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The Difference Between Clear and Black Castor Oil

• May 12, 2013

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I know many of you are fans of castor oil and a common question that you ask me is if there is a difference between the clear store bought castor oil and black castor oil/Jamaican black castor oil (JBCO). I finally have an answer for you!

1. Natural Castor Oil is Yellow

Natural castor oil is actually pale yellow when cold pressed. Cold pressing means there is no heat involved, castor beans are just squeezed at high pressure to extract when pressed out of the seed. The advantage of cold pressing is that you do not degrade any of the oil using heat.

The clear castor oil that you find in some shops is a result of filtering this natural yellow crude castor oil to further lower the iodine content which makes it yellow (Sains Malaysiana,pp 379–382, 2008). The higher the purity of the castor oil the lighter the colour it will be.

Do note that cold pressing is not the only technique used to extract oil though, industrially some chemical solvents can be used, and the advantage of that is that it is less time consuming. The disadavantage is that with more people looking for more natural products, the idea that a chemical was used to produce the oil is not that attractive.

2. Black Castor Oil — Impurities are added

Many people believe that Jamaican black castor oil is more natural and the black colour is related to it being less processed, but this is not true. The process of getting the dark colour involves adding ash from roasted castor beans into the oil (Bioresource Technology, pp 1086–1091, 2006). This is the description from Sunny Isle JBCO

Our Organic seeds are roasted and ground by a manual Grinder and then the crushed beans are boiled to extract the 100% pure, dark brown, organic oil. Compared to other brands it is the darkest Jamaican Black Castor Oil because we roast our beans longer which produces more Ash Content in our oil than any other oil on the market.’

I referred to the ash as an impurity because it is an addition to the oil rather than just the pure oil. Does this mean that JBCO is not good? No, it just means that it is not pure castor oil. Is the addition of ash beneficial? This is not known scientifically, it is definitely what the manufacturers claim.

So there you have it, the reason why JBCO is black! Oh and I found this video of cold pressing castor beans to make castor oil!

Ladies, do you prefer clear or black castor oil? And why?

About The Natural Haven

Scientist on a hairy mission!

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95 Comments on "The Difference Between Clear and Black Castor Oil"

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Me
Guest

JC, can we see these oils work on your hair please :), you can blur your your face

Deb
Guest
all I know is that I consistently used organic clear castor oil to help grow back my hair line for over a year and barely noticed a difference. After using JBCO for 3 months, I saw more growth in that time span than I saw in the year of using “clear” JBCO. It can’t be proven scientifically and it might not work for everyone in terms of helping hair growth but it sure does work for me. Anyway, I think adding essential oils like lavender, peppermint, rosemary to any oil will encourage growth. It’s worth a try. Right now, I… Read more »
Jasmine
Guest

Did your diet happen to change when you started using the new oils on your hair?

carlyfanjaxfan
Guest

Exactly. Lol. From my own experience and from researching aka stalking hair board challenges 🙂 I’ve seen amazing progress from hundreds of women using with JBCO vs. clear castor oil

khadijah
Guest

What is emu oil?

j
Guest

Comes from a bird and is not a vegetable oil.
http://www.long-healthy-hair-advisor.com/emu-oil-for-hair.html

Precious
Guest

I’ve never heard of emu oil before what does it for your hair?

Dananana
Guest

I really want to try JBCO, but I’ve heard rumors that it can cause a bad reaction and then sensitize you to “normal” castor oil, which I love and use successfully. Has anybody had this or any other negative experience involving JBCO? I want to weigh ALL of the opinions before I go out and spend money.

E.P.
Guest

I’ve heard about the sensitizing side effects also. I’ve only ever used clear castor oil.

carlyfanjaxfan
Guest

My scalp was a little itchy upon first using it but that subsided. If the itching is unbearable then mix it with another oil and you should be fine.

TWA4now
Guest

I have both and just starting using the JBCO. I have heard good things about it. I think it is worth a try At the very least!3

karajw
Guest

I have used both and I really do not see much of a difference when using them.

Abiola
Guest

I stared with jbco. I went trough 2 8oz bottle then moved on to the pale yellow castor oil.
TBH, I havnt noticed a difference
Well, apart from the fact that the pale yellow one is cheaper

Ugonna Wosu
Guest

which is better?

