How to Apply Castor Oil for Hair

by Stephen Harding ; Updated July 18, 2017

Castor oil is often ingested as a laxative; but can also benefit the hair when applied as a mask or wash. In fact, a weekly castor oil treatment can help to maintain hair's smoothness and softness. Elle magazine reports that castor oil is a nourishing scalp conditioner, particularly for brittle and thin African-American hair.

Mix 1/4 cup castor oil with 1/4 cup water directly before hair treatment.

Massage the scalp and hair down to the ends with the mixture. Rub the diluted oil into your hair with your fingertips. According to Lucky Magazine, the omega-9 fatty acids in castor oil will repair dry ends quickly.

Rinse the hair with warm water. When possible, wrap the hair with a towel and leave it overnight for intensive hydration treatment.

Shampoo the hair with a product formulated for your hair type, to remove the castor oil. Make sure to rinse all the lather and the oil from your hair with plenty of lukewarm water.


  • Warm the oil for a homemade hot oil treatment. Do this by placing the container of castor oil in a glass of warm water. Never microwave or boil the oil; this could cause serious burn injuries. Pour warm oil over the hair and scalp, and allow it to set for 20 to 30 minutes before shampooing.

    For the treatment of dandruff or eczema, use a comb and gently comb the scalp while the oil is setting. This loosens flaky skin and provides extra hydration to a dry scalp.

Photo Credits

  • Chris Zainal/Demand Media

About the Author

Stephen Harding has been writing since 2009, with work on eHow and LIVESTRONG.COM. A U.S. Marine captain, he has military, operations and leadership experience. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing from the University of Central Arkansas, is a Six Sigma Green Belt and a Development Dimensions International Targeted Selection Interviewer. He is completing an MBA at the University of Iowa.