The Truth About Castor Oil For Hair Growth

Who doesn't want gorgeous, luscious hair? According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), losing 50 to 100 hairs a day is totally normal — and you have nothing to worry about. The problem is when you start losing too much hair. According to Healthline, as much as we love coloring, perming, or heat styling our hair to change up our look, it can lead to hair loss. Even wearing super tight hairstyles like ponytails or braids can promote hair loss because you're pulling the hair follicles too tight. Thankfully, there are little tips to help your hair grow, such as giving yourself a break from coloring and heat styling your hair, as well as switching over to a silk pillowcase to reduce "tangles, breakage, and damage" to your hair, per The Cut.

When you think of long, thick hair, Indian and Middle Eastern women come to mind because many of them are blessed with gorgeous hair, and they have a little tip to keep their hair looking so amazing. In fact, Michelle Ranavat, founder and CEO of Ranavat Botanics, told Byrdie, "I think the biggest difference is we take care of our hair just as we would our face." Ranavat added that in the U.S., people only deep condition their hair when it's the last resort, but in the case of many Indian women, massaging their hair with cold-pressed oil is a weekly ritual. 

Many oils are popular for hair care, but castor oil is becoming increasingly so. But is it legitimate?

Castor oil can give you shiny, hydrated hair but...

According to Healthline, castor oil is commonly used in skincare for its hydrating properties. This oil comes from "the seeds of the Ricinus communis plant" and has become a staple for many People often use it for hair growth, but Healthline shared that "there's currently no scientific evidence that castor oil helps promote hair health, stimulates hair growth, or reduces hair loss." It's a great addition to your hair care routine for a boost, but the science is out on the rest of its benefits, at least for now.

On this, Adam Friedman, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and program director at The George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences, told Allure, "While it does have antimicrobial properties that may be useful in terms of fighting off bacterial or fungal overgrowth on the scalp that can lead to hair-damaging inflammation, there is zero evidence [showing] it is helpful for hair growth." It looks like our hopes and dreams that castor oil will help us grow longer and thicker hair may not actually come true.

Furthermore, Bridgette Hill, a certified trichologist and scalp therapist, told Byrdie, "Castor oil assists with cultivating the necessary environment needed to nurture and support healthy hair follicles." The oil is rich in ricinolic acid, a humectant that can hydrate skin and hair. It's a great oil to add a little shine to your hair, but whether or not it helps your hair grow for sure might still be up in the air.