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Huile de ricin et greffe capillaire.

Using castor oil to maintain a hair transplant?

Castor vegetable oil is a renowned natural product in the world of hair care. It is attributed with numerous benefits, including but not limited to, hydration, strengthening, and hair growth. There are several contexts in which the application of this vegetable oil to the hair is recommended, such as after a hair transplant. Let's explore together whether this use is relevant.

Published February 14, 2024, by Pauline, Head of Scientific Communication — 5 min read

An overview of a hair transplant.

Hair transplantation is a surgical procedure that involves taking a group of healthy hair follicles, referred to as follicular units, from one part of the scalp (donor area) and transplanting them to a part of the scalp where hair is thinning or absent (recipient area). The follicular units can contain one to four hairs, and each transplant can include several hundred of these units.

Hair grafting, also referred to as follicular transplantation, allows for the restoration of hair growth in balding areas, and can be used in cases of baldness, scars, or hair trauma. It is a relatively simple and safe procedure, but it still requires a high level of expertise and precision from the surgeon to achieve satisfactory results. The procedure can take several hours depending on the number of grafts to be performed.

The results of hair transplantation vary among individuals, but are generally visible in the months following the procedure. It's important to note that hair transplantation cannot guarantee a full restoration of hair, but it can provide a denser and more natural appearance.

Castor oil for maintaining hair grafts.

Thecastor oil is extracted from the seeds of the shrub Ricinus communis, native to tropical Africa, but now cultivated worldwide. To obtain high-quality castor oil, extraction is usually carried out by cold pressing. Castor oil is rich in fatty acids, particularly in ricinoleic acid, a unique omega-9, as well as vitamin E. The composition of the vegetable castor oil makes it a friend to dry and brittle hair, but also to thin hair or hair that has difficulty growing. It is thus ideal for taking care of a transplanted mane.

Indeed, the application of castor oil on grafts will stimulate growth and limit the telogen phase, a period during which the hair naturally falls out. Scientific studies have shown that ricinoleic acid, present in large quantities in this oil, is capable of inhibiting the activity of prostaglandin D2 (PGD2), a protein involved in androgenetic alopecia phenomena. If we look at the biological mechanism, PGD2 and its metabolite 15-dPGJ2 interrupt hair growth by binding to the GPR44 molecular receptor. By inhibiting prostaglandin D2, castor oil restores hair growth.

Furthermore, once these grafts have grown, applying castor oil to the resulting lengths will nourish them deeply. This vegetable oil is rich in oleic acid, whose structure is similar to that of the lipids in the cuticle, allowing it to penetrate and strengthen it. Castor oil thus enhances the impermeability and cohesion of this layer. Finally, its antioxidant properties provide protective benefits to hair fibers exposed to the sun or pollution.

Castor Oil and Transplanted Hair: The Habits to Adopt.

Due to their temporary fragility, hair grafts and, more generally, the grafted hair, require rigorous and strengthening care. Hence, the interest in using castor oil to stimulate the growth of healthy and resilient hair from the grafted follicles. However, it should be noted that the post-hair graft application of castor oil is not immediate. Care for the grafted hair should not begin until three weeks after the operation, as there is a risk of compromising the proper healing of the hair follicles. Similarly, be sure to moderate the amount of castor oil applied to the grafted hair to ensure you do not weigh down your hair and further weaken the grafts.

Regarding the application of castor oil, it is initially applied to the scalp, using just a few drops. Then, very gently massage your scalp and let the treatment sit for about thirty minutes before shampooing. You can also use castor oil on your hair lengths, once they have grown out. To do this, take a little castor oil (again, a few drops are enough) and apply it to your hair. Let it sit for half an hour before rinsing thoroughly.


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


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