10 Best Castor Oils for Hair Growth and Thickness (2022): Benefits, Side Effects & How to Use Them

castor oil for hair growth and thickness

Editor's Choice

Home Health Castor Oil

2nd Best Choice

Heritage Store Castor Oil

3rd Best Choice

NOW Solutions Castor Oil

We are all faced with the eternal struggle between wanting long, luscious locks and wanting healthy hair wages on. If you’ve gone all out to restore your edges, excessive shedding, or thinness but see little to no results from your effort, is there any chance you’ve heard about castor oil for hair growth? 

This hair oil isn’t the slightest bit new, rather, it’s a centuries-old hair treatment and a longtime favourite Jamaican beauty remedy. It’s also one of those ingredients that has earned its status as a staple in many hair care routines apart from coconut oil. Well if you think about it, Castor oil is easy to apply, affordable, accessible, and surprisingly beneficial for your hair and scalp. However, is there any scientific evidence to back up the claims? 

castor oil for hair growth and thickness

What is Castor Oil and What are Its Benefits for Hair?

Scientifically termed as Ricinus communis, Castor oil is a type of nutrient-rich vegetable oil derived from castor beans. Though originates in tropical east Africa, it is widely used across India and the West Indies for cosmetic and medicinal purposes. Castor oil is usually clear or pale yellow in colour unless derived through roasting or boiling, which is otherwise known as black castor oil. 

Diving deep into a molecular level, castor oil is a long-chained fatty acid. Certified trichologist Dr Bridgette Hill stated that fatty acids are what provide essential proteins and nutrients to our hair follicles and to prevent them from inflammation. 

Apart from being anti-inflammatory, castor oil carries a couple of other noteworthy properties too. Some of the benefits of using castor oil for hair according to Dr.Hill include increased gloss or shine of the hair, increased hair shaft flexibility by coating the hair shaft, and antimicrobial. 

Does Castor Oil Promote Hair Growth?

Castor oil doesn’t directly stimulate hair growth. In fact, 90% of castor oil constitutes fatty acid ricinoleic acid, which is known to stimulate the Prostaglandin E2 receptor, leading to blood vessel dilation. When the oil is applied onto the scalp, the increased blood vessel dilation will also increase the flow of oxygen-rich and nutrient-rich blood to the powerhouse of your hair follicles, the dermal papilla, or simply the root of your hair. 

We can rely on castor oil for hair growth and thickness, as it does so indirectly. Thanks to this holy grail, it protects our hair follicle from external cellular and tissue invaders that can destroy the health and vitality of the follicle.

How Long Does It Take for Castor Oil to Work?

Nothing happens overnight, including your hair growth, regardless of what products or treatments you’re using. On average, hair grows out only half an inch per month and it only happens if your hair is already in a healthy state with minimal split ends and damage. 

To reap the full benefits of castor oil, there isn’t really a rule of thumb of how often you should use it, but optimally 1 or 2 times a week for at least 3 months. Don’t be discouraged if you aren’t seeing a significant change, at the very least you’ll have hydrated, shiny tresses.

Is Castor Oil Safe to be Used on the Eyelashes and Eyebrows?

Put it simply, yes to the eyebrows, but be extra cautious with the eyelashes. Nonetheless, it’s smart to perform a patch testing beforehand to detect allergies, if there isn’t any, proceed with applying castor oil on the eyebrows. While there isn’t any safety data regarding castor oil and eye health, always consult your ophthalmologist before applying castor oil in close proximity to the eye.

What About the Side Effects?

Despite being generally safe, it can cause irritation to some. This is what makes a patch test an integral step. You may also get it run by a dermatologist if you have a sensitive scalp. Dermatologist Lily Talakoub stresses the importance of keeping castor oil off your hairline because it is known to clog pores. Moreover, do be diligent when applying it before bedtime as the oil can transfer from your pillowcase to your face, causing potential breakouts. 

How to Use Castor Oil for Hair Growth and Thickness?

Though castor oil is widely used, bear in mind that it’s not meant for everyone. Hence the importance of a patch test comes into play again before applying it to your scalp. Dr Hill recommends applying a small amount behind the ear or the inner upper arm for a week. 

