Can Castor Oil Really Thicken Hair?

by Gio
castor oil thickens hair myth

I love me some castor oil.

I mix a few drops with olive oil to make a sleek makeup remover. Takes everything off quickly and leaves my skin super smooth.

Sometimes, I use the mixture on my hair, too. It makes it silky soft and super shiny.

Lately, I’ve heard rumours it can thicken hair, too. But I’m afraid this is a feat it can’t pull off…

Can castor oil thicken hair?

Here’s the thing: hair thickness is determined by genetics. That’s why it’s so difficult to increase it.

I’ve scoured scientific journal after scientific journal and could find NO evidence that castor oil thickens hair. None. Nada. Niente.

Sorry, ladies! When it comes to hair thickness, you’re still stuck with what you were born with.

But how did this myth originate?

There’s a little kernel of truth in every myth, isn’t there?

Castor oil can’t make your hair grow thicker. But it can fool you into believing it made your hair grow thicker. Huh?

Castor oil is sort of like a glue. It’s thick. Once you apply it, it stays put. This alone can make your hair look thicker. Add the small particles of dust the oil attracts and your locks look even thicker.

But… there could be another reason. A lot of people mistake hair thickness for hair density. Hair density is the number of hairs in an area of the scalp.

Castor oil has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that can treat follicles infested with bacteria. Once that’s treated, more hair will grow in that area.

One more thing. You usually massage castor oil into your scalp. Massage can stimulate blood circulation, bringing nutrients to your hair faster. It’s another trick that helps your hair grow back faster. Bu you don’t need castor oil for this. The massage alone can do it.

The Bottom Line

Hair thickness is determined by genetics. Castor oil won’t affect it. It’ll just give you the illusion of thicker hair.

Have you ever used castor oil to try and thicken your hair? Share your experience in the comments below.

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9 comments

Janessa January 16, 2015 - 1:56 am

Nope, never used castor oil on my hair. I’ve used olive oil and coconut oil as hair treatments though! And with your advice, I leave it in overnight. I haven’t done that in a while and perhaps I should.

Gio January 16, 2015 - 12:27 pm

Janessa, those oils are amazing for hair, aren’t they? They make it so soft and shiny!

anubhuti January 16, 2015 - 11:44 am

I know it can’t thicken hair but sure it did benefited me with hair density and I could see few little hair on my head as i used to massage with mix of oils 🙂

Gio January 16, 2015 - 12:34 pm

Anubhuti, I’m glad it worked well for you. 🙂

The Style Loop | Hair Romance January 17, 2015 - 10:11 pm

[…] Can castor oil thicken hair? Gio from Beauty with Brains always has the answers. […]

Mayette January 20, 2015 - 7:33 pm

I’m curious about its effects on eyelashes. There are so many good reviews out there claiming it makes them more full and luscious. I just bought a bottle of castor oil and I’m waiting on an empty a mascara tube to add it to my nightly ritual!

Gio January 23, 2015 - 9:33 pm

Mayette , unfortunately there is no scientific proof yet that castor oil helps eyelashes grow. I think it’s just the viscous texture of the oil that makes them appear thicker and longer.

julina August 18, 2016 - 11:48 am

I have used castor oil on my eyelashes. It does nothing for my length.. but does make my eyelashes more noticeable immediately in some way because it curves them somewhat upwards so instead if sticking out wards from the lid, they go up wards a little and so appear lengthened. it’s ok but nothing like the hype. you can get the same effect with an eyelash curler.

Gio August 22, 2016 - 12:31 am

Julina, at least that’s something, isn’t it? If you don’t like using a lash curler, you can always try this. But yeah, nothing like the hype indeed.

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