Is Coconut Oil Good For Your Hair?
First of all, I will admit that hair care is not really my forte. I have been clipping my hair to a number two length since I was in High school. I also tend to use nothing but wash with clean water in between regular home cuts.
I am however surrounded by women who have more hair concerns. I have a wife and two daughters and a workplace full of ladies for whom beautiful and healthy hair is somewhat of a priority. Recently, I have heard some of them talking about using coconut oil for their hair
According to many of these women, the answer to the original question is a resounding ‘yes’… coconut oil is very good for your hair. So what is it about coconut oil that makes it so good for the hair and how should you be using it to make the most of its many natural benefits?
First of all, unlike many expensive hair care products, coconut oil is 100% natural with no additional chemicals.Additives and chemicals over time can actually end up damaging your hair and your scalp. Coconut oil is rich in a number of healthy minerals, vitamins and other beneficial nutrients that will keep your hair strong, healthy and looking good.
Coconut oil contains many of the ingredients and properties that help strengthen, condition and grow hair. In commercial shampoo and conditioner products the active ingredients only are a fraction of the total ingredients. Coconut oil is packed with beneficial fatty acids, lauric acid and antimicrobial and antifungal properties.
All of this goodness is delivered naturally by coconut oil so why would you waste your hard earned money on expensive, often chemically enhanced and damaging commercial products? The consensus at home and at the office is that coconut oil is a great alternative to more commonly used hair care products; it is relatively cheap, readily available and very safe and effective.
Why coconut oil is good for your hair
Coconut oil is a rich source of antioxidants which help to fight cell damage caused by free radicals that we come into contact with every day. Coconut oil also possesses antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial qualities.
Many commercial hair products simply coat the outside of the hair. Coconut oil actually penetrates the hair itself and protects it from within. If you choose to use coconut oil on your hair, you will be giving it the natural treat it deserves.
Coconut oil will actually help improve the health of both your scalp and hair without risking any damage that might be caused by harmful chemicals. Basically, there are a number of ways that coconut oil can help you take care of your hair and we recommend that you give it a try.
How you can use Coconut oil for hair
1. For hair growth
If you are concerned that you are starting to lose your hair or that it is beginning to thin or you just want to maintain the quality of the hair that you have, then coconut oil can help. The nutrients contained in coconut oil can actually permeate the hair’s shaft and greatly improve the general health of your hair.
Hair health is often linked to internal health issues such as poor nutrition but many people are in a hurry to use some form of prescription preparation to help with their hair quality issues. Before doing this, try to modify your diet to include essential omega 3 fats and give coconut oil a try.
- By massaging coconut oil into your scalp, you will improve hair growth by promoting better blood circulation.
- For hair loss and thinning issues, experts recommend that you apply and massage a teaspoon of coconut oil gently into your scalp. Leave it in for around 10 minutes at least 3 or 4 times every week.
2. As a conditioner
Coconut oil works well as a natural, chemical free conditioner whatever type of hair you have been blessed with. The loss of protein in your hair is what causes it to become dry and brittle and the good news is that coconut oil can help by reducing that loss of protein.
A study into the effectiveness of several oils for reducing hair damage concluded that unlike other oils, coconut oil was able to penetrate the hair shaft and protect against protein loss. (1) Because it can enter the shaft of the hair, the hair is nourished by the essential vitamins and minerals in the coconut oil and is less likely to be damaged by heat, brushing and combing.
If you are going to condition your hair with coconut oil, it can be either left in or used intensively for just a few hours. One of my colleagues with hair damaged from too many appointments with the bleach bottle leaves it on overnight covered with a shower cap and swears by the results she has had so far.
- How you use it and how much you use depends entirely on your hair but you should warm it in your palms before applying it.
- If you have short or thin hair, applying ¼ teaspoon might be sufficient while somebody with thicker longer hair might need a full tablespoon.
The essential fatty acids in coconut oil make it ideal in fighting common scalp conditions like dandruff. Coconut oil contains acids like lauric and capric acid. These acids are rich in antifungal, antiviral and antimicrobial properties that can treat and kill fungus and other bacteria thriving on the scalp.
Dandruff can actually be caused by the damaging chemicals contained in many commercial hair products. Many dandruff shampoos available on the market can actually exacerbate the problem. Coconut oil is clearly an attractive chemical free alternative that not only takes care of your hair but keeps your scalp healthy and moisturized too.
If you are suffering from dandruff, give coconut oil a try and you should start to see and feel the results within a reasonable amount of time. Protecting and nourishing your skin and scalp helps address the root cause of dandruff.
- For best results, you can mix your coconut oil with one of the antifungal essential oils like lavender, thyme or tea tree oil. Simply add 4 or 5 drops of your chosen essential oil with two teaspoons of your coconut oil and massage the mixture gently into your scalp.
- When you have finished applying the oil, cover your head with a shower cap and allow it to sit for at least 30 minutes or even overnight.
4. As a lice treatment
Coconut oil is a very effective way to treat unwanted lice because the oil penetrates the scalp and the shaft of the hair. This protects against lice and prevents eggs from attaching themselves to hair.
In fact it is so effective that a study revealed it was almost twice as effective in dealing with lice as permethrin- the most commonly prescribed lice treatment. (2)Not only was it more successful but it also caused significantly less irritation according to the same study.
Another study evaluating a combination of coconut oil and ylang ylang essential oil on hair louse was even more positive with the treatment proving effective on over 90% of the children involved. No side effects were reported by any of the children involved in the study. (3)
5. To protect your hair from sun damage
Your hair is sensitive to the sun. Just like your skin it needs to be protected from over exposure. Coconut oil has a sun protection factor of 8 and acts as a safe and natural sunscreen and protects your hair against sun damage.
6. To untangle your hair
If you have long or curly hair that is prone to tangling or frizzing out of control, coconut oil can help you to get it back into shape. Coconut oil is a great natural “detangler”.
- To detangle your hair, take a small amount of coconut oil and smooth it through your hair focusing especially on any tangled areas.
- Start at the bottom of your hair and gradually comb upwards with a large toothcomb.
7. To treat split ends
Coconut hair can help you to treat split ends without resorting to cutting them off. Simply massaging your hair with a small quantity of coconut oil or combining it with almond oil should help limit any split ends that you have.
8. For grayness
I am not completely sure that I buy this one as I have not found any research supporting it. In any case I have been at ease with my ever whitening hair for quite a while now. Some people even claim that coconut oil can help to treat grayness and restore your hair to its natural color.
Coconut oil may help slow premature graying. It is doubtful it can reverse graying or affect those genetically inclined to graying.
Coconut oil is actually used as an ingredient in many hair care and beauty products. Most of those products also contain filler chemicals that might cause further damage to your hair. Try using pure coconut oil instead, preferably extra virgin coconut oil.
Most of shampoo is made up of cheap fillers, scents and foaming agents to make people “feel” like it is doing something. Coconut oil is the premium active ingredient, it is readily available and has numerous health benefits besides making your hair look and feel great.