If you want to jump on the face or hair oil trend without shelling out a ton of money, coconut oil is a well-known alternative that boasts a ton of beauty benefits (here are 24 ways to incorporate coconut oil into your beauty routine). But while coconut oil is certainly an amazing (some might even venture to say life-changing) do-it-all product, it certainly isn't the only option. Castor oil, a vegetable oil that comes from the seeds of the castor oil plant, is a natural source of omega-6 fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals that make it great for adding shine and thickness to hair while also encouraging hair growth. YouTube beauty blogger Stephanie Nadia walks you through all the reasons you should add the magical oil to your grocery list.
Use #1: Improve Hair Growth
Castor oil is great for treating dry skin on the scalp (aka dandruff) and since it has antibacterial and antifungal properties, it also helps protect the scalp from fungal infections—two prime causes for hair loss. At the same time, it deeply moisturizes the scalp with fatty acids and helps stimulate circulation in the scalp to improve hair growth. (Here, 7 Sneaky Causes of Hair Loss in Women.)
Use #2: Smooth Dry Ends
As previously mentioned, this stuff is pretty much the key to silky hair! Apply warmed castor oil to dry ends to trap in moisture, leaving hair thicker and healthier.
Use #3: Make DIY Mascara
Using castor oil, beeswax, and charcoal powder, create your own natural mascara (or apply it to lashes alone) for thicker and darker lashes. (See 20 DIY Beauty Products to Get Pampered on Less for more genius ideas.)
Use #4: Thicken Brows
Due to said magical hair-growth properties, castor oil can also help thinning brows. Apply daily with a spoolie brush and make sure it penetrates skin beneath brows as well to see thicker brows in just a few weeks.