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Effets huile de ricin sur pellicules.

Fighting dandruff with castor oil?

Regarded as a hair care treatment with numerous benefits, castor oil is a natural ingredient that hydrates, nourishes, and strengthens the hair. Highly versatile, this vegetable oil is also considered an anti-dandruff agent. Let's explore together how castor oil works against dandruff.

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

Dandruff, a common hair problem.

Sparing no one, dandruff consists of small dead cells or flakes that are yellow or white in color. They can either stick to or detach from the scalp before scattering throughout the hair and falling like snow onto the back or shoulders. These flakes are often accompanied by a varying degree of itchiness. Men are generally more affected by dandruff, with a peak incidence observed around the age of 20.

Dandruff appears when the cell renewal process is too rapid. If the cells of the epidermis have not reached sufficient maturity, they remain clumped together and detach in white clusters, thus forming dandruff. The causes behind this hair disorder are still somewhat unclear, but studies suggest a link between dandruff and the proliferation of fungi of the Malassezia type.

Castor Oil, an anti-dandruff solution?

Vegetable oils are among the favored natural solutions in the fight against dandruff. Among them, we find castor oil. Studies have highlighted its properties antifungal and have shown that the undecylenic acid contained in this oil acts against certain pathogens and yeasts, including Staphylococcus aureus and Klebsiella pneumoniae. However, no research has been done on the effect of castor oil on fungi of the type Malassezia, which promote dandruff. Therefore, we can only suppose that this vegetable oil has activity against these fungi.

Furthermore, the moisturizing properties of castor oil make it relevant in the case of dandruff. Indeed, when the defense system of the epidermis is unbalanced, the sebaceous glands tend to increase their production of sebum, which makes the scalp more susceptible to colonization by microorganisms. However, castor oil is rich in saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, molecules capable of strengthening the hydrolipidic film present on the surface of the epidermis, but also of inserting themselves into the horny layer and contributing to the cohesion of ceramides.

How to use castor oil against dandruff?

To take advantage of the properties of castor oil in the fight against dandruff, apply it directly to the scalp. Gently massage this area with your fingertips. Then, it is necessary to leave the castor oil on for at least 30 minutes before doing a shampoo. This is done after the application of castor oil due to the oily and rich texture of the oil. Finally, rinse thoroughly.


  • WIKRAMANAYAKE T. & al. Seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff: a comprehensive review. Journal of Clinical and Investigative Dermatology (2015).

  • DONKOR A. & al. Antibacterial and antifungal activities and phytochemical profile of leaf extract from different extractants of Ricinus communis against selected pathogens. International Food Research Journal (2017).


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