Castor oil is the most popular remedy in history. While some people argue that it has no significant effects on the human body, others claim that it can treat or even cure diseases. What is certain is that castor oil has been used for centuries in folk medicine and even modern medicine; castor oil’s popularity among people cannot be denied.
When you hear “castor oil”, you probably think of it as a laxative and would never put it on your hair. But knowing what it can do for your hair could change your mind completely.
What is Castor Oil?
Castor oil is obtained from the seeds of the castor plant (ricinus communis) of Africa and Asia through a process called cold pressing. It is a thick and sticky substance that can be either clear or yellowish in color. It has a distinct pungent odor, which can be attributed to its high ricinoleic acid content. It takes about 10 pounds of seeds to produce 1 pound of castor oil!
Castor oil is a great carrier for essential oils. It has been used for thousands of years to treat skin conditions and promote hair growth. Castor oil is also known as Palma Christi, which means “Palm of Christ” in Latin. This name was given as a result of its many therapeutic properties.
Castor oil can be ingested or applied topically and is used to treat a variety of medical conditions. In fact, it’s been used medicinally for thousands of years in both Eastern and Western cultures. Here are some of the most important benefits to consider:
Laxative Properties–Castor oil laxatives can be very effective in relieving constipation and are usually considered safe when taken at recommended doses. However, because they work by drawing water into the intestines, they can cause side effects such as abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Bacterial Effects–The high concentration of ricinoleic acid, a type of fatty acid, makes castor oil a potent anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agent that can be used to treat chronic inflammation and pain. The ricinoleic acid helps replace damaged tissue with new cells that promote healing by allowing oxygen to flow freely through them. It also found that applying castor oil topically on inflamed areas helps relieve pain caused by sunburns or skin irritation due to insect bites or stings.
Treats Some Skin Conditions–Castor oil has long been used topically on the skin to treat various conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, acne, stretch marks, and other rashes due to its anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce redness and irritation in the skin caused by these conditions. It can also be used for other problems like acne because it helps regenerate new cells.
Is Castor Oil Good for Dreadlocks?
Castor oil isn’t just popular with dreadlock wearers. You’ve probably seen ads for it in magazines or websites that promise to help you grow long locks faster than normal — or make your existing hair thicker and fuller. And while there have been some studies that show castor oil might have some positive effects on hair growth, there hasn’t been much research testing its effectiveness as a treatment for dreadlocks specifically.
Here’s what we know about using castor oil on dreadlocks:
Castor oil contains ricinoleic acid which makes it an excellent moisturizer for dry scalp and hair. The fatty acids present in it help retain moisture in the scalp and follicles making them healthier and shinier. It is also a very effective emollient, meaning it helps to soften and moisturize the scalp, and a humectant, meaning it draws moisture to the skin.
Anti-Inflammatory, Antimicrobial, and Antifungal Properties
The ricinoleic acid has anti-inflammatory properties that make it beneficial for reducing inflammations and pains or conditions that causes red scaly patches on the scalp. Castrol oil’s antimicrobial properties protect your scalp from bacterial infections and help fight the microbes that can cause hair conditions. Studies have shown that antifungal properties in castor oil may help fight fungal infections and scalp infections that lead to hair loss.
Cleansing and Detoxifying Properties That Fight Dandruff
Dandruff is a common condition that affects many people. It can be caused by a number of factors, including dry scalp, an overgrowth of yeast on the scalp, or even the use of certain hair products. It may cause itching, redness, and flaking. Because of castor oil’s anti-fungal properties, it can kill the yeast on your scalp and help restore the natural balance.
Castrol oil is non-comedogenic and won’t clog pores. This means that it’s perfect for use on the scalp. By applying castrol oil to your scalp, all the dead skin, dirt, and dry flakes that clog the hair roots will stick to the oil instead of to your scalp and dreadlocks.
Beautify and Nourishes Your Dreadlocks
Castor oil helps you achieve the beautiful shiny look that you desire for your dreadlocks. The oil acts as a lubricant, coating, and conditioning for the dreadlocks strands, improving smoothness and softness. People who use castor oil on their dreadlocks report that they become more robust, thicker, and shinier.