Abiola
Guest

For financial reasons I am sticking to the yellow one

mind you., JC has published a post in the past stating that she doesn’t believe it thickens your hair at all and there’s no scientific paper to show that it does improve thickness and length

so different strokes for different folks…………do what works for your hair

khanyi
Guest

Well I was skeptical about it, I am in South Africa and JHBO is imported and soooo expensive I bought it at an equivalent of $ 25 and I used it HONEST REVIEW my hair shocked me in its thickness per strand. I didnt pay much attention to the growth part but thickness 100 % well I will definitely get to buy another one. I used it mixed with Rosemary oil.

khanyi
Guest

Also it made my hair a little to thick so next time I use i will do so sparingly coz now im dealing with extra thick hair.

Shanna
Guest

I heard that alot of the JBCO has salt in it wich can cause problems for those with color treated or relaxed hair. I think the pure caster oil is better.

msboogee
Guest

I learned about jbco from relaxed women

Christina
Guest

I’ve read that also about the salt being bad for relaxed hair. The JBCO that I have clearly states on the front of the label “No Salt” so you’ll have to be sure to check.

Stace
Guest
I am relaxed and I use a shampoo bar that contains sea salt, a solid conditioner that contains salt, and a liquid sulfate free shampoo that contains sea salt and they are amongst the best things I have used in my hair. The salt adds volume. Not quite sure why people say it is bad…different strokes for different folk maybe? At any rate I have mid back length 4 type hair and its never done me any bad. I have used JBCO mixed with coconut oil. It makes my scalp itch a bit and my roots feel thick. I used… Read more »
Nadirah
Guest
I have been using Jamaican Black Castor Oil for about a year now (I think). Since starting using all natural products on my hair my hair has grown longer than it’s ever been in my life and I’ve always had at least shoulder length hair. Now I am reaching bra strap length. Jamaican Black Castor Oil is one of the natural items I use. I never thought JBCO was attributing to my hair growing so healthy and fast, but maybe it is. I haven’t had any bad reactions to JBCO and I have eczema. I have use two different brands… Read more »
J
Guest
Ignorance is bliss they say, well I believe that when it comes to products. If it works I keep using it.Knowing the scientific aspect is good for research in labs and the pharmaceutical field but not everyone wants to always know every ingredient or always understand it.As it makes people doubt what they are doing etc.… I just want to enjoy what works.I like castor oil and so does my hair. I don’t dislike science I just believe a balance is needed and I I see results I don’t need a scientific journal to back up my experience. I value… Read more »
Shanice Little
Guest

I recently used JBCO in my hair after washing it and applying my leave in ( I am 6 months transitioning) and honestly I dont really like it . my hair is really thick and the two just didnt combine. Im still experimenting so maybe it will work better once im fully natural

Justine
Guest

Castor oil in general does make your hair thicker. I started it this year in March and already people have been telling me my hair is thicker than it usually is. Haven’t tried JBCO cause its damn expensive and is rare in south Africa but I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. Regardless good hair is hair that is treated properly with or without castor oil

Marcia
Guest
I’m Jamaican and my grandmother used JBCO in my hair when I was a child, my hair was super thick back then and well past my shoulder, I didn’t really loose my length until I started relaxing and stopped using it (it was too heavy for my relaxed hair) Now that I am natural again I use it occasionally and I use it along with other oils like sweet almond oil and eucalyptus oil because it causes my scalp to itch in its natural form. I do remember it itching when I was a child too, so I expected it.… Read more »
Debra
Guest

I used JBCO on a small bald patch that my son developed. It literally filled in completely within a week. It had been bare for about a month and a half before treating it with JBCO.

I’m not sure exactly HOW it works, but it does work. I don’t think “impurity” is the right word to describe the ash content…it’s still all coming from castor beans.

j
Guest

Totally agree.Impurity has negative connotations.Language affects how you view things. As long as it works that is all that matters.

mangomadness
Guest

I tried JBCO and I didn’t like the smell or the price. :/ Now, that I know it isn’t pure, I’m glad I no longer use it.

I use cold-pressed, castor oil on my hair regularly. I buy Now Castor Oil (~$7,16 oz bottle).

I use castor oil to pre-poo (mixed with Lily of the Desert aloe vera gel), to seal my end and to style my hair into buns and puffs (I apply it under Eco Styler Krystal Styling Gel).

