Castor oil has been used in traditional medicine for centuries to treat a wide array of medical and cosmetic conditions. It is a vegetable oil that contains many compounds that support health. Many use it for its laxative properties or its ability to induce labor. Recently, many believe it can help hair grow. Read on to learn if it can help eyebrow and eyelash hairs grow.
Castor oil comes from the beans of the castor tree, Ricinus communis, which is native to Asia, Africa, and India.
Castor oil possess many properties that may aid in hair growth of the eyebrows and eyelashes, such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and moisturization capabilities.
There are no studies conclusively proving that castor oil will grow eyebrows or eyelashes, but there is some anecdotal evidence that it might help.
What is castor oil?
Castor oil is a vegetable oil derived from the bean of the castor tree, Ricinus communis. This tree is native to Asia, Africa, and India. There are different types of castor oils based on manufacturing techniques, but they all contain the same properties. Castor oil possesses antioxidants, minerals, nourishing triglycerides, and fatty acids.
Here are the different types of castor oils:
- Cold-pressed castor oil is a clear oil manufactured using cold temperatures.
- Jamaican black castor oil is a dark oil created using heat.
- Hydrogenated castor oil is made by mixing castor oil with hydrogen to make it solid at room temperature.
Benefits of castor oil for the hair
Hair loss can occur for many reasons, such as genetics, medications, or certain medical conditions, and is often caused by several factors working together. The best hair loss treatment regimens address more than one cause of hair loss. Castor oil may offer several benefits for the hair and even encourage hair growth.
These benefits include:
- Moisturizer. Castor oil is an excellent emollient and occlusive, which means it can hydrate the skin and hair and not allow moisture to escape.
- Anti-inflammatory. Castor oil has anti-inflammatory properties, which may be able to combat inflammation-induced hair loss.
- Antioxidants. Castor oil contains many antioxidants to help prevent free-radical-induced hair loss.
- Antimicrobial. Castor oil has antimicrobial properties, which may prevent infections that can lead to hair loss.
Does castor oil support eyebrow and eyelash growth?
To date, there have been no scientific studies supporting the use of castor oil for eyelash or eyebrow growth. However, some report anecdotal evidence to back up this claim. More research is needed.
Hair loss is a multifactorial process involving many different issues, such as inflammation, aging, and dryness. Many believe that castor oil's anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and moisturizing properties can promote hair growth and reverse hair loss. One small study demonstrated that one anti-inflammatory compound in castor oil, ricinoleic acid, can help stop hair loss. If nothing else, it can make hair look glossier and appear thicker temporarily.
How to use castor oil on eyebrows and eyelashes
If you want to try castor oil to regrow your eyebrows or eyelashes, you should try a test spot on your arm for a couple of days first. This will ensure you are not allergic to it, and it will not irritate your skin before trying it on your eyebrows or eyelashes. Some mix the castor oil with a carrier oil, like coconut oil, for more moisturization power.
Here are the steps to follow every night:
- Clean your eyebrows or eyelashes with cleanser and lukewarm water.
- If you are wearing makeup, use a makeup remover that is not oil-based, which will inhibit penetration of the castor oil.
- Dip a cotton swab in the castor oil and squeeze out any excess to prevent it from getting into your eyes accidentally.
- Sweep the cotton swab across the top part of your lashes or across your brows from head to tail.
- Massage the castor oil into your brows.
- Use a towel to protect your pillowcases.
- Wash the castor oil off in the morning. You may use an oil-based makeup remover.
Side effects of castor oil
Castor oil is generally safe and causes few, if any, side effects. Some people may be allergic to it, which is why a test spot is beneficial. Others may find it irritating, especially if it gets into your eyes. It can cause redness, flaking, swelling, and itching. In rare cases, even though castor oil has a low comedogenic score, it may clog your pores and cause acne outbreaks.
Who should not use castor oil?
While the use of topical castor oil normally causes few side effects, some people should avoid using it. It is best to discuss using castor oil with your dermatologist first to ensure it is right for you. Your dermatologist can also recommend the best products with castor oil or where to get the best oil for a DIY eyebrow or eyelash treatment.
If you have any of these medical issues, do not use castor oil for lashes or brows unless directed by your doctor:
- Pregnant or breastfeeding
- Suffer from many allergies
- Have sensitive skin
- Severe cystic acne
Alternatives to castor oil
If you are unsure if castor oil is right for you or are reluctant to try it, there are alternatives available. Coconut oil and jojoba oil can moisturize your eyebrows and eyelashes. Hydrated hair is less likely to break and lead to hair loss.
If you are looking for growth in your brows or lashes, there are store-bought peptide treatments you can try. Rosemary oil has shown some success in regrowing scalp hair. Some have used topical minoxidil to regrow eyebrows, but that is an off-label use, and you should talk to your doctor first. Latisse (bimatoprost) is a prescription eyelash treatment that can give you longer, thicker, and darker eyelashes. It is FDA-approved to use on the upper lashes.
If you are looking to regrow your eyebrows or want longer eyelashes, castor oil is an affordable, natural, and easy product to use. Just be aware there are no studies supporting its use to regrow eyebrows or eyelashes, only anecdotal evidence. Castor oil is generally well-tolerated with few side effects. If you are interested in trying it, talk to your doctor first.
Does castor oil help eyelashes and eyebrows grow?
While there are no published studies to support the use of castor oil to grow eyebrows and eyelashes, some anecdotal evidence exists that it may help scalp-hair growth. However, there are no guarantees with this treatment. Castor oil is relatively safe, so there may be no harm in trying.
Is it safe to put castor oil on your eyelids?
Castor oil is safe for most people to use daily, but be careful not to get it in your eyes. Some people cannot tolerate it or should not use it. If you are interested in trying castor oil, talk to your doctor first to see if it is right for you.
How long can I leave castor oil on my eyebrows?
You can apply the castor oil to your eyebrows or eyelashes at bedtime and then wash it off in the morning. The removal of castor oil may require the use of an oil-based makeup remover because it is thick. Make sure you use a towel over your pillowcases to protect them from stains.
- International Journal of Trichology. Hair Oils: Indigenous Knowledge Revisited.
- Journal of Ethnopharmacology. In silico prediction of prostaglandin D2 synthase inhibitors from herbal constituents for the treatment of hair loss.
- Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology. The Use of Natural Ingredients in the Treatment of Alopecias with an Emphasis on Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia: A Systematic Review.