castor oil for 4c hair
If you have 4c hair, you know how challenging it can be to find hair products that work well for our hair type. Especially products that promote natural hair growth.
One such natural product that is particularly beneficial for 4c hair is Castor oil, often dubbed miracle oil because of all of its benefits.
And even though I am highly allergic to it, I know for a fact that it works. Not just because I tried it for a while before I became allergic, but also because all my natural hair friends use it and rave about it.
So, I decided that in this post, I’ll share the benefits of Castor oil for 4c hair and how to incorporate it into your 4c hair care routine.
What is Castor oil?
Castor oil is a vegetable oil that is derived from the seeds of the castor plant (Ricinus communis). This plant is native to tropical regions of Africa and Asia but is now also widely cultivated in other parts of the world, such as India, Brazil, and China.
Castor oil is composed mainly of fatty acids that are essential for healthy skin and hair. It also contains vitamin E, minerals, and other nutrients that can help nourish and strengthen natural hair.
The use of Castor oil as a natural remedy goes back centuries and includes a variety of purposes, like hair growth treatment. Nowadays it is a common ingredient in hair care products.
Benefits of Castor oil for 4c hair
As mentioned above, Castor oil has so many benefits that it is named miracle oil. Here are some of the benefits of Castor oil for 4c hair:
- Moisturizes: Castor oil is a natural emollient, which means it helps you to lock in moisture and keep your natural hair hydrated. This is especially beneficial for 4c hair, which tends to be dry and prone to breakage.
- Promotes hair growth: Castor oil contains ricinoleic acid, which has been shown to stimulate hair growth and improve the thickness of hair strands. In addition, the hair oil improves blood circulation to your hair follicles, which helps speed up hair growth. Therefore, the regular use of Castor oil can help to promote healthier, and longer hair.
- Strengthens hair: Pure Castor oil is also rich in omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids, which can help to strengthen your natural hair and prevent hair breakage. This is especially important for 4c hair, which tends to get dry and brittle more quickly.
- Reduces scalp inflammation: Castor oil has anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce scalp inflammation and irritation. This can help to alleviate symptoms of scalp conditions such as dandruff or psoriasis, resulting in a more healthy scalp.
- Conditions hair: Castor oil can also help to condition your hair and make it softer and more manageable. This can be especially beneficial for 4c hair, which can be difficult to style and manage due to its texture.
- Reduces hair breakage and damage: Lastly, Castor oil strengthens your natural hair and reduces the risk of breakage and damage. This is due to fatty acids that penetrate your hair shaft and strengthen your hair from within.
Using castor oil as a part of your hair care routine provides a range of benefits for your natural 4c hair. It promotes healthy hair growth as well as length retention.
How to use Castor oil for 4c hair
Now that you know some of the benefits of Castor oil for 4c hair, let’s talk about how to use it. Here are a few different ways to incorporate Castor oil into your natural 4c hair regimen.
1. Pre-poo treatment
The first hair treatment you can use Castor oil for is a pre-poo treatment. Simply apply the oil to your natural hair before using shampoo and deep conditioner and let it sit for a minimum of 10 minutes. This protects your hair from being stripped of all its natural oils while shampooing and provides additional moisture and nourishment on wash day.
2. Hot oil treatment
The second way you use Castor oil is my new favorite and that is with a hot oil treatment. Here you warm up the Castor oil, apply it to your hair, and then cover your hair with a shower cap. If you want you can even sit under a hooded dryer while you let the oil sit for 30 minutes to an hour before washing it out with shampoo and conditioner.
3. Scalp massage
Scalp massages, don’t necessarily need to be performed with essential oils, but it helps with blood flow. This is why you want to massage Castor oil into your scalp to help improve circulation and promote hair growth. Use your fingers to gently massage the oil into your scalp for a few minutes, then let it sit for an hour or overnight before washing it out.
If you make use of the LOC method, then you know that Castor oil makes a good sealant thanks to its thickness. Simply use your favorite conditioner to moisturize your natural hair. Afterward, add a small amount of Castor oil to the ends of your hair to help seal in the moisture. This will prevent split ends and frizziness.
5. Use it straight or mixed
Finally, Castor oil can be used on its own or mixed with other oils such as coconut oil, olive oil, or avocado oil to moisturize your hair. Simply apply a little bit of the hair growth oil to the roots of your hair and let it work its magic.
When using Castor oil on your hair, it’s important to remember that a little goes a long way. Start with a small amount and add more as needed, remember not to over-apply it to avoid product build-up.
