The Jamaican Black Castor Oil Challenge

Before kids, I had hair galore. My family used to joke that I had enough hair for myself and a village. And after each pregnancy and initial fallout post partum, my hair used to return, more or less. But after my third, and my last, my hair was thinner than usual. Then came the bleaching and coloring. And an incident where the stylist melted so much of my hair from the bleach. As well as using a product called Monat that excelerated additional hair breakage and clumps of hair from falling out. On Monday this week, I dyed my hair back to a dark brown, close to it’s natural shade as my hair was never black like the rest of my Asian family. I also stopped using Monat on Monday, after coming to the conclusion it was making my hair fall out in clumps and breaking (I’ll review my experience another time).

I am so sad to see my purple and blue hair go, I feel like it is so true to who I am, but I just need something easy to maintain for awhile after a year of maintaining purple and blue hair. I am dealing with a broken ankle right now and just showering is difficult. And trying to keep up with the dying of my hair is a bit much right now…no matter how sad I am about it. And because I’m an over achiever I figured this is the time to try and see if this Castor oil thingy ma-jiggy worked.

What is the Castor Oil challenge, you’re probably asking yourself? Many on the internet have been raving about the benefits of castor oil on hair and hair growth. Many swear by it, from head hair to facial hair. But most of the most popular reviews seem to be about Jamaican Black Castor Oil which is different than castor oil because of the process in which it is extracted. JBCO is derived from the castor oil plant and the seeds are roasted and then pulverized in a mortar by hand. This oil is usually darker and has a smokey smell compared to the lighter castor oil that is usually derived through a cold press process and sometimes with the help of chemicals.

JBCO has dark, rich color, high viscosity, and rich aroma, it’s hard to confuse it with it’s lighter cousin. JBOC is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and is high in Omega 6 and 9. The anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties make it beneficial against follliculitus, dandruff and scalp infections and its ricinoleic acid content helps increase circulation to the scalp and improve hair growth. Ricinoleic acid is also said to help balance scalp pH which can also help replenish the scalp’s natural oils and undo some of the damage of harsh chemical hair products (and even damage from no-poo, due to over alkalinity). The antioxidants in castor oil also support the keratin in hair and help make hair stronger, smoother and less frizzy.

Notice how my hairline is receding in my part

So…join me on this hair journey, one hopefully filled with redemption at the end. Monat, post partum hormones, and age have taken it’s toll on my hair and I’m feeling it so hard. On February 28th, 2018, I started using a mixture of 3 parts Jamaican Black Castor Oil (JBCO), 1 part Argan Oil, 1 part Jojoba Oil. Just to preface this, I don’t wash my hair daily. After stretching my washing out with dry shampoo and braids, I can now go as long as 5 days in between washes. However, this week I’ve washed my hair twice due to dying and trying out the oils. I’ve been applying and sleeping with it in, overnight. In the morning I am washing with Argan Oil shampoo and conditioner, something that’s supposed to also help stimulate hair growth.

In addition to trying this Castor Oil on my hair, I also made a mixture of the JBCO and jojoba oil and put it into a mascara bottle for my eye lashes. I did 3 parts JBOC and 1 part Jojoba Oil. I bought the tubes from Amazon. The jojoba oil is acting as a carrier oil to help thin out the JBOC so it applies a bit easier. Jojoba (pronounced ho-ho-ba) is actually a liquid plant wax that was discovered to replace whale oil following the 1971 ban on whale oil into the USA. Jojoba has many uses but it also encourages hair growth on its own. I figured this would be a good mix. Plus, I put too much JBOC into the tube to put argan oil in so for now, this lash experiment will be with these two oils.

Eyelash serum made with JBOC

Here are photos of my hair and lashes from today and the last week or so just for reference. I’ll routinely check back in just to make sure it’s documented and whether or not if it’s working, most likely every two weeks so we can track the progress. I will say my scalp has felt “different” this week, almost itchy. But could be the over washing. Or it could be my scalp trying to grow hair

Maybe it’s wishful thinking 😂

Eyelashes at the start of the challenge (I have a sleep pack on so please excuse the shininess)

Since I had so much breakage hair, I have a bunch of hair at different lengths. Let’s see if it gets these shorter hairs growing.

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