At least 40 percent of Americans suffer from hair loss or hair thinning. It is a common problem and is prevalent for individuals between the ages of 40 and 50 years old. Many reasons can be linked to hair loss. Regardless of the reason, many people turn to quick remedies that claim to help hair regrowth. One such remedy is the use of castor oil for hair. However, does this work?
Hormonal changes, medications, medical conditions, or heredity can result in hair loss. It does not affect the scalp alone, but the entire body as well. While anyone can experience loss of hair, it is a condition that is more common in males. For excessive hair loss, this is referred to as baldness which is linked to heredity.
Factors Linked to Hair Loss
About 100 hairs a day are shed, but it does not cause a noticeable thinning on the scalp. This is because of new hair sprouts at the same time. However, hair loss happens when the cycle of shedding and hair growth is disrupted. It is also because of damage to the hair follicle that is then left with scar tissue. When scar tissues form, hair loss becomes permanent. Other factors that are associated with hair loss include the following.
Male-pattern or female-pattern baldness is a common cause of hereditary hair loss. It occurs over time and in patterns that are predictable such as thinning hair in females, and bald spots and receding hairlines in males.
Medical Conditions and Hormonal Changes
Pregnancy, menopause, and childbirth cause changes in the hormones of women that may lead to hair loss. It can either be temporary or permanent. Certain medical conditions also cause hair loss. Alopecia areata is a condition that is characterized by hair loss in patchy patterns. Trichotillomania, which is a hair-pulling disorder, also leads to hair loss. A ringworm infection may also cause loss of hair.
Some drugs cause side effects such as hair loss. Some of the drugs linked with loss of hair include medications prescribed for high blood pressure, gout, heart problems, depression, arthritis, and cancer.
Therapy that makes use of radiation and that is focused on the head may cause hair follicles to be damaged and destroyed. This leads to hair loss.
The emotional or physical shock caused by a stressful event can also lead to hair loss. However, the loss of hair is only temporary.
Hair Treatments and Hairstyles
Excessive hairstyles and hair styling can cause hair loss. The type of hair loss associated with this cause is known as traction alopecia. Hot oil treatments or chemical treatments can cause inflammation in the hair follicles. This leads to hair loss. If scar tissue results, then the hair loss may be permanent.
There are numerous ways to treat hair loss. While some treatments may prevent further thinning, other treatments reverse hair loss. Such treatments include surgery and medications. On the other hand, other individuals turn to alternative treatments such as castor oil.
What is Castor Oil?
Castor oil is taken from castor seeds via a pressing process. The oil is either pale yellow or colorless. As for its odor, it omits a very mild scent. It is thick and sticky due to its 18 fatty acids content. When it comes to its remedying hair loss, it helps boost hair growth by as much as five times the average rate. Apart from stimulating the growth of hair, it helps the hair grow thick as well. It works the same way on one’s eyebrows and eyelashes, especially if one has sparse hair on these areas.
There are two types of castor oil known for their hair growth benefits. One is black castor oil and the other is golden castor oil. While both differ in color, the same types boast impressive amounts of fatty acid and vitamin E content.
The unique makeup of castor oil is that of antioxidants, proteins, fatty acids, and vitamins. These nutrients nurture one’s scalp and stimulate hair growth in fragile and damaged hair follicles. Hair growth that has been stimulated by the oil comes out healthier and thicker, too. It is not surprising that in numerous hair products, castor oil is one of the ingredients.
Apart from increasing circulation in the scalp to promote hair growth, the compound replenishes the natural oils in the scalp. The antioxidant content of the oil supports keratin present in the hair and helps keep it less frizzy, smooth, and stronger.
Moreover, the oil has antifungal and antibacterial properties which make it useful against scalp infections, dandruff, and folliculitis. For those with damaged hair, the oil can reverse the damage caused by chemical products or hairstyling.
How to Use Castor Oil
Since castor oil is thicker and creamier compared to other oils, it can be troublesome to use. For people with naturally curly or thick hair, the product can be applied as is.
However, for individuals who wish to use it as a moisture treatment for the hair and scalp, it is best to combine it with argan oil. The recommended combination is five parts of argan oil and one-part castor oil. One may also replace argan oil with almond oil.
For individuals who easily get greasy hair, castor oil is best applied to the hair’s mid-lengths. Also, take note to avoid using other products that moisturize the hair. It may lead to over-hydration and may make the hair greasier than it originally is.
As the compound is an ingredient in most hair products, one can look for it in brands that they use. This also saves trouble from over moisturizing the hair and scalp.
Take note that the effects of castor oil on hair growth are not immediate. One must regularly use it over a period to notice the effects on the hair. However, it is unlikely to work on people who already have damaged follicles with scar tissues already formed – based on long-term users’ feedback. Castor oil is unlikely as well to reverse the effects of baldness.