Monday, April 28, 2014

All Hail Jamaican Black Castor Oil

If I had to choose a favorite oil, it would have to be Jamaican Black Castor Oil (JBCO), hands down. JBCO is different from the castor oil you might find at Whole Foods, which is typically clear or slightly opaque. JBCO has a very rich caramel color caused by the fact that the castor beans used in it are roasted and ground, producing a high ash content, increasing the effectiveness of the oil. Below are a few of my favorite uses for JBCO.

JBCO for Thickening Hair
Castor oil is wonderful for thickening hair. No one ever believes me when I say this, but my hair was pretty thin a couple years ago. Don't get me wrong, I think I have average density, but the diameter of each individual strand prior to using JBCO regularly was very thin. This caused my hair to be very fragile and easily breakable, which is obviously not good for the health of natural hair. I've been using JBCO for a couple years now, and I have definitely noticed a change in the thickness of my hair. One tell-tale sign is my twists used to come out "scalp-y," but now they're full and plump.

JBCO for Regrowing Hair
I've had some damage to my edges because of braids that were done way too tightly. I use JBCO directly on my edges about twice a week. Several months ago, I said I'd be taking weekly pictures of my edges to track progress. I clearly failed at that, but I have noticed some regrown hair. I'll do an update on this at some point.

JBCO for Locking in Moisture
Water moisturizes your hair and oil locks in that moisture. I love using JBCO to lock in moisture because it makes my hair soft and fluffy, and also gives it excellent shine. Oftentimes, after I wash and deep condition my hair, I section my damp hair and apply a small amount of JBCO, focusing on the ends of my hair. I twist each section and let my hair air dry. If you try this, do note that JBCO is a very thick oil and a little goes a long way. I like to use a hair cream as a second step sometimes (LOC method), but honestly, JBCO is enough for my hair when the weather isn't too cold/dry.

What's your favorite oil?

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