The Best Castor Oils For Hair Growth

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By Marissa DeSantis
Originally Published: 
Elite Daily/Amazon

With all of the treatments, supplements, and even gummies out there promising thicker, longer hair, it's hard to establish fact from fiction. A more natural option is always a great place to start, which is why castor oil (derived from castor seeds) has earned itself a newfound popularity. But does it really work? Despite anecdotal evidence and lots of discussion about the best castor oils for hair growth, that's still up for debate.

Before you commit to castor oil, it’s important to point out that there are two differing opinions on its hair-growing abilities, with some experts noting that there’s no scientific evidence to support hair growth claims. However, there are other experts in the dermatology field that believe castor oil can help with hair growth because of its undisputed nourishing benefits, which come from its high concentration of fatty acids. So while it may not directly cause hair growth, it can help promote overall healthier hair that feels stronger and appears shinier and thicker. Additionally, it has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits, so it’s great for maintaining a healthy scalp (and a healthy scalp is the key to healthy hair). The consensus, then? There's really no harm in adding castor oil to your routine — and since a lot of people do swear by it, go ahead and give it a try.

How To Use Castor Oil For Hair Growth:

There are a few things you’ll want to be wary of before you start applying pure castor oil on your hair. First, because it's an oil, you only want to apply a small amount. If you apply too much, it'll be hard to wash out, leaving you with hair that looks greasy instead of shiny and healthy. After you massage the oil onto your scalp and throughout the lengths of your hair, you can wash it out after 20 minutes, or leave it on overnight. (You can also use a drop or two on the ends of your hair to help soften split ends.) Note that if you’d rather reap the benefits of castor oil without slathering pure oil all over your hair, you can also find it in hair masks and shampoos.

Secondly, as with any ingredient, there’s the potential for irritation. To make sure you’re not allergic to castor oil, before you apply it all over, try a smaller test patch on the inside of your elbow to make sure you don't develop any itchiness or redness.

Ahead, you’ll find four of the best castor oils for hair growth, whether you’re looking to use it on your head, lashes, or brows.

The Best USDA Organic Castor Oil

Sold in a 16-ounce bottle for less than $15 and featuring over 40,000 five-star Amazon reviews, this is one of the best castor oils you can buy. It’s a cold-pressed, hexane-free, USDA-organic castor oil that can be applied on your hair, lashes, brows, and scalp. Thousands of Amazon shoppers swear by this stuff for hair growth, so go ahead and try it out for yourself.

Relevant review: “I absolutely love this product. I have done several things over the years in order to produce some hair growth, but this right here is the only thing that has worked. If you are looking for something that you are going to believe will you give unrealistic result, then don't purchase this. This is a product that will give you real results over a period of time, especially if you suffer from alopecia areata.”

The Best Jamaican Black Castor Oil

Unlike cold-pressed castor oil, Jamaican black castor oil is made from castor seeds that are roasted and processed. Both types of castor oil are great for your hair — figuring out which one works better for you will likely require you to try both. (It’s all about personal preference here, people!) Like cold-pressed castor oil, this can be used for lash, brow, beard, and nail growth, whether applied as a leave-on serum, hot oil treatment, or deep conditioner.

Relevant review: “I experienced hair loss after having my son and I used black castor oil to help with thinning edges. Needless to say it worked wonders in 1 months time. I also used it to transition from relaxed to natural. [...] My mother has always had thin hair and she is starting to use black castor oil and her hair is thickening beautifully.”

The Best Castor Oil For Your Scalp

This is actually a blend of oils, so it’s not pure castor oil, but it’s rich in other good-for-hair oils like soybean, sweet almond, olive, and sunflower. This is particularly handy for use on your scalp because of its pointed nozzle dispenser, so you can concentrate where you apply it without getting it all over your hair. Accordingly, this would also be a great choice for anyone with braids or locs.

Relevant review: “Love this product it really helps keep my hair and scalp moisturized and healthy looking!”

The Best Castor Oil In A Pump-Top Bottle

Here’s another convenient way to apply castor oil. This small bottle contains only pure Jamaican black castor oil, but its pump-top bottle makes it a less messy, more convenient option that the first two bottles on this list. Its small sizes also makes it ideal for traveling with.

Relevant review: “As someone with hypothyroidism, I struggle badly with hair loss and thinning hair. I have tried several products that did absolutely nothing for me. But I am telling yall, [sp] I have only been using this product for a few weeks, and I can already see a difference. I have used this product about 5 times now, just a few pumps rubbed all over my scalp and left overnight- and my hair seems fuller, even regained a bit of my curl. I hope I will continue to get great results. Yes, it smells weird, but I could care less because after you wash, the smell is gone, and it really works.”

The Best Castor Oil Shampoo & Conditioner

If you’d prefer a hair product that simply contains castor oil, try this Strengthen & Restore shampoo and conditioner duo, also from Shea Moisture. Specifically designed to help promote hair growth, both products contain Jamaican black castor oil and apple cider vinegar to clarify and nourish your scalp and hair, as well as shea butter for further moisturizing benefits. The shampoo and conditioner are also sulfate-free and therefore safe for use on dyed or chemically treated hair.

Relevant review: “This is by far the best shampoo/conditioner combo I’ve ever tried. I’ve been using this for about two months and there is a noticeable difference in my hair. It is healthier, shinier, and is growing faster! Smells great too!”

The Best Hair Mask With Castor Oil

If you love a good hair mask, pick up this best-seller that’s been awarded over 6,000 five-star ratings on Amazon. It contains all sorts of hair-strengthening ingredients, like biotin, collagen, and keratin, in addition to castor oil. Use this once or twice a week, depending on your hair type, after shampooing, and leave it on for anywhere from five to 20 minutes (or longer, if you want to throw on a processing cap and go about your business).

Relevant review: “Don't sleep on this conditioner- it has saved my hair!! Not only is my hair finally soft and shiny after I fried it from bleaching, but its growing fast then ever!! I have told everyone I meet about this hair mask. Ive tried everything [...] and none have preformed and corrected the issues that this mask does. Trust me, you need this mask in your routine.”

The Best Castor Oil For Brows & Lashes

Live Fraîche describes their Organic Eyelash and Eyebrow Growth Serum as the equivalent of a deep-conditioning treatment that you'd normally apply to your hair, but for your lashes and brows. The brand uses cold-pressed, USDA certified-organic castor oil that's designed to be used nightly with its built-in, dual-ended applicator (one side has a tiny brush for lashes, and the other side has a spoolie for brows). Because this is packaged so conveniently, it’s a great choice for travel or touchups throughout the day.

Relevant review: “Love the convenience of both brushes. The bottle is pretty and it actually works. I noticed my lashes were thicker and longer after a week. I use this to nourish my natural lashes since I wear falsies often and it keeps me from losing my natural lashes.”

Another Great Castor Oil For Your Brows & Lashes

Though this Kate Blanc castor oil may not be packaged as conveniently as the Live Fraîche castor oil, and would therefore be bulkier to travel with, you do get a lot more product, as well as the same type of application tools for your brows and lashes. Like the Sky Organics oil, this is cold-pressed, USDA organic, and hexane free.

Relevant review: “Over-plucked my eyebrows when I was literally 11-12 years old and they’ve been sparse and badly shaped ever since. Literally used this product every night for two weeks and my eyebrows look AMAZING they are growing back in!! I never thought this was possible! Literally a miracle product.”