I love castor oil ’cause it makes my hair feel soft and look sheen-y.

jasmine
Guest

doesnt the heat from roasting degrade the nutrient levels?

DiJah
Guest

I do not like either of the 2. Castor oil is too thick for my tresses. Grapeseed oil for the win! 🙂

Rain
Guest

I’ve always wanted to know the difference between the two, glad someone gave an answer — Thanks for this article.…

anna
Guest

I’ve used both & both was from fair trade with clear labeling the clear/yellow did nothing for me so I gave it to my sister & it worked for her. I then bought the JBCO & my hair started growing back I don’t used it all the time because it’s a very thick oil but for hot oil treatments & deep condition it work wonders. My hair line grew back from alopecia. If it works it works

honeybrown1976
Guest

When I started transitioning, I used clear castor oil. I got barely a blip out of it. However, I gave JBCO late in my transition and in my newly natural stage (which I’m still in). Can I say thicker edges fast enough? lol JBCO is the truth for me and that’s all I need to know.

Pam
Guest
Honestly I have used both I started with the clear and used it for at least a year until I started looking for something to help grow back my hair in areas of crown and edges both front and back. And for me the difference is that the clear I felt was a good moisturizer for my hair but I saw very little growth. The JBCO I have been faithful with it for two years now and I have hair in places I thought I would never see again.…. I love JBCO and will continue to purchase the JBCO over… Read more »
ardis
Guest

what is it in castor oil that makes some people experience an itchy scalp?

Thom1977
Guest

Some people have claimed an allergic reaction, others say an unhealthy scalped that is now being healed by castor oil causes itching for a short amount of time. I don’t know the reason, but I did have the itching to occur for the first 2–3 weeks of use. For me it was not unbearable but noticable when I would part my hair and oil my scalp. Now I don’t have that problem.
I also mix it with my coconut oil and use as a sealant. I love it. Makes my hair feel wonderful.

Pinkie
Guest

It’s funny you mentioned itching. I have only used JBCO twice in my last two pre-poo’s to oil my scalp and the last time it was itching. I don’t know about it healing a damaged scalp because that was the first time my scalp has itched in well over 6 months since I went natural. But it is good to know what caused it.

A+
Guest

Thank you for this article. I have been wondering about this for awhile.

B-Phlyy
Guest

I’ve always used to clear because that’s all I’ve ever seen available in my area. I don’t doubt the ladies who say they experienced growth with JBCO, but I’m from the school of if it ain’t broke don’t fix it and the regular kind works very well for me.

luminous
Guest

Interesting. I always wondered what JBCO was. I tried it once and it smelled so smoky. Now I know why.

phaladaagro
Guest

I am using much similar PRODUCTS, I thInk you for the detailed information about this.

Organic Oils manufacturers

Lorraine
Guest

GREAT info. I’ve always wondered about this.

Khalia
Guest

Does clear castor oil help your hair as well as the black castor oil? If someone knows, please respond.

Khalia
Guest

I meant help your hair GROW as well as the black castor oil does.. please excuse the mistake.

Dananana
Guest

I haven’t tried JBCO, but adding the clear castor oil to my regimen definitely helped me gain thickness and retain more length. I have a hairline now! 🙂

Khalia
Guest

Thank you so much for telling me! That fully answered my question. ( And so prompt.)

Shawna
Guest

Thanks i was wondering the same thing!

Monica
Guest

Thanks for the info. I was wondering the same thing as I experience breakage and thin hair around my hairline in the front.

lynnette
Guest

females believe jbco grows hair and swears by it but it doesnt. regular castor oil grows your hair, if it grows the hair its because of the regular castor oil in it not the added stuff. regular castor oil you get at rite aid,walgreens and cvs does a great job without all the added mess and it cost way less thean jbco

Raven
Guest

I’ve used both clear and dark castor oil. In fact, I used the clear castor oil for months and saw no difference in growth. However, once I switched to the dark castor oil and used it for months, I saw my growth and volume of my hair increase. I use JBCO on my thin and weak areas. My edges have filled in and my hair is growing into a pretty awesome fro.

