What are the Benefits of Jamaican Black Castor Oil for Hair?

by Leah Williams | Updated: 01/02/2021

Jamaican black castor oil has a reputation for being one of the most beneficial oils for hair. It is revered for its replenishing qualities and is an anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial agent rich in nutrients that can help treat hair loss, dryness, dandruff, breakage, and many more hair problems.

As a hairstylist who has worked in the hair industry for fifteen years, I’ve realized that some of the best hair products don’t always come from a professional hair salon. Many have sworn by Jamaican black castor oil for bringing their strands back to life.

In this article, I’ll discuss what makes Jamaican black castor oil so good for the hair and how to use it at home for best results. I’ll also give you tips on how to buy a high quality Jamaican black castor oil.

Jamaican Black Castor Oil Versus Regular Castor Oil: What’s the Difference?

How regular and black castor oil are made

Castor oil is a transparent or pale yellow vegetable oil made from the beans of the castor oil plant. It’s been used for centuries and is produced mainly in India, China, and Brazil. The oil is extracted through cold pressing and cold processing or through chemicals.

Jamaican black castor oil is also made castor beans but the extraction and processing method is different and more laborious. The seeds of the castor plant are first roasted before the oil is extracted through heat.

The ash produced by the process imparts that dark brown hue that characterizes Jamaican black castor oil.

Regular castor oil has a lower pH than Jamaican black castor oil. The alkalinity of the black castor oil may promote better absorption of nutrients by the hair.

Black castor oil is often called Jamaican black castor oil because the extraction method originated in Jamaica.

Is JBCO better than regular castor oil?

Oil that undergoes less processing is better, as is the case with extra virgin olive oil. Cold processed castor oil is of higher quality than one that was extracted through chemical solvents or heat.

However, users say that the longer the castor bean is roasted, the higher the ash content is, resulting in better quality castor oil. Ash gives the oil its alkaline content. High alkalinity opens the hair cuticle so the oil nutrients are absorbed quickly.

To conclude, regular and black castor oil use vastly different manufacturing processes so it’s difficult to pit them against each other in terms of quality.

However, fans of Jamaican black castor oil praise its alkalinity and unadulterated quality (since no chemicals are used) and deem it worth the higher price tag.

Is there an alternative to JBCO?

If you are looking for an alternative method, consider Chebe Powder. Like JBCO its considered to be an effective, natural ingredient to strengthen and promote hair growth. You can discover pretty much everything there is to know in this ultimate guide to Chebe Powder.

Jamaican Black Castor Oil Benefits

These Jamaican black castor oil hair benefits are just some of its known uses in haircare. It can also be applied on the skin or taken orally.

  1. Promotes hair growth
    There is a lack of studies showing that using Jamaican black castor oil grows hair and so you have to take hair growth claims with a grain of salt.
    There is, however, some anecdotal evidence that Jamaican black castor oil may help promote hair growth and prevent further hair loss by nourishing the hair follicles. Massaging it into the scalp can stimulate blood flow into the scalp, which can lead to regrowth.
    Jamaican black castor oil can be used as part of a holistic haircare routine to grow hair and to enhance other hair growth methods. It takes around one to two months of consistent use before you see significant results.
  2. Moisturizes dry, rough, and damaged hair
    Jamaican castor oil is rich in omega 6 and omega 9 fatty acids as well as vitamin E. These are nutrients and vitamins needed for healthy hair growth.
    The oil is a godsend for rough, parched, and damaged hair looking for a burst of moisture as it’s a rich emollient. It helps moisture bind to the hair, lending a lustrous and conditioned appearance to the mane.
  3. Treats an itchy scalp
    The Jamaican black castor oil’s hydrating and moisturizing properties also extend to the scalp.
    It can be used to treat dandruff and eczema because it has antimicrobial properties that are effective for removing bacteria and fungus from the scalp.
    The oil is also rich in ricinoleic acid, a pH balancer that rebalances the scalp.
  4. Prevents breakage
    If you’re dealing with hair loss due to breakage, you can apply Jamaican black castor oil to strengthen the strands.
    It helps fortify the hair follicle and is chockful of omega 6 and omega 9 fatty acids and antioxidants that retain keratin. Keratin is a protein found in hair that is essential for growing strong, smooth locks.
  5. Enhances texture
    Fans of the curly girl method will love Jamaican black castor oil. This oil gives definition to curls. When your hair needs a refresh, a little dab of castor oil should do the trick.

Can Jamaican black castor oil be used on all hair types?

Jamaican black castor oil is suitable for all hair textures and types. Whether you have coarse, curly, frizzy, or fine hair, you can use castor oil and experience its benefits.

The oil can be applied on the scalp to get rid of bacteria and fungus. Since it is rich in fatty acids, it can also be used on the hair for lubrication which increases hair shaft flexibility and prevents breakage.

What hair types will benefit the most from Jamaican black castor oil?

People with dry hair and scalps will benefit the most from a Jamaican black castor oil treatment since it’s highly moisturizing.

The fatty acids in the oil bind moisture to the strands while its pH rebalances the scalp. It can also be used to treat dry scalp and dandruff caused by seborrhoeic dermatitis because it has anti-inflammatory properties.

If you have natural, Afro, or coiled hair, you should definitely try Jamaican black castor oil.

Does Jamaican black castor oil have any specific benefits for curly or African-American hair types?

Jamaican black castor oil can help with the texture of curls, brittleness, and thinning hair. For Afro and curly hair, JBCO defines the waves, coils, and tendrils and eliminates frizz and split ends. This gives the mane a healthy appearance.

What is Jamaican black castor oil made of?

