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Jamaican black castor oil has soared in popularity in recent years. Nowadays, companies like SheaMoisture and Eco Style Gel have entire product lines devoted to Jamaican black castor oil (JBCO). But nothing comes close to the original oil itself – brown, syrupy, and magical. There’s a reason why natural-haired women sing JBCO’s praises like they’re at church.

Jamaican black castor oil has a ton of different benefits – it treats dandruff, moisturizes hair, promotes hair growth, treats acne, and even relieves muscle pain. These properties set it apart from other nourishing oils, like coconut or argan.

This special oil may be a new discovery for some of us, but in fact, it’s been used traditionally in Jamaica for many years. Unlike plain castor oil, JBCO involves a roasting process, which gives it its characteristic dark color and burnt smell.

To learn more about the miracle of JBCO, we caught up with Delroy Reid, the founder of Sunny Isle Jamaican Black Castor Oil.

Reid was inspired to start Sunny Isle by his Jamaican relatives. During a visit to the island, Reid noticed his aunt using black castor oil. He had a sudden flashback to growing up in Jamaica, where he often watched his mother and grandmother apply JBCO to their hair and acne. It made their hair grow thick and long, and it kept their skin clear.

Right then, Reid had a lightbulb moment. He decided to start exporting the oil from Jamaica to the United States. Since then, Sunny Isle has become the go-to brand for many JBCO die-hards.

We got the scoop from Reid on how to use JBCO, what’s really in it, and how it stands out from other oils.

What can JBCO do for wavy, curly and kinky hair types?

Jamaican Black Castor Oil works for all hair types. It will moisturize, thicken, strengthen and rapidly increase hair growth. It increases blood flow to the scalp, supplying valuable nutrients to hair follicles. Jamaican Black Castor Oil will also prevent hair breakage, dandruff, eczema and dry, itchy scalp. Jamaican Black Castor Oil has crossed over into other ethnic groups, and is now being used widely for some of the same purposes, as well as new found uses including eyelash and eyebrow hair growth and as massage oil. This versatile oil carries many varied uses.

Is there a specific hair type that will benefit the most?

Jamaican Black Castor Oil works for all hair types and textures. A healthy scalp means healthy hair. It works for all hair types because the oil works on the hair roots/follicles and not the hair itself.

OK, so what is different about JBCO versus other castor oils?

Over the last ten years, it is an established precedent that Jamaican Black Castor oil is more effective than the clear pharmacy castor oil because of the ash content due to roasting of the beans. Therefore, it stands to reason that the more ash content, the more effective the oil. This is not a myth, it is evidence based on scientific facts. 

Other than hair growth, are there any issues JBCO can solve for women with textured hair?

JBCO will solve the following: Dry brittle hair, hair breakages, dandruff, dry itchy scalp, eczema, thinning hair, alopecia, bald spots, and will rapidly increase hair growth including eyebrows and eyelashes.

So what's in it? Is it organic? Sulfate-free? Anything we should know?

The scientific name for the castor bean is Ricinus Communis. It is organic and sulfate-free. There is nothing in it that will harm your hair. Although JBCO can be used as a laxative, we do not encourage that because we are not doctors. Therefore, it should only be used externally.

Got it. And where did this product come from originally? What is its story?

Castor oil has been used medicinally for over 4,000 years for all kinds of ailments. The castor bean is native to Eastern Africa and made its way to Jamaica via the slave trade. Today, the castor oil is manufactured the old fashioned way in Jamaica. Authentic Jamaican Black Castor Oil is dark brown in color and accompanied with the traditional burnt smell.

If the words “burnt smell” make you wrinkle your nose, don’t fret – JBCO comes in many different scents, most of which are pretty yummy. Once you get your hands on some, here’s how to use it properly.

How to Use Jamaican Black Castor Oil On Curly Hair

 JBCO helps promote hair growth; it also keeps your hair soft, moisturized, and strong. JBCO is also a natural antibacterial and antifungal, so it’s great for those who have flaky or itchy scalp conditions.

But, as you’ll notice, JBCO is a heavy, sticky oil – it’s not an oil that you apply all over your hair every day.

Instead, apply a small amount to your roots and scalp at night before bed. Massage it in, then head to sleep. Don’t worry about your scarf or pillow – the oil absorbs easily into the scalp, so it won’t make a mess. You can repeat this anywhere from 3 times a week to daily.

How to Use Jamaican Black Castor Oil for Hot Oil Treatments

 Once a week, use JBCO as a hot oil treatment. Apply a generous amount of oil from your roots to your tips. Massage it into your scalp and hair. Then cover your hair with a plastic cap, and sit under the dryer for 15 to 30 minutes. Then rinse with cool water. You can also use our full tutorial on JBCO hot oil treatments.

How to Use Jamaican Black Castor Oil For Eyelash, Eyebrow, or Beard Growth

JBCO is not just for the hair on your scalp! It works on facial hair, too. It can help fill in bare patches on your eyebrows as well as grow your lashes longer than ever. For those with beards, JBCO can help your beard grow thicker and fuller.

Apply JBCO to a clean, freshly-washed face.

For eyelashes or eyebrows, dip a mascara wand or cotton swab into JBCO, then use a clean tissue or towel to wipe away the excess. Apply a thin layer across your lashes and/or eyebrows. Repeat daily.

It’s best to apply JBCO at night before you go to sleep. That way, it has plenty of time to work its magic before you rinse it off in the morning. Use lukewarm water to remove all traces of the oil from your skin.

For beards, simply apply 6-8 drops of JBCO into your facial hair daily and massage well.

What’s your favorite brand of JBCO? What do you use it for?