Does Castor Oil Promote Hair Growth? Exploring the Benefits and Uses

Reading time -

Hair growth myths are rampant, especially online. Shaving makes hair grow thicker (false). Frequently trimming makes hair grow faster (false). Castor oil makes hair grow (false). Unfortunately, there is no scientific evidence that castor oil is a hair growth solution. But that doesn’t mean it has zero benefits in your hair loss recovery. It can promote scalp health and make your hair smoother and shinier.

Hair loss is a frustrating experience, and you’ve likely been searching online for all types of remedies. Both at-home treatments and medical interventions can manage hair loss, but many patients want to try the easiest option first before seeking out a prescription or going so far as to undergo a hair transplant.

In this guide, we’ll explore common causes of hair loss (including myths), and take a deeper dive into castor oil for hair growth and how it may be used in your hair care routine.

Understanding Hair Loss: Common Causes and Phoenix Health’s Approaches

Hair loss is caused by a variety of factors, but the main causes are genetics and hormonal imbalances. Men and women who have imbalance hormones are more likely to experience balding, thinning, or total hair loss. At the same time, there are people who have regulated hormone levels who still experience some form of alopecia. This can be hereditary or simply triggered by their genetic makeup — the same way some people start to get gray hair in their 20s.

The main hormone behind male hair loss is dihydrotestosterone (DHT) [1]. DHT itself is not what causes baldness; rather, it's your hair follicles’ sensitivity to it that can cause thinning and hair loss. While women have less testosterone than men, they can still develop similar issues with hair loss. Male pattern and female pattern baldness are both known as androgenetic alopecia.

Common Hair Loss Myths and Facts

There are many hair loss myths and facts out there, and it’s important to understand what does and doesn’t affect hair growth so you don’t waste your time and money on treatments that won’t work.

Common Myths:
  • Stress alone causes hair loss. Stress can lead to increased hair shedding (telogen effluvium), but it is not the cause of alopecia.
  • Blow drying will worsen baldness. While blow drying can damage your hair at high temperatures, it is not a proven cause of hair loss, and it has nothing to do with alopecia.
  • Certain shampoo ingredients will cause hair loss. There are many shampoo ingredients that can damage your hair, but once again, they alone are not typically the sole cause of balding.
  • Wearing hats will cause baldness. There is no evidence that wearing hats leads to baldness. Again, the real cause of alopecia lies in genetics. However, traction alopecia can develop from wearing extremely tight hairstyles or headgear for long periods of time.
  • Hair loss is permanent. While not everyone can fully restore their hair, there are many treatment options available to help stop hair loss from worsening. Many patients can also restore a large percentage of their scalp’s hair with the right treatment.
Facts About Hair Loss You Should Know:
  • Hair loss is largely genetic. In many cases, a genetic sensitivity to DHT causes hair loss, and lifestyle factors are not the main cause of alopecia. In women, many conditions can lead to hair loss, including pregnancy, menopause, and thyroid problems.
  • Male pattern baldness happens in stages. All male androgenetic alopecia occurs the same; men first lose hair at the forehead or near the front of the head, which then spreads to the back.
  • Hair loss can start in your 20s. While it’s traditionally been associated with middle-aged adults, hair loss can affect anyone in their 20s as well.
  • Some hair loss is normal. Healthy hair loss results in you shedding 50-100 strands per day. This is part of the natural hair growth process as it helps create room for new hair to emerge.
  • Nearly 80% of men and 50% of women will be affected by hair loss at some point. Hair loss is definitely not rare, and it is far more common than you may think. If you feel alone, know that millions of other people can relate, and there are many effective hair growth treatments available. [2, 3].

Expert Opinions on Castor Oil: What You Need to Know

Castor oil has not been scientifically proven to grow hair faster or treat hair loss [4]. While many people report anecdotal evidence, these stories have limitations. For one, we don’t know their biology, so there’s no way to determine what type of hair loss they have or other factors that may have impacted their results.

When it comes to getting the right treatment for your hair growth, you want to choose personalized care that uses evidence-based hair care and medical solutions. For example, we’ve recently launched a new 2-in-1 pill that contains finasteride and minoxidil — the two most clinically proven hair growth medications.

Both finasteride and minoxidil have been extensively studied and proven to improve hair loss. Minoxidil effectiveness is lower than finasteride [5], which is why combining them can often lead to greater results.

Castor oil can have its own benefits, but it is likely best reserved as a hair care supplement than a hair growth solution.

Evaluating Castor Oil’s Benefits for Scalp and Hair Health

Castor oil comes from the seeds of the castor plant (Ricinus communis). It is rich in ricinoleic acid, a fatty acid that may be able to improve blood flow to the scalp. Castor oil is also naturally antimicrobial, antifungal, and boasts anti-inflammatory properties, which can promote healthier hair and foster a better environment for hair growth.

Beyond hair health, castor oil can help alleviate constipation, facilitate wound healing, and act as a natural moisturizer [6]. Most evidence surrounding castor oil is anecdotal, so it is not recommended that you take it without consulting with your physician first.

The Importance of Scalp Health in Hair Growth

Castor oil’s ability to improve scalp health is its greatest rumored benefit. While the oil may not be proven to help hair growth, we do know that scalp health is critical to healthy hair. This is due to your scalp’s microbiome, which is made up of bacteria, fungi, and microorganisms that live on your head. Together, they play a vital role in promoting healthy hair by regulating your immune system, fighting off harmful bacteria, protecting your scalp from toxins, and maintaining the skin’s natural balance.

