Castor Oil For Health

7 Of Your Most Pressing Questions On Castor Oil For Alopecia – Answered!

Diadems and coronets one may not have, but a full head of hair is enough to make up for such small misfortunes. There’s a fitting reason as to why the hair is referred to as a person’s ‘crowning glory’. Whether you have soft ringlets that your partner can’t help but touch, or poker straight hair reminiscent of a dark waterfall cascading down your back, one thing’s for sure – your hair is your single most visible marker.

Now, picture this. You wake up one morning and roll around in bed to find that you’ve shed enough hair to give competition to a moulting bird. Horrified, you slip into the shower and wash your hair only to realize that you, or more accurately, your hair has clogged the drain. Completely, that too (good luck clearing that out). You then proceed to comb your hair out with the utmost apprehension and stare with horror as you see ‘The Grudge’ happening to you IRL.

Is this nightmare ever going to stop?

Hair, Hair Everywhere, Not A Strand To Give

Types of Alopecia

It isn’t uncommon to hear people suffering from hair loss say that they have ‘alopecia’. But did you know that alopecia is a special kind of hair loss, and that there is a wide variety of disorders under this cluster too?

1. Androgenetic Alopecia – The most common of the lot, most of us may identify Androgenetic Alopecia as male pattern baldness. More noticeable in men than women, it is characterized by signs and symptoms usually brought on by age, hormones, and genetics. In men, it is accompanied by a receding hairline and thinning/loss of hair at the crown. In women, the hair loss has no effect on the hairline but thinning of hair is visible when hair is parted (scalp starts to show).

2. Alopecia Areata – Teenage and mid-20s can be a difficult time to handle the curveballs that life throws at you. But when you’re young and raring to go, it can be intensely demoralizing to see your hair fall out in clumps. Though Alopecia Areata affects people of all ages and genders equally, its occurrence amongst young people is well documented.

As an autoimmune disorder (the thing that happens when your immune system goes bonkers and turns on you), AA causes hair loss by affecting the follicles. In a classic case of mistaken identity, the immune cells start attacking the hair follicles, causing hair to fall out from the roots. This leads to the occurrence of round, bald patches on the head. While most people find that their hair regrows within the year, this condition may also cause permanent hair loss in some people.

3. Alopecia Universalis – An advanced form of areata, Alopecia Universalis is a condition where there is complete loss of hair from both the scalp and the body. It is an autoimmune disorder that may be influenced by genetic factors, and most people suffering from Alopecia Universalis are known to have a family history of the same. However, it has been shown that genetics alone do not determine whether or not a person will be affected by this condition. Environmental factors play a huge role too. Conditions of hair loss may be temporary or permanent.

4. Alopecia Barbae – Are you a guy? Are you a frontrunner in the ‘No Shave November’ fad? If you answered yes to both these questions, chances are you take your beard seriously. Ask a woman, and she will agree that nothing comes close to a well groomed beard when it comes to upping a man’s sex appeal. In such a scenario, it can be heartbreaking to see clumps of hair falling out of the beard you cultivated so carefully over months.

Alopecia Barbae is a special form of alopecia areata where hair starts to fall out of the beard, leaving behind smooth, round patches. It occurs in men and, much like AA, is an autoimmune disease. You might have a genetic predisposition for AB if you have a family history of the same. While the exact cause is unknown, the hair loss may be temporary or permanent depending on the person.

5. Traction Alopecia – Unlike the other forms discussed above, Traction Alopecia is not an autoimmune or genetic disorder. A lifestyle issue caused due to excessive pulling of the hair, it affects men and women equally, irrespective of age. The kind of pulling that causes hair loss occurs due to trying tight hairstyles like hair extensions, cornrow braids, ponytails, hair weaves, etc. that cause strain to the hair. Though TA is a temporary phase initially, the follicles may atrophy over time if the cause of the strain is not removed immediately.

6. Scarring Alopecia – This is a rare kind of hair loss affecting a tiny percentage of people across the world, and it occurs when alopecia is accompanied by scarring. In this condition, the hair follicles may permanently atrophy and be replaced with scar tissue. Hair loss may be gradual or accompanied by episodes of intense burning and itching.

As seen above, the causes are many and the situation is bleak. Time to call in a saviour? You bet!

Introducing Your In-House Hair Loss Expert (Pun Intended)

No kidding. Have you ever looked at the contents of your kitchen cabinet for what they really are? I’m sure it comes as no surprise to anybody that most of our modern medicines are constituted of compounds found in everyday herbs and spices. So why is it that we forego these instant natural remedies for overpriced chemical ones that may or may not have side effects?

