Last Updated on February 14, 2023 by Gaga
Although commonly found in the kitchen, coconut oil is not only used in cooking and baking recipes. This thick, buttery oil has been used for centuries as a natural beauty treatment for skin and hair.
Coconut oil is a magnificent gift of nature, especially in its organic extra virgin form. Since organic coconut oil is free of synthetic chemicals, you don’t need to worry about any side effects if you have delicate hair or sensitive skin. People of any age can use virgin coconut oil without harmful side effects.
How Coconut Oil Can Benefit Your Hair
Coconut oil is one of the richest sources of natural nutrients for healthy hair. It contains Capric acid, Lauric acid, Caprylic acid, and vitamin E that help promote a healthy scalp and hair. Studies have shown that due to its small molecular weight, coconut oil has the ability to penetrate the hair shaft better than other hair oils. Most hair oils would only sit on the surface of your hair and coat the strands. Coconut oil penetrates the hair shaft and helps trap moisture and emollients inside your hair.
There is a number of ways to include coconut oil in your hair care regimen. Here are some of the benefits coconut oil can offer to improve the health of your scalp and hair.
1. Coconut Oil for Hair Growth
According to lovebeautyandplanet.com coconut oil is one of the best natural ways to help your hair grow longer.
One of the causes of hair loss is increased microbial activity that can lead to infection of hair follicles.
Anti-microbial fatty acids present in coconut oil penetrate the scalp to eliminate fungi and harmful bacteria that are responsible for the inflammation that causes hair loss. The small molecules of coconut oil sink deep into the hair follicles, providing the scalp with valuable nutrients and promoting hair growth.
One study from the Journal of Cosmetic Science found that loss of hair proteins can be minimized by applying coconut oil before or after hair shampooing. Healing fatty acids penetrate the hair shaft, and nourish and strengthen the hair strands from the inside, reducing hair breakage. Lauric acid in coconut oil binds to hair protein, reduces protein loss, and protects the roots. This results in longer and healthier hair.
Coconut oil helps restore and maintain your scalp’s natural pH balance, creating a healthy environment for hair growth.
Pour some slightly warmed coconut oil into the palm of your hand and gently massage for a few minutes to evenly distribute the oil into your hair and scalp. Use a hot towel to steam your hair or cover your hair with a shower cap and leave it for at least 2 hours. You can leave it overnight if you have dry hair. Then wash your hair with a sulfate-free shampoo.
Massaging your scalp with oil helps improve blood circulation in the scalp area and increases the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicles. Repeat this treatment at least three times a week.
For hair growth purposes you can also mix a small amount of coconut oil with your shampoo or conditioner.
2. Anti-Dandruff Treatment
The most common causes of dandruff are fungal infections and dry skin. The potent anti-fungal properties of coconut oil will keep fungal infections away, tame itchy and irritated scalp, and keep dandruff under control.
Gently massage lightly warmed virgin coconut oil into your scalp using your fingertips. Cover your hair with a shower cap and let the coconut oil sit on your scalp for 15 minutes. You can also leave the treatment overnight. Wash your scalp and hair with a mild shampoo. For best results repeat the treatment three times a week. Regular application of coconut oil will prevent the fungus from coming back.
Coconut oil also keeps your scalp moist and healthy, reducing flaking caused by dry scalp conditions.
3. Coconut Oil Before Bleaching
Coconut oil is a great natural way to reduce the harmful effects of hair bleaching. Adding coconut oil to the hair before the bleaching session protects the hair from excessive drying and from protein loss. Without protein and internal moisture, your hair would be weak and brittle. That is why you need to apply coconut oil to your hair before a harsh chemical process such as bleaching.
For this purpose, use unrefined coconut oil and apply it to your hair before bleaching.
Divide your hair into sections to make application easier. Apply coconut oil to the scalp and the entire length of your hair and use a comb to distribute the oil evenly. Put on a shower cap and leave the treatment overnight or at least for a few hours.
Do not wash your hair before applying bleach. Coconut oil will not interfere with the bleaching effect, but it will protect your scalp from irritation and help avoid excessive drying and damage to your hair.
4. Lice Prevention and Treatment
Chemical products available for the treatment of lice can be damaging to the scalp and hair due to the presence of toxic components. Applying coconut oil is one of the most effective ways to get rid of lice. Coconut oil prevents the eggs from attaching to the hair which keeps lice from coming back.
For the following lice-eliminating homemade treatment you need unrefined coconut oil and raw apple cider vinegar.
- Remove all tangles and knots from your hair.
- Gently rinse out your hair with 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar and 1/2 cup of filtered water.
- Let your hair dry without rinsing the solution.
- Saturate your scalp and hair with coconut oil, cover with a shower cap, and leave the treatment on for 12 hours.
- When the time is up, comb your hair thoroughly to remove the dead lice and eggs.
- Wash out your hair as normal with a mild shampoo.
- Keep this routine until the lice are completely gone.
For preventing head lice, you can use coconut oil as a leave-in conditioner. You need to apply a small amount and massage it into the tips of your hair after washing.
5. Deep Conditioning
Coconut oil is very effective as a deep conditioner because of its ability to penetrate the hair shaft. Virgin coconut oil works as an excellent deep conditioner for all hair types making the hair healthier, stronger, and shinier. This treatment is the most beneficial for dry, damaged, and over-processed hair. The fatty acids in coconut oil help replace the lost moisture and nourish your locks, making them silky and soft.
Use a quarter-sized amount of warm coconut oil into your hand and rub it into your hair and scalp. You can leave the oil in the hair overnight to really nurture your dry hair. Put a towel on your pillow to protect it from the oil. Wash your hair with your regular shampoo in the morning.
6. Easy Detangling
The lubricating effect of coconut oil reduces fiber friction which helps prevent hair damage from combing and brushing. This will also make your hair less prone to breakage.
Rub the oil between your hands and massage into the tangled areas of your damp hair, avoiding the roots. Use a wide-toothed comb to get rid of tangles.
Regular application of coconut oil helps minimize tangles.
7. Coconut Oil for Frizzy Hair
If you have curly hair prone to dryness and frizz, coconut oil can replace your anti-frizz serum. Coconut oil prevents moisture from entering the hair shaft and creating frizz. To tame frizzy locks, use a tiny bit of oil and rub it into your hair. Lightly run your fingers through your hair, paying special attention to the ends. Coconut oil helps smooth strands out without leaving hair looking greasy. Make sure to avoid the scalp area.
For frizzy or dry ends use a small amount of oil and rub it into the ends of your hair.
8. Pre-Shampoo Coconut Oil Treatment
Coconut oil is a hydrophobic substance. When used as a prewash conditioner it coats the hair surface and protects hair from absorbing too much water during washing. This decreases swelling of hair fibers and protects the cuticle from damage, which in turn helps to increase protein retention in the hair.
Rub the oil through your hair and leave it on for 1 hour before shampooing.
How to Purchase a Quality Coconut Oil for Hair
Look for pure, unrefined organic coconut oil that is processed without chemicals, dyes, and other harmful substances. Processed coconut oil may contain trans-fats and additives to prolong its shelf life. Nobody wants chemicals on their skin and hair.
Cold-pressed coconut oil is made from fresh coconut meat and contains all its phytonutrients and health-giving ingredients.
Gaga is a blogger and founder of the Softer Hair website. She often says that insomnia is to blame for her first blogging attempts. Being the night owl, she hated the morning alarm. She left her office job and returned to what she loved most - writing.