The benefits of Black Castor Oil


Earlier this year, we posted a video on black castor oil by our fellow blogger in locs, Francheca Ramsey (chescalocs.com; see our interview with her at www.locdlife.com). Black castor oil is nature’s other secret oil for hair and scalp.

We know it as the dreaded spoonful that our mothers chased us down with as kids. Castor oil comes from the castor bean (Ricinus communis), which is is native to the Ethiopian region of tropical east Africa. Researchers have found castor beans in ancient Egyptian tombs, dating back to 4000 B.C. It was used thousands of years ago in wick lamps for lighting. Some people consider the castor bean tree as an overgrown, undesirable weed though it offers us one of nature’s finest natural oils. A powerful conditioner and moisturizer, castor oil is cure-all for a lot of hair care needs.

Use it on your edges. If your hair is still recovering from years of traction alopecia (hair loss resulting from pulling our hair too tight with ponytails, braiding, etc.), chemical burns from relaxers, and other conditions that resulted in thinness along the hairline, black castor oil can help to restore it. Apply it along the hairline each week, and you’ll notice a difference.

Use it on your scalp. Black castor oil cleanses the scalp from impurities that would inhibit maximum growth with its antimicrobial and antifungal properties. These are the two prime causes of hair loss. It also nourishes the scalp by retaining moisture. Its high fatty acid content serves as a humectant.

Use it as a “pre-poo” conditioner. Apply it as a conditioner to your locs before shampooing for moisturizing. Now’s a good time if your locs had a hard winter.

Added bonus: Throw away that mascara (or at least you won’t need as much). Castor oil is great in stimulating eyelash growth. (You can also use it on eyebrows.)

The most popular castor oil in the hair care market is Jamaican black castor oil. This type is made from hand-picked castor beans that are dried, roasted, pounded in mortars, then boiled in water. The resulting oil, which is light to golden in color, is skimmed off the top. Where to get it: Sunny Isle Jamaican Black Castor oil (www.jamaicanblackcastoroil.com) or Tropic Isle Living (www.tropicisleliving.com). Both companies have complete hair and skin care lines with Jamaican Black Castor oil as its main ingredient.

(By the way… If you missed it, we did a story on head scarves on www.locdlife.com last week with our regular blog. We didn’t get a chance to send out an email blast, but it’s waiting for you there. We’ll also post another story this week. Stay tuned…Loc’d Life will continue to bring to you the best in loc care and stories on people with locs that are changing the world!)

For an added bonus, buy the electronic print edition of Loc’d Life Magazine (www.locdlife.com) for $5. It’s full of salon profiles, loc care articles and more (yes, other articles than on the site). There’s even a men’s section! Download it today!

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