Coconut oil is one of the best and loved natural oils on the planet. I may be over-stating a tad but people with curly, coily and curly hair have specific needs and this oil has amazing health benefits. Not just for moisturizing we see naturals using coconut oils for hair in styling, conditioning and combating hair concerns. Coconut oil hair benefits are numerous but many naturals just don’t know all the amazing positives this oil has to offer your scalp and strands.
This oil is easy to use, has several purposes for hair and easy to find as almost every store that sells food and/or beauty products will have some form of this oil. There is a problem of misinformation on what it can do and cannot do. This is not a sealing oil but a moisturizing one and that is just one mislabel. Let’s see some of the best benefits of this oil and what it can do for your hair.
Coconut oil the extracted oil from the fruit (coconut) of the coconut tree. An edible oil, been consumed in tropical places for thousands of years and it benefits our bodies from inside to out and despite what most know about this oi, there is more than just one type.
Unrefined (virgin) coconut oil – retains the original coconut’s chemical composition, made made from fresh coconut meat and considered superior to the other two forms.
Refined coconut oil – made from dried coconut meat that has been bleached, deodorized, treated and processed through high temperatures extract flavor and aroma. While some nutrients are stripped the fatty acid composition is untouched.
Fractionated coconut oil – most are unaware of this type that stays in liquid form and is only a fraction of coconut oil. Just about all the long chain triglycerides are removed through hydrolysis and steam distillation.
Coconut oil is rich in carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals and for a long time was demonized by it’s high saturated fat content. People are beginning to think differently about this oil as those saturated fats are handled differently in our bodies and it has healthy fats or good fats called medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) like Caprylic acid, Lauric acid and Capric acid. The bottom-line…Populations that eat a lot of coconut oil are healthy.
Now, let’s find out how great this oil is for your hair!
Women have been using hair coloring forever and while it is often damaging, women are constantly looking for ways to color with less problems. This is where coconut oil comes into help! Many will heavily oil the hair with coconut oil before coloring. This helps to counter some of the harsh effects of using hair dyes. Coconut oil is also a chelating agent for copper and iron and will abolish their damaging effect on hair health by deactivating them.
If you prefer using natural or alternative hair dying techniques, coconut oil is ideal for those too. It is an excellent medium for mixing your all-natural hair coloring needs like coloring hair with carrot or beet juice for red tinting. Simply mix with those juices to create a paste to apply to hair.
If you would like to see it done first hand, check out this video where she’s using a coconut oil base BEFORE applying her hair dye directly on top of the hair to minimize hair damage. The best part about this treatment is, it will be effective on ALL HAIR TYPES! From coily kinky to bone straight…this is an excellent asset to your hair.
Coconut oil is a penetrating moisturizer for weak and damaged hair. As we age and harshly style or color our hair, it can become dry and brittle and in need of repair. Not just any oil will have the proper composition to help. While most think all oils are sealants, coconut oil is not one of them. Instead, this amazing oil is highly penetrative and immediately starts sinking into your scalp and hair once you apply it and it does the same thing to your skin.
Monounsaturated fats or the medium-chain fatty acids are better at penetrating your hair than other fats. This is why this is a great oil for a pre-poo as it will not just sit on the hair and make it harder to clean. Coconut oil will reduces protein loss when used as a pre-poo treatment as it keeps hair strands hydrated below the surface and protect hair when washing. Here’s an easy hair mask to use on washday before shampooing.
Moisturizing Coconut Hair Mask
2-4 tbsp. coconut oil
5-10 drops of your favorite essential oil or blend of essential oils
Plastic or thermal heat cap
Mix coconut oil and essential oil (or blend) together in small bowl. Massage into your hair and it it not necessary to apply to scalp but it won’t hurt! Cover with plastic cap or thermal cap for 30-60 minutes. Wash out and style as usual.
It’s those good fats again that help this oil penetrate your strands even better than your favorite deep conditioner! In one swoop, coconut oil can temporarily mend split ends, moisturize, condition and add shine to your tresses. Its the protein loss in hair that leads to dryness and breakage and the composition of coconut oil will allow it to nourish from within the hair shaft and soften. This oil is ideal as a leave-in or in addition to your deep conditioner. Here’s a great hair mask for conditioning your hair on a deeper level with the power of coconut oil.
Coconut Conditioning Mask
1-2 tbsp. coconut oil
Ample amount of favorite deep conditioner
Plastic shower cap
Take your favorite deep conditioner and put it in a mixing bowl. Add coconut oil to the conditioner and mix the ingredients together. Apply the mask to clean, damp hair and let it sit under plastic cap for at least 30 minutes before rinsing with warm water.
Everyone is on the hunt for the best hair growth product on the market. As hair is always growing, what they really want is length retention and that requires protecting the hair properly. The multitude of vitamins and essential fatty acids will nourish the scalp and help to remove sebum build-up from hair follicles, thus creating a rich environment for hair growth.
Protecting the hair from the elements, dryness, protein loss and scalp ailments (Coconut oil is anti-fungal, anti-viral, and antibacterial) will yield in a healthier scalp and better hair growth. Scalp massages with coconut oil is great for improving blood circulation, ensuring that hair receives the oxygen and nutrients it needs to grow. Lastly, the The linoleic acid in coconut oil hydrates hair and improves elasticity which in turn prevents breakage.
With the natural anti-fungal, anti-viral, and antibacterial properties, coconut oil is a useful tool at combating scalp ailments including dandruff. According to the Mayo Clinic, dandruff can be caused by not shampooing enough, seborrheic dermatitis, yeast, dry skin and even a yeast-like fungus (malassezia). Coconut oil kills fungus, moisturizes, hydrates and nourishes scalp so it can relieve you of dandruff along with other scalp ailments you may be suffering from. Here’s a simple yet effective anti-dandruff remedy.
Add a few drops of rosemary essential oil to coconut oil before applying the mixture to your scalp and hair. Massage the mixture well into your scalp before covering your hair with a shower cap or a warm towel. Leave on for at least 30 minutes before washing hair and styling as usual
Lastly, this great oil is a penetrating force yet very effective at blocking out what your scalp and hair does not need. It acts as a natural sunscreen (a mild one as it has a SPF of only 8). It helps with only minor protection to your body as, “coconut oil blocks only an estimated 20 percent of the sun’s damaging rays. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends an SPF of 30 or higher, which will block 97 percent of these harmful rays. Mayo Clinic
This is not an effective sunscreen for your body but it will definitely be helpful for some protection to your hair and scalp and remember, your scalp can burn! If going to pool or the beach, wet hair with tap water and then slather on some coconut oil to help protect hair from chlorine or salt water. If just heading outside in the hot sun, smooth on some coconut oil over your strands. Make sure to hit the canopy, or top layer. The top layer has the highest exposure to the sun’s rays and is most likely to receive the most damage.
Coconut oil has other benefits in styling, detangling and preventing or fixing frizz. I’ll make sure to create a second post sharing more tips of this amazing carrier oil for your hair. Look forward to a post on the benefits of coconut oil on your skin too.
Which is your favorite coconut oil hair tip that you will be trying?