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 I 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 literally regressed every ice cream cone I ate every summer by the time September 1st rolled around.
I also remember my grandma using it on her knees for arthritis and it being recommended for back pain and all sorts of ailments. It was as if castor oil cured everything, but that’s a whole other post.
In recent years castor oil has become really popular in hair care, the oil has been used to thicken everything from the hair on your head, to eyelashes and eye brows. 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 (JBCO) differs from clear castor oil* because of it’s ash content created by roasting the castor beans prior to extracting the oil. This ash content according to manufacturers is the reason why JBCO is more effective for hair regrowth than pure castor oil. Studies involving the use of pure JBCO are hard to come by but you will find plenty of anecdotal evidence of it’s effectiveness from online forums and grandmothers alike.
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 prior to 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.
2. Sealing Ends That Refuse To Hold On To Moisture
Whether you are relaxed or natural one the most important parts of your regimen is sealing your ends. Sealing your ends means using an 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. But it is perfect for medium, mixed and coarser hair textures.
3. Added To A Moisturizing DC
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 you hair.
A great protein deep conditioning* recipe is 1 egg, 1 tablespoon JBCO, 1 drop of vitamin E oil, 1 – 2 teaspoons of olive oil, 4 tablespoons of a rinse out conditioner for added slip. You can increase the amount of recipe depending on the thickness of your hair. Mix all the ingredients together and apply it to the hair, don a plastic cap and sit under a warm dryer for 20 minutes, 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 makes 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 moving in a circular motion, create a pattern of movement from the back of your head to your temples paying close attention to the areas of the hair that are thin.
6. Lay Down Edges
Who said you needed gel every time you want to lay your edges down or create a slick pony tail? Castor oil can work just fine especially if you want your hair to appear naturally neat and not over powered by styling aids.
To create a slicked back look a great trick is to start overnight, gather your hair into your desired style and dampen the crown or edges of the hair, apply the oil to the crown of the hair over the dampened area and brush your edges into place with a soft boar bristle 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 harsh gels.
7. Added 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 JBCO 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 a JBCO, oil rinse, just start out by shampooing your hair, grab about a handful of a mixture of half olive oil and half JBCO and coat your wet strands thoroughly. Once the 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.
Originally posted 2013-04-28 15:00:21.