Castor oil: A Fad or For Keeps?

Castor Oil has definitely been the natural oil that I have used the most since the beginning of my healthy hair journey (HHJ). I have used two 50ml bottles already, which is alot given how thick this oil is!

So many other ladies on HHJs use castor oil in their regimens, and it's also a popular oil that is incorporated in many hair challenges.

I have used two brands namely:
1.) Ideal pure castor oil 
2.) Tropic Isle of Living Jamaican Black Castor Oil

After reading abit over the web and dropping an ear on other bloggers, these are the benefits that I think have a legit explanation behind them:

1.) Promotes hair growth by increasing blood flow to the hair follicles
2.) Helps reduce dandruff or any other scalp infections
3.) Moisturizing properties

I have used it in the following ways:

1.) As a scalp massage
2.) 1-2 Tbsp in my deep conditioners
3.) During my 1.5 attempts of doing the inversion method (.5 because the second time I only did it for three days, got sick the rest of the week and was not going to fling my head upside down in that condition)
4.) Related to 1.) but as part of the Hairlista Castor Oil Challenge (I am doing the advanced level which requires scalp massages 3 times a week, and using it in your deep conditioning treatments).

My feelings so far about castor oil:

- Thickening: After a month of using it, I could definitely feel how my hair had thickened. It had gotten slightly fuller at the edges which was really great.

- Moisturizing: My hair also feels slightly softer after I apply castor oil to my scalp, especially my new growth. I feel like it is easier to manage after doing a castor oil scalp massage...

- Too thick: On the downside it is a heavy oil, and because of that I tend to use a bit more than is necessary (as I need more of the oil to spread across my scalp because of how thick it is). Another problem with this is that it does not penetrate completely into my scalp because of how thick it is, I have ever had to wipe a film of castor oil off my forehead after my hubby thought I was sweating alot lol! So it does tend to melt off during the day and if it is hot, you might have a few streaks falling down your forehead.

- Itching: Yep, it really makes me get the itchies the day after I apply it. But I have found that mixing it with essential oils stops that itchy feeling.

- Excessive shedding: I had been experiencing excessive shedding, much more than I have ever experienced even before I started my HHJ. I kept trying to find out the calprit, and thought I was doing something wrong on my wash days. By elimination, I figured out that it was the castor oil (I skipped a week of using castor oil and in that week my shedding reduced alot). So I know that it don't do me good when it comes to shedding, but it has done alot of good for my hair in other areas.

I did some research on this, and found that I was not the only one who experienced shedding due to castor oil. Apparently as it promotes hair growth it also increases the rate at which the hairs in the resting phase (which were going to shed anyway) fall off.

For this reason, I have decided to continue using castor oil, but in a diluted form: 1/2 castor oil to 1/4 coconut oil and 1/4 olive oil mixed with a few drops of peppermint and rosemary oils. I started using this mix when I put my hair in box braids, so as for the shedding, I do not know if it is now controlled, will have to wait and see once I remove my box braids.

All in all this is an oil that is most likely becoming a staple in my regimen. Although I will not be using it in its original form, I think it will still do my hair alot of good, which is evident from the results that I have seen so far.

So to answer the question, I think it's for keeps for me, unless the shedding gets out of control in which case I'll have to consider discontinuing it's use.

I've only recently started using JBCO so I can't really say whether it's better than the yellow castor oil, I will give it another two or three months before comparing the two.

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