And of course, do a patch test before applying it to your entire head. Trust me, a Castor oil allergy is not fun and can lead to a very itchy scalp.
Is Castor oil good for 4c hair?
Yes, Castor oil is very good for 4c hair due to its moisturizing properties, ability to strengthen natural hair, and reduce breakage. Additionally, its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties promote important scalp health.
However, you might have to try it out first. Not all hair types respond the same way to Castor oil, and some people find it too heavy or difficult to wash out. Especially if you have fine hair.
So test a small amount on your hair first and see how it responds before using it regularly.
How often should I put Castor oil in 4c hair?
The frequency of using Castor oil on 4c hair depends on your hair’s needs and how it responds to the oil. I suggest using Castor oil at least once, ideally twice a week to experience the desired benefits.
Especially if you desire longer or thicker hair. However, if you are wearing your hair in a blowout or silk press, then Castor oil may not be the best option and you might want to try a more lightweight oil like olive oil.
Either way, you can adjust your routine according to your needs.
Is castor oil good for 4c low-porosity hair?
Yes, Castor oil can be a good option for 4c low-porosity hair, as it has the ability to penetrate the hair shaft and provide nourishment from within. This is because castor oil contains fatty acids that are small enough to penetrate the hair cuticle and provide moisture and nutrients, where other oils can’t.
However, keep in mind that low-porosity hair is more resistant to absorbing moisture.
Therefore, I recommended using Castor oil in combination with a warm towel or a hair steamer to help open up the hair cuticles. That will allow the oil to penetrate more deeply.
In addition, combining it with a lighter oil such as jojoba oil or argan oil as a carrier oil can also help to make it easier for the oil to penetrate the hair shaft.
Which castor oil is best for 4c hair?
As you can imagine there are different types of Castor oil. When choosing the right one for your 4c hair, it’s important to look for cold-pressed, unrefined, and organic Castor oil.
This type of Castor oil is minimally processed and directly extracted from the castor seeds. That means it retains more of its essential nutrients and is free from harmful chemicals that may damage your natural hair.
Jamaican Black Castor oil is a popular option for 4c hair because it’s rich in fatty acids and vitamin E, and has been known to promote hair growth and strengthen hair. The best Jamaican Black Castor Oil brand is Tropic Isle Living which my mother uses and has helped her regrow her edges.
So I recommend it 10 out of 10!
However, regular Castor oil is also a good option as it contains similar nutrients. Either way, you want to test the oil first to avoid irritation or allergic reactions.
Do I put castor oil on wet or dry hair?
You can apply Castor oil to either wet or dry hair, but the effectiveness of the oil will vary on your hair porosity and your hair care routine.
If you have low porosity hair, I suggest you apply Castor oil to damp or wet hair, as this can help the oil to penetrate the hair shaft more easily. You can apply the oil right after washing your hair or spritzing it with water.
On the other hand, if you have high-porosity hair, you can also apply Castor oil to dry hair as it helps to seal in the moisture and prevent further damage.
The best way to find out is by experimenting with applying the oil to wet or dry hair and seeing which method works best for you.
Can I oil my 4c hair every day?
It is not necessary to oil your hair every day. Applying too much oil too frequently will lead to buildup, which can make your hair feel greasy and weigh it down. That can also cause scalp irritation and clog your hair follicles, which can lead to hair loss or stunted growth.
Therefore, I recommended you apply oil 1-2 times per week or as needed to keep your hair and scalp moisturized. That is in addition to the one time a week when you apply Castor oil as part of a hair treatment or as a sealant after washing and conditioning your hair.
Ultimately, listen to your hair and adjust your oiling routine as needed to keep your hair healthy and moisturized without causing buildup or other issues.
What are the side effects of castor oil on 4c hair?
While Castor oil is considered safe for use on 4c hair, some people like myself experience side effects. So I want you to be aware of the risk of:
- Castor oil can sometimes cause scalp irritation or allergic reactions. Especially in people with sensitive skin. I personally used to suffer from eczema as a child so it makes sense. If you experience any redness, itching, or burning after using castor oil, discontinue use and consult your dermatologist.
- Castor oil is a heavy oil and can cause buildup on the hair if not properly washed out. Overusing it or leaving it in the hair for too long can lead to greasy, weighed-down hair.
- Castor oil has a high comedogenic rating, which means it can clog your pores and lead to acne breakouts. If you apply castor oil near your hairline or on your face, you may experience breakouts.
While Castor oil is a great option for 4c hair, it might not be the best option for you. So if you find it too heavy or greasy, opt for a different oil. In my list of best oils for 4c hair, I mention multiple nutrient-rich oils to try out.