Left: Sheetal Rawal, scientist (human genetics) & founder of Apsara Skin Care
By: Sheetal Rawal
The key to unlocking a head full of thick, healthy hair has traditionally been associated with the use of castor oil in various home-based remedies and products. These concoctions and mixes have been tried, tested, and passed down through generations over countless decades. Today, there is ample scientific evidence and reasoning to explain why castor oil and certain mixtures have such remarkable effects in encouraging the growth of lush, thick hair. Primarily it might be the superior scalp nourishing properties of this oil that result in healthy follicles and a healthy head of hair. Castor oil is popularly employed to support faster, longer, and shinier hair growth, even to this day.
Castor oil itself is characterized by its pale yellow color, thick texture, and a distinctive aroma. It is a vegetable oil that is obtained from the seeds of the castor plant. Though spread throughout a number of tropical regions, castor oil plant is strongly indigenous to the Mediterranean Basin, India, and South Africa.
Castor oil is a brilliant remedy for dry, dull, and brittle hair. It is also widely used to help with certain scalp and skin conditions, such as alopecia and psoriasis. Due to the high-fat content the
oil carries – it noticeably soothes and softens the scalp and skin.
This article will shed light on the various benefits that castor oil provides in both encouraging and maintaining strong, healthy, and thick hair growth. This article, in particular, will also showcase some of the most popular and trusted home-based remedies and tips on how to include castor oil successfully into anyone’s daily hair-care routine. Castor oil can be purchased at a health food store.
1. Strengthens from Root to Tip
Due to pollution and the constant emission of harmful gases and chemicals around us, the composition of breathable air has become increasingly polluted, impure, and harmful. Not only does this affect the quality and safety of the air we breathe in, but it also begins to wear away at the hair, roots, and scalp. As a result, hair becomes dry, prone to breakage, and extremely brittle.
The application of castor oil works from root to tip, working on strengthening the scalp and roots, and particularly detoxifying and nourishing the follicles. Healthy hair follicles mean a healthy and full head of hair. That is easy to understand. Since castor oil works to nourish the roots, the strands reap the benefits. Dry and brittle hair can truly be transformed by regular application of castor oil. The oil is enriched with the nutrients necessary to nourish the scalp and roots and foster the growth of stronger, thicker hair.
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2. Natural Emollient
Castor oil is rich in emollients and notably laden with fatty acids and proteins. This makes it the perfect fix for hair that is subject to dryness, is dandruff-prone, and brittle. When the scalp is deeply nourished, it is able to hold on to more hydration/moisture and thus lose far less water than normal. This means that the dry, itchy scalp days might well be on their last leg.
The lubricating and wax-like properties of castor oil make it a brilliant solution for hair that is dry and prone to accumulating dandruff, and a scalp which is itchy and irritable. The emollient features of castor oil help in moisturizing, soothing, and softening both the scalp and the hair. As a result, your hair becomes softer and shinier in a short time.
3. Encourages Hair Growth
effect. The oil itself carries ricinoleic acid and omega-6 fatty acids, which are essential in promoting the healthy growth of a beautiful head of hair. These components present within the oil increase blood circulation within the scalp which, in turn, promotes faster, more efficient hair growth.
Although we might not know exactly how castor oil promotes hair growth and density scientifically, it is reasonable to make an educated guess. In Ayurveda, castor oil has been known for its deep detoxification, anti-inflammatory, and nourishing properties. When the follicles are cleaned out deeply by castor oil, and any inflammatory disorders reduced, one can easily imagine how the follicles become healthy and able to grow and sustain thick, long and lustrous hair.
4. Reduces Hair Fall
Hair fall is as prevalent an issue as weak and brittle hair, and castor oil once again proves to be an effective remedy in this regard. A number of individuals globally suffer from a rare genetic condition known as alopecia. The patients with this disease experience an abnormally-rapid rate of hair fall, which may eventually result in complete baldness in the adult years. For such individuals particularly, castor oil proves to be a miraculous life-saver; not only do the naturally-occurring emollients and fatty acids soothe and soften an itchy scalp, but an environment is created where follicles can be encouraged to do their job properly. Essentially, not only is hair growth encouraged, but hair fall is also staved off due to the reinforcement of the hair follicles and shafts.
Undoubtedly, there are many other Ayurvedic herbal oils like bhringraj, shikakai, amla etc that can work wonders, but these oils do not tend to be easily accessible and are best used as part of a high-quality natural hair oil formula.
5. Fixes Damaged Hair
Damaged hair is characterized as being weak, brittle, rough, and with split ends. Applying castor oil to the tips of your hair can make the appearance of split ends far less visible. Conditioning regularly with a hair conditioner that has castor oil in it is an awesome idea to nourish your hair and repair damage and dryness. Do remember, castor oil does have proteins, minerals, essential fatty acids and Vitamin E. With such an impressive profile castor oil is bound to undo and prevent hair issues.
“I’ve been using Apsara products for a long time now, and the results are amazing! I’m really satisfied with the Acne Care Routine I’m using daily, and [my acne] has disappeared...I’ve got a lovely glow on my skin. Also, the hair oil is amazing.”
Easy Home Remedies Using Castor Oil
Choosing the right castor oil is most important. Ideally, the castor oil must be organic and cold pressed. This is important to make sure that all the goodness of the oil is preserved and that you are not getting any pesticides along with the oil. Cold pressing is an oil extraction process that does not damage the vital components in an oil. Using heat while extracting an oil can leave it less effective.
1. Castor and Sunflower Revitalizing Oil Blend
Mix 3 tablespoons of castor oil with 1 tablespoon or sunflower oil. Shake the mixture well, and apply a few drops of the mixture on the hair and scalp. Massage well for 5 minutes. This acts as a revitalizer and nourishes the hair follicles.
2. Castor and Coconut Oil
Mix 3 tablespoons of castor oil and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Add 3-4 drops of aloe vera juice. Mix well and massage your scalp and hair with this mix gently. Leave on for 3 hours and then wash with a gentle and SLS Free Shampoo.
3. Castor Oil to Make Split Ends Less Visible
boiling. Do not heat castor oil over direct flame. It can cause the oil to lose its beneficial properties and hot castor oil can cause severe burns. The oil should be used when it is the same temperature as your body. Apply it on the ends of your hair and massage in. Leave on for a few hours before washing with your SLS Free Shampoo. Remember, using a shampoo with harsh chemicals in it can undo within minutes any good that castor oil would have done. This can be repeated twice a week if necessary.
4. Avocado and Castor Nutritive Hair Mask
Mashing up 2 tablespoons of avocado and mixing with one tablespoon of castor oil makes a wonderful hair mask. Apply this mask on your scalp and hair. Tie up your hair with a clip. Leave the mask on for 2 hours. You could wear a shower cap to prevent the mask from dripping. Wash thoroughly with your natural SLS Free Shampoo. This mask is a serious source of nourishment and encourages hair that is thick, strong, soft and shiny. But again, washing with a shampoo that is made with harsh chemicals can undo the benefits of this nutritive hair mask.
5. Castor and Almond Oil for Deep Nourishment
3-4 tablespoons of castor oil can be combined with 1 tablespoon of almond oil, and 8 drops of vegetable glycerin. Mix well and massage your scalp and hair with this mix. Leave on for 1-3 hours or overnight. Then shampoo with your SLS Free Shampoo and conditioner with a conditioner that has castor oil as one of its ingredients!
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