Castor oil, a traditional remedy for thinning hair, has a long African and Caribbean heritage. The Abyssinians were the first to use castor beans. African slaves brought castor beans to Brazil. From there, it traveled to Haiti and Jamaica.
Castor oil contains fatty acids that can improve blood flow. That makes your scalp healthier and may help more hair grow. It also helps fight a fungus that causes dandruff.
Don’t use castor oil straight from the bottle. Instead:
- Mix one part castor oil with two parts of another oil, such as coconut, sweet almond, or olive. Put the oils in a jar and shake to mix.
- You may want to add a few drops of fragrance oil to the mix—castor oil doesn’t smell very nice.
- Put the jar in a basin with hot water for a few minutes. Do NOT microwave.
- Spray your hair with water to make it damp, not wet. Then massage small amounts of oil into your scalp.
- Put a small amount of oil on your hands, rub them together, and “comb” your hair with your fingers. You can put a little extra oil on split ends.
- Cover your hair with a shower cap. Wait 2 hours, then shampoo and rinse.
If the castor oil won’t rinse out, try an egg shampoo. Beat an egg, massage it into your hair and scalp, wait a few minutes and rinse. The egg should get the oil out. It’s also a nice protein mask for your hair.
- Castor oil is not a leave-in treatment. It is very thick and leaving it on for long periods of time can be harmful.
- Do not use castor oil treatment more than once a week.
- Never, ever eat or drink castor oil. It can make you very sick or even be fatal.