Does Castor Oil Increase Hair Thickness and Rejuvenate Edges?

By Jc of The Natural Haven Bloom

So let us take a straw poll. How many of you have heard that castor oil can help improve the thickness of natural hair? I have seen this said many times, and since hair thickness is dictated by genetics, I have always wondered if there was any truth to the statement. I finally decided to research it.

First question – what is in castor oil?

Like many natural oils (coconut oil, shea butter, olive oil etc), castor oil is composed of several fatty acids. In reality, these acids are bound and therefore do not really behave like acids at all (note that you cannot pH an oil as it does not dissolve in water). The dominant fatty acid in castor oil is ricinoleic acid.

Can ricinoleic acid or any other of the fatty acids in castor oil increase hair thickness?

There are no scientific studies to prove that castor oil can increase hair thickness. Interestingly, in the field of male pattern baldness where hair thickness improvement is a major requirement, castor oil does not even feature as a research ingredient.

What about the pictures where naturals show an improvement in hairline/bald patches by rubbing castor oil?

In my opinion this is not evidence because massaging in itself even with plain water can stimulate regrowth of hair (i.e where hair has fallen out or been pulled out, massage can help a new strand to grow back). I would add though that the study that showed this was done in rats and not humans.

Additionally, I have not seen anyone measure the actual diameter of hair to show that castor oil use has thickened their hair. Some people refer to thickness as the overall density of hair and in my view again this is not proven by the pictures as often they are just referring to normal regrowth.

Could something else be at work?

My theory in discussion with my chief chemist (i.e the husband) is that castor oil perhaps can stick to hair more firmly than most oils and therefore create an illusion of thickness. Anyone who has used it will note how thick and viscous it is. It is almost like a soft glue and tends to stay put and not move when applied. It does not transfer easily either, which means that it can attract small particles of dust and lint which may also add to the illusion of thickness.

Do you really need to change your hair thickness?

In my view, I think that life and biology is about diversity. Not everyone can have thick hair strands, not everyone can have high density hair but everyone can have great hair regardless of how thick the strand or how dense the hair.

Ladies, do you use castor oil? Has it help improved thickness?

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The Natural Haven

The Natural Haven

Scientist on a hairy mission!

  • Vanillabu

    Going to get my hands on that scalp massager, because I’m just too lazy to put my hands up for too long, but you sure it won’t get all nitty gritty and personal with my hair? I’ve been using JBCO and so far, so good. I think its a GREAT sealant and I used it to massage my edges as they’re also pulled out thanks to braids and wigs with combs.

  • Ratna

    I have been using castor oil for so many years. It works really good. It makes hair thick and keeps scalp healthy. Tryout and experience the change. No Other oil make your mane thick in just 1.5-2 months except the castor oil. Don’t wash your hair daily, it could make your hair to fall. If you wanna go out just cover your hair with scarf, as it protects your mane from sun and dust. I do the same. Apply castor oil thrice in a week.

    • Diva0575

      What kind of castor oil do you use? do you have to use JBCO or can Cold Pressed work?

  • Can castor oil make my hair straight?

  • Kimberly Diei

    Can any type of castor oil be used? In the grocery store they sell it as a stimulant laxative but it says it is cold pressed. Is this type okay to use on hair?

  • deepali kamre

    due to teh typhide i lost my hair my hair became very thin & dull, kindly suggest me something for hair thickness & hair growth my mail id is mentioned above please suggest

  • Charlette Hernandez

    I just purchased it and I believe it works and I am gonna use it.

    • BillyGene88

      How has it been working for you?

  • islandgirlsxm

    I use raw castor oil, not the store bought stuff. In the caribbean they sell huge bottles at the market its usually dark brown almost black and stinks but that’s why its so good.

    Alot of women use store bought oils that are nowhere close to the natural stuff.

    • Chloe

      The clear yellowish castor oil is natural. Black castor oil is dark because ash is added to it. Castor oil is not naturally black.

  • GeneV

    Castor oil has anti-fungal properties, as does tea tree oil, which helps with hair growth. This is why women are also using Monistat cream on their scalp for its anti-fungal chemicals that assist with hair growth and other scalp issues (dandruff,etc.). There is scientific evidence.

    Try the Castor oil ladies and add tea tree oil and peppermint oil(increases blood circulation) to the mix if you like. They work.

  • nidesing

    how about someone would test under microscope, like see the porous damaged hair before and after? in india castor oil is number 1 hair product, i dont know why, i only enjoy it when i apply night before hair wash, then i wash my hair in the morning and i like the result

  • Eliza

    The best oils to regrow hair is castor and emu oil, they are the two only oils that
    penetrates further into the skin and is able to activate the follicles (besides
    some essential oils like tea tree, but those need a carrier oil and can irritate your skin if you use too much by itself). When you use castor or emu and mixed it with essentials oils too, it works even better. You can make your own oil blends with castor oil, or buy a readymade blend. One great vendor is cnsciousessence. com. Another tip, spray your edges and parts with aloe vera juice before applying the oil. It will allow the oil to penetrate further and you will see results quicker. Doing this grew my edges back in 3 months.