow Castor?
I wondered about this for a long time, and I have my answer now, thanks to JC of The Natural Haven Bloom, my favourite hair science blog.
You can read the full article here but let me just summarise it:
Castor oil is obtained from the seed of the Oil Nut plant, usually by a process called cold pressing. You can see a video here. In the extraction of natural oils, cold-processing is much preferred because the essence of the oil is better preserved, than it would be if heat were used in the process.
Castor oil is yellow when pressed, but when filtered, it can look even lighter.
Jamaican Black Castor Oil is not darker because it is purer or less processed than other forms of Castor. It is darker because Castor beans are roasted, ground and the ash is then mixed into the oil. So yes, the ash is an impurity that does not possess any scientifically proven benefits for hair. However, JBCO is a really pure, not overly processed form of Castor oil, that many people (myself included) know they can rely on.
The problem with other forms of Castor oil is that, except you know the maker and his or her methods, you cannot be sure that the oil has not been overly processed. Sometimes, chemicals are used in the process and this reduces the nutritional value of the Castor.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! JBCO has been so good to me! It ain’t broke, but it’s a little expensive! So, I’m considering swapping the JBCO for cold-pressed Castor Oil from another vendor I trust, Natural Nigerian. I buy my JBCO from her as well.
So guys, how do you use Castor Oil? I’d love to hear from you!