Updated: Apr 13
You’ve probably had coconut rice once or so in your life, and I’ll bet you loved the taste.
What about coconut milk? Bet you liked it too?
The truth is that coconut is used for so many things and in so many facets of our life. Coconut oil, derived from coconuts, is also an extremely versatile product, used for cooking as well as for health and beauty.
For ages, people have been using coconut oil to remove makeup, moisturise their skin, to clean, to cook, and to improve the health and condition of their hair.
When it comes to hair, daily grooming practices damages our hair. We wash our hair, brush it, and style it so often that it may leave our hair looking frizzy, broken and dry. These grooming practices often damage the hair cuticle, rendering it useless and unable to protect the central parts of the hair shaft. Over time, this causes the partial loss of the hair cortex’s fibrous proteins, and hair becomes thin, fragile and with a tendency to break.
Coconut oil may just be the answer to protecting your hair against the damage done by your everyday hair care routine. A recent scientific research publication finds that coconut oil is better at preventing protein loss in human hair than sunflower and mineral oils are able to, especially when the coconut oil is applied either before or after your wash your hair. This study found that the reason for coconut oil’s superior ability to protect hair is the chemical structure behind the oil.
What is coconut oil made of?
Coconut oil mainly consists of lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid, and this gives coconut oil a structure that is long and straight, making it more easily absorbed into the hair shaft.
Benefits of coconut oil
We have already begun discussing the benefits of coconut oil to your hair. Here, we discuss these benefits just a little further.
Less protein loss:
As previously explained, coconut oil has been scientifically proven to be the best oil to lessen hair protein loss. This means that your hair is not as thin or as brittle as it would have been if you were not using coconut oil.
It prevents wash damage:
It is interesting to note that your hair is the most vulnerable when it is wet because of some structural changes that happen to hair when it absorbs water. When your hair is wet, water soaks into the thick, central cortex, and this pushes up the scales of your cortex so that they stick up (instead of the normal flat position they are in), thus making them more susceptible to damage, especially if you are brushing the wet hair. Rubbing coconut oil on your hair before you wash it and after it is washed can prevent this kind of damage. First, the coconut oil will lessen the level of water that your hair shaft absorbs during the washing process and thus limit the degree to which the cuticle scales stick up. Secondly, applying coconut oil after a wash will help smooth and soften your hair, reducing the level of friction caused by styling, and this ensures that your hair is less likely to break and snap.
Most of us want our hair to grow into a long, sleek, full head of hair, but very few of us get our wishes. The daily wear and tear on the hair occasioned by pollutants, grooming, styling and the weather makes this dream almost impossible for a lot of women. Coconut oil, however, has been found to help grow longer hair. It does this by protecting your hair from damage when wet, protein loss, as well as environmental damage such as smoke, wind, and sun. It also encourages growth by moisturising the hair and reducing breakage. To benefit from coconut oil this way, it is important to make it a regular (not occasional) part of your beauty and hair care routine.
A great dandruff treatment:
Coconut oil helps to battle dandruff caused by the overgrowth of yeast or fungus on the scalp. It is said to be effective in fighting or preventing dandruff because of its antimicrobial properties.
We all love a warm, glorious day. Excessive sun exposure, however, leads to damaged hair. Coconut oil can help to protect the hair from sun damage because it contains UV filters and has a sun protection factor of 8.
Prevents hair loss:
Hair loss is usually caused by damage to the hair shaft. Because coconut oil keeps the hair in good condition, it helps to prevent hair loss that is usually caused by excessive grooming.
A good treatment for hair lice:
A study found that coconut oil, when combined with anise in a spray solution, is very effective in treating head lice. In fact, it was found to be 40 percent more effective than the chemical permethrin.
A word of caution
Coconut oil is considered safe for both hair and skin. It is however important that you do not use too much of it, as it can cause a build-up of oil on your scalp and hair, making the hair dull and greasy, especially for people who have very delicate hair.
Avoid this by beginning only with a small amount of coconut oil and rubbing it in your hair, starting from the midsection and to the ends. If you have fine hair, it is perhaps best that you apply coconut oil only on your hair and not on your scalp.
Using coconut oil for gorgeous hair
Use it as a hair mask: To do this, apply coconut oil throughout your hair and leave this in for some hours and them wash out.
Use it as a pre-wash hair protector: Before you wash your hair, rub coconut on it.
Use it as a conditioner: To do this, carry out your normal shampoo routine, then apply coconut oil to your hair, going from the midsection to the tips.
Use it as a detangler: To protect your hair while brushing it after shampooing and conditioning, simply rub a tiny bit of coconut oil into your hair.
Use it as a scalp treatment: If you are having issues with your scalp, massage a little coconut oil into your scalp just before you go to bed. Let it stay overnight and shampoo it off in the morning.
Get ready, set, go
If you have been considering going natural in your hair care and have been looking for the perfect natural oil with which to style your hair, look no further; coconut oil it is.
Use it as a scalp treatment, as a conditioner, or as a hair mask. Use it before and after you wash your hair. Use it on dry hair or wet hair.
However way you use it, you can be guaranteed shiny, healthy hair just the way you’ve always wanted.