Certain chemicals and actions can disrupt the scalp biome, such as overwashing or using harsh shampoos with sulfates and parabens. A healthy scalp is the foundation of healthy hair.

Signs you may have an unbalanced scalp biome include:

  • Dryness
  • Dandruff
  • Itching
  • Irritation
  • Sebum buildup

Cutibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus epidermidis  are the primary bacteria found on the scalp [7]. Both work by fighting off pathogens, adapting to form biofilms that can cause inflammation and lead to acne on other parts of the body.

Working with hair loss specialists is important when tackling your balding. They understand the intricate balance your scalp needs to thrive, and they can explore every avenue of treatment to make sure you get the best balance for your needs.

Potential Risks and Safe Usage of Castor Oil

You should be wary of potential allergic reactions to castor oil. Some people may experience skin rashes or irritation after applying it. In any situation, you should seek medical attention immediately if you show signs of an allergy to castor oil.

One way to reduce the risk of severe reactions is to spot test castor oil. You can do this by applying a drop on your skin and leaving it for 24 hours. Monitor your skin for any changes or signs of irritation, such as redness, swelling, burning, hives, or a rash. People with eczema and sensitive skin should be especially cautious when considering castor oil.

Other potential risks of castor oil include gastrointestinal (GI) discomfort. When ingested, castor oil can cause nausea, cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting. People with GI conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and bowel perforation should avoid castor oil due to a high risk of complications [7].

Phoenix Health's Recommended Alternatives for Hair Regrowth

We use scientifically proven treatments to help patients tackle hair loss. Our leading treatments are our 2-in-1 pill combining both minoxidil and finasteride, which have been clinically proven and approved for treating androgenetic alopecia.

Finasteride is a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor that stops the body from converting from testosterone into DHT. Minoxidil is a vasodilator that increases blood flow to the scalp and shortens the resting phase and lengthens the growth phase of hair follicles.

Our hair loss treatments are effective in over 90% of men. Prescribed by licensed Canadian physicians, we personalize your treatment and have pills delivered directly to your doorstep.

Advanced Hair Restoration Techniques

If you want to go beyond prescriptions and explore other hair growth treatments, you may consider PRP therapy for hair loss and laser treatments. PRP requires taking a small sample of your blood, spinning it in a centrifuge, and injecting the platelet-rich plasma back into your scalp.

Injecting PRP into areas affected by hair loss may be able to stimulate hair growth. The platelets in PRP are five times more concentrated than those found in our regular blood [8], so it has a higher volume of growth factors that can be good for your hair follicles.

Another option for treating hair loss is low-level laser therapy (LLLT). Also known as red-light laser therapy, this treatment uses low-powered lasers to stimulate hair follicles beneath the scalp’s surface. Health Canada approves three at-home laser hair growth treatments: Hairmax Lasercomb, Capillus,and Theradome.

Managing Hair Health: Top Lifestyle Tips

Your hair can be affected by your diet, sleep, and immune system. Staying active, eating well, and using dermatologist-recommended hair care products are three ways you can increase your overall hair strength and quality.

When it comes to styling, avoid high heat and products loaded with chemicals that could harm your hair.

Stress management is another important factor to consider. High stress levels can promote more hair shedding, and it could be a trigger for hair loss in younger people. From yoga and exercise to meditation and reading, find activities that help you unwind and lower your stress levels every day.

Navigating Misinformation: Learning to Find Reliable Sources

Social media often promotes anecdotal evidence for hair growth solutions. Videos can easily go viral, rake up thousands to millions of likes, and make other people think that their high approval rating online means they’re legitimate.

The only people you should really listen to when it comes to hair loss treatments are healthcare professionals. Read medical journals, and follow trusted websites that have a medical team or expert panel reviewing articles.

Remember, not everything you read or watch online is true. If you have questions about a treatment, ask a doctor for their opinion. Always verify sources and fact-check information about treatments, especially when they seem like miracle solutions.

Overall, remember to be comprehensive when it comes to researching hair loss treatments. You deserve the best, so work with a team that’s educated, licensed, and well-equipped to help you conquer hair loss.


1. Hair Loss and Testosterone – Healthline.

2. Genetic prediction of male pattern baldness - PMC

3. Most Men Experience Hair Loss—But It Isn't Inevitable | NYU Langone News

4. Does castor oil for hair growth really work? We asked dermatologists to find out.

5. An open, randomized, comparative study of oral finasteride and 5% topical minoxidil in male androgenetic alopecia.

6. Castor Oil: 4 Benefits and Uses - Healthline.

7. What is the scalp microbiome and why is it important for our health? - The Secret Life Of Skin

8. Platelet-rich plasma: Does the cure for hair loss lie within our blood? - Harvard Health

Hair Loss?
No problem

Let’s help you Rise Again
Start Your Assessment

Got ED?
No problem

Let’s help you Rise Again
Start Your Assessment
This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical or other professional advice. Your specific circumstances should be discussed with a healthcare provider. All statements of opinion represent the writers' judgement at the time of publication and are subject to change. Phoenix and its affiliates provide no express or implied endorsements of third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products, or services.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Receive a weekly newsletters with insightful tips and resources

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.