The Cookbook


Ingredient Spotlight: The Truth about Jamaican Black Castor Oil

Time for another ingredient spotlight! You've probably heard of Jamaican black castor oil (JBCO) before, and you might have even used it in your hair before. So what's all the hype about?

castor seeds

How is Jamaican Black Castor Oil made?

Castor oil is derived from the seeds of the castor plant. Clear or pure castor oil is pressed from fresh seeds, while Jamaican black castor oil (JBCO) is extracted from seeds that have been roasted, pounded, and boiled. JBCO's dark color is due to the ash that's produced during the roasting process. True Jamaican black castor oil doesn't have any other ingredients; it is just the pure oil that has gone through this roasting and boiling process.

"Wait a second... so I'm putting ash in my hair?" Yes! And that's a good thing. The small amount of ash raises the pH level of JCBO, making it more alkaline. This opens your hair cuticles and gives JCBO more clarifying properties than its clear counterpart, normal castor oil. The ash enhances the properties of castor oil overall.

Castor oil JBCO hair benefits
So, what are Jamaican Black Castor Oil's benefits for curly natural hair?

  • JBCO contains ricinoleic acid, which increases blood circulation to the scalp. This helps nutrients reach your hair and encourages hair growth!
  • The ricinoleic acid in JBCO balances the pH of your scalp and has antibacterialantifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. Scalp infections, bacteria, inflammation, and dandruff begone! 
  • JBCO contains antioxidants that support the keratin in your hair. This makes your hair stronger, more structured, smoother, and less frizzy. Strengthened hair roots will also reduce hair loss, making JBCO a great treatment for alopecia.
  • JBCO is rich in Omega-6 and Omega-9 fatty acids. It replenishes your scalp's natural oils and moisturizes your hair!

Does Jamaican Black Castor Oil make your hair grow?

JBCO doesn't magically make your hair grow. Instead, it strengthens, nourishes, moisturizes, and structures your hair, and it prevents breakage, hair loss, and infections. The result is healthier hair that's free to grow, no longer hindered by all the barriers that prevent growth in the first place! That's why using Jamaican Black Castor Oil can help you grow your hair longer.

In addition, Jamaican Black Castor Oil combines really well with other natural oils, such as Vitamin E Oil and Jojoba Oil, to enhance benefits and growth for natural hair. Each oil brings different properties and benefits to the table, and combined, they are unstoppable.

JBCO hair growth

How often should you use Jamaican Black Castor Oil for hair growth?

In order for JBCO to have an effect on your hair, you need to use it often enough to deliver its benefits to your scalp. We recommend applying Jamaican Black Castor Oil several times a week for best results. Apply a small amount directly to your scalp, and massage it into your scalp to promote blood circulation. You can even use it every day if you'd like. You should see results after a couple months.

Which Jamaican Black Castor Oil should I use?

When you shop for Jamaican Black Castor Oil watch out for products that just contain a couple drops of the oil. That won't be enough to give you all the benefits of this rich oil. If JBCO isn't one of the first few ingredients in the list, there probably isn't very much in the product.

Our favorite JBCO is NaturAll's Jamaican Black Castor Oil Growth Serum, which combines a base of JBCO with other essential oils like carrot and lavender that are known to promote hair growth.

What are the other benefits of Jamaican Black Castor Oil?

JBCO can be used for a lot of other health problems, not just hair loss. People use it for eyelashes and eyebrows, moisturizing skin, preventing skin problems like eczema, acne, and sunburn, for healthy nails and lips, as a laxative, as a natural pain reliever, and even to induce labor! You’re getting the picture… JBCO is powerful!

Muhga Eltigani

Muhga Eltigani

After years of using products that left her hair dry, damaged, and dull, Muhga Eltigani decided to chop off her hair and start over. For 6 months, she committed to using only natural ingredients on her hair- foods from her fridge and the grocery store with names she recognized, like avocados, olive oil, coconut, baking soda, and even eggs. She found support through an online community of women like her, sharing recipes and ingredients on Youtube.

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