Many endorse both castor oil and coconut oil as home remedies for dry hair. Coconut oil is said to act as a conditioner, while castor oil is a folk remedy said to encourage hair growth.
So, why not try using them together for both soft and fast-growing hair?
If you want to use them both at once, here’s what you should know.
Both castor oil and coconut oil are touted as miracle ingredients for dry hair. The fatty acids in both are supposed to help hair grow.
Coconut oil is easily absorbed into the hair, which means the hair can better absorb its fatty acids.
When it comes to castor oil, there is very little scientific research that it actually helps hair grow. Like coconut oil, the fatty acids in castor oil aid in moisturizing skin, which means it’s good for your scalp — and scalp health is tied to hair health. While it’s not known whether a healthy scalp helps promote hair growth, it can combat hair loss and breakage.
Each of these oil plays — or is supposed to play — a specific role in maintaining total hair health, so it’s easy to assume that using the two together will help keep hair strong and healthy.
Coconut oil is supposed to restore dry or broken hair. This is why it’s often used in a deep conditioner or hair mask.
Castor oil is said to help hair grow faster and thicker, and is popular around the world as a hair growth accelerant. Coconut oil supposedly has this property, too, but castor oil is more popular in the beauty community for hair growth.
For decades, people using castor oil have reported improved hair growth, making it a popular remedy for hair and eyelash growth.
However, there’s not much research on if castor oil does or doesn’t affect hair growth. A 2003 study suggests it improves hair’s “luster” (in other words: how well it reflects light). But there’s little-to-no detail in scientific research on how it may achieve these results.
A 2015 study also suggests that ricinoleic acid, an acid present in castor oil, may reverse hair loss. However, no definitive scientific evidence exists proving its success.
If you’re looking to improve how fast or thick your hair grows, you’re likely better off talking with a dermatologist or hair care professional.
But, if you want to find out for yourself if it will make a difference on your hair, there’s no harm in trying this combo.
Both ingredients are generally safe for skin and hair, and are not known to cause adverse reactions when combined.
However, castor oil
Also, consider buying pure castor oil, as the irritant may not be from the oil itself but rather any additives a brand uses to enhance scent or appearance.
Always do a patch test before applying castor oil anywhere on your body.
If you want to try combining coconut oil and castor oil into a treatment for longer, more luscious hair, you can easily make a DIY conditioner in your kitchen.
- Combine one part melted coconut oil with one part castor oil.
- Mix well.
- Apply mixture in the shower after shampooing.
- Let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse out.
For a deeper conditioning treatment or mask, simply leave the mixture in your hair for around 20 minutes before showering or rinsing it out.
You can also add some rosemary oil, which is shown to stimulate hair growth. In fact, a
Castor oil is very heavy and sticky, so rinse thoroughly. It may take more rinsing than usual to get it all out.
You may also want to throw on an old shirt you don’t care about staining before applying this treatment as a mask.
Both coconut oil and castor oil have been used on their own to improve hair softness and length for decades.
While there’s plenty of research backing up claims of coconut oil’s hair-softening power, there’s not much suggesting that castor oil can help hair grow thicker or longer.
There’s not much risk in trying out this combination to help hair woes, but a better option may be to ask a hair professional for their advice.
Jody Amable is a freelance writer and editor from the San Francisco Bay Area specializing in music and subcultures. Her work has been seen in KQED Arts, Atlas Obscura, and local weeklies.