Castor Oil For Beard Growth – Worth It, Or Waste Of Money?

If you’re searching for the answer to happier and healthier beard hair, you’ve no doubt stumbled across castor oil while hunting for kick-ass beard grooming products.

Beard-growers around the globe swear by cold pressed castor oil, as the popular product supposedly softens rough beard hairs, improves blood circulation, and helps your facial hair to shine. 

However, some advocates even claim that castor oil can accelerate beard growth and help users to develop thicker facial hair – which leads us to the big question: 

Can castor oil help you achieve solid beard growth and maintain healthy hair?

We’re about to dig a little bit deeper into castor oil, examine the benefits it can offer your bountiful bristles, and conclude whether it’s worth your hard-earned cash. Let’s go. 

Is castor oil useful for beard growth?

While there is some anecdotal evidence that castor oil promotes beard growth, there is no scientific proof to support this claim. However, castor oil does offer several other benefits for general beard care, including reducing inflammation, improving blood flow, and protecting hair follicles. 

So why do some members of the bearded community still believe that castor oil can promote beard hair growth? 

Well, castor oil has previously been used to prevent hair loss, as it can nourish hair roots, stimulate follicles, moisturise skin and prevent skin infections. Based on the belief that these benefits translate directly to beards, castor oil has gained a reputation for helping beard growth. 

(Even these hair-loss-prevention claims lack substantial clinical evidence, so if you’re looking for a miracle solution for hair growth, you may want to keep searching.)

However, that isn’t to say that castor oil doesn’t offer several other handy benefits for your beard hair. The oil can still help you to maintain a healthy beard and look after the skin underneath your whiskers by keeping infections at bay, so don’t dismiss the product too quickly. 

What’s in castor oil?

Castor oil is a versatile vegetable oil that’s pressed from castor beans. 

These beans contain a toxic enzyme known as ‘ricin’, but as the oil is heated up and processed, this enzyme is neutralised and the oil can be used safely for a number of different purposes. 

There are four main ingredients found in castor oil that make it particularly useful for beard hair care and maintenance:

Ricinoleic Acid 

Ricinoleic acid is an omega-9 unsaturated fatty acid that offers two potential benefits – shrinking hair follicles to reduce hair loss and fighting inflammation to support hair health. 

Oleic Acid

Oleic acid helps to protect the skin beneath your facial hair while also moisturising and hydrating your beard hair. 

Stearic Acid

Stearic acid protects and conditions your hair shafts while also removing excess oil from your facial hair. 

Linoleic Acid

Linoleic acid hydrates and moisturises your beard hair, and has also been shown to reduce hair loss in some cases.

Benefits of castor oil for beard hair 

Although castor oil may not be able to magically speed up facial hair growth, it can still help you to maintain glorious beard hair and keep your bristles well-groomed. 

Here are some of the main castor oil benefits for beard lovers:

It moisturises beard hair

The moisturising properties of castor oil mean that it’s great for keeping your beard hair shiny, healthy, and glossy. The omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids found in castor oil will help you to maintain softer beard hair, so you can prevent your face from becoming itchy and dry. 

It prevents skin irritation 

You can also apply castor oil to keep your skin healthy. Ricinoleic acid has been proven to reduce inflammation, which means you can protect your skin cells and hair follicles. Looking after the skin underneath your facial hair is just as important as nurturing your whiskers, and castor oil can be very effective here. 

It combats beard dandruff

Since the ricinoleic acid in castor oil can prevent skin infections and inflammation, you can also use it to protect your beard hair from pesky dandruff. Castor oil will keep your skin and beard hair fully moisturised and thoroughly nourished, which helps to reduce the dryness and fungal infections that often lead to dandruff. 

What are some other carrier oils to consider?

Castor oil is a popular carrier oil for beard care, but every beard is unique. Different carrier oils vary in many ways, from their viscosity to their fragrance. 

Finding the right carrier oil for your beard is key to successful hair growth. 

Below are some other examples of carrier oils that you might consider testing out on those beautiful beard hairs.

Jojoba oil

Jojoba is highly effective at moisturising beard hair, hydrating your skin, and removing excess sebum to prevent your face from becoming too oily. 

Jojoba oil has a low melting point, meaning it gets to work quickly thanks to speedy absorption. The arachidonic acid found in jojoba oil is also proven to promote beard growth, so if you’re looking for fuller facial hair growth, this is a great choice. 

Almond oil 

Almond oil is a rich source of magnesium and biotin, which are both important nutrients for supporting hair growth and hair follicle health. 

The fatty acids found in almond oil have also been shown to improve blood circulation, which means that more oxygen and vital nutrients can reach your hair follicles. The oil can also be used to reduce dryness and treat dandruff. 

Argan oil 

Argan oil contains a potent combination of vitamins, antioxidants, and linolenic acid

This provides your beard hair with much-needed nourishment, ensuring that your facial hair stays properly hydrated and unbelievably shiny. It’s also a useful oil for beard growth and can help you to develop fuller hairs to connect any patchy beard spots. 

It’s worth bearing in mind that you can always combine castor oil with any of these carrier oils to maximise the benefits that your beard receives. It’s all about finding a balance that works for you and your beard hair!

The Mission Beard verdict: is castor oil worth trying?

We’ve just examined some of the factual benefits (and beard-based myths) associated with castor oil. 

So, there’s just one question left to answer. 

Is castor oil worth trying? 

The answer is yes – but only if you’re using it for the right reasons. If you’re using castor oil for beard growth and hoping it will help you to sprout thicker bristles overnight, you’re going to be disappointed. 

However, if you want to use castor oil to moisturise your whiskers and protect your skin, then you may be pleasantly surprised by the results. 

Beard growth is mainly related to genetics, so you won’t find any miracle products online – but that doesn’t mean you can’t use castor oil (and combine it with other carrier oils) to give yourself an enviable piece of healthy facial hair.

Alex Cutler
Alex is the owner and Editor in Chief of Mission Beard. When he's not researching articles or creating badass beard care products with the MB Crew, you'll find him exploring the great outdoors, training BJJ, or in the pub with a good pint.