Whether you’ve been on a hair growth journey for a while now or you are just starting up – you might have already heard about castor oil. You might even have a bottle stashed in your bathroom cupboard. Well done you! However there is a number of debates on the topic whether castor oil actually works and even if it does – few really know why. Let’s look at this age-old natural laxative and labour induction (!) remedy as an aid for hair growth.
Since all our claims and articles have backing by science, this article is no exception. We had to do some heavy reading. Natural remedies for hair growth are not as well studied as they should be – which is unfortunate, since a good hair day significantly improves your mood. Fact in an attested fact by a study by Yale University.
What is castor oil?
Castor oil is a vegetable oil from the beans of castor plant (latin: ricinus communis). It is approximately 90% of fatty acid – namely ricinoleic acid. Remaining 10% is made up of 6-8% elates and lineleates and other minor components. Various industries use castor oil derivatives: manufacturing of soaps, lubricants, hydraulic and brake fluids, paints, dyes, inks, waxes, nylon, pharmaceuticals and perfumes.
In this article we will concentrate that 90% component: ricinoleic acid, which what makes castor oil a wonder-inducer of things…
Magic of Ricinoleic acid
Buckle up for some science talk!
Ricinoleic acid works by activating a receptor for prostaglandin E2. Prostaglandin E2 is an active lipid compound that exists in almost every tissue of human body. Ricinoleic acid binds and activates this receptor which results, amongst other things, in dilation of blood vessels. As medication, according to The Journal of Clinical Investigation, stimulation of prostaglandin E2 receptor induces labour and relieves constipation, since there is a higher concentration of that receptor in the uterine and intestinal linings.
The 90% ricinoleic acid composition of castor oil activates dilation of blood vessels, thus improving blood flow, including that to your scalp in topical applications. Better blood flow provides more oxygen and nutrients to your dermal papilla, or in other words, the root of your hair. In turn, this leads to healthier hair and faster hair growth.
Learn here about what dermal papilla is, and why it is important to keep good blood flow to it, if you want to see faster hair growth.
Jamacian Black Castor oil
Last but not least, we couldn’t leave out the hype of Jamaican Black Castor oil for hair growth – so we looked into that too, comparing Jamaican Black Castor oil for hair growth vs. regular castor oil. Surprisingly the components of both oils do not differ. It is the way beans are processed that makes a real difference. As we looked closer we found out what this really means…