hair care

Does Castor Oil Make Your Hair Grow Faster?

Beauty Myths: Does Castor Oil Make your hair grow

Castor Oil, which comes from castor beans, otherwise known as an over-the-counter laxative, is now a hair product many women can’t live without.

The Myth:

If you’ve ever heard the term “Castor Oil Challenge” then you’ve probably heard something along the lines of: Castor oil makes your hair thicker/longer/stronger, etc.

Castor oil is used as a hair and scalp moisturizer. It comes in two popular forms: dark tinted black and yellow colored. Black castor oil or “Jamaican Black Castor Oil” is typically thought to be the strongest, and more natural form.

Black Castor Oil vs. Yellow Castor Oil

Black castor oil is actually the least pure form of castor oil. Yellow castor oil is typically cold pressed, which means it is extracted from the castor bean without heat, keeping most of its natural properties in tact. Black castor oil comes from heating & cooking the castor beans then mixing in other additives to give it the dark color. So, it’s safe to say that you’re getting less of the natural benefits to your hair with black castor oil.

The Science

Natural castor oil is rich in vitamin E and fatty acids. It also has anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties. However, there is no real scientific evidence suggesting that castor oil actually thickens the hair strand or makes it grow faster.

The Verdict

Weeeeeeeeell…For women suffering with Alopecia caused by traction and scarring in the scalp, applying castor oil directly on the scalp can help reduce the inflammation there, which may contribute to promoting growth and thickening the weakened strands. Maybe.

Otherwise, the answer is no. Applying castor oil to your hair will not affect the rate your hair grows or make your hair any thicker. Castor oil can make your locks shinier, more moisturized and stronger, since moisture protects the hair from the elements. 

So why does it seem as if everyone and their mother using castor oil is getting longer hair faster? Chances are the same people who who use castor oil for hair growth are just likely to be doing everything right to optimize their hair growth. Everything right means: eating healthy and getting vitamins, moisturizing, using sulfate-free shampoos to prevent moisture/nutrient loss, and getting plenty of sleep and exercise.

See our Article: Biotin: Will it Make Your Hair Grow Faster

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Help! How to Revive Fried Hair

Last night I learned a very hard lesson: never trust a curling iron that doesn’t have any sort of temperature gauge. The second lesson obviously being never use a curling iron that is just too hot.  It was a gory battle and I’m sorry to say, guys, my hair did not make it out unscathed. Literally, my hair is scathed! Do you know the feeling? Some of you are sitting at your desks right now with with smoke flumes still coming out of your hair. Maybe your hair smells like a charred building. Maybe your hair feels like dry hay. Well…well my friend, this article is exactly what you need.

1. The Miracle Hair Mask

Ingredients:

  1. 4oz cup of plain (full fat) yogurt
  2. 2 Tablespoons Coconut cream (You can find this in the ethnic foods isle)
  3. 2 Tablespoons of coconut oil

Steps: Mix Coconut cream and Coconut oil in a bowl and microwave for about 1 min.  Mix in the yogurt then massage this thick mask into the hair (hair should be slightly damp with water) completely and cover with a shower cap. Leave this on for 1 hour. Rinse mixture out. (This will take awhile to rinse completely because of the bits of coconut). *You can use a bit of conditioner as shampoo to help get all the residue out.

Why it’s Awesome: Coconut cream is often used as a natural curl softener. In fact, afro-rockers have been using this to soften their curls for years. But why should afros have all the fun? Coconut cream REALLY softens the hair while the mix packs it with restorative oils that will get your hair back to its pre-hay days.

2. A Shampoo/Conditioner Overhaul

Now that your hair actually feels like hair and not straw, you don’t want to ruin it by sucking the moisture out of it, do you? I hope not. Look at the ingredients in your shampoo and if you see salt (sodium) or sulfates (sodium lauryl), throw it in the garbage immediately. No more suds or soapy lathers for you, amigo. That will just defeat the purpose of your restorative hair mask and keep the straws coming back.

But Why? Suds and bubbles do not clean hair, neither do their agents: sulfates and sodium. They draw moisture out of the hair and since your hair is already fried, you can’t afford to lose any more moisture. Invest in a good salt-free and sulfate-free shampoo and a good protein conditioner to boot. The protein will help fill in some of the broken bonds caused by the heat damage.

3. Tread Carefully 

I would tell you to avoid styling with heat completely but that would be idealistic. Just make sure you’re not styling clean/dry hair. Moisturize. Invest in a good styling oil with silicone. Silicone will actually smooth out the damaged parts of your hair strand and mend split ends temporarily.

Trust me, I’ve been here before and these tried and true methods haven’t failed me yet. Though you’ll definitely still need to trim the most damaged ends, you’ll find that if you follow these 3 tips, your hair will look and feel as good as new.

Hair Care: Winter Hair Tips

November is here! Many across the U.S. have already seen snow, so it’s no mystery that winter is almost upon us. Dryer winter air and cold temperatures can have a serious impact on your hair. You know what I’m talking about – dreaded winter frizz, static, and breakage.

Turns out that the cold is not the only culprit of dry hair during the winter – it has even more to do with heat. We crank up the heaters in our homes, spend more time indoors, take long hot showers and baths, and use hot tools and hair dryers more frequently during frosty months. Let’s take a look at some tricks to keeping your hair looking great throughout this chilly season ahead.

