Coconut oil for hair is being used from centuries. It has the power to make your hair strong, shiny, and much more benefits to reap from it. Coconut oil is not just the ordinary oil, it’s benefits are beyond skin and hair. Coconut oil can give you lustrous, smooth and silky hair.
You can throw out your unnatural conditioners, hair serum, and styling products, and replace them with this coconut oil which is an all-natural problem solver. Coconut oil is rich in anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties, lauric acid, and medium-chain fatty acids that make hair strong, improves the scalp condition, removes dandruff and help to regrow hair. Let’s see how coconut oil is good for our healthy hairs.
Nutritional profile of coconut oil for hair
1) Powerful Antioxidants
Coconut oil is rich in antioxidants and they provide a healthy nutrition to our hair. Antioxidants like Vitamin E and Vitamin K is found in coconut oil and we know how these vitamins are vital for our health of hairs. Vitamin E and K help repair and build healthy tissues. When you apply coconut oil to scalp, it reduces inflammation and repairs damages done to hairs by chemical-filled hair products. Vitamin E and K will make hairs soft, manageable and shiny.
2) Caprylic Acid – The Power of Coconut Oil!!
Caprylic acid is a good saturated fatty acid that has antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties.
Many studies and researches have been performed on caprylic acid found in coconut oil. Studies show that it has antibacterial and anti-microbial properties which kill the bacteria and microbes causing damages to the hair and scalp. It kills the microbes which makes hall fall or prevents from natural growth or increasing dandruff condition on the scalp. (Source)
3) Lauric acid – The main nutrient for hair
Lauric acid is considered a “healthier” saturated fat because it is a medium-chain triglyceride. As an MCT, lauric acid is more easily absorbed by the body and has a host of other associated health, skin and hair benefits. The hair protein easily binds with Lauric acid from this oil that gradually leads to the strengthening of hair strands and stops the breakage of hair due to thinning. (Source)
The strong bactericidal properties of lauric acid can be used to effectively and naturally treat acne. Studies have demonstrated that lauric acid works as an antibiotic treatment method against Propionibacterium bacteria that causes acne breakouts on the skin. This bacteria promotes follicular inflammation (inflammatory acne), especially when other skin bacteria are present including P. acnes, Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), and Staphylococcus epidermidis (S. epidermidis). (Source)
4) Capric Acid and other nutrients
Capric acid is a medium-chain fatty acid found in saturated fats. It is abundant in tropical oils such as coconut oil. Capric acid, together with other medium-chain triglycerides, is responsible for the health benefits attributed to coconut oil. Capric acid has strong antiviral and antimicrobial properties. Capric acid is converted into monocaprin in the body, where it can help combat viruses, bacteria, and the yeast. (Source)
All these nutrients found in coconut oil benefits a lot to hair and scalp.
A research was performed and the aim was to cover different treatments, and the effect of these treatments on various hair types using the coconut oil, sunflower oil, and mineral oil, the number of experiments to be conducted was a very high number and a technique termed as the Taguchi Design of Experimentation was used. The findings clearly indicate the strong impact that coconut oil application has to hair as compared to the application of both sunflower and mineral oils. Among three oils, coconut oil was the only oil found to reduce the protein loss remarkably for both undamaged and damaged hair when used as a pre-wash and post-wash grooming product. Both sunflower and mineral oils do not help at all in reducing the protein loss from hair. Coconut oil, being a triglyceride of lauric acid (principal fatty acid), has a high affinity for hair proteins and, because of its low molecular weight and straight linear chain, is able to penetrate inside the hair shaft. (Source).
Some tips for using coconut oil for hair
1) Amount to be applied on hair and scalp
We always think that too much of anything is good. If a little bit of something is doing good for us, it doesn’t mean that too much will do better. In the case of coconut oil, a small amount can be sufficient for hairs. Applying too much of coconut oil, there is a possibility that it can clog the hair follicle which is a definitely not good for healthy hair.