Jamaican black castor oil is an organic and sulfate-free oil that comes from the seed of the castor plant (Ricinus Communis). It can be applied topically to the hair and skin and is also used orally as a natural laxative.

When choosing a Jamaican black castor oil, make sure to check its purity. It should be made of 100 percent unadulterated black castor oil, meaning it should not be mixed with fillers and other harmful or extraneous ingredients.

You also need to make sure you’re getting a certified organic JBCO. The best ones are approved by the USDA and hexane-free.

A good Jamaican black castor oil is authentic and made by reputable manufacturers. Check the seller of the product and its reputation before buying.

How to Use Jamaican Black Castor Oil

There are no hard and fast rules for using JBCO as a hair treatment. However, users should be warned that it has a thick, rich consistency and an earthy smell. Women with fine hair do not need to apply as much as those with coarse hair.

Whatever your hair type, make sure you rinse it out thoroughly after applying, whether you keep it on overnight or for a few minutes.

You can mix black castor oil with other types of oils, depending on your hair concerns. This makes application easier and amps up the benefits of the treatment.

As for frequency, there’s no prescribed number but you may start with a once to thrice a week treatment and increase or decrease frequency as needed.

Without further ado, here are the ways you can use JBCO to treat your hair issues.

Jamaican Black Castor Oil as a Hair Growth Treatment

This is an at-home treatment you can use for hair loss. It stimulates the scalp and increases blood flow to encourage lustrous hair growth.

You will need:

Method:

1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.

2. Pour ingredients into a hair dropper bottle.

3. Carefully work the mixture into your scalp.

4. Massage the mixture into the roots. Leave it on overnight or for at least 30 minutes.

5. Rinse it out by shampooing thoroughly once or twice. Use a conditioner after.

Jamaican Black Castor Oil as a Moisturizing Treatment

This treatment is designed to hydrate and restore dry and damaged hair. It will leave your locks luscious and touchably soft.

You will need:

Method:

1. Heat up the ingredients in a saucepan over the stove on low heat – you do not want hot oil, only warm!*

*Pro-tip: Warming up the Jamaican black castor oil prior to the treatment helps to distribute the product easily on the hair and activate the ingredients. Never put the castor oil in the microwave!

2. Pour the mixture into a bowl and let it cool for a few minutes.

3. Carefully pour mixture into a hair dropper bottle.

4. Work the mixture into your hair starting from the scalp down to the ends.

5. Gently massage the scalp for 5 minutes.

6. Leave the mixture in for 15 minutes and wash hair as usual with shampoo and conditioner.

Jamaican Black Castor Oil as a Hair Strengthening Treatment

Aside from being a great conditioning treatment, Jamaican black castor oil can help to fortify brittle strands. This treatment can be especially useful if you use hot tools regularly or your hair is recovering from the effects of a chemical or color treatment.

You will need:

Method:

1. Mix the ingredients together in a bowl.

2. Section your hair into 4 parts.

3. Start distributing the mixture into the hair, section by section, working in the treatment starting from the scalp to the tips.

4. Gently massage the oil into the scalp.

5. Place a shower cap onto the hair. Leave the oil mixture on overnight.

6. Wash the oil out the next morning and follow up with a shampoo and conditioner. Take care to rinse out all the residue.

Jamaican Black Castor Oil as a Treatment for Split Ends and Hair Breakage

Do you constantly have split ends? Do your strands tend to break off, leading to a less full mane? Jamaican black castor oil can help fix existing damage and prevent hair breakage.

You will need:

Method:

1. Apply the oil mixture on the ends of the hair.*

2. Leave the treatment in for 15 minutes.

3. Wash out as normal and follow up with a shampoo and conditioner.

* Those who have oily hair may want to avoid putting any mixture onto the roots. Use a small amount on the ends. Those with dry or normal hair may do well with distributing the oil mixture from the roots to the ends.

Tips for Using Jamaican Black Castor Oil on the Hair

For best results, I recommend applying a Jamaican black castor oil treatment right before bed. Since its consistency is very thick, be careful not to go overboard with the application. A little goes a very long way.

Use black castor oil sparingly on oily hair because it tends to weigh down the locks. That’s a no-no if your hair already feels heavy as it is. Be sure to wash it out well after treatment or apply it just to the mid-length to ends of your hair.

Some people only need a weekly treatment but if you can, try to increase the frequency to 2 to 3 times a week, especially if you have dry or natural hair. Use it for at least 2 to 3 months for visible results.

While people with curly, wavy, or coarse hair texture can benefit from leaving the castor oil on the hair, this is not recommended for fine or straight hair. Black castor oil is thick and emollient and this will read as greasy and heavy on straight or fine locks.

Feel free to leave on the Jamaican black castor oil treatment for longer (even overnight) if you have natural, African-American or curly hair that’s hard to tame.

The Bottom Line

Jamaican black castor oil benefits are numerous and the best thing is, the oil can be used by all kinds of hair and concerns.

Whether you’re suffering from a chronically dry scalp or a thinning ponytail, a few drops of Jamaican black castor oil will do a lot of good for reviving your hair.

Make sure that you use it properly and adjust the amount for your hair type. You should always use a high-quality Jamaican black castor oil for best results.

If you’re after healthy, lustrous and thick hair, try out Jamaican black castor oil. You can find JBCO at your local drugstore or grocery. It can also be purchased online and some well-known haircare companies have a Jamaican black castor oil product in their range.

About the Author

Leah Williams is the founder of Lucky Curl and has been in the hair care and styling industry for the last 15 years. Since then, she has developed incredible expertise and a deep understanding of how to treat and style the most difficult hair types and is passionate about sharing her knowledge with the readers of Lucky Curl.