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Effets huile de ricin sur pellicules.

Combatting dandruff with castor oil?

Regarded as a hair care treatment with numerous benefits, castor oil is a natural ingredient that hydrates, nourishes, and strengthens the hair. Highly versatile, this vegetable oil is also considered an anti-dandruff agent. Let's explore together how castor oil combats dandruff.

Published February 14, 2024, by Pauline, Head of Scientific Communication — 4 min read

Dandruff, a common hair problem.

Sparing no one, dandruff consists of small dead cells or scales that are yellow or white in colour. They can either remain stuck or detach from the scalp before scattering throughout the hair and falling like snow onto the back or shoulders. These scales are often accompanied by a sensation of itching of varying intensity. Men are generally more affected by dandruff, with a peak incidence observed around the age of 20.

Dandruff appears when the cell renewal process is too rapid. If the cells of the epidermis have not reached sufficient maturity, they remain clumped together and detach in white clusters, thus forming dandruff. The causes behind this hair disorder are still somewhat unclear, but studies suggest a link between dandruff and the proliferation of fungi of the Malassezia type.

Castor oil, an anti-dandruff solution?

Vegetable oils are among the favoured natural solutions in the fight against dandruff. Among these, we find castor oil. Studies have highlighted its properties antifungal and have shown that the undecylenic acid contained in this oil acts against certain pathogens and yeasts, including Staphylococcus aureus and Klebsiella pneumoniae. However, no research has been done on the effect of castor oil on fungi of the type Malassezia, which promote dandruff. Therefore, we can only suppose that this vegetable oil has activity against these fungi.

Furthermore, the moisturising properties of castor oil make it relevant in the case of dandruff. Indeed, when the skin's defence system is unbalanced, the sebaceous glands tend to increase their sebum production, which makes the scalp more susceptible to colonisation by microorganisms. However, castor oil is rich in saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, molecules capable of strengthening the hydrolipidic film present on the surface of the epidermis, but also of integrating into the horny layer and contributing to the cohesion of ceramides.

How to use castor oil against dandruff?

To take advantage of the properties of castor oil in the fight against dandruff, apply it directly to the scalp. Gently massage this area with your fingertips. The castor oil should then be left on for at least 30 minutes before proceeding to a shampoo. This is done after the application of castor oil due to the greasy and rich texture of the oil. Finally, rinse thoroughly.


  • WIKRAMANAYAKE T. & al. Seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff: a comprehensive review. Journal of Clinical and Investigative Dermatology (2015).

  • DONKOR A. & al. Antibacterial and antifungal activities and phytochemical profile of leaf extract from different extractants of Ricinus communis against selected pathogens. International Food Research Journal (2017).


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