From argan oil and coconut oil to honey and rosemary, we’re willing to slather just about anything on our tresses if there’s a chance it will breathe some life into damaged locks, and usually to no avail.
If you’re on a quest for the thickest, silkiest hair of your life, know that you’re not alone. Whether your hair is dry from bleach, thin from over-styling or frizzy from heat damage, some of our most-common hair woes can often feel totally irreversible.
Enter castor oil. You may have noticed that this nourishing ingredient is starting to worm its way into haircare products everywhere, and it promises to tackle a plethora of hair issues.
So what exactly is castor oil and how is it going to help your locks? We’ve enlisted the help of celebrity hair stylist Jason Collier and Nancy Twine, founder of haircare brand Briogeo, to reveal everything you need to know about the wonder ingredient…
What is castor oil?
First things first, we believe it’s important to know exactly where our natural beauty ingredients are coming from.
“Originally from Africa, but also found in Jamaica, castor oil is acquired by pressing the seeds of the castor oil plant, or Ricinus. Dubbed the ‘miracle oil’, it is comprised of 18 fatty acids and is used in many hair and beauty products,” explains Jason.
How can it benefit hair?
It’s the million-dollar question that we’re all begging to know the answer to: Does castor oil really work? The answer, in short, is yes. If you suffer with thinning locks, a dry scalp or unruly frizz (or all of the above), then castor oil could be the way out of your suffering.
“Castor oil is rich in vitamin E and a monounsaturated fat called ricinoleic acid – a fat that acts as a humectant; retaining moisture by preventing water loss through the skin. The benefits include healing, moisturising and promoting hair fullness,” says Nancy.
But how does castor oil promise to sort out more serious issues like dandruff and hair loss? Jason explains: “Ricinoleic acid is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Applying the oil to the scalp can rebalance the PH level, which prevents the occurrence of dandruff and flaky skin, and also boosts blood circulation under the scalp, ensuring healthy, balanced skin. On top of that, ricinoleic acid can also help to increase circulation to the scalp and improve hair growth.”
We want in.
How is it used?
As the secrets of castor oil start to become public knowledge, more and more castor-oil-based products are hitting the shelves. From hair masks to 100% castor oil treatments, the benefits of castor oil can be reaped through a number of different methods.
But, if you want to get the most out of castor oil, Nancy advises you have to keep up the applications. “When using castor oil, consistency is key. Apply it regularly and you will keep the hair shaft moisturised, which can increase flexibility and reduce breakage.”
For the best hair of your life, give these castor oil-infused hair treatments a whirl…