How to Apply Castor Oil to Hair in 7 Steps

For millennia, people have used castor oil to promote hair health and growth. However, did you know that if hair oiling is not done correctly, it might really cause more damage than good?

We conducted various studies and gathered the scientifically verified method for applying castor oil to your hair.

What does Science say of Castor Oil’s Benefits on Hair?

In a study conducted in 2012, castor oil has been found effective in treating hair loss. It was mainly due to its antioxidant and antifungal properties.

A study conducted in 2017 showed that amongst all carrier oils, castor oil contained the highest density of fatty acids like omega-6. In another linked study in 2016 proved that the higher omega-6 fatty acids can boost human dermal papilla cells’ growth factor. This is directly linked with the human hair growth cycle.

In another study published in 2003, castor oil has been found to improve hair’s natural luster and healthy shine.

In a study Castor oil, due to its high quantity of ricinoleic acid, has been found extremely effective in scalp inflammation.

How to Apply Castor Oil to Hair in 6 Steps: As per Science

We now have scientific proof that using castor oil on your hair is beneficial. However, if not carried out properly, applying castor oil may possibly do more damage than benefit. Only by properly oiling the hair can it grow and maintain its condition. We conducted a thorough study and created a scientific method for applying castor oil to your hair in a step-by-step way.

Step 1: Prepare your Hair

Before using castor oil, brush your hair with a wide-toothed comb to eliminate any knots or tangles. This will result in fewer hair breaks as the oil is being massaged into your hair.

Divide your hair into two portions to make oil application simpler. Straighten your hair down the center of your head. For thick or curly hair, it may be beneficial to split your hair into four parts to ensure that the oil is dispersed evenly.

Step 2: Prepare the Castor Oil

Because castor oil molecules are big, they have a tough time penetrating the scalp’s hair follicles. To ensure that the castor oil nourishes your scalp adequately, you should warm it before applying it.

Hot oils are good for preserving and repairing damaged, dry hair. Additionally, using heated castor oil closes the cuticle of the hair, helping it to retain moisture.

Heat 3 to 6 tablespoons castor oil in a microwave-safe container for 10 seconds.

Consult your dermatologist or physician before beginning a hot oil treatment regimen if you suffer from eczema or psoriasis.

Step 3: Apply the Castor Oil

Massage the castor oil into your scalp gently for a few minutes with your fingers. If you have curly hair, you may separate your hair into smaller portions to ensure that no areas are missed.

Apply castor oil gently on your hair and scalp using circular strokes. Massage for 10-15 minutes over the whole scalp.

Maintain a straight line during your massage and make an effort to cover the whole scalp area. Take care not to ignore the back of your skull. Additionally, the area between your ears and the nape of your neck should be treated with oil. This area should be carefully massaged.

Stop after applying a necessary amount of castor oil to your hair. Excessive oil application results in further shampooing. Excessive shampooing may decrease your hair’s natural oils and moisture, resulting in dull, damaged, and dry strands.

Step 4: Get Rid of Knots

Combing assists in spreading the castor oil to the corners that may have been neglected during the oil massage. Your hair becomes sensitive and your scalp gets comforted after oiling. Therefore, use caution and untangle your hair carefully using a wide-toothed comb. 

Step 5: Cover your Head

Cover your head with a shower cap or a cotton t-shirt for up to 20 minutes. This stimulates the opening of your pores and cuticles. As a consequence, the oil will permeate your scalp and hair follicles more deeply.

It is preferable to avoid towels since they are abrasive and may cause damage to hair if not used properly.

Step 6: Wash Off the Castor Oil

To prevent harming your hair, wash it with lukewarm water and a mild shampoo. Avoid over-shampooing your hair, which is a common tendency among castor oil users. Over-shampooing might entirely negate the benefits of castor oil. Utilize just the necessary quantity of castor oil to avoid needing to use more shampoo to remove it.

To know more on washing, check the detailed article on How to Wash Off Castor Oil from Hair Easily

How to Apply Castor Oil for Hair Growth and Thickness?

Combing Curly Hair

Hair usually grows 0.5 to 1.7 cm per month. Applying castor oil has been found to boost this growth rate. As per the researchers, this boosted growth was due to castor oil’s high level of ricinoleic acid. For hair growth, you need to focus on applying castor oil to your scalp. Applying castor oil to your hair is optional if you are looking for hair growth as the hair’s growth factor depends on the hair follicles located under the scalp.

  • Warm 2 spoons of castor oil in the microwave. Warming castor oil will break down the large molecules and will help to penetrate into the hair follicles of the scalp.
  • With your fingertips, use circular movements to apply the castor oil to your scalp gently.
  • Cover your head with a shower cap or a cotton t-shirt for up to 20 minutes. This stimulates the opening of your pores and cuticles. The castor oil will permeate your scalp’s hair follicles more deeply.
  • Wash gently with lukewarm water.

Do you know that Jamaican black castor oil is different from regular castor oil? To know more about the differences and how to apply them, check this article.


When should we apply castor oil on hair? Wet or dry hair?

You should always apply castor oil to dry hair. Only when you have an hour to spare, you should attempt to apply castor oil. Castor oil molecules are huge in comparison to the pores in your scalp, and moist hair prevents the oil from penetrating. However, even when the hair is dry, the castor oil molecules take at least 30 minutes to an hour to reach the hair shaft and scalp.
If your hair and scalp are clean, you may add castor oil to damp hair, although this is not the optimal technique to receive the advantages of oiling hair.

How long should I leave castor oil in my hair?

According to hair care professionals, you should leave castor oil on your hair for 1 to 2 hours before shampooing. The period will vary depending on your hair type and unique preferences.
Due to its astringent qualities, castor oil may irritate the scalp if used for an extended length of time. You don’t want to wind up with dryness, irritation, or even hair loss as a consequence of this.
To know more, check the detailed article on How Long to Leave Castor Oil in Hair? As Per Experts

Can you put castor oil in your hair every day? How often should you apply castor oil to your hair?

The majority of individuals should use castor oil at least once or twice a week on their hair. Finally, the frequency is determined by your hair type and personal preferences.
Anyone with dry hair may use castor oil on a daily basis, and the results can be extremely useful. However, if you have oily or regular hair, you should refrain from using castor oil on a daily basis. Castor oil should be used once a week on oily hair, daily on dry hair, and twice a week on regular hair.

Can you sleep with castor oil in your hair? Can I leave castor oil overnight?

You can sleep with castor oil in your hair and leave it overnight but you need to wash it off as soon as you get up. Castor oil should not be left on your hair for more than 8 hours. When castor oil is left in the hair for a lengthy amount of time, it accumulates dust, which may block hair follicles and cause scalp discomfort. Additionally, unrefined castor oil that penetrates into the scalp may hinder hair growth.

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