Castor oil is most popularly used for hair growth (more here) since it contains essential vitamins and sealing properties that help for healthier hair. Though hair growth is genetic, hair loss can be triggered by environmental factors and using castor oil can not only prevent additional loss but help to stimulate regrowth even if those natural factors are still occurring. Stress and dietary issues are most commonly responsible for hair loss and though these are easily cured through lifestyle changes castor oil can help by bringing back hair that has started to thin out. Hair growth is generally determined by the body and it’s genetic factors so you can’t expect miracles simply by rubbing some of the oil in.
There are several ways in which cator oil helps to promote hair growth.
Firstly the application of castor oil itself, massaged well into the scalp, helps to stimulate the scalp which in turn improves the blood flow to skin and follicles. With the improved circulation follicles are healthier and more inclined to produce hair. This can also be said when mixing the oil with any other stimulant oil like peppermint for added effect. When taken as a dietary supplement it has also been noted to have a similar effect.Another way that castor oil helps to grow hair is that it. Improves the quality of the scalp itself. Castor oil contains antibacterial and anti-fungal properties which improve the quality of scalp making it easier for healthy hair to grow. The improvement in hair quality itself can often give the appearance of hair growth and is in essence a placebo effect.
Generally people notice the effects of castor oil within the first few uses. Many people do notice more hair “shedding” at first but without a thinning of the hair.
The first sign of hair growth when treating the scalp is usually a few fine hairs appearing at the scalp line. If you color your hair you may find you need to do it more often or that you need to cut it more often to maintain your style. Some women have noted that they have been able to achieve hairstyles that they could not before such as a fringe or bangs. It will all depend on your hair type and genetics as to how fast you can see a difference with your hair.
The best type of castor oil for hair growth is one that is raw and unprocessed. Processed oils often lose a lot of their natural properties which means you will not see the growth effects you expect. In addition to not seeing the growth choosing a processed oil can contain hexane which can dry the hair and cause damage to the shaft. Unprocessed castor oil usually is a pale yellow color, there is also “black” castor oil which is a richer and much darker color; the difference between these two oils is simply how they are pressed and where they come from. As long as the oil is raw it is suitable for using for hair growth purposes.