The Best Castor Oils For Hair Growth

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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 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

Also available on Walmart, $14

Sold in a 16-ounce bottle for less than $20 and featuring over 53,000 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: “My hair was falling out at an alarming rate. It was dry, unhealthy, and thinning. I’ve been applying Castor Oil USDA Organic to my hair and scalp, leaving it overnight once or twice per week. My hair is stronger and noticeably healthier. I use the WOW Apple Cider shampoo as well. I’m so happy my friend shared these products with me. I’ll be a life-long customer from now on.”

The Best Jamaican Black Castor Oil

Also available on Rite Aid, $6 (4-ounce bottle)

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: “This is a great product. If you are looking to growing your thinning hair back in then this is the product you want. It does not work overnight. It takes months to see results. I have been using every night for 5 months. I almost quit at the 2nd month didn't feel like I was seeing results. So glad I didn't give up. At 4 months I took pictures of the top of my head and compared them to the day one photos. I was shocked at the difference, and to think I almost gave up. [...]”

The Best Castor Oil For Your Scalp

Also available on Ulta, $12 and Walmart, $11

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 black cumin seed. 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. Not to mention: it boasts more than 15,000 reviews.

Relevant review: “[...] I recently made the decision to transition from relaxed hair to natural again and this product (of course in combination with healthy lifestyle choices, good wash routine, and a few supplements) has greatly impacted the way my hair has grown (I've been using this product consistently for about a month now). Appearance: it's less frizzy, has a lot of shine, and is growing out quickly. Less breakage and a deeper, richer color. [...]”

The Best Castor Oil In A Pump-Top Bottle

Also available on Ulta, $10

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 than the first two bottles on this list. Its small size 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, 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 Conditioner

Also available on Ulta, $12 (1-Pack) and Sally Beauty, $10 (1-Pack)

If you’d prefer a hair product that simply contains castor oil, try this Strengthen & Restore conditioner, also from Shea Moisture. Specifically designed to help promote hair growth, it contains 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 conditioner (which comes in a money-saving pack of two) is also sulfate-free and therefore safe for use on dyed or chemically treated hair.

Relevant review: “Oh Yeah this works fantastic along with the Majestic Pure Hair Loss Shampoo. I was terrified when I realized I was seriously going bald as a woman with very thick hair all my life. I determined what the problem was but took no chances. After about 2/3 of the bottle and shampoo, I am back to a thicker head of hair than I had before. I am truly impressed. I recommend the addition of the aforementioned shampoo as a serious companion to this conditioner.”

The Best Hair Mask With Castor Oil

If you love a good hair mask, pick up this best-seller that’s been awarded over 10,000 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: “This stuff has done wonders for my hair. My hairstylist asked me what I had been using because the texture of my hair was so much better. I have dry naturally curly hair that's constantly colored and I use heat. My hair has never felt better.”

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: “Someone had recommended castor oil for lash health to me and based on reviews, I tried this product. Within a few weeks, my lashes looked sooooo much better. They are all the same length, are full and they no longer fall out when I'm removing mascara.”

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: “I absolutely love this stuff and how well it works in nourishing my eyelashes and eyebrows. I have definitely seen a difference in length + growth after applying every night. I prefer keeping my brows on the thicker side and castor oil has helped me stick with this goal as well as encouraging my eyelashes to grow stronger (especially since I prefer to wear waterproof mascara).”

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