Karin
Guest
I use the regular castor oil and it works for me. Everyone is telling me that my hair is getting thicker & longer and my little bald patch has grown back. I use it to get thicker hair not for length. I use it as a hot oil treatment and put it on my ends. Want to try the JBCO but the price is just too expensive for me, it would be nice if you could find it in the stores. Ordering it online plus paying shipping & handling plus tax doesn’t make it a good buy for me. Maybe… Read more »
Precious
Guest

How long did it take for your bald spots to grow back or your edges? To any ladies using sunny isle JBCO how long were you using it before seeing results?

valerie
Guest

I use the Jbco mixed with all my other oils. I do c results. But i purchased emu oil and c better results with that oil. And i was bald @ the crown. It’s filling in but I guess that’s the growth process.

Juju
Guest

I actually just recently bought JBCO online for ten bucks and it’s amazing, check it out on amazon or eBay I even got free shipping

loulou
Guest

JBCO can be purchased at Sally’s now for under $8 a bottle. Don’t know what state you’re in, but Sally’s is nationwide. HTH

Dorian
Guest

You can get it at beauty supply stores for 7–10 bucks! Saw it last night.

KayRoge
Guest

Thnx, very helpful info. And the video was cool too.

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[…] can read the full article here but let me just summarise […]

Joanna
Guest

LOL Oh boy, someone please tell me I wasn’t the only one thinking that castor oil comes from an actual castor…like, the animal castor! Do I know?! I thought it was coming from the fatty looking tail! Thank you for this, I’ll sleep less stupid tonight :)! (I am still laughing at myself, I am 25 and didn’t know!)

Kenya
Guest
I just started to use regular castor oil as a part of my wash and go’s, it does moisturize and makes my scalp itch, however JBCO itches my scalp as well but since I’ve been using it (JBCO)I have noticed growth in two spots along my eges, and my widow’s peak is back (I forgot I had the Eddie Monster peak) I also used it when I had my poetic justice braids, I just knew my edges were going to be missing when I took them out, but ahhhhhhha I still have edges and they have grown in thicker, I’m… Read more »
Ifeoma
Guest

Hi Kenya
My daughter also has eczema on her hair. I want to know if JBCO has helped so far in preventing a re-occurrence.
Please let me know other products you use on her hair.
Thank you.

brianeeisha
Guest

@kenya with your braids, did you put jbco on the braids and your scalp or just your edges?

Getrude zimbabwe
Guest

Thank you so much coz i just saw clear castor oil and rilly wanted to know the difference

Chaz
Guest

I am having bad hair breakage my hair is long in front and at the back i promise you people think i cut my hair. I don’t relax my hair at all but I need to grow my hair or at least go bald and start again but I want to try JBCO. Where can I find it? and which is better to try clear or dark? PLEASE HELP!!!

Coco
Guest
What I understand from your article is not that the “ash” is the same as what’s at the end of burnt wood but that said “ash” is simply the powdered shell of the castor seed. So, basically whatever nutrients the shell has is then included in what I’m using in my hair. An analogy for those of you who cook, it like eating the skin that’s on homemade fries. Nothing chemical or “impure” about eating the skin. I like jbco yes it smells smoky from the roasting but I’ve smelled true coffee bean when it’s being prepared just out of… Read more »
Mi
Guest

I’ve always had thin edges ever since I was little. Will the JBCO be able to grow back that hair?

jada
Guest

Thanks for breaking down the differences! I will stick with the clear oil. I just started using it; I’ve mixed it with aloe vera gel, gives it a creamy consistency and put it on my scalp down to the ends. I haven’t felt any itching.

niqua
Guest

Thank you kindly for the info. Ive tried both castot oils and i liked the pale yellow castor oil better

Mrembo
Guest

I have used both JBCO and the pale yellow/clear one and I love the clear one more. It works wonders in my hair

elikem
Guest

How exactly is castor oil used? I just started using it anyways. I read from 2 separate websites, both has dfrnt ways of using castor oil. 1. Said apply to the scalp and wait for about 45minutes and wash, the other says apply to the scalp over night, and wash the next morning.…..may i know how it is actually used. Thank u!
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/IMAG0479.jpg[/img]

JustSayin
Guest

it can be used on your edges daily to grow it. you can use t to seal your hair after moisturizing. you can also mix it with other oils to do an oil rinse.

Reanna
Guest

I won’t suggest washing it out. It absorbs very well into the scalp just use a little because it’s very thick and can make you hair feel weighed down. Some people apply it twice per week others every other day. Either way you will see results. I should caution you that initially there would be itching and some shedding. If the shedding gets unbearable, you can add garlic to your shampoo or purchase garlic pills to stop the shedding. The itching stops when your scalp gets used to it.

