Q. At 62 years old, my hair is thinning, especially on the crown. Both my grandfathers were bald in their 70s, so this doesn’t surprise me much.
Yesterday, a woman I don’t know stopped me in a parking lot to tell me how to grow new hair. She said I should put castor oil on my hair about twice a day to encourage its growth. She assured me her husband is a physician and they have had success with this treatment. I assume the castor oil would have to be massaged into my scalp for any benefit.
Was she pulling my leg, or is there anything to this? As you know, castor oil was once used as a laxative.
A. People have applied castor oil to bruises, warts and sore joints. We’ve never seen any scientific evidence that it works for any of these problems, but enthusiasts continue to praise it.
Baldness remedies go back thousands of years and include pigeon droppings, dog urine, spider webs and bear grease. If castor oil is effective for baldness, it has not appeared in the medical literature. While it probably won’t hurt to try it, getting the oily residue out of your hair could be a challenge.