Castor oil is a wonderful moisturizer, both for skin and hair. It softens and smooths them, and creates a protective barrier that prevents water loss, keeping them hydrated. And now people are saying it can thicken hair as well. But is this last claim true too? Let’s investigate:
Can castor oil thicken hair?
Hair thickness is determined by genetics, so I’m always sceptical when I hear something can increase it. And, unfortunately, I was right. There is no scientific evidence that castor oil or one of its many components (such as rinoleic acid, oleic acid, and linoleic acid) can thicken hair. Sorry, ladies! When it comes to hair thickness, we’re still stuck with what we were born with.
But how did this myth originate?
Although castor oil can’t make hair thicker, it can fool you into believing it does. How? Castor oil is sort of like a glue. It is thick, viscous, and stays put once applied. This can make hair look thicker. The small particles of dust this oil attracts can contribute to the illusion of thickness as well. But they make your hair dirtier too. Not really what you wanted, is it?
But there could be another explanation. Hair thickness is often mistaken for hair density, i.e. the number of hairs in an area of the scalp. Castor oil, due to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, can help treat follicles infested with bacteria, thus improving hair density.
Also, castor oil is usually applied with a light massage. And massage can stimulate blood circulation, and, as a result, the flow of nutrients to the hair. This can make those strands of hair that had fallen out or had been pulled out grow back. But you don’t really need castor oil for this. The massage alone can do it.
The Bottom Line
Hair thickness is determined by genetics, and castor oil can’t modify it. It can only give the illusion of thicker hair.
Have you ever used castor oil to try and thicken your hair?