For generations castor oil has been touted as a natural moisturizer. Made from the castor seeds or Ricinus communis plant, this age-old remedy is also brimming with antiviral & antimicrobial properties & a special fatty acid, called ricinoleic acid, that may help to strengthen any hair type.1
This nutrient-rich oil is a big player in the hair care game for a reason: In addition to its potential strengthening properties, it’s known to promote hair growth, nourish your scalp, and reduce hair breakage.2
In this guide, we’ll walk you through the four key castor oil for hair benefits and how you can incorporate it into your own hair care routine.
#1 It May Strengthen Hair Strands
Strong curls are thriving curls & smart hair care is all about letting those locks flourish. Unfortunately, sometimes the products we use—not to mention the heat our hair is subjected to—can weaken the hair strand, leading to natural hair breakage or slow growth.
Luckily, there are plenty of castor oil benefits for hair. Castor oil is composed of an impressive mix of proteins, antioxidants & vitamins that may nourish the scalp & help the health of fragile hair follicles.3 This dose of oomph is included in many leave-in & medium conditioners specifically curated to help protect hair at its roots.
#2 It Can Protect Against Flaking
The benefits of castor oil for hair don’t stop at the follicle. Everyone experiences dryness around the scalp once in a while, which may mean your hair is asking for a little extra attention on the moisturization front. Castor oil is also used as a cleanser, thanks to its antibacterial prowess, & it may help tackle pesky problems like scalp psoriasis.
If you’re struggling with dryness, a creamy hydration shampoo like PATTERN’s Hydration Shampoo might help your curls or coils regain their pep. That soft lather will remove build-up & dirt, leaving your scalp free to soak up the moisturizing goodness of your favorite conditioner.
#3 It’s Believed To Reduce Breakage
We all know the key to growing healthy hair is moisture, moisture & more moisture. Castor oil is a humectant, which means it sucks water out of the air & draws it to the surface of the skin—right where the hair follicle is—working to retain moisture where it’s needed.
This can translate to healthier curly hair at the source & less breakage-prone strands later on. You can also massage castor oil directly onto the ends to keep them from splitting.
Look for castor oil in styling products like our Curl Mousse, a fluffy, quick-drying formula that increases volume & helps set poppin’ styles with none of the crispness or crunch that so many mousses deliver. Its smoothness comes from a marshmallow root & castor oil duo that ensures your curls are moisturized & nourished to prevent hair breakage.
Another noteworthy PATTERN product formulated with castor oil is our one and only Argan Oil Blend, which is meant to strengthen strands, nourish curl cuticles, and protect against moisture loss.
#4 It May Help Your Hair Grow
We’ve saved the best news for last: Castor oil may help hair grow. If volume & length are your goals, castor oil might just be your new favorite ingredient in your hair care product rotation.
While we want to note that the research showing a connection between castor oil & increased hair growth is thin, some experts think it may provide an assist indirectly, since ricinoleic acid promotes blood vessel dilation and therefore increases the flow of oxygen to hair follicles when applied to the scalp.4
Since this hair oil plays nice with other curly hair products, we think there’s no harm in trying it out to see the results for yourself.
A Quick Safety Tip
If you’re wondering, “Is castor oil good for your hair?” the answer is probably yes! That said, we know there are dozens of effective oils out there & not all of them work for all of us. With that in mind, we wanted to make a quick note about who definitely should not use castor oil & how to safely test the product before you try it out on your hair.
Castor oil can be potentially harmful to:
- Those who are pregnant. Castor oil is believed to induce pregnancy & should be avoided by expecting moms.
- Those under 12 years of age. When in doubt, consult a pediatrician.
- People with who take certain medications, such as blood thinners, diuretics, antibiotics & heart and bone medicines
It’s often a good idea to try the patch test first before introducing products with castor oil to your hair care lineup. Simply apply a small amount of product to the soft skin behind your ear every day for a week & see if any reactions occur.
Redness, itching & irritation are signs to pump the breaks on that product. If in doubt, consult a hair care expert or physician.
PATTERN For Added Shine, Softness & Strength
It’s believed that castor oil can help strengthen & nourish natural hair to prevent breakage & dryness, & incorporating a styling product that’s rich in castor oil can give your natural curls the bounce they’re looking for.
Our Curl Mousse is formulated with castor oil & is ultra-light to deliver volume to your curls and coils. At PATTERN, we provide science-backed hair care solutions at every step of your hair care routine in hopes of empowering you as well as supporting & celebrating your natural curls.
Every hair texture should take up the space it desires—check out our lineup of hair care products to give your curls a voice.
- Yukihiro Yamamotoet al. "Phospholipase A2-Mediated preparation of phosphatidylcholine containing ricinoleic acid and its anti-inflammatory effect on murine macrophage-like RAW264.7 cells." Science Direct. 18 June, 2019. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1878818119302361?via%3Dihub
- Kubala, Jillian. "4 Benefits and Uses of Castor Oil." Healthline. Updated 28 January, 2022. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/castor-oil#Can-castor-oil-support-hair-growth-and-scalp-health
- Jahns, Erin. "Castor Oil for Hair: Benefits and How to Use It." Updated 24 August, 2022. https://www.byrdie.com/castor-oil-for-hair-growth
- "Is Castor Oil The Secret to Hair Growth?" Elle. 17 May, 2022. https://www.elle.com/beauty/hair/a32948617/castor-oil-for-hair/