Castor oil has long been recognised as a useful hack for hair growth.
Despite traditionally being used for digestive issues, the popularity of castor oil as a hair growth treatment has only grown with the move toward more natural beauty products.
Though its benefits may be ideal for creating luscious locks on our heads, many men have begun to wonder just how impactful these properties can be when applied to their beards instead.
We'll be looking into what exactly castor oil is, what makes it such a great natural remedy, and how to apply it as part of your updated beard care routine.
What is castor oil?
Extracted via cold pressing from the seeds of the castor plant (Ricinus Communis), castor oil is a nourishing carrier oil originating from the Mediterranean, East Africa, and India.
Commonly used as a natural laxative, castor oil is generally sold in the form of a capsule, though the oil by itself opens up a number of wellness opportunities for the hair and skin too.
It is usually pale yellow to clear in colour, with a thick yet surprisingly light consistency that many have highlighted as its most influential factor.
Does castor oil help beard growth?
Castor oil can be found as a base in numerous hair care products thanks to its influence on follicle health, skin health, and overall protection.
Many have claimed that applying castor oil to your beard can encourage thickness in the hair shaft and help nourish the roots - though there's been some back and forth over the extent of these effects.
No concrete evidence suggests that castor oil can boost hair growth in the same way other natural remedies like rosemary oil can. However, this doesn't mean it also does nothing.
Castor oil has had many proven effects on hair health overall that may explain its influence over eventual beard growth. This includes its ability to hydrate and safeguard existing hairs, as well as create a better environment on the skin for more to eventually sprout.
What are the benefits of using castor oil for beard growth?
Castor oil is naturally packed with vitamins, nutrients, and fatty acids that can help keep beard hair looking fabulous.
While its effects on growth may still be a bit of a question mark, we've detailed some of the most influential benefits that make it an asset worthy of your daily routine.
- It strengthens beard hair: A natural anti-inflammatory, castor oil can help soothe irritated skin underneath the hair to help encourage stronger follicles. It can also clean out any bacteria that may have settled on the hair shaft.
- It nourishes and moisturises: Castor oil can leave your hair feeling soft and light thanks to its high levels of oleic and linoleic acid. It can also help prevent split ends and keep your skin underneath from drying.
- It improves circulation: This is where claims about hair growth may hold some weight. Hair follicles need oxygen and nutrients from your blood to grow, and using castor oil regularly can help boost this circulation thanks to high levels of vitamin E and ricinoleic acid.
- It may encourage hair growth: Castor oil also contains a good amount of omega 6, which a 2016 study showed could help encourage hair growth by stimulating follicle cells.
- It may help prevent grey hairs: Castor oil contains stearic acid - a fatty compound that is said to help maintain your hair's natural pigment. Frequent application of the oil may prevent pre-mature grey hairs from appearing.
- It can help improve the effectiveness of other products: A 2017 study confirmed that using castor oil with other hair nourishing oils, like argan oil, could help increase their benefits.
How to use castor oil for beard growth
Now that you're clued in on all the facts behind castor oil's great hair-boosting effects, you can start to think about the best way to apply it daily.
We've jotted down an easy-to-follow routine below. Feel free to adjust the steps according to what suits you best, but try not to go too overboard with the amount of oil you use in one go (heavy, oily beards are probably not the best look).
- Wash your beard with warm water.
- Pat dry with a clean, cotton towel.
- Apply a few drops of oil to the palm of your hand (this will vary on your beard size but try and aim for around a teaspoon as a starting point.)
- Gently massage it into your beard hair, making sure to get the skin underneath too.
- Leave in for a few hours or overnight.
- Wash out with warm water or with your chosen beard wash.
You can also add in essential oils if you choose, but remember that they must always be properly diluted and patch tested to avoid irritation.
Frequently asked Questions
How long does castor oil take to work on beard hair?
It can take up to a month to see any visible results from using castor oil in your beard, but the nourishing benefits it provides will likely be felt right away.
We recommend applying the oil at least once a week to maximise your chances of seeing results sooner.
Can castor oil help fix a patchy beard?
Thanks to its circulatory benefits, there is evidence to suggest that castor oil could help fill in thinned areas of beard hair. It can also strengthen any existing follicles in these areas and allow them to grow back thicker and darker.
What other oils are good for beard and hair health?
Carrier oils like coconut oil, jojoba oil and argan oil are all known for improving hair health and the appearance of your beard. You can also use them in conjunction with hair-boosting essential oils like rosemary oil and peppermint oil.
Whether you're new to applying products to your beard or are looking for natural alternatives to an already extensive collection, castor oil is certainly a worthy addition to any man's routine, and can produce great results with time, patience, and frequent application.