Once you determine that castor oil is compatible with your scalp, here are the suggestions for each hair type: 

  • Fine to medium straight hair: Castor oil can be used as a deep treatment to protect the very ends of your hair fiber, the last 2-3 inches of hair. Use it as a pre-shampoo treatment to prevent tangles. However, be sure not to overuse it. Shampoo out and style the way you want. 
  • Medium to thick straight/ wavy hair: Apply throughout the entire head for an intense pre-shampoo treatment. Add heat or steam for the oil to penetrate deeper into the hair cuticle.
  • Wavy to loose curls: You may mix a few drops of castor oil into conditioners and apply the mixture during hot, humid summer months. 
  • Curly to tightly coiled: Use castor oil as a pre-shampoo, added treatment or as a weekly moisturizer. Though, remember to detox shampoo your hair every month when using heavy oils like castor oil. 

10 Best Castor Oils for Hair Growth and Thickness You Need to Add to Cart

1) Home Health Castor Oil

The Home Health Castor Oil is packed with all the essential nutrients to encourage healthy hair growth. The deep penetration to the scalp moisturizes and conditions your hair, leaving it soft and supple. This castor oil for hair growth and thickness is cold-pressed from the castor seeds hence contains no added preservatives. Furthermore, it is therapeutic and 100% solvent-free and does not come with a tad bit of synthetic ingredients. You may use it for the skin, hair and other DIY beauty purposes.

Key Feature:

Pure cold-pressed castor oil extracted from castor seeds.

PRO

Non-greasy nor GMO

Hexane-free

Vegan

CONS

Unpleasant burnt-nuts-like scent

2) Heritage Store Castor Oil

This cold-pressed castor oil by Heritage provides deep hydration and nourishment to the hair follicles to give you thicker brows. It is 100% cold-pressed, and its sticky texture holds each hair strand for maximum nourishment. On top of that, it can be used as a massage oil as it is naturally enriched with omega-9 fat, minerals and ricinoleic acid that both hydrate the skin and nourish the hair.

Key Feature:

100% cold-pressed castor oil for hair and body massage.

PRO

Pure

Vegan

Cruelty and Hexane-free

CONS

Unpleasantly strong fragrance

3) NOW Solutions Castor Oil

NOW Solutions Castor Oil for hair growth and thickness is expeller-pressed and only contains one single ingredient, and that is castor oil itself. Unlike other oils, it’s close to being fully odorless. Feel free to use this oil on your scalp, body, face and hair. It serves to moisturize the skin and promote hair growth. What’s more? It can go on smoothly without being too sticky. Considering the product size, you can stock it up by getting it in more than one pack.

Key Feature:

 Single ingredient expeller-pressed castor oil.

PRO

Virtually odorless

Versatile

GMP quality assured

CONS

Use it sparingly so it doesn’t clog your pores

4) Carol’s Daughter Goddess Strength 7 Oil Blend Hair & Scalp Oil

As its name suggests, this is more of a blend of oils rather than pure castor oil. However, it’s well-enriched with other good-for-hair oils, one of which is black cumin seed. Carol’s Daughter Goddess Strength 7 Oil Blend Hair & Scalp Oil is particularly handy for use on the scalp due to its pointed nozzle dispenser, all for you to concentrate where you apply it without getting it all messy. Boasting more than 15,000 reviews, this oil makes a great choice for those with braids or locks. 

Key Feature:

A blend of oil consisting of castor oil and black cumin seed.

PRO

Vegan

Enhances 2B, 2C, 3A, 3B, 3C, 4A, 4B, and 4C curls

Anti-breakage

CONS

Unpleasant lingering scent

5) Seven Minerals’ Jamaican Black Castor Oil

The Jamaican Black Castor Oil by Seven Minerals promotes thick, strong and healthy mane. It can also be used to strengthen your brows and lashes, and to keep your skin soft. Extracted from roasted castor beans, this cold-pressed castor oil is free of additives. It can help combat free radicals, soothe redness, irritation and keep your skin clear. Use it regularly to improve blood circulation to the scalp. As a bonus point, you can even combine this oil with any essential oil you may have for a relaxing massage or soothing aromatherapy. 