2) Mix other ingredients too!
The strength of coconut oil increases when it is mixed with other ingredients like essential oils, castor oil, olive oil, argan oil, mustard oil and more. The different compounds of different ingredients mix each other and the power of ingredients increase and they give extra benefits to our hairs. Like, honey is also good for hair when mixed with coconut oil because it gives moisture to the hair and gives extra strength to coconut oil when applied in combined form.
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3) Allergies with coconut oil
Always do a patch test before applying coconut oil. There can be a possibility that your hair or scalp might not respond well after applying it. So, before trying any remedy do all the steps necessary to check allergy.
Top 10 uses of coconut oil for hair
1) Hair growth treatment
The unhealthy scalp is the main reason behind your hair is not growing. Hair and scalp both need proper nutrients necessary for hair growth and coconut oil will provide nourishment to your scalp. People always think that their hair is not growing, in reality, this could be due to the fact of hair breakage and the reason behind hair breakage is a lack of essential nutrients.
Give a chance to your hair for coconut oil treatment and feel the difference. I am not saying that it will instantly solve your problem but it will eventually eradicate the hair growth problem. It has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties which kills the microbes causing damages to hair and deeply penetrates into the hair roots and provides nutrients. It makes hair soft and manageable when applied to hairs.
Take a large bowl containing hot water. Now take 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a small bowl and place it the large bowl containing hot water. This process will warm the coconut oil. Now, mix 3-4 drops of rosemary essential in it and apply the warmed oil to the scalp and hair. Warm coconut oil will open the hair follicle and goes deep into the roots. Rosemary essential oil is the best oil for hair growth and hair thinning problem. It is known to increase the growth of new hair by 20%. You can also use this remedy for deep conditioning, hair fall during brushing and hair thinning problem. Do this remedy for 2-3 times in a week.
2) Perfect for dandruff
Dandruff can be a serious problem if not taken seriously. It can be due to dry scalp, dirty scalp, use of harsh chemical filled hair product or the growth of fungus infection(Malassezia). But coconut oil can resolve your problem because it has the lauric and capric acid which can kill the microbes causing dry and flaky skin and can moisturize the scalp effectively.
Mix 1 tablespoon of coconut oil with 3-4 drops of tea tree oil and add 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice and mix well. Apply this oil on scalp and give a gentle massage of 10 minutes. Wear a shower cap and rinse it with mild anti-dandruff shampoo after 1 hour or you can keep it for overnight. Repeat it 2-3 times in a week for fast result.
Tea tree oil and lemon juice are very effective in fighting dandruff. Both has antimicrobial property to kill the microbes and make healthy scalp. Tea tree oil can sooth the itchy scalp, remove dandruff and promote hair growth too. Another remedy for dandruff can be, mix 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel with coconut oil to give extra nutrients to the scalp. Aloe vera is very effective for all hair woes. It repairs damaged hair and makes hair manageable and shiny.
3) Removes hair split ends
Hair split ends are the splitting of the hair strand, mostly at the end of the hair caused by improper care like excessive use of blow dryer, detangling hair very rigorously, brushing wet hair and much more. Excessive split ends are found in dry and damaged hair. So, tackling dry hair and the split end is not difficult with coconut oil.
Take 2 eggs and mix 1-2 tablespoon coconut oil well. Now, add 1 tablespoon of honey to the mixture and apply to the scalp and hair. Repeat it for at least once in a week.This egg and coconut oil hair mask will provide the nutrients necessary to improve dry and damaged hair with split ends. Eggs have the maximum amount of protein that makes hair soft and shiny and also promotes hair growth. Honey will deeply moisturize your scalp and makes scalp healthy.
4) Cures hair loss
Hair loss can be embarrassing and frustrating for many people. Everyone can face this kind of problem at any stage of life. This can happen due to improper diet, stress, hormonal changes, improper care, medical treatment and more reasons are there. We can treat this problem from root but we should have to be patient. The natural remedy can surely target your problem and can give an excellent result.
