Rich and thick castor oil is having quite a beauty moment right now. Where did this obscure oil come from? What is the reason behind all the hype surrounding this previously less-known product? And does it really have any special transformative properties to make our skin or hair healthy? We explain it all.
A clue to its popularity could be found from the type of hair it suits best
Given the fact that natural hair is having a moment, it is only fitting that an oil which improves the thickness, volume, and texture of African hair becomes popular too. This is because curly hair tends to be drier than straight hair–the structure of the shaft prevents sebum produced by the scalp from reaching the shaft. Those with curly hair also have sparser follicles, meaning there are fewer individual strands per unit on a curly-haired person’s head.
Since castor oil helps in hair growth and thickening, it makes perfect sense that it would be popular with those who have such hair and are increasingly opting to wear it openly. Not only that, the intensely nourishing properties of this oil are favoured by those with African hair because it adds a silky-smoothness and lustre to curly hair which is usually dry. Thanks to these benefits, even those who don’t have curly or dry hair are opting for castor oil over other options.
Castor oil helps the scalp and brows too
Castor oil contains an antifungal and antibacterial ingredient called ricinoleic acid. This makes it perfect for those who experience hair fall or lack of hair growth owing to their follicles getting blocked by dirt. Ricinoleic acid kills the fungus blocking the roots from growing into healthy strands of hair. Those who experience dandruff-related hair fall really benefit from castor oil application.
This is why it’s also great for the roots of your eyelashes once you remove mascara–any leftover germs from the makeup is less likely to infect your lashes! In addition to that, those who suffer from sparse brows, or pimples and flakes in the brow area, see improved hair growth and healthier skin upon application of castor oil.
The reason why so many celebrities and beauty gurus use castor oil for both hair and lashes
Castor oil mainly helps with hair thickness and re-growth (within realistic realms), and is known for doing great damage control. So, beauty influencers and actresses who lose lashes and eyebrow hair because of makeup-related wear and tear–be it extensions, gel, or mascara–benefit from it.
In the Black community, women who experience traction alopecia caused by wig-related friction have also recently started discussing the benefits of castor oil as a hair growth must-have, especially since many of them have embraced their natural hair and are starting to flaunt their Afros.
How castor oil is different from other oils
Those who once used to use sweet almond oil as a lash serum have now switched to dipping spoolies in castor oil every night thanks to its richness and density. This is because castor oil does indeed have properties which sets it apart from other oils.
Castor oil also seems to have dethroned coconut oil as the ‘It’ oil of the moment. Jade-rolling beauty gurus and influencers who swore by tubs of coconut oil six months ago have now replaced it with jars of Jamaican black castor oil. This is because unlike coconut oil which sits on the surface of skin or hair, castor oil gets absorbed into the skin, and leaves a layer of protection on top. It also heals and protects coarse, damaged hair and skin more effectively than coconut oil.