Natural Hair Essentials: Castor Oil

I’ve decided to do a segment on oils that have been essential to my transition. Granted, I have not tried ALL oils, BUT I will share my personal experiences with the oils that I have used.

A favorite of mine has been castor oil.  As a child, I remember my mother using a castor oil grease in our hair.  I remember her saying it was good for the hair.  As an adult, and transitioner who maintains her own hair, I have been able to give reason to the claim that it was good for the hair, as well as see the benefits up close and personal!

The Castor bean is native to Eastern Africa.  Castor Oil is yellow in color and obtained from the castor bean.  Renowned for centuries for its anti-inflammatory properties, castor oil can be used for:

  •  Making body massage oils (can be used to ensure a sturdy bone structure as well as to relieve aches and pains)
  • In medicines
  • In cooking (Strengthens the body’s immune system)
  • Crush and use as a garnish on salads
  • Gentle Laxative, no side affects (Make a tea by adding the leaves of castor to water)
  • Scalp Lubricant (Overtime, results in long thick hair)
  • Hair Loss Prevention (Promotes the growth of new hair)
  • Crush and use as a garnish on salads

Castor Oil is cheap and effective.  Castor oil should be used religiously for some time for it to show its efficacy.

I purchased 16 oz for $8  from my local health food store, Vitamin World. (Vitamin World is having a BOGO 50% off for all VW brand products! If there’s one in your area, it’s a good time to stock up on your stuff).

I think it’s great to try to find creative ways to incorporate it into your routine!  I really love castor oil for shine, to lock in moisture, and it’s thickening properties.  I use regular castor oil in my shea butter mix for my hair as well as alone to fluff out my braid-n-curl.

I also add JBCO to my Amla pre-poo oil treatment (this way I can get the benefits of JBCO, w/o the lingering smell! Learned that the hard way!).

The castor bean made its way to Jamaica via the slave trade. Authentic Jamaican Black Castor Oil is dark brown in color accompanied with the traditional burnt smell.  A JBCO has been on the market that utilizes lavender to suppress the traditional scent. I have the regular JBCO.  To get around the scent, I just use it in my pre-poo oil mix.

Both Castor Oil and JBCO work great for me, but once I tried to do a chunky twist out on a friend, who is a fervent wash and go bunn-er…I used castor oil to fluff her twist out…She reported to me that she didn’t like it because it made her hair feel heavy and greasy. It could have been that I was a bit heavy handed w/ the product. WARNING: Castor oil is VERY thick!  When using it to fluff out your hair, try to limit your product usage to just enough to cover your finger tips for each section of your hair.  Trust me, a little goes a long way!  I’ve had mine for at least a year now and still have 1/3 of the bottle left. You can also use a lighter oil to thin out the castor oil as well as stretch both products.  Lighter oils include: Almond, Jojoba, Coconut, Argan, Grapeseed, etc.

Next up, Olive Oil!  I’ll show you how I make my Rosemary Castor Olive Oil mix!

Also, check out Black Girl, Long Hair! There’s a great article on the Castor Oil User Guide!

How do you incorporate Castor Oil into your routine?

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