As we get older and our hormone levels change, a few inconvenient things tend to happen. One of those things, unfortunately, is hair loss. But luckily, there’s a lot that you can do to manage hair loss naturally at home — and at the top of the list, there’s castor oil.
Castor oil is extracted from the castor bean and it’s been used traditionally for a variety of medicinal purposes, mainly as a stimulant laxative. Used topically, castor oil has healing properties for the skin. It’s been known to aid in wound healing and has been used to treat skin conditions like dermatitis and fungal infections. But what might be even more impressive is castor oil’s ability to regrow thinning hair.
Most of the evidence for castor oil’s hair-growing powers are anecdotal, though one study did find that it improved hairs luster and the appearance of fullness. Nevertheless, beauty experts swear that castor oil has the ability to boost hair growth, some saying it accelerates it by as much as five times! Apparently, this could be because castor oil increases blood flow to the scalp.
On top of that, castor oil is rich in vitamin E and a type of fat called ricinoleic acid which has shown to tame inflammation — another cause of hair loss. Some say that fatty acids contribute to healthy hair follicles which could also help increase hair growth.
Using castor oil for hair growth is luckily pretty easy. First, purchase a quality castor oil like this one from Sky Organics ($17.95, Amazon). Take note, the texture of castor oil is super thick and bit sticky, so you may want to dilute yours in a thinner carrier oil like melted coconut oil or jojoba oil. You can also add essential oils like rosemary to your castor oil for extra hair-boosting powers. Otherwise, you can apply castor oil directly to your scalp with your fingers, being sure to saturate it as much as possible. You can apply the castor oil from root to tip also, as this will help strengthen and protect your hair from damage.
For a quick and simple hair mask recipe, try mixing one tablespoon melted coconut oil, one tablespoon castor oil, and 10 drops rosemary essential oil. Apply the mixture generously on the scalp, and then from root to tip. Allow the mixture to sit in your hair for at least 30 minutes, then wash as usual. You may have to shampoo twice to fully remove the oil.
You can apply this mask twice per week for best results. And if your dealing with hair loss in other places, you can even try applying castor oil on your eyebrows!
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This article originally appeared on our sister site, Woman’s World.