Believe it or not, my experience with castor oil when I was growing up had nothing to do with hair. I remember every year right when summer vacation was ending and it was almost time to return to school my mom would come up with some concoction for my brother and me to drink and somehow castor oil with orange juice as a chaser was always a popular option.
I will save you the gory details about what the mix was for but I remember how gross it tasted and how much I hated doing it.
I also remember my grandma using it on her knees for arthritis and it also being recommended for back pain and all sorts of other ailments. It was as if castor oil cured everything, but that’s a topic for another video.
In recent years castor oil has become popular in hair care, the oil has been used to thicken everything from the hair on your head to eyelashes and eyebrows. It is also known to add moisture to the hair when used properly and to strengthen strands when incorporated into a healthy hair regimen.
Jamaican black castor oil or JBCO differs from clear castor oil* because of its ash content which is created by roasting the castor beans before extracting the oil. This ash content according to manufacturers is the reason why JBCO is more effective for hair regrowth than pure cold-pressed castor oil.
Studies involving the use of pure JBCO are hard to come by but you will find plenty of anecdotal evidence of its effectiveness from online forums and grandmothers alike.
Figure out if you should invest in cold-pressed castor oil or Jamaican black castor oil, reading our post on the subject.
Either way, it’s a very useful oil that can be incorporated into many aspects of hair care so whether you are relaxed or natural here are 7 ways you can incorporate Jamaican Black Castor oil* into a healthy hair regimen
1. The ultimate pre-poo
As a pre-treatment before shampoo castor oil wins hands down especially if you have dandruff or a dry scalp. Its anti-fungal properties make the oil perfect for treating any kind of scalp ailments when used often. It is always important to make sure that your pre-poo treatments are worth the extra step and picking the perfect oil is just as important as the amount of time spent doing the treatment.
A heavy oil like JBCO both helps to prevent hygral fatigue as well as prevent excessive dryness caused by sulfate shampoos. It would be advisable to combine equal parts JBCO and a lighter oil like extra virgin olive oil* to make it easier to spread the prepoo through your strands.
Read our article to discover more pre-poo treatments.
2. Sealing ends that refuse to hold on to moisture
Whether you are relaxed or natural one of the most important parts of your regimen is sealing your ends. Sealing your ends means using oil to trap moisture into your hair thereby keeping your hair soft and malleable and preventing breakage.
Once you have moisturized your hair with a water-based moisturizer JBCO can be applied to the ends trapping the added moisture. A word of warning though, JBCO is considered a heavy oil and can be so effective that you can end up sealing moisture out of your strands too if you do not moisturize properly beforehand.
Another thing to note; As the oil is pretty sticky, it would likely cause too much stress to use it as a sealant for fine hair textures that are prone to breakage from manipulation. But it is perfect for medium, mixed, and coarser hair textures.
3. Adding to a moisturizing deep conditioner
Sometimes your deep conditioner* does not feel complete without a great oil to help bring out the best in your mixture. JBCO is a great component because it encourages hydration, and because of its healing attributes, it can soothe the scalp while the mixture sits in your hair.
A great DIY protein deep conditioning* recipe is
1 tablespoon Jamaican black castor oil
1 drop of vitamin E oil
1 – 2 teaspoons of olive oil and
4 tablespoons of your favorite rinse-out conditioner for added slip.
Mix all the ingredients and apply it to your hair. Don a plastic cap and sit under a warm dryer for 20 minutes. You can increase the amount of recipe depending on the length and thickness of your hair. The treatment will change your life!
4. Creating neat twists or braids
JBCO as you may already know is very sticky in consistency so using too much of it can lead to a very icky situation, however, the benefit of the consistency is that it holds hair in place very well. If you want to create a neat set of twists or braids, the oil will hold the hair in place allowing your style to last frizz-free for longer.
Again be sure to hydrate your twists or braids well beforehand because using the oil as a light pomade will effectively seal the hair as well.
5. Helping with growth in thinning areas
Of all the reasons we could find that make Jamaican black castor oil great, the fact that it helps with thinning hair is one of the most popular motivations for incorporating it into a healthy hair regimen.
Scalp massages help not only to stimulate blood flow but using castor oil strengthens hair follicles allowing for optimum growth. For this reason, if you suffer from thinning edges or alopecia, consistently using castor oil will dramatically improve hair growth and you will start to see a difference in the areas that you are working on.
It would be shrewd to avoid braiding of any sort while trying to regrow thinning areas so stick with low-stress hairstyles.
A great way to do a scalp massage if you have thin edges or you want to thicken your hair is to use some castor oil on the balls of your fingers and massage it into your scalp in a circular motion. Start from the back of your head working your way to your temples paying close attention to the areas that are thinning.
6. Lay down edges
Who said you needed gel every time you want to lay your edges down or create a slick ponytail? Castor oil can work just as well, especially if you want your hair to appear naturally neat and not overpowered by styling aids.
To create a slicked-back look, a great trick is to start the night before. Gather your hair into your desired style and dampen the crown or edges of the hair, apply the oil to the area and brush your edges into place with a soft boar bristle brush or an edge brush.
Tie a scarf over your edges allowing your hair to lay flat and cover the rest of your hair with a satin bonnet*. In the morning when you remove the scarf your hair should be slicked back neatly without the use of gel.
Admittedly this will probably work best for those with type 3 hair, you know that us type 4’s need something a bit stronger!
7. Adding it to your oil rinsing mix
Oil rinsing has been known to be the holy grail of black hair care, it is so easy to do and can turn a detangling nightmare into heaven. Using Jamaican black castor oil* as part of your oil rinse mixture is ideal because the oil makes your hair soft and helps to soften those coarser textures.
To do the oil rinse, just start by shampooing your hair then grab about a handful of a mixture of half olive oil and half Jamaican black castor oil and coat your wet strands thoroughly.
Once your hair is fully covered, rinse the oil off with hot water only. Follow this up with your wash-out conditioner, enjoy an easy detangling session then rinse the conditioner off with cool water. The entire process should be quick and painless.
That’s it! Are there any unique ways you use JBCO in your regimen? Let us know in the comments. As always, all the best in your hair journey.