CAN CASTOR OIL HELP WITH DANDRUFF?
Is castor oil the hidden dandruff solution that you’ve been searching for?
When you’re suffering from dandruff, you’ll try almost anything to get rid of those annoying flakes on your shoulder. This is when people usually raid their kitchen cabinet for a dandruff treatment at home, that they’ve heard about from their mother or grandmother. And using castor oil for dandruff is one of the solutions spoken about at home.
Castor oil is a vegetable oil that is extracted from castor beans. It has been used for centuries or millennia, based on who you ask, as a home remedy for dandruff and various ailments. It is used for food, skin, hair, and even traditional medicines. So, there are certain castor oil benefits that people have seen. But how exactly does it help your head?
Castor oil benefits for hair and scalp
A lot of the focus on castor oil is based around consumption. But applying it to your skin and hair can also have a positive impact.
- It contains monounsaturated fatty acids that make it useful as a moisturiser. It can reduce dryness by preventing moisture loss from the skin.
- It can help in healing wounds by forming a barrier between the exposed skin and the environment. This reduces the chances of infection and quickens the healing.
- It is said to contain anti-inflammatory properties and can relieve any pain. This is due to the ricinoleic acid that is found in castor oil.
- Castor oils contain anti-microbial properties that help in stopping any bacterial growth. This helps in clearing any acne breakouts as well.
- It contains anti-fungal characteristics that are used primarily for dental and stomach related issues, but are applicable to topical use also.
- Castor hair oil has shown to increase blood circulation to the scalp, as it contains Vitamin E. This helps in strengthening the hair strands and could possibly aid in hair growth.
- It can reduce oxidative stress due to its antioxidant attributes.
So when it comes to the use of castor oil for dandruff, it’s important to understand the cause of dandruff. This ailment is triggered by a fungus known as Malassezia Globosa. When your scalp produces excess oil, this fungus feeds on it and creates a by-product that you might react to. Almost 1 in 2 people across the world are sensitive to this by-product, and they end up with an itchy scalp, red patches, and white flakes of dead skin cells.
If you look at the castor oil benefits listed above, it might make sense to use castor oil for hair dandruff. The anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory nature of castor oil implies that it can help with your dandruff problem and soothe the itchiness.
How should you use castor oil?
As castor oil is quite thick, you should avoid applying it directly. Combine it with coconut oil, jojoba oil or olive oil, before application. Most people go for the cold pressed castor oil, and you should ensure that it is of high purity.
Coconut oil and castor oil –This is the most common concoction used, and you can also add a few drops of lemon in it. Apply a heated mixture to your hair and scalp, leaving it in for about 45 minutes. Wash your hair thoroughly with a shampoo after.
Aloe vera and castor oil –You can also add coconut oil or tea tree oil to this mixture. Apply it, leave it for 45 minutes and then wash with a shampoo. This can give you pain relief, while utilising the anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties for your dandruff.
Castor oil and Almond oil, with rosemary or lemon oil –You can create different combinations based on your requirement, as this can moisturise and curb fungal growth. Apply a heated mixture and ensure that you wash with a shampoo after.
Argan oil and Castor oil –This combination creates an anti-inflammatory and moisturising result on your hair and scalp. It can ease any itching and reduce moisture loss. Apply a heated mixture and leave it overnight. Shampoo the next day.
Concerns with Castor oil for hair
Although there are various claims regarding the benefits of castor oil for hair, it is purely anecdotal. It is an unproven method and there is no scientific proof, including the use of castor oil for hair growth. In addition, there are some other points to be aware of:
- You might have a severe allergic reaction to the oil. Always do a patch test to check if it irritates your skin, before applying it to your head.
- Adding oil to an oily head can make your dandruff condition much worse. The fungus feeds on oil, and this is just fodder for its growth.
- Be careful with it, as consuming large amount of castor oil can possibly cause nausea, diarrhoea, dizziness, and cramps.
- In rare cases it can cause hair felting, where the hair becomes twisted and tangled into a hard rocky form.
- Due to its thick nature, it can coat your strands to make them dull and greasy. This can trap dirt on your head and also lead to an increase in your shampoo use.
Although castor oil is one of the many dandruff home remedies that people try, it is important to approach it with healthy scepticism. Try and see what might work for you. But if you’re rushed for time, you can use the Head and Shoulders Neem that cleans and protects your scalp to give you dandruff free hair. If you want a moisturising effect, you can try the Head and Shoulders 2 in 1 Smooth and Silky that removes dandruff causing germs and restores dry hair. Using castor oil is a hit or miss. And when it’s a miss, at least you have some other products to help you.