Repairs Dry and Damaged Hair
The ricinoleic acid makes it a great moisturizer for dry or damaged hair. You can use this oil in your hair to improve its texture, strength and overall appearance. Castor oil also helps to condition damaged hair by sealing in moisture while preventing further damage from occurring. The acids in castor oil also help prevent protein loss in your scalp, which means that your hair follicles will be healthier than ever before! Castor oil can be used to help lubricate dreadlock strands, treating the damage caused by chemical coloring and decreasing the chance of hair breakage and loss.
Stimulates Hair Growth
To grow your hair, you need to make sure that it is in an environment that stimulates growth in length and volume. Ricinoleic acid has been shown in studies to increase circulation to the scalp, thereby improving blood flow and oxygenation of hair follicles. This may explain why castor oil stimulates hair growth and strength in many people. In fact, castor oil contains a certain fatty acid which will thicken the hair and promote hair growth!
How often should you apply it?
You might be wondering how often you can use castor oil, and the answer is: it depends. Castor oil is a great hair treatment, but it’s best to use it sparingly.
Many hair care experts recommend using castor oil no more than once a week and letting your natural oils take over the rest of the time. Using it more frequently than that can cause buildup and lead to issues like matting.
Should you leave it in overnight?
The best way to use castor oil for dreadlocks is to apply it to your locks and let it soak in overnight. You can also use castor oil as a spot treatment on your hair, but you’ll want to make sure that you’re using a quality product with no added ingredients. You should sleeping with yoru dreadlocks covered anyway, but, if not, wear a cap to sleep so your dreadlocks are able to soak in all the moisture without getting castor oil all over your pillow.
If you have a large amount of hair, you may want to dilute the oil with some water before applying it to your dreadlocks. Castor oil has a very thick consistency, so if you don’t dilute it with a carrier oil, it may not spread well on your dreads. The key is not to apply too much at once—just enough so that each individual lock gets a small amount of product. Simply massage into your scalp and dreadlocks before bed and wash out in the morning!
Castor Oil Precautions
There are a few precautions you need to take when using castor oil on your dreadlocks, including:
Patch Test– Like any other skin product, it’s important to do a patch test before applying castor oil to your scalp. You can apply a small amount behind your ear to see if your skin will react well with the oil.
Dilute It–Castor oil is thick and can be difficult to wash out of your hair. To prevent clogging your pores, only use a small amount on your dreadlocks, but it is also best to combine castor oil with lighter carrier oils or essential oils.
Side Effects–Castor oil is relatively safe; however, skin irritation and rashes on the skin are common side effects. If you experience these reactions, stop using castor oil. The side effects include: skin irritation and itching, inflammation, dryness, and/or skin rashes. If you experience any of these side effects, stop the use of castrol oil and seek medical attention immediately.
Staining Clothes–Castor oil stains are notoriously difficult to remove from clothing. To avoid staining anything your dreadlocks may touch and to keep from dripping oil onto your clothing, it is recommended that you cover your dreadlocks with a cap.
Acute Hair Felting– Acute hair felting is a rare scalp disorder in which your hair twists, tangles and hardens into a stony mass resembling a bird’s nest. Castor oil’s high viscosity and hair’s tendency to tangle can cause hair to suddenly felt, which is irreversible. To avoid acute hair felting and having to cut your dreadlocks, avoid using large amounts of castor oil.
These days, you’ll find that there are many people out there who swear by using castor oil on dreadlocks. Overall, it is a great addition! Like most things, there’s a right way to use it and a wrong way. The biggest factor is using the correct amount, don’t go overboard!
No one knows your hair better than yourself; this holds true if you’re talking about natural hair or synthetic hair. You are in charge of how you want to treat your hair and the condition it’s in. But if you’re looking for a way to grow your dreadlocks faster and healthier or if you’re simply looking for a product that can help condition them, castor oil is a great choice!