The Truth About Using Castor Oil to Grow Your Eyebrows

woman with thick brows looking at camera

 

Caroline Tompkins / Refinery29 for Getty Images

We don't have to lay out why brows are arguably one of the biggest beauty concerns—the shape of your brows define your face and determine the direction of what your beauty look is going to consist of. It's no shock to us that when something promises to help them grow thicker and faster, people are all for it.

When you google "castor oil to grow eyebrows," you may find mixed reviews. Some people rave about the hair-growing benefits of this fatty acid-rich oil, while others stay far away from the idea of experimenting it in the first place. But which claims are true? Is this the all-natural miracle brow potion that we've all been waiting for?

It's hard to tell. Ahead, we talked to a brow expert and a trichologist to find out if castor oil really works for eyebrow growth.

Meet the Expert

  • Gretchen Friese is a certified trichologist and ambassador for BosleyMD.
  • Sabah Feroz is a brow expert and retail business development manager for Blink Bar in London.

What Is Castor Oil?

"Castor oil is a vegetable oil pressed from castor beans," says trichologist Gretchen Friese. To elaborate: "Castor oil is filled with vitamins that our hair and skin need to support itself," says brow expert Sabah Feroz. "It is high in omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin E, and many other beneficial minerals that moisturize and support healthy hair growth."

Purported Benefits For Brows

When asked about the benefits of castor oil, Jamé Heskett, holistic doctor and author of The Well Path, once told us the following: improves circulation; stimulates the lymphatic system; works to kill fungi, inflammation, and dermatitis; heals acne and injuries by reducing the bacteria and healing wounds; reduces cellulite and acts as a powerful emollient. Not a single one mentions anything to do with hair growth. But some people swear by the stuff for getting bold, bushy brows or long, luscious lashes.

Black woman with braids and bold brows
 

So, what's the truth? Friese says the oil "has been used for years to treat a variety of conditions, including hair loss. While there haven't been scientific studies that prove that castor oil can regrow hair, it's a low-risk remedy that may help you get thicker/fuller eyebrows." In short, there's a lack of scientific research about the topic, but there is anecdotal evidence that suggests castor oil works for hair growth.

Does Castor Oil Work For Brow Growth?

As we know, we can't take any beauty trend found on Pinterest with such bold claims at face value. "Currently there is no real evidence that castor oil affects eyebrow growth," says Friese. "However, there is evidence that ricinoleic acid, which is a chemical compound that makes up almost 90 percent of castor oil, may treat hair loss."

Bottom line: it might work, and it probably won't hurt to try it. "Other than the distinct smell that can be a bit strong there are no downsides to using the oil. Just keep it out of the eyes," notes Friese. She adds that castor oil "has great moisturizing properties."

Ferox suggests almond oil as a viable alternative if castor oil doesn't agree with you. "Almond oil has the same properties as castor oil in terms of moisturizing brow hair. My favorite product is BBB London Nourishing Brow and Lash Oil ($48)."Rosemary and almond oil stimulate hair growth, while lavender soothes and hydrates the skin. I use it every night and my lashes look longer and my brows look fuller."

How to Apply Castor Oil to Brows

close-up of model with curly hair and bold brows
 

Castor oil can be used daily, according to Friese. It might be a good idea to perform a patch test if you've never used the ingredient before to make sure you don't have a reaction. Also, only pure castor oil should be used for this purpose.

"Make sure your eyebrows are clean and free of makeup. Use a cotton swab or clean mascara wand to wipe a small amount of castor oil over the eyebrows and massage the oil into the eyebrows. Avoid contact with eyes," recommends Friese. She likes Pure Body Naturals Castor Oil for Eyelashes and Eyebrows with Applicator Kit ($6).

When is the best time to use castor oil? "Before bed is a good time so that the thick oil can remain on the brows while you sleep and you can wash it off in the morning and it will not affect your makeup application," says Friese.

Final Takeaway

"Castor oil can be a safe and affordable and natural home remedy," says Friese. It may not be a miracle cure for over-plucked or naturally thin brows, but at the very least it is moisturizing–and, hey, maybe nightly application really will perform brow miracles for you. As with any new skincare regimen, start slow and monitor how your body reacts. When in doubt, check with a dermatologist before using, and discontinue immediately if you experience irritation, hair loss, or any discomfort.

Here are a few more brow-hair boosters we recommend if you're looking to add thickness, volume or density to your arches.

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