In a moment where skin and hair brands are always touting some new innovation or discovery, sometimes it’s a relief to go back to the basics and take a clue from generations before us.
Today’s lesson? Castor oil.
The extract has been used for thousands of years as a treatment for irritated skin, dry hair, and split ends. If your scalp has been itchy or your hair has been breaking, that may sound like just the solution you’ve been looking for. Given what we know about how harmful harsh chemicals can be to scalp and hair health, there’s something refreshing about turning to an ancient remedy.
So let’s talk about what castor oil can do for your hair and how you can apply it. But first, a little background on the special lipid substance.
What Exactly is Castor Oil and How is it Made?
Like it’s highly popular cousin, coconut oil, castor oil is a type of carrier oil. It’s created by heating up seeds from the castor beans of the Ricinus communis plant, which can be found in Africa, India, and South America.
You’ve probably heard of essential oils like lavender or rosemary. They’re potent extracts, developed by pressing or steaming plants. They tend to be highly concentrated and ultra fragrant. Castor oil is made similarly by pressing the seeds down to produce a yellow liquid that resembles petroleum jelly in taste and smell.
We prefer it more in our hair products than our dinner.
Castor oil is frequently used to dilute essential oils while also providing its own wide range of benefits. When we say wide, we mean it. It can aid in digestion, be used for massages, and in hair masks. Castor oil can also be used on wrinkles. A little bit of this omega-6 rich oil, with it's emollient properties, can go a long way.
The Four Most Popular Benefits of Castor Oil For Your Hair
If you’re here, you may have only recently heard of castor oil and become interested in its uses. Well congratulations, you’ve just joined a long line of human beings that have sought to put castor oil to work.
Ancient Egyptians used the substance to fuel their lamps, it’s long been considered a treatment for wounds and irritation, and it’s even frequently used as a laxative.
For today, let’s focus on the top of your body, rather than the bottom.
Castor oil is featured in many hair care products for hair growth and it’s not hard to see why. Check out the benefits below to see what castor oil can do for your hair follicles and scalp.
1. Castor Oil is a Natural Moisturizer
More than anything else, castor oil is made up of a fatty acid called ricinoleic acid. It’s an emollient that creates a barrier between your skin and the outside world, so it can retain more moisture. If your scalp is feeling dry, applying a product that includes castor oil to the roots of your hair can help protect that skin and keep it from flaking off.
2. It’s Got Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Castor oil is known for its anti-inflammatory power and its ability to soothe topical pain and irritation. While you should always check in with your doctor before changing up your skin care routine, especially when dealing with a medical issue, it’s possible that castor oil can help relieve irritation on your scalp by reducing redness and swelling.
On another note, if you’re experiencing acne along your hairline, castor oil can also help reduce inflammation linked to stubborn acne as well as fight off bacterial growth with its antimicrobial benefits.
There’s rarely one, perfect solution to issues like inflammation and acne, but it’s great to know that Mother Nature provided us with at least one natural oil that can help combat them.
If your scalp is feeling dry, applying a product that includes castor oil to the roots of your hair can help protect that skin and keep it from flaking off.
3. Castor Oil Can Help Fight Fungus
In addition to containing anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, castor oil is also said to help fight the growth of fungus.
There’s a lot we don’t know about the causes of dandruff, but one thing we do know is that it usually comes hand in hand with an overgrowth of a fungus called Malassezia.
Malassezia is actually a species of fungus that commonly appears on the skin and scalp of most mammals. Sometimes, because of a variety of reasons, our scalp’s microbiome becomes imbalanced and Malassezia takes over. For that reason, many dandruff shampoos contain antifungal ingredients.
Castor oil on its own cannot prevent or treat dandruff. Only a shampoo with the active ingredient Zinc Pyrithione (like Jupiter’s anti-dandruff Balancing Shampoo) can do that. But it can be an essential component of your scalp and skin care routine because of its moisturizing and antifungal qualities.
4. It Supports Fortified and Healthy Hair
If your hair suffers from breakage or dryness, castor oil can help. Because castor oil contains such a high percentage of fat, it can help lubricate your hair strands and keep them from breaking off. Not only that, it can also help thicken your hair strands, making them more resistant to breakage overall.
Long story short? Castor oil can contribute to smoother and shinier hair. And who doesn’t want that?
Where Can I Find Castor Oil and Products That Include It?
Most drug stores or organic shops will carry castor oil, but we do not advocate purchasing the ingredient and applying it directly to your head. We know it can be tempting to DIY your hair care routine, but try to resist the urge.
Instead, you should search for products that feature castor oil on their ingredient list. That way you know you’re applying the correct dosage.
Jupiter’s Purifying Mask is formulated with castor oil along with exfoliating volcanic ash, biotin, and argon oil to eliminate excess build-up, gently clear away dead skin, and moisture and hydration back to your scalp. Apply it once or twice a week before washing with the Balancing Shampoo and Nourishing Conditioner for an at-home exfoliating spa treatment. Your head will thank you.
Some Caveats When it Comes to Using Castor Oil
In this post, we only covered how castor oil can help your hair and scalp, but because it can have additional effects, always try a test patch before applying anything to your skin so you know how you’ll react when adding a new product to your routine..
Ready To Bring Castor Oil Into Your Routine?
We thought you might say that. From its moisturizing effects to its anti-inflammatory properties, castor oil is a key ingredient in the journey to keep your scalp happy and healthy.
Let’s recap what castor oil can do for your hair and scalp:
- It can create a moisture barrier for the skin on your scalp, ensuring you retain more water and moisture to keep dry scalp at bay.
- It can help reduce inflammation, helping to soothe pain and irritation on your skin.
- It can prevent the growth of funguses like Malassezia that are associated with dandruff.
- It can help fortify hair health, strengthening hair strands and preventing breakage.
If you’re looking to add a product formulated with castor oil to your routine, check out Jupiter’s Purifying Mask, which includes this ancient remedy among other natural, soothing, and nourishing ingredients for your hair and scalp.
Our clarifying foaming scalp mask eliminates excess build-up, gently clears away dead skin, and feels like an at-home exfoliating spa treatment. Designed for use once a week before you wash. the mineral-rich volcanic ash pulls out impurities, while other high-end ingredients nourish the scalp, leaving you cool, calm, collected, and smelling sublime.
The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice, nor is it a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician with any questions you may have about the information contained herein, as well as the risks or benefits of any treatment.