Know your ingredients: Castor Oil (Ricinus Communis)

by beautifulwithbrains


What it is
Castor oil is the vegetable oil derived from the seeds of the Ricinus Communis plant.

What it does
When castor oil is dry, it forms a barrier on the skin that has water-binding properties, thus softening and hydrating skin.

Side effects
It can have a slightly sticky feel on skin.
Skin irritation or allergic reactions are rare, but can occur.


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Anastasia September 13, 2008 - 1:45 pm

People are constantly asking us in my store if we sell this. We don’t, but it’s supposed to be very good to hair. Much like olive oil (not the cooking version) or sweet almond oil, you rub it into your hair, wear a showercap overnight, shower it off and it makes yer hair all soft and whatnot.

beautifulwithbrains September 14, 2008 - 11:46 am

yes, castor oil is great for hair. It makes them all soft and silky. I also heard that it is supposed to make your hair grow faster but unfortunately that is not true.

Cat September 8, 2015 - 8:44 pm

hello! so this is 500 years later, but i figured i’d drop a word. from what i understand, castor oil coats the hair (doesn’t penetrate it like coconut oil) and because it’s so persistent, helps prevent damage, which results in better length. not much else can control the speed at which hair grows though! genetics and food play a huge part, and whatever else we do to keep it as damage free as possible while it grows.

Gio September 9, 2015 - 12:37 pm

Cat, that’s so true! Castor oil is a great moisturizer, but t doesn’t do miracles. Making hair grow faster is not as simple as coating your hair in castor oil, unfortunately!

Sandra Craig March 31, 2009 - 3:05 am

Is castor oil carcingenic

beautifulwithbrains March 31, 2009 - 1:45 pm

Sandra: no, it isn’t.

emily April 2, 2013 - 1:09 am

Actual beautifulwithbrains. Castor oil does make your hair grow fast. I actually use it. My hair had grown an inch in 3 weeks. You should research it a little more.

beautifulwithbrains April 3, 2013 - 9:58 pm

Emily, thank you for your comment. I did research it and I couldn’t find any scientific studies that proved castor oil can make hair grow so, until then, I’ll remain sceptical. Anecdotal evidence is important too, but it is not as accurate because there are so many variables to consider. It may be that there are other factors that are contributing to your hair growth. Without a proper scientific test, we can’t know for sure. In any case, I’m glad castor oil works so well for you.

Claretha Moore April 17, 2013 - 3:16 am

Castro oil is good for whats ails you. It does stimulate the hair and it does help it grow faster.

beautifulwithbrains April 17, 2013 - 5:32 am

Claretha, thanks for your comment. I believe there is some anecdotal evidence that castor oil makes hair grow faster, but until I see a scientific study confirming it, I’ll remain sceptical. It’s still a wonderful and very beneficial oil though.

emily April 17, 2013 - 7:08 pm

Why don’t you try it then

beautifulwithbrains April 17, 2013 - 8:06 pm

Emily, because at the moment, I’m not interested in making my hair grow faster. In fact, I’m thinking of cutting it! 🙂


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