Moo
Guest

Hey I’m having a few issues with my hairline and was wondering if anyone else had this problem. I heard JBCO was really good for hair growth…has anyone else found good results from it?

kdoyle
Guest

Pls I have a very soft hair, wud lyk to know if its advisable to mix castor oil with coconut oil since my hair is already soft.

Valerie
Guest

Yes it’s fine. Don’t for to massage as we’ll. 🙂

Derrick
Guest

I was wondering if I can use castor oil in my beard. Im bald to and was also wondering if I started to use it on my scalp would my hair begin to grow back as well. It figured it was worth a shot…

Shanna
Guest

@Derrick, I say give it a try. If it can work for us women, it should work for men as well. You can also try coconut oil also. I been using it for years since I been going all natural for my hair, love it. Wish you luck Derrick 🙂

Derrick
Guest

Thanks Shanna I’ll give it a try. I figure it will work for my beard if it will work on a persons head. Thanks again and continued success on your natural journey:-)

Shanna
Guest

@Derrick, You’re welcome… And thank you 🙂

trackback

[…] Castor Oil Vs. Jamaican Black Castor Oil […]

Rosalind
Guest

Me, my mom, and my aunt started using the “Mango and Lime” Jamaican black castor oil back in August and have had great results. My aunts hair was really damaged, and it has actually started growing back in some of the bald spots. I just noticed that they now have a shampoo out. I’ll probably end up buying it, but wondered if anybody had any first hand experience with it.

Derrick
Guest

Can I use this for my beard???

Joyce Madden
Guest

sure can suga! just rub a dub a dub

Tiffany
Guest

I have fine hair and would like to know can I mix coconut oil with castor oil?

jenna
Guest

ive seen many youtubers to the jbco challenge , so i have decided to try it on my 4b/4c hair. started my challenged 1st june 2014. 😀

Jael
Guest
I used the JBCO oil for months awhile back after purchasing it through Amazon and when it ran out I felt that I possibly wouldn’t need it. Well I quickly found that my hair seemed to miss it. I would add it to my own oil mix containing coconut, raw(melted)shea butter, jojoba, almond and olive oil. Now my mixture may seem like a lot but one thing I can say for sure is that it seemed like the JBCO oil was the ultimate secret ingredient for hair breakage. I mean I had none, not on the floor, on my clothes,… Read more »
LindaAdam
Guest

The brand of JBCO that I buy (an expensive one) is clear so I never thought that the B in JBCO referred to colour of the oil itself. Wonder what the story is? I love it, and my hair loves it too. Its all I really need to use other than shampoo/conditioner and my hair has never been this healthy in my life.

Crystal S. Coleman
Guest

I like the clear castor oil because it is thicker. I’m not a fan of JBCO.

Nannett Cepero
Guest
This information is interesting, when it comes to ash, I know my plants love it and the reason is it contains high amounts of potash also known as potassium carbonate. I know humans need potassium, coconut waters and bananas provide us with the dietary potassium., for certain metabolic functions, perhaps it is benefitting to the hair and skin when applied topically; more research would be needed to prove or disprove the benefits. I’ve used hexane free castor oil on my hair since I was a teenager along with anhydrous lanolin and at 50, my hair is long and strong; I… Read more »
sharin Vile
Guest

I used the light castor oil, but mix it with Olive oil.. Its not even a month yet my hair grow beautiful and thick.. I love it!.. Do you think is ok for just olive oil mix with castor oil only or should i add someother types of oil too?.. i use olive only because its the only oil i can easily find here in my home town.

Joyce Madden
Guest

Use what works for your hair. if olive oil and castor oil are doing the trick than keep on with the keep on!

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[…] can read the full article here but let me just summarise […]

Tammy
Guest
The JBCO has a higher PH level because of the ash and the higher PH is supposed to help open the hair follicle more and detox the impurities of the scalp so it’s very beneficial but unfortunately the ash also causes itching due to the impurities coming out of the scalp. It’s claimed that if it’s itching then it’s working and the itching should fade over time of use. The clear CO is supposed to be very beneficial as well but the PH level is just lower because it doesn’t have the ash. I honestly don’t think I could stand… Read more »
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[…] The Difference Between Clear and Black Castor Oil […]

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