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Why Castor Oil is Your Ticket to Full, Gorgeous Eyebrows

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Photo by Andreas Kuehn/Getty Images

Long gone are the days of pencil-thin, ‘90s-era eyebrows (unfortunately, we’ll always have the photos to remind us). Over the years, dramatic, bushy brows have taken their place—and we are beyond thankful. But while it may seem that keeping your natural brow shape or growing bold brows would be easy compared to plucking and penciling in razor-thin arches, achieving Cara Delevingne-level brows does require some work. And if you've damaged your brows by plucking them too much in the past, building up bold, fluffy brows can take a bit of time and commitment.

With volume being key to a super strong brow game, we’ve turned to many brow-boosting ingredients to help grow ours from the inside out. Our current fave? A buzzy ingredient called castor oil. Castor oil is an ancient oil that’s been used for many purposes, and it’s believed to be great at promoting eyebrow hair growth. As it often goes with natural beauty tips, the results can vary. Here we'll dive into what castor oil is, how it might help your eyebrows grow, and how to use it on your eyebrows. Continue reading for all you need to know about lash-loving castor oil.

About the Expert:

Cara Lovello is a NYC-based celebrity and bridal makeup artist.

First, What is Castor Oil?

Castor oil is a fatty acid that comes from castor beans. There are two different types of castor oil you're likely to find, cold-pressed castor oil and Jamaican black castor oil. Both are made from castor beans, but the difference lies in how they're processed. Yellow cold-pressed castor oil is simply made from fresh, raw castor beans whereas Jamaican black castor oil is made by first roasting the beans, and then pressing them. The dark color of Jamaican black castor oil comes from the ash of the roasted castor beans, and this type is thought to have a higher pH balance and more clarifying properties.

Does Castor Oil Really Help Brows Grow?

Castor oil makes an extremely convincing case for itself as a hair growth product. It's high in essential fatty acids and vitamin E, which help promote hair growth and repair damaged hair follicles respectively. Makeup artist Cara Lovello agrees: “Castor oil is said to help with eyebrow hair regrowth. The vitamins in the castor oil nourishes the hair follicles.” Another one of its star components is ricinoleic acid, an ingredient that has been said to improve blood circulation. More circulation results in more nutrition to your hair follicles, which leads to stronger strands and less breakage.

As it goes with most natural, old-school remedies, using castor oil on eyebrows has garnered some mixed results. There have been limited studies to scientifically back up the claim that castor oil promotes hair growth. As such, dermatologists are wary of endorsing it as a product for that purpose. But look around the Internet and you'll find countless editors, bloggers, and makeup addicts raving about the skincare and hair thickening benefits. On the flip side, you'll also find some who say that applying castor oil to their eyebrows either did nothing or resulted in hair loss.

If you're curious, the best way to find out if it will work for you is to simply try it yourself. Those who experienced hair loss and skin irritation likely had an allergic reaction to castor oil. To avoid experiencing similar side effects, it's important to first start with a patch test (more on that in the next section).

How to Use Castor Oil On Your Eyebrows

Before applying castor oil to your brows, it's super important to first do a patch test to make sure that you don't have any sensitivities to the oil. To do this, apply a few drops of castor oil to the underside of your arm and wait a day, checking the spot occasionally to see if any skin irritation arises. You can also try applying a bit of the oil to a section of the arm with hair to see how it reacts to your hair follicles.

Once you know you don't have any allergies to castor oil, you can start applying it to the brows. Begin by dipping a clean spoolie in the oil (a cotton swab will also work in a pinch) and brush the product onto your brows. Start by doing this once a day, eventually building up to doing it twice daily. “I would apply it nightly and stay consistent. Don’t plan to notice a difference in a few days. I would wait at least a month before analyzing the progress, and longer depending on how long and how often the brows were over plucked for,” says Lovello.

To make sure you're getting the best results, make sure that you're using pure castor oil. Skip any products that list other filler ingredients. Also, know that it may take a few months for the brows to show visible results from castor oil. Patience is key!

Other Ways to Boost Your Brows

Castor oil is one way to try promoting eyebrow regrowth, but it's certainly not the only way to achieve bushier brows. You can also create thicker eyebrows with makeup (see the link for a quick tutorial) and with specially-formulated products like eyebrow serums. Interested in serums? Check out our favorites below.

The Best Brow Serums to Try Now:

1. GREEN ESTHETICS Longer Lash - Eyelash Growth Conditioning Solution

GREEN ESTHETICS Longer Lash - Eyelash Growth Conditioning Solution
Courtesy of AMAZON

OK, this may be called a lash serum, but the growth-boosting benefits of this multitasking formula are perfect for making your brows fuller, thicker, and longer. The star ingredient? You guessed it—castor oil—is mixed with a blend of natural ingredients and two organic peptides, plus argan oil and vitamin B (aka everything your brow hairs need to grow, baby grow). Swipe it daily to see results in 4-6 weeks.

2. GRANDE COSMETICS GrandeBROW Brow Enhancing Serum

GRANDE COSMETICS GrandeBROW Brow Enhancing Serum

We know, waiting for your brows to grow is like watching water boil—OK worse. While adding castor to your routine will show results over time, try this speedy serum if (like us) patience isn’t your forte. This serum promises eyebrow growth in as little as six to eight weeks. The formula comes packed with amino acids, the building blocks of protein which can help produce keratin, a vital protein for growing strong hair.

3. BABE LASH Essential Serum

BABE LASH Essential Serum
Courtesy of BABE LASH

This serum has won awards for good reason. It’s designed to boost eyelash thickness and length by creating healthier, stronger hairs in as little as four weeks—and you bet your brows love it, too. Apply a little bit of this serum to sparse areas of your brows to help regenerate growth (trust us, your brows will thank you).

Want all the best brow products? Take our Beauty Quiz now to get started. Already an Ipster? Refer your friends to earn points, which you can use toward products. Either way, don’t forget to check us out on Instagram and Twitter @IPSY.

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Article Last Updated January 12, 2022 12:00 AM