castor oil for beard

Castor oil is the oil pressed from the castor plant seeds, it’s often used by women for thickening hair and eyebrows, which has led many men to a question;

“Can I use castor oil for beard growth?”

This article aims to answer the question. We’ll be looking at the science, possible mechanisms, and anecdotal evidence of how – and what type – of castor oil could be used for the face in order to make your facial hair grow thicker.

Quick facts:

  • Castor oil is produced from the seeds of the castor plant.
  • Its main component is a monounsaturated fatty acid; ricinoleic acid.
  • Studies suggest that ricinoleic acid can stimulate prostaglandins.
  • Specifically, ricinoleic acid lowers PGD2, which can hinder beard growth.
  • And it can increase PGE2, which is linked to improved beard growth.

How Could Castor Oil Thicken the Facial Hair?

thick bearded man looking out the windowThere are many mechanisms for how castor oil products can make facial hair thicker.

It contains 85-95% of a special type of monounsaturated fatty-acid called the Ricinoleic acid, and this type of fat has been scientifically proven to increase hair density in laboratory animals by stimulating the production of prostaglandin E21,2, which is known to promote the thickness of the hair spewing out of follicles3.

Castor oil also reduces PGD24, which is linked to hair follicle miniaturization and reduced hair growth. So prostaglandin-wise its a perfect storm for facial hair growth5.

However, to reap the full benefits, you should make a castor oil beard growth serum by mixing it with alcohol carrier so it actually reaches the follicles.

Other similar monounsaturated fatty acids (found in olive oil and argan oil) have been found to increase testosterone levels in men who consume them orally.

This isn’t proof of ricinoleic acid actually increasing testosterone when applied to the skin, but at least it shows that it should theoretically have a positive hormonal effect in humans.

(instead of negatively affecting hormones like many polyunsaturated fats found in poorly designed beard oils).

The third mechanism of action is not related to stimulating the growth, but instead, a way to make your beard appear fuller visually.

Castor oil is denser than most oils and it creates the visual impact of a thicker and denser beard, that in combination with its slight circulation-boosting effect makes castor oil the perfect daily growth-stimulating beard oil.

Anecdotal reports from various forums show that many men notice positive effects with castor oil use, although one can’t expect it to magically grow you new hairs on a daily basis like minoxidil does.

Best Type of Castor Oil for Face and Where to Buy it

castor oil and seedsSince women have been using and recommending castor oil for over a decade now, a big market surrounding the products has emerged.

However, not all castor oil is what it seems like. You want your oil to be the actual real Jamaican black kind, fresh, unrefined, and unprocessed, with a high amount of ricinoleic acid.

So that’s what we recommend, the authentic Jamaican stuff.

It’s perfectly thick, proven real and unprocessed, and being bit darker than most beard oils, it actually not only makes your beard appear thicker but also darker.

How to Apply Castor Oil for Beard Growth?

man applying castor oil to his beardSome people recommend adding castor oil and then washing it off with beard shampoo, you don’t need to do that, however.

Instead, apply a US penny-sized amount to the palm of your hand and gently rub around the facial hair area, if you’re bearded this should be enough for a light coat that doesn’t look oily.

So basically use it like any other beard oil.

If you don’t have a beard and would like to try castor oil for face to stimulate the production of prostaglandin E2 and circulation, then half of the amount above should suffice.

If you’re also using Derma Roller for facial hair and/or minoxidil to activate beard follicles, it’s recommended that you first do the Derma Rolling or put on minoxidil, and then apply the castor oil 2-3 hours later.

Again, there’s no need to worry about washing the oil off immediately afterwards like some claim. It’ll wash out in the shower whenever you take one and that’s perfectly fine.

Will Castor Oil Alone Be Enough to Promote Facial Hair Growth?

human beard growth example

If you can’t grow a beard naturally, then only using castor oil as a stimulator for facial hair, won’t work on its own.

Even though it increases the PGE2, lowers PGD2 and can slowly increase circulation and marginally boost facial hair growth, it’s still not enough to go from no-beard to fully bearded.

The only things that can really massively trigger beard growth – and should be used alongside with castor oil for best results – including; minoxidil (Rogaine), micro-needling (Derma Roller), increasing testosterone and DHT (which are the main beard growth hormones) and activating your androgen receptors (so you can finally get those cheek hairs growing).

Certain beard growth supplements can be helpful too, mainly through helping with hormone production or through fixing vitamin and mineral deficiencies.


Black Jamaican castor oil has a scientifically valid theoretical method of boosting beard growth, by stimulating the production of prostaglandin E2 in hair follicles.

Plus, it also goes well as a normal beard oil due to it being slightly thicker than most oils and benefiting the facial hair area blood flow. It’s also dark which can add some shade to your beard area making it appear fuller.

However, it’s not enough on its own, you should pair it with other beard boosting growth hacks mentioned above.

The Beard Resource recommends authentic Jamaican black castor oil for best beard growth and maintenance results (none of that cheap fake castor oil stuff, if it doesn’t have a slightly nutty aroma, then it’s not castor oil.).

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Vieira C, Evangelista S, Cirillo R, Lippi A, Maggi C, Manzini S. Effect of ricinoleic acid in acute and subchronic experimental models of inflammation. Mediators Inflamm. 2000;9(5):223-228.
Tunaru S, Althoff T, Nüsing R, Diener M, Offermanns S. Castor oil induces laxation and uterus contraction via ricinoleic acid activating prostaglandin EP3 receptors. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012;109(23):9179-9184.
Sasaki S, Hozumi Y, Kondo S. Influence of prostaglandin F2alpha and its analogues on hair regrowth and follicular melanogenesis in a murine model. Exp Dermatol. 2005;14(5):323-328.
Fong P, Tong H, Ng K, Lao C, Chong C, Chao C. In silico prediction of prostaglandin D2 synthase inhibitors from herbal constituents for the treatment of hair loss. J Ethnopharmacol. 2015;175:470-480.
Nieves A, Garza L. Does Prostaglandin D2 hold the cure to male pattern baldness? Exp Dermatol. 2014;23(4):224-227.
Ali is a published author and a beard grooming expert. To this date, his articles have been read more than 15-million times on various sites, and he has helped thousands of men make their beards look better and grow thicker. His work has been featured and cited in Seeker, Wikihow, GQ, TED, and Buzzfeed.