In the search for natural products to maximize hair health, many of us have turned to castor oil… specifically Jamaican Black Castor Oil or JBCO. Have you ever wondered why castor oil makes your scalp itch? Here’s the lowdown.
To put it simply, the itching means that it’s working. No, really!
What makes Jamaican Black Castor Oil so awesome is that it stimulates blood circulation and has antifungal and antibacterial properties, removing toxins from the body. When you apply JBCO to your scalp, those impurities are being removed to improve its health. It’s for this reason that you may experience some itching up there, mainly due to the acidic levels of the toxins escaping the skin. Makes sense, right?
So, don’t you worry! That itching sensation is actually a good thing. The reason why many have had such great results from using JBCO is essentially because of this detoxifying process. Once the scalp is free of impurities, your follicles can function much better and reap the benefits of the nutrients and minerals found in the oil resulting in healthier hair.
But if the itching really bothers you…
Mix It Up
One common suggestion to help with the irritation is to mix your castor oil with another carrier oil. The manufacturer of one popular brand recommends adding wheat germ oil which is actually one of the richest sources of Vitamin E. It also helps with hair growth by stimulating the growth of capillaries which means better blood circulation. So the two oils will basically work together to improve scalp health and, by extension, hair health.
Tea tree essential oil is often used to prevent an itchy scalp so I thought I might try adding this to my JBCO. It actually worked! In a 4 ounce bottle, I put about 4-5 drops of tea tree oil and shake it up… that’s it!
Something else you can do is boost your favorite deep conditioner by blending in your JBCO. You’ll be able to reap the benefits of the oil but since you’ll be rinsing this out, there will be little to no trace of it to irritate the scalp.
Use It in Alternate Ways
JBCO also works well as a pre-poo or hot oil treatment, both of which you’ll end up washing out anyhow. When using the oil as a sealant during your moisturizing routine, concentrate only on your strands and the ends. In this case, the idea is simply to keep it away from the scalp so that you’re not affected by the itching.
Now that you know why castor oil makes your scalp itch, you should also know that the longer you use it and the health of your scalp improves, the itching should actually become less of an issue. So, if you can be a soldier and deal with it for a bit, that’s probably a good way to go. If not, hopefully these tips will help!
Have you suffered from an itchy scalp after using castor oil? What tricks have you used to deal with it?
Resources: oilypedia.com; tropicisleliving.com