Take 2-3 inches of fresh ginger root and extract the juice from that. Now mix the ginger juice with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and apply this to your scalp. Keep this mixture for about 20-30 minutes and rinse it off with a mild shampoo. Repeat this 2-3 times in a week.
Ginger is great for hair loss as it is rich in potassium, magnesium and vitamin E which make it best for treating hair loss problem. Coconut oil when mixed with ginger juice, it’s become the most powerful treatment to treat hair loss. Both have antibacterial and antifungal properties which kill microbes and unclog the hair follicle to grow new hair.
5) Great for hair conditioner
Commercial shampoo makes our hair rough and dry and this leads to hair fall and split ends. Or, your hair is naturally dry, brittle, frizzy or damaged by styling products, hair conditioner is must try for your hair.
Hair conditioner made with coconut oil and shea butter really make you love your hair more than before. It’s an amazing combination to nourish your hair and scalp. It does restore moisture and softens the hair making it smoother, shinier and easier to comb through.
The oils that we think make our hair look dirty actually is good for the hair so stripping that off leaves the hair shaft unprotected and vulnerable to breakage and splitting.
Take 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, 1 tablespoon of shea butter and 1 tablespoon of honey. Now, melt the shea butter and coconut oil on low flame and mix honey when it cools down. Make partitions of your hair and apply the hair conditioner from root to tip of the hair and on the scalp too. Keep it for 1 hour and rinse it off with the mild shampoo. Repeat at least once in a week.
6) Treats and prevents head lice
A study published in the Israel Medical Association Journal found greater success, The natural remedy, which contains coconut oil, anise oil, and ylang-ylang oil, was applied to the hair of infested children three times at 5-day intervals. Each treatment lasted for 15 minutes. The treatment was successful in 92.3% of children and caused no serious side effects. (Source)
Melt a cup of coconut oil and add 12 drops of tea tree oil or anise oil. After a hot shower and careful combing of the hair using a lice comb, apply the coconut oil lotion and cover the head with a shower cap. Leaving this type of coconut oil and anise solution on the scalp and hair for 20-30 minutes and repeat the procedure within 7-9 days.
The coconut oil and anise mixture work by disrupting the wax layer that coats the cuticle of the louse exoskeleton. This exoskeleton protects that lice against the loss of water, meaning that the natural solution used in this study works by causing the lice to become severely dehydrated, leading to their death. (Source)
7) Good for detangling hair
Whether we like it or not, our hair will tangle and it can lead to hair fall. Dry, wet and damaged hair is more likely to tangle but coconut oil is our problem solver. When wet, virgin hair can be stretched by 30% of their original length without damage; however, irreversible changes occur when hair is stretched between 30% and 70%. Stretching to 80% causes a fracture.
Water absorption causes the hair shaft swelling and it can be seen microscopically as “weathering” of the hair shaft and contribute to tangling, and frizzing. Weathering is the progressive degeneration from the root to the tip of the hair. Normal weathering is due to daily grooming practices.(Source)
Take a hair spray container and add one cup distilled water and mix 2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil, 2 tablespoons of your favourite hair conditioner and 20 drops of lavender essential oil. Seal the container and shake it well before application. Spray this solution on your tangled hair very well. Start from the tip of the hairs. Make several partitions of your hair and firstly detangle your hair from a tip by combing it slowly with wide tooth comb and slowly move to the upper direction of your hair and finish that section of your hair before going to the next section.
Coconut oil and lavender oil have the deep moisturizing property, it helps the hair strand smooth and soft which makes hair to detach itself from other hair strands. It will also condition your hair and make them manageable.
8) Treats scalp acne and itchiness
Acne can occur on the scalp too just like on face and body. It can happen due to many reasons, some of them are hormonal changes, dirty scalp, clogged hair pores, the reaction of cosmetic hair products, poor diet. Scalp acne leads to inflammation and itchiness. Scalp acne can make hair combing difficult and can be painful.