One such wonder masquerading as an everyday oil at your home is castor oil. Derived from the seeds of the castor plant (Ricinus communis), castor oil is a wonderful remedy for any and all ailments that involve pain, inflammation or infections. Read our FAQs below to find how castor oil is the super-dermatologist you’ve been waiting for all along!

1. Can Castor Oil Cure Alopecia?

Straight off the bat, yes. Depending on the kind of alopecia you’re suffering from, castor oil can help either promote hair growth or revitalize hair and make it thicker.

As mentioned above, alopecia may be a temporary or permanent condition. If you’re suffering from a kind of alopecia that is temporary and/or reversible, castor oil is an effective remedy to combat your issues. The different compounds present in castor oil (discussed below) help improve circulation in the scalp, promoting the growth of new hair. Due to its intense nourishing and moisturizing properties, it can even thicken each individual strand, making your hair seem thicker and fuller. On the other hand, its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties help treat infection that may be causing hair loss and relieve pain and irritation in the scalp.

Note that castor oil cannot help in the case of atrophied follicles (follicles that have wasted due to illness or excessive strain). If you suffer from this condition, consult a dermatologist on the other treatments available to you in this situation.

2. How Does Castor Oil Cure Alopecia?

Castor oil is unique as it has a very high concentration of ricinoleic acid, an unusual monounsaturated fatty acid. More than 90% of castor oil is composed of ricinoleic acid that has a hydroxyl (OH) group on its 12th carbon, rendering it chemically more nourishing for the scalp than other kinds of oils.

Hair growth is affected by the presence of certain lipids known as prostaglandins. An increase in the level of prostaglandins causes hair to grow whereas depleted levels of the same are related to hair fall and baldness. Research has found that ricinoleic acid helps stimulate the production of prostaglandins in the scalp, thereby promoting hair growth.

In case of weak or scanty hair, castor oil helps revitalize and nourish each hair shaft better than any other oil. It gets this property due to the unique placement of its hydroxyl group. The oil helps lock moisture in, leaving your hair looking thicker and shinier than ever before.

3. Is Castor Oil for Alopecia Areata Good?

Most certainly, yes. If your dermatologist has concluded that you’re suffering from a temporary spell of alopecia or if you’re suffering from hair loss due to childbirth (post-partum hair loss), castor oil is the miracle you are looking for. As mentioned earlier, the high levels of ricinoleic acid present in this oil help increase the levels of prostaglandins in the scalp and promote new hair growth while its hydroxyl group absorbs moisture and locks it in.

4. How To Use Castor Oil For Alopecia?

Castor oil can be used as a standalone oil or in combination with other products to promote hair growth. Let’s take a quick look at the ways in which you can use castor oil for baldness treatment.

A. As a standalone

Due to its intense nourishing properties, castor oil is perfect when used just by itself too. To use castor oil to treat alopecia:

I. You Will Need

  • A bottle of hexane-free castor oil

II. How To Do This

  • Heat 1-2 teaspoons of this oil (use more in case of longer hair) in a microwave or on a stove. Due to its thick consistency, a little goes a long way with this oil.
  • Spread the oil evenly over your palms by rubbing them against each other.
  • Start by applying the oil to your scalp by gently massaging it in. Use the tips of your fingers to massage the oil into the scalp by tracing gentle circular motions over it. (Never be too rough on your hair as this may cause more hair fall. Remember your hair is a part of you, not an enemy you’re battling).
  • As you massage the oil into your scalp make your way downwards toward the shaft such that all of your hair is covered in castor oil, from the roots to the tips.
  • Leave the oil on overnight for best results. Cover your head with an old T-shirt or towel as castor oil may stain your pillowcases and sheets.
  • Wash it off the next day with any shampoo of your choice.
  • Use twice a week for best results.

If you feel that castor oil isn’t being absorbed into your hair, try combining it with an excipient such as DMSO or ethanol. To do this, combine castor oil with the DMSO/ethanol in a 70:30 ratio and use as above.

B. With other oils

If you dislike the viscosity of castor oil and/or would like to use the goodness of other oils to pack a punch, you may use castor oil in combination with other oils too. To do this:

I. You Will Need

  • A bottle of hexane-free castor oil
  • A bottle of any other oil of your choice – coconut, lavender, tea tree, jojoba.

