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Huile de ricin et barbe.

Does castor oil stimulate beard growth?

Castor oil, a vegetable oil, has been used since ancient times for its ability to strengthen and add shine to hair. It is also beneficial for nail care and is believed to stimulate beard growth. Myth or reality? Let's decipher the scientific evidence together.

Summary
Published February 14, 2024, by Pauline, Head of Scientific Communication — 4 min read

The characteristics of castor oil.

Thecastor oil comes from the extraction of seeds from a plant called Ricinus communis. Belonging to the family of Euphorbiaceae, this plant is native to East Africa and India. Today, the Ricinus communis is cultivated in several countries, such as Brazil and China. Once extracted, the castor oil is purified to remove the toxic enzyme called ricin and the allergenic actives that compose it.

Castor oil is rich in fatty acids, particularly in ricinoleic acid, which is estimated to make up about 85% of its content. This vegetable oil also contains oleic acid, linoleic acid, and saturated fatty acids such as palmitic acid and stearic acid. Its unsaponifiable fraction consists of beta-sitosterol and tocopherol, an antioxidant. This composition is the source of its strengthening and hydrating properties.

Castor oil to stimulate beard growth?

Thecastor oil is a vegetable oil that offers numerous benefits to the beard. It notably helps to hydrate the facial skin after shaving and soften the hair. It is also credited with the ability to stimulate beard growth. This reputation actually comes from scientific studies based on the action of castor oil on alopecia, or hair loss. In these studies, it was demonstrated that the ricinoleic acid in castor oil had an inhibitory effect on prostaglandin D2 (PGD2). It is observed that this protein is about three times more present in the bald areas of the scalp than in the hairy areas.

When examining the biological mechanism, PGD2 and its metabolite 15-dPGJ2 halt hair growth by binding to the GPR44 molecular receptor. By inhibiting prostaglandin D2, thecastor oil restores hair growth. Regarding beard hair growth, no study to date has shown the ability of castor oil to stimulate it. However, this natural ingredient helps to hydrate and strengthen the hairs, and healthy hairs tend to grow faster.

How to apply castor oil to the beard?

Before applying castor oil to your beard, first wash it with a cleanser or a suitable beard shampoo. Once the cleaning is done, you can proceed to the application of the vegetable oil. Here is the procedure we recommend you follow.

  1. Pour two or three drops of castor oil into the palm of one of your hands;

  2. Apply the vegetable oil by gentle massage over your entire beard;

  3. Completely cover your beard with a towel dampened with warm water so that the treatment can deeply penetrate the hairs;

  4. Allow the treatment to sit for approximately 30 minutes;

  5. Rinse with warm water.

Note: to dislodge dead skin cells and impurities that may accumulate in the beard, performing a scrub is necessary. This type of care also contributes to the cellular renewal of the skin under the beard. To optimize results, it is recommended to perform a scrub once or twice a week.

Sources

  • FONG P. & al. In silico prediction of prostaglandin D2 synthase inhibitors from herbal constituents for the treatment of hair loss. Journal of Ethnopharmacology (2015).

  • MARWAT S. K. & al. Review - Ricinus communis - ethnomedicinal uses and pharmacological activities. Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences (2017).

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