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Craving longer, healthier locks? Hair growth is a surprisingly common problem, and there are a variety of products — from vitamins and serums to oils — that promise to deliver those Rapunzel-like hair.

One of the most touted ones today is castor oil. This inexpensive and widely available oil is a vegetable oil derived from castor beans, says board-certified dermatologist Audrey Kunin. “It’s rich in ricinoleic acid, a nourishing, moisturizing fatty acid.”

William Gaunitz, a FWTS-certified trichologist and founder of Advanced Trichology, said that despite its growing popularity, especially in applications such as hair growth, it is an oil that has been used in a variety of topical and cosmetic applications. for thousands of years.

But is it worth picking up a bottle and applying it regularly? Does it actually help stimulate hair follicles to provide the real, tangible results you’re looking for?

Does Castor Oil Promote Hair Growth?
The short – and, admittedly, rather unsatisfactory – answer? Maybe.

There’s no evidence that castor oil applied to the scalp or hair will directly help promote hair growth, Kunin said. Instead, castor oil can indirectly help hair grow, Gunitz says.

“It has many anti-inflammatory properties, including high levels of omega 6 and 9 and vitamin E,” he explains. Because of this, regular use—especially in conjunction with other proven products from a dermatologist or trichologist—can produce positive hair growth results, says Gaunitz.

But it shouldn’t be relied upon in all cases. He explained that while castor oil is very helpful in helping hair regrowth in people with inflammatory alopecia, it has little effect on severe male or female pattern baldness and nutritional baldness.

How often should you apply castor oil?
If you fall into the former category, or just want to use the oil to reap the benefits of improved scalp health and smoother, healthier-looking hair, apply the oil 2 to 3 times a week, says Gaunitz. In some severe cases, you can use castor oil daily, but it should be mixed with 50 percent coconut oil because the product can create a sticky buildup, he adds.

It’s a simple process: just put a few drops into your hands and gently massage the oil into your scalp. Let the oil sit for 45 minutes to an hour. Then, wash your hair and scalp with your favorite shampoo and conditioner.

Can you leave castor oil in your hair overnight?
The biggest benefit, please! While you can technically leave castor oil on your hair overnight, leaving any oil on your hair overnight or for more than four hours should only be done intermittently, Gunitz says. “After four to six hours, the oil breaks down and begins to collect dead skin cells and debris, leading to possible inflammation.”

How long does it take for castor oil to work?
Within 15 to 30 minutes of application, castor oil begins to reduce inflammation and imbalanced microbes, including fungi and bacteria, and provide moisturizing omega fats, Gunitz says.

However, when it comes to hair growth, you have to dig deeper for more patience. “For those who will benefit, I usually see positive results after six to eight weeks of use,” he said.

Still, it’s important to note that the results don’t last forever. Continued use is required to maintain the benefits of castor oil, Gunitz adds.


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