Protect Your Hair Outdoors

Whipping winds at freezing temperatures dry out your hair just as much as your skin – we just don’t feel it! Wear hats and scarves to protect your hair as much as you can when you leave the house, and never ever walk outside in the cold if you have wet hair.

Protect Your Hair From the Heat

Wait, is that a typo? Nope, I’m serious. Make sure you are using heat protectant spray on your hair before you blow dry or use hot tools such as straighteners or curling irons. They make a huge difference in the strength and shine of your hair when you style. Heat dries out and damages your hair, making it prone to breakage and split ends.

Condition Like Crazy

During the winter, you hair tends to be dryer because of the heat in your home and the dryness of the air outside. Make sure you bump up your conditioning routine to keep your hair moisturized – do a weekly hair mask, add a leave-in conditioner to your routine, and even add conditioner to your ends before you shampoo to give them a little more protection when you wash your hair.

Cut Down on Washes

Washing your hair daily really strips your hair of moisture, so try to wash your hair with shampoo less, alternating with a conditioner-only rinse or using dry shampoo.

Use the Cold to Your Advantage

While blasting hot water in the shower seems like the best thing during these cold days, it definitely isn’t good for your hair. Rinse your hair in cold water after you wash and condition to lock in moisture and shine. Also, when your hair is not being tended to, try to keep your hair out of the hot water with a shower cap or ponytail if you love those toasty soaks too much (I know I do!).

Any tips and tricks we missed that you always go to during the winter months? Or have you tried any of these to keep your hair shiny and moisturized even when it’s chilly outside?

Hair Care: Give Your Hairbrush Some TLC

Often I find myself worrying so much about my hair itself, that I forget to pay attention to the tools I use everyday. You know how hairstylists always have combs and brushes soaking in disinfectant? That’s not just for sanitation (although it’s definitely reason enough), but it keeps everyone’s hair looking best when the tools used on it are clean! Otherwise, you’re adding lint, dirt, even oil and dandruff back onto your hair every time you brush and style. Yuck.

The great thing is, you don’t need anything fancy to clean your brushes and combs. All it takes is gathering up all your tools and heading to the sink with a bottle of your regular shampoo (or, if you treasure every drop of your shampoo as much as I do, I’ll rummage through those leftover mini hotel bottles I snagged from my last trip).

Step 1: Remove any hair tangled in your brushes and combs. This sometimes isn’t such an easy feat, especially if you don’t keep up with it. For stubborn hair, I’ll run a hair pin between bristles to catch and lift hair quickly.

Step 2: Rinse your brushes and combs under warm water to remove any major residue.

Step 3: Drizzle a dime sized-amount of shampoo onto one of your brushes.

Step 4: Rub this brush lightly against the bristles of another brush to lather them both up, killing two birds with one stone. Or, if you have a brush and comb, run the comb gently down the brush. Key word: gentle, we don’t want any snapped bristles!

Step 5: Rinse the lather off with warm water.

Step 6: Repeat steps three through five until all your brushes have been lathered up with shampoo.

Step 7: Lay your brushes and combs out on a towel and let them air dry.

Now it’s confession time. Do you clean your brushes and combs? How often?

Hair Poll: Aerosol vs. Pump Hair Spray

This past weekend I attended a wedding, and went with an all up-do. So I wouldn’t have to worry about my hair holding up all night long, you better believe I put many many coats of hairspray on my head.

It made me think back to when I did all my own up-do’s for high school dances. My mom ONLY ever had pump hair spray, and I hated how it would never spray evenly and I’d end up with large splotches of thickly coated stickiness all over my head. Since then, I always buy hairspray in an aerosol. I would never consider getting it in a pump.

Since they still sell pump spray, someone out there is obviously buying it – are you one of them? Which do you prefer, and why?

Hair Care: Are You Cutting Your Hair Enough?

With long hair, I don’t get it cut nearly enough. Because of my long layers and very simple haircut, I don’t really need to. However, I never seem to realize that this is my main cause of all my “hair problems” – my ends looking ratty, my hair losing volume, even my style not holding up throughout the day.

One of my favorite 30 Rock clips of all time is the one where Jack states, “I get my hair cut every two days, after all, your hair is your head suit.” Funny, but true – don’t you always notice how your hair being done up really completes your outfit?

Now, I’m not saying that YOU need to cut your hair every two days, but it is recommended you get a cut every 6-8 weeks – that’s nearly every month. But WHY you may ask? Especially if you have long hair like mine, or you are trying to grow your hair out, you may especially wonder what the point is to visiting a hairdresser so often.

Mainly, you want to get your hair cut often because it rids you of split ends, breakage, and fragile hair. The hair at your ends is the oldest, and thus the most delicate. When trying to grow hair out, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is not getting trims often. Your hair will be much more prone to breakage without frequent cuts, and thus, your hair will actually seem to grow more slowly. It’s the same deal if you have chemically processed, dyed, or bleached locks – your hair is more prone to damage, and getting a cut every 6 weeks or so will keep your hair looking best at whatever length you prefer.

So, time to fess up. When’s the last time YOU got your hair cut?

Why do You Buy Shampoo and Conditioner Together?

A couple weeks ago, we asked you all whether your shampoo and conditioner matched, and an overwhelming number of you said YES.

We’re curious – why is that?

We want to know! Is it functionality? A good deal? Vote 🙂 and comment on this post to tell us more!