Finding the best organic castor oil for hair is no easy feat. There are many options both in stores and online for castor oil, but which one is simply the best organic castor oil for your hair?
In this article:
- Why Buy Organic Castor Oil?
- What to Look for in an Organic Castor Oil
- Cold Pressed vs Expeller Pressed
- Comparison of the Most Popular Organic Castor Oils
- My First Pick + Review
With castor oil growing in popularity by the second, it makes choosing a high-quality, organic castor oil just a little harder. What really separates a brand from another? Let’s check it out further in-depth below.
Why Buy Organic Castor Oil?
So why pay more for organic? And why is organic better? What benefits does organic castor oil offer vs non-organic? Let me tell you.
- Certified organic products are products produced without GMOs (genetically modified organisms or other excluded methods) (1).
- Organic producers adapt organic practices, meaning they follow a set of guidelines in order to take care of the soil fertility, of the seeds and planting stock, of crop rotation, of crop pest, weed, and disease management, and so on and so forth (2).
- Organic products are produced with an approved list of allowed and prohibited substances (3).
- The certification of organic is overseen by an authorized certifying agent, ensuring the producer(s) have followed all USDA organic regulations as declared in part 205 of the USDA National Organic Program (4).
In sum: organic is better for you, your health, and the health of the environment. So what does that have to do with castor oil?
Organic castor oil basically means you are getting a certified, approved product that was produced with care and inspection at every step of the process (growing, harvesting, manufacturing, and packaging).
Castor oil can only bring you its benefits if produced properly with care.
When it comes to applying castor oil to your hair, your face, or as a castor oil pack, the “organic” part has a very important part to play. It is like the signature of high-quality. It’s what you want in a beauty product or your food.
What to Look for in an Organic Castor Oil
Don’t stop at just “organic” when searching for a reputable castor oil. You should also look for other key terms such as hexane-free, cold-pressed, or sometimes extra virgin. These key terms are what ensure that you get the most out of your castor oil (nutrients, vitamins, fatty acids).
Hexane is a common solvent that is used during the solvent-extracted process which requires the use of a solvent (such as hexane – a petroleum distillate) to release the fatty oil from the seed. You do NOT want this is your castor oil. I’ve never seen an organic castor oil that wasn’t also hexane-free (5).
Virgin, like virgin olive oil, signifies how many times the seed has been pressed. Extra virgin olive oil is the result of the first pressing, resulting in a higher quality. As I explain in my article on where to buy castor oil, virgin/extra virgin can also be paired with terms like unrefined castor oil or raw castor oil.
The second most important, I’d say, after organic, is “cold-pressed.” Cold-pressed castor oil means the oil was extracted within a temperature of 80-120°F. This ensures that no heat is used, guaranteeing the oil retains all of its nutrients.
BEWARE: There is a difference between cold-pressed and expeller-pressed castor oil.
Cold-pressed means no heat is used: more nutrients are preserved in the process.
Expeller-pressed is a method which physically squeezes the oil out of the seed. While no heat is added, the friction from the pressing process can create heat ranging from 140-210°F (6).
Even if expeller pressed isn’t bad, cold-pressed is BETTER. Look at the bottle of castor oil (front and back) to see which term is displayed. Be careful, some brands try to trick you on this one.
Comparison of the Most Popular Organic Castor Oils
Now that we know what terms and certifications to look for, let’s check out the top-selling organic castor oils and see if they truly are what they say they are.
I have recommended Sky Organics before, but recently I did more research which led me to wonder if they were being transparent. Here’s what I found.
Sky Organics’ 16-ounce bottle of organic castor oil is (according to their website and product page):
- USDA certified organic (7)
- Sourced from Kerala, India
- Packaged in a plastic bottle
- Mixed messages about cold-pressed vs expeller-pressed
*On the bottle, it says in the ingredients section: “Cold-pressed via the expeller method.” However, in the “Information” section of the detail page on Amazon, it displays “expeller-pressed” only. This had me wondering. So I dug a little deeper.
According to Centra Foods, cold-pressed castor oil is often confused with expeller-pressing. Oils can be cold-pressed via a low-pressure expeller method. So is it possible to have “cold-pressed castor oil via expeller method” as Sky Organics labels? I think so, yes. If the expelling method is simply pressing out the oil via a machine, and if it is done to a very slow-moving degree to where friction (and thus high temperatures typical of the expeller method) are avoided, then the result would be a cold-pressed castor oil (8).
With a handful of other organic products and thanks to the USDA certification, I think Sky Organics is one of the best choices for organic castor oil for hair. I still think Sky Organics needs to clear up the whole cold pressed vs expeller pressed issue though, as some customers highlighted!
Lastly, the price is attractive for a good-size 16-oz bottle (the right quantity for hair care).
- USDA + ECOCert certified organic
- Cold-pressed and hexane-free
- Vegan, free of pesticides and no animal testing (9)
- Where is it sourced from? Data not easily available for the consumer
- Packaged in a plastic bottle
The price is about the same/quantity as Sky Organics.
This is an all-around organic castor oil, but RejuveNaturals makes it harder for the customer to find out more details about the oil (where it’s sourced, etc.). Like Sky Organics, they also use plastic instead of glass bottles. Everything else checks out (via the information they provide).
- ECOCert + USDA certified organic
- Hexane-free and unrefined
- Cold-pressed and extra virgin
- Vegan + cruelty-free
- FDA registered
The bottle is UV-coated, BPA-free plastic. However, Namskaras’ smaller organic castor oil (which comes with an eyelash applicator kit) states that the bottle is UV-coated GLASS. Again, that’s for the smaller organic castor oil by Namskara, not the 16-oz.
If you want the best organic castor oil for hair, then buying in larger quantities will save you money.
- Large, 16-oz bottle is plastic
- Origin of oil is unknown, although the bottle is labeled “Made in the USA”
- Are the castor beans from the USA? Or just is it made and packaged in the USA? This is unclear.
- Both their large (16 oz) and small size (1 oz) castor oil sell for the same price, oddly enough. This is unusual and fishy.
It seems, overall, that Namskara offers an overall good organic castor oil, but there are some aspects that make me feel that the other two options might be more trustworthy.
My First Pick + Review
So the differences between the three top-sellers might seem small. Sky Organics has only the USDA certification, while the other two brands have both USDA + ECOCert.
While these differences aren’t major, it is important to note that in my research I could only find a copy of the USDA certification on Sky Organics’ website. I could not find certification or additional details regarding RejuveNaturals or Namskara (not that they don’t exist, it just makes trusting Sky Organics a little easier).
Note: I’ll be happy to update my information if more information is provided, either from the sellers or from customers who swear by the brand. Just drop a comment below or send me an email if you think I missed something in my research.
Moving forward, I feel like Sky Organics offered the most insight and the most information regarding their product. This creates trust and confidence in the buyer. If I can see your USDA certification, read your personal story, know where the castor oil is sourced exactly, and determine your process, methods, etc., then I’ll buy from you.
My first choice thus goes to Sky Organics (please note this is completely non-sponsored, just my unbiased opinion).
Final Thoughts: Best Organic Castor Oil for Hair
Is there another top-selling organic castor oil you think I should review here? Please let me know! Thanks for all of your support and I hope you were able to find a high-quality organic castor oil that you can use on your hair without spending a fortune!