II. How To Do This

  • Mix the two oils in equal proportion and store in a container.
  • Heat 1-2 teaspoons of this combination oil (use more in case of longer hair) in a microwave or on a stove.
  • Spread the oil evenly over your palms by rubbing them against each other.
  • Start by applying the oil to your scalp by gently massaging it in. Use the tips of your fingers to massage the oil into the scalp by tracing gentle circular motions over it. (Never be too rough on your hair as this may cause more hair fall).
  • As you massage the oil into your scalp, make your way downwards toward the shaft such that all of your hair is covered in it, from root to tip.
  • Leave the oil on overnight for best results.
  • Wash it off the next day with any shampoo of your choice.
  • Use twice a week for best results.

C. With other topical treatments

Certain topical treatments like Rogaine (minoxidil) are widely recommended by dermatologists to stimulate hair growth. If you’re suffering from thinning hair or bald patches, it is likely that your doctor might prescribe Rogaine as a treatment.

While Rogaine must be used twice a day and regularly to see results, some people who have used Rogaine in combination with castor oil have reported better results. We do not recommend mixing Rogaine with castor oil for this method however, as diluting Rogaine with another substance might reduce its efficacy. Instead, to treat alopecia, use castor oil twice a week (as given above) after the Rogaine has been applied and allowed to dry.

I. How To Apply Rogaine To The Hair

  • Dispense a small amount of the foam onto your fingers.
  • Apply the Rogaine to the part of your scalp that has bald patches/thinning hair.
  • Gently massage it onto the affected area using your fingers.
  • Allow it to dry.
  • Use twice a day – once in the morning and once at night for best results.
  • Apply the castor oil to your hair after the Rogaine has dried. Wash off the next day.


  1. Hair growth with Rogaine persists only as long as the treatment is used, it is not a permanent hair loss solution.
  2. Avoid using Rogaine if your scalp is inflamed, irritated or sunburnt. Do not use on any other part of the body.
  3. Formulations are gender-specific. Check to see if you got the right product for yourself.

5. What are the benefits of castor oil?

Amongst castor oil’s many benefits are:

  • Improves blood circulation in the scalp
  • Anti-inflammatory property helps soothe irritation and itchiness
  • Antimicrobial property helps fight bacterial and fungal infections
  • Provides nourishment to the hair and moisturizes it
  • Balances pH in the scalp
  • Makes hair thicker and stronger

6. What Kind Of Castor Oil Should I Use For Alopecia?

Castor oil is derived from the seeds of the castor plant known as Ricinus communis. It contains a lethal protein known as ‘ricin’, which is one of the most toxic substances known to occur in nature. As such, castor should be handled with care. Most of the ricin is removed when castor seeds are pressed to obtain castor oil. But since you’re going to be using this oil on your skin, ensure that the bottle you get home is 100% organic and cold pressed (Cold pressing is a gentler method of oil extraction than hot pressing and it helps preserve the goodness of the oils. Studies have found that cold pressed oils have more potential health benefits over hot pressed oils).

If you’re still unsure of what kind of castor oil to buy, try Jamaican Black Castor Oil for alopecia. You can buy it here. It is particularly effective in dealing with hair loss caused by traction alopecia.

7. Can I Use Castor Oil To Treat Disorders Such as Eyebrow Alopecia?

Yes, castor oil can be used to treat cases of eyebrow alopecia as well. In eyebrow alopecia, hair on the brow is seen to get thinner or fall out altogether; bald patches may be seen too. Causes of this condition may vary from skin disorders to drug abuse and heavy metal poisoning. But, just as with scalp hair, using castor oil to deal with hair loss on the eyebrows can be effective too. Dip an earbud in castor oil and apply the oil uniformly over the brows if you are suffering from this condition. Leave it on overnight and wash off with cold water the next day. Try this method for 4-6 weeks to see results.

Note that the hair loss you’re suffering may be sustained or temporary. But no matter the type, it is always indicative of a deeper underlying cause. Stress, age, genetics, trauma, pregnancy are amongst a host of factors that may affect your hair and define the kind of hair loss you’re suffering from. Try to understand the cause of your hair loss before embarking on any form of treatment – whether allopathic or natural. Consulting a dermatologist before trying anything is always advised.

Alopecia can be a crushing experience. But despair not, for we’ve got you covered. Try these castor oil-based remedies to treat the root cause of your damaged roots. We hope they help!

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