Liquid Gold: Top oils for locs part II–Castor Oil

In the second of our series, Loc’d Life looks at castor oil, a home remedy for a variety of ailments from skin disorders to digestive relief. (It’s that same spoonful of oil that kids ran away from when their mothers used it as a time-tested and unpredictable laxative! :))

Today, many are realizing the benefits of castor oil as one that assists in hair growth and can alleviate hair loss.

Castor oil comes from the seeds of the castor oil plant (known as castor beans—a photo is above). When pressed into an oil, it comes in various colors from colorless to pale yellow. Castor oil contains ricinoleic acid, an analgesic and an anti-inflammatory. This fatty acid also rids the scalp of bacterial and fungal infections that cause hair loss. Jamaican Black Castor Oil, a particular type of castor oil, is even darker due a high ash content from manually roasted beans. It is said to condition the scalp, strengthen hair, help prevent hair loss, and can stimulate hair growth in thinning areas.

To use, black castor oil should be used directly on the scalp, as it can be very thick. Apply to the roots and scalp and massage in. You can also apply it to the “edges”—or temples that have thinned due to years of our previous chemically- and heat-processed days. Apply and leave in overnight for maximum effects.

You can also use black castor oil as a hot oil treatment by applying to scalp and hair and covering with a plastic cap. Sit under a hot hooded dryer for 30 minutes, then shampoo out.

Black castor oil can be mixed with carrier oils for everyday use. Carrier oils are lighter, usually vegetable-based oils that mix with and carry the essential oils to your skin and locs. Extra virgin olive oil, jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, and grapeseed oil are all good carriers. (We’ll feature these and other oils later in the series.) The lighter form of castor oil is also a carrier oil.

Health food stores usually carry the traditional version of castor oil. Look online for manufacturers and stores that carry Jamaican Black Castor oil. Both provide essential benefits for your locs and scalp.

Locs on the Rocks
Thanks to everyone who came out and supported Loc’d Life last Sunday at Locs on the Rocks. Thanks to Uncle Joe’s whose jerk chicken was a hit, Jimmy Jamm in Chicago’s Beverly community for our delicious sweet potato cake, and CakeWalk Chicago (also in Beverly) who printed out our LadyLocs logo for the cake. (Jimmy Jamm specializes in making everything they can with the sweet potato including pies, ice cream, sandwiches with sweet potato bread, and other goodies). We will continue to bring you the best in locs, the people who wear them, and the information you need to make them thrive! Thanks also to our LadyLocs awardees who made this event special: Christian Fields, Bakunsi Matemane, Akua Auset (whose mom graciously accepted her award), Nadra Smiley (who accepted hers and mom Amazon’s award), Sandria Washington, Evin Marie, Emon Fowler, Sabreen Sabur for her Royal Closet fashion show and Fanta Celah for offering her beautiful henna tattoo art.

‘Till next time,
Gail Mitchell
Loc’d Life Magazine
BTW: Don’t forget to get the printed issue of Loc’d Life Magazine, vol. 2, full of articles on locs, people with locs, and information on how to make them as beautiful as they can be! Articles include how to do Ledisi’s signature style, Role Models–loc’d models rocking the fashion (and image industry), a special men’s section, more on oils for locs, exercise, and a nutrition section. Get it today by going to our home page at to order.


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