What is Castor oil?

For anyone looking to care for their hair, there are many numerous products to consider trying. Some of the most powerful hair strengthening products, though, come from essential oils and the like. With the help of some specific oils, you could in theory help your hair to grow thicker, faster, and stronger. One of the most commonly suggested oils for using for this kind of treatment includes Ricinus communis, otherwise known to the majority of us as Castor oil.

If you are looking to help learn more about Castor oil for hair, then you are in the right place. What, then, can you expect by using Castor oil? 

What is Castor oil?

Castor oil is a popularly used vegetable oil that has been in common usage by humans for centuries, if not millennia. It’s been used for a long time as it can be easily extracted from its namesake, the Ricinus communis plant. The oil itself has many uses, both in medicine and in cosmetic uses. It’s even a powerful additive, commonly used in our foods. What, though, can Castor oil do for our hair?

Castor oil for hair: benefits

Castor oil has many benefits when used, but it can have some powerful benefits when it’s put into your hair. For that reason, we want to try and break down what Castor oil can do for your hair. Just some of the benefits that science believes Castor oil can offer include:

Castor oil side effects

However, please note that while Castor oil is seen as very useful for our hair you should be aware of some of the side-effects that it can have. Some of the common side effects of using Castor oil, normally in large quantities, can include:

  • Abdominal cramping and pain in and around the stomach area.
  • Bouts of diarrhea due to the laxative nature of Castor oil.
  • Fainting and nausea, as well as spells of dizziness.
  • Shortness of breath, including short chest pains.
  • Skin rashing as well as irritation to the skin in general.
  • Castor oil could also induce labour; avoid using Castor oil if you are pregnant.


Written by Jordan Prichard. Medically reviewed by Dr. Shane Jackson, MBBS. Last modified on 20/05/2020. 

Dr. Shane Jackson a UK based doctor, working within the NHS for 9 years. With experience in both Medicine and Surgery, his time is now spent mainly in Elderly care and Rehabilitation. Outside of his clinical work he has a strong educational presence, teaching undergraduates and foreign doctors wishing to work in the UK. He is passionate about the dissemination of healthcare for all, providing consultancy for health, well-being and biotech startups worldwide. Dr. Jackson is the founder of Acrosophy, which helps school leavers applying to medical, dental and associated courses at the top universities in the country. 

Feel free to connect with him on LinkedIn.

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