Key Feature:

Cold-pressed castor oil extracted from roasted castor beans.

PRO

100% pure

Hexane, additive, GMO and cruelty-free

Vegan

CONS

Unpleasant smokey scent

6) Pura D'or Organic Castor Oil

Make applying this cold-pressed castor oil onto your hair and skin a ritual. You’ll definitely love rubbing in this subtly scented Pura D’or Organic Castor Oil. Not only will it help thicken your brows and lashes, unlike other castor oils, this comes with a special lash brush and a thin brow brush to ease your application. These brushes can be placed in special tubes, so they remain clean at all times.

Key Feature:

Subtly scented cold-pressed castor oil for brows and lashes

PRO

Soothing scent

On-the-go

100% pure

Noticeable results

CONS

Don’t get it into your eyes as it irritates

7) WishCare Premium Cold Pressed Castor OIl

Produced with the highest and most stringent quality standards using real castor seeds from Kerala, WishCare Premium Cold Pressed Castor Oil for hair growth and thickness is sourced directly from artisanal farmers in India. Cold-pressed to preserve the botanical actives to retain the highest quality grade, this castor oil works wonders in replenishing the scalp’s natural oils and revitalising the hair. Apart from that, you can rely on it to remove dirt, grime, make-up, moisturizes skin and help combat skin problems such as acne, scars, dark circles, and so on.

Key Feature:

Cold-pressed castor oil extracted from natural castor seeds sourced from Kerala, India.

PRO

100% pure and natural

Affordable

Superior quality

CONS

None

8) Live Fraîche Organic Eyelash & Eyebrow Growth Serum

Live Fraîche describes their Organic Eyelash and Eyebrow Growth Serum as the equivalent of a deep-conditioning treatment you’d normally apply to your hair, but this time, for your lashes and brow. The brand uses cold-pressed, USDA certified-organic castor oil that’s specially formulated to be used nightly with its built-in, dual-ended applicator — one side is a tiny brush for lashes and the other is a spoolie for brows. 

Key Feature:

USDA certified organic cold-pressed castor oil for lashes and brows

PRO

On-the-go

Affordable

Noticeable results

CONS

Use it sparingly so it doesn't spread across your eyelids

9) Shea Moisture 100% Pure Jamaican Black Castor Oil

This small bottle by Shea Moisture contains only pure Jamaican black castor oil. We are loving how its pump-top bottle can make application less messy, making it a more convenient option than those that come in big bottles on this list. Simply apply a few pumps of the oil and rub it all over your scalp and let it sit overnight. Overtime, you’ll notice fuller and healthier tresses. 

Key Feature:

Pure Jamaican black castor oil for hair growth and thickness that comes in a pump-top bottle.

PRO

Convenient

Easy-to-use

Affordable

CONS

Unpleasant scent

10) Kate Blanc Cosmetics USDA Certified Organic Castor Oil

Though this Kate Blanc castor oil may not be packaged as conveniently as the Live Fraîche castor oil, and would therefore be slightly bulkier to be on-the-go with you, you do get a lot more product in a bottle, along with the same type of application tools for your lashes and brows. This castor oil is also cold-pressed, USDA organic and hexane-free. 

Key Feature:

USDA organic, cold-pressed castor oil for hair, lashes and brows.

PRO

Affordable

Organic

Noticeable results

CONS

Unpleasant scent

Use sparingly so it doesn't clog pores

castor oil for hair growth and thickness

Editor's Choice

PRODUCT RECOMMENDATION

Home Health Castor Oil

5/5
The Home Health Castor Oil is packed with all the essential nutrients to encourage healthy hair growth. The deep penetration to the scalp moisturizes and conditions your hair, leaving it soft and supple. The oil is cold-pressed from the castor seeds hence contains no added preservatives. Furthermore, it is therapeutic and 100% solvent-free and does not come with a tad bit of synthetic ingredients. You may use it for the skin, hair and other DIY beauty purposes.
Celine So

Celine So

Be mindful of your words as they are impactful, which also explains why I'm extremely fond of writing.

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