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Huile de ricin et cheveux blancs.

Castor oil to delay the onset of grey hair?

Ranked among the most popular natural ingredients for hair care, castor oil brings a wealth of benefits to the hair. Some studies even suggest that applying this vegetable oil to the hair could play a role in combating grey hair. Learn more.

The formation of white hair, a natural hair phenomenon.

The appearance of white hair is a natural process that occurs with age. It is due to the decrease in melanin production by the pigment cells, the melanocytes, located at the base of the hair follicles. Melanin is the pigment responsible for the colouring of hair and skin. The hair pigmentation process is regulated by a number of genes, including the microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF), which plays a key role in melanin production by melanocytes. Studies have shown that genetic mutations in the MITF gene are associated with a decrease in melanin production and an early onset of white hair.

In addition to age and genetics, other factors can contribute to the onset of white hair, such as oxidative stress and autoimmune diseases, like vitiligo. Oxidative stress is a biochemical process that occurs when cells are exposed to high levels of free radicals, unstable molecules that damage cells and tissues. Consequently, oxidative stress can damage melanocytes and result in a decrease in melanin production, which contributes to the emergence of white hair.

Castor oil to prevent the onset of white hair?

Thecastor vegetable oil is a natural hair care product known for its numerous benefits for the hair. Its high content of essential fatty acids makes this oil nourishing and hydrating. Indeed, the structure of saturated fatty acids is similar to that of the lipids in the cuticle, which allows them to insert themselves and strengthen it. In doing so, castor oil promotes the impermeability and cohesion of this layer, as well as the overall protection of the hair fibre. When solidified, it reflects more light, giving the hair a shiny appearance.

With regards to white hair, regularly applying castor oil to the scalp may potentially slow down their onset. Indeed, castor oil contains Vitamin E, an antioxidant, which neutralises free radicals, species involved in hair colour loss. Vitamin E works by donating an electron to these reactive species and notably allows the transformation of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) into water (H2O). However, caution is advised: no study on castor oil itself has demonstrated its ability to slow down the appearance of white hair.

Restoring your natural hair colour with castor oil?

The depigmentation of hair associated with ageing, leading to the gradual emergence of white hair, is a natural and irreversible phenomenon. No ingredient can restart the production of melanin from melanocytes that have ceased to produce it. Therefore, castor oil will not enable individuals with white hair to regain their natural colour, its benefits are limited to hydration, nutrition and proper hair maintenance.


  • SEIBERG M. Age-induced hair greying - the multiple effects of oxidative stress. International Journal of Cosmetic Science (2013).

  • MARWAT S. K. & al. Review - Ricinus communis - ethnomedicinal uses and pharmacological activities. Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences (2017).


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