Does castor oil make you shudder? Does it bring back memories of swallowing spoonfuls of the thick, icky stuff to cure colds and the flu? Well, it may be time to revise your opinion of this old and trusty folk remedy and repurpose it for your hair and beauty regimen, reports

Castor Oil Benefits
As a natural humectant and emollient, castor oil acts to draw and keep moisture in the skin and hair. The result? Softer and more pliable skin and hair.

In addition, castor oil can prevent hair thinning and loss, and it’s good for a dry, itchy scalp. This is because the oil has important fatty acids that promote blood circulation to the scalp.

And let’s not forget castor oil’s antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties. These make the oil a useful treatment for skin and scalp infections.

How to Use Castor Oil
To get the most of this heavy oil, and have a pleasant experience, try this. First, wet your hair. Next, pour a small amount of oil into your hand. (Remember, with castor oil more means limp and sticky hair.) Apply to certain areas on the head as needed. (For example, some people use castor oil on their edges.)

Finally, mix the castor oil with other lighter oils. Try equal parts castor, olive and rosemary oils for a less heavy-handed, more aromatic hair treat. Enjoy!

And when you’re out shopping for your next bottle of castor oil, stock up on the top five natural hair health oils. What are they? Click here to learn more.