Take 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and mix 5 drops of tea tree oil and apply to the scalp daily. Coconut oil and tea tree oil have the anti-microbial property which kills the microbes causing and spreading acne. Coconut oil exfoliates the skin and tea tree oil unclogs the hair pores. Tea tree oil is also very effective in hair growth and dandruff.
9) Tame frizzy hair with coconut oil
Coconut oil is a very good styling product. Different hair styling tool like hair dryer, curler, straightener make hair rough and dry. Use coconut oil for hair styling, this will lock the moisture from hair and make it smooth and silky. Some people have naturally thick curly and frizzy hair, for them, coconut oil is best to use on daily purpose and making those curly locks soft and manageable.
Start with small quantity and apply coconut oil from root to tip and use your hair styling tool to do your hairstyle. Do avoid putting more oil on your hair, this can make hair sticky.
10) Coconut oil leave in conditioner
Coconut is very effective as a leave in conditioner. It helps you to manage your hair for a whole day and makes them soft and shiny.
Mix ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil, 7 drops rosemary oil and ½ cup distilled water in a spray bottle and mix well. Spray this condition from middle to tip of your hair and let it dry for some minute. Rosemary oil will help you for hair growth and apple cider vinegar will make your hair shiny and smooth.
Which type of coconut oil is good for hair?
There are many types of labels are there on coconut bottle. So, which coconut oil is good for my hair?
1) Virgin Coconut Oil
The best coconut oil in my opinion. Virgin coconut oil is derived from the meat of mature coconuts. It’s the good, fatty oil that comes as a result of processing the meat. No chemicals needed to extract all that goodness. Virgin coconut oil is my favorite, personally. It’s by far the purest grade, and you’ll definitely reap the most benefits from using it.
The antioxidant properties of virgin coconut oil produced through chilling and fermentation were investigated and compared with refined, bleached and deodorized coconut oil. Virgin coconut oil showed better antioxidant capacity than refined, bleached and deodorized coconut oil. (Source)
In 2013, another study conducted in India also showed that virgin coconut oils produced by wet-milling and using heat produce higher levels of antioxidants. The study compared “cold extracted virgin coconut oil” (CEVCO) with “hot extracted virgin coconut oil” (HEVCO) and standard refined coconut oil (CCO) and was published in the journal Food Science and Biotechnology. Their testing showed that the “antioxidant activity in the HEVCO group was 80-87%, 65-70% in CEVCO, and 35-45% in CCO.” (Source)
2) Extra virgin coconut oil
In my opinion, there is not much difference between virgin and extra virgin coconut oil. It’s not comparable with olive oil. If you want to use extra virgin coconut oil, you can use it will get the benefits from it too.
3) Refined coconut oil
This coconut oil isn’t the purest out of the option described above. But it’s a favorite among many because it provides all the benefits of coconut oil without the distinctive coconut oil taste and smell. It’s also less potentially triggering to those with allergies. It is called refined because the coconut oil is expeller pressed (a natural, non-chemical process of extracting oil), you definitely won’t be exposing yourself to any harmful chemicals in your coconut oil.
4) Liquid coconut oil
It is natural coconut oil that has been fractionated. It actually stays in liquid form at room temperature, while virgin coconut oil does not.
But there are some downsides. Liquid coconut oil is processed to achieve its unique characteristics, and some key aspects of coconut oil are removed. One of these is lauric acid, a very healthy fat found in most forms of coconut oil. So while this version of coconut oil safe to use on skin and in recipes, you’re really not getting all of the benefits of coconut oil by using it.
5) RBD coconut oil
I will not recommend you to use this type of oil. RBD stands for Refined Bleached and Deodorized. This process removes the coconutty taste and smell and if you are using it, you are taking chemicals too.
Go ahead and try coconut oil on your hair. Let me know how do you use coconut oil and share your experiences.
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