Coconut oil is becoming an increasingly popular oil due to its versatility and many different uses. Before you start using this oil for its many beneficial, functions, perhaps you should find out what makes it so special, and why millions of people choose to use it.
Coconut oil is rich in fats, vitamins, and minerals which are good for the human body, being known to be high in antioxidants and to lower bad cholesterol levels (LDL) (1) . However, coconut oil is not limited to hair; it is used in the preparation of cosmetic soaps and creams, and in many countries, it is also used for preparing various kinds of food and salads.
Coconut oil has been used in many tests and proven to have anti-stress and antioxidant effects (2) as well as containing certain components that keep hair strong, nourished and protected from the effects of premature aging, like baldness and excessive hair loss. Let’s see what some of those benefits to hair are, and what components of coconut oil are responsible!
Benefits of Coconut Oil for Hair
Hair Loss: Coconut oil has been used since ancient times in India for grooming hair. Various remedies were prepared using herbs and coconut oil to prevent hair loss. One such remedy can be prepared in modern times by boiling sage leaves in coconut oil. This mixture can be applied to the scalp for the improvement of healthy hair, and its use will also prevent hair loss.
Applying a mixture of lime water and coconut oil can also provide relief from hair loss, as does the mixture of coconut oil and gooseberries. Boil the gooseberries in coconut oil and then apply it on the hair.
Note: if your hair loss is accompanied with other symptoms, it may be a larger issue such as a hormonal imbalance.
Hair Damage: The use of coconut oil on hair is thought to help to reduce protein loss in both damaged as well as undamaged hair. Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid has a high affinity for hair protein and easily penetrates inside the hair shaft, which is due to its low molecular weight. It can be used for pre-wash or post-wash hair grooming.
This Cold Pressed Coconut Oil Serum is also great for renewing and repairing damaged hair. Infused with extra virgin coconut oil, guava fruit extract, and sunflower seed oil, this serum smooths, nourishes and adds shine and volume to your hair.
Cooling Properties: The application of coconut oil on the head and scalp also has a cooling effect. It can cool and soothe people with hot heads, or those who suffer from severe scalp sweating.
Moisture Retention: Coconut oil has a high moisture retaining capacity, since it is not easily broken down nor evaporated, being very stable. By looking at how coconut oil actually seeps into the hair follicles it is clear that it can not only hold moisture in the hair but also allows more moisture in rather than blocking it, making it an excellent way to retain moisturized hair (3)! This study also shows the great moisturizing benefits coconut oil has when compared to mineral oils. It is clear that using coconut oil as a moisturizer is a great alternative to chemically enhanced products!
Hair Conditioning: With its ability to stop hair from becoming more damaged when brushed or combed, by preventing the hair follicle from swelling (4) , coconut oil is a great treatment to use on hair before brushing.
Coconut oil is a better conditioner for hair than any synthetic one available in the market. Use of warm coconut oil helps in keeping hair shimmering and soft. Apply some warm oil at night and wash your hair the next morning. This can be repeated every few days for healthy, strong and conditioned hair.
Anti-Dandruff: Because coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids, including lauric acid and capric acid, it has strong antiviral, antimicrobial and antifungal properties. These properties could help target and kill the fungus and any viruses or bacteria that may exist (5).
Regular application of coconut oil can help you get rid of dandruff forever (6). Coconut oil mixed with lukewarm water and castor oil can also be effective in treating dandruff. Massage the scalp and hair with this mixture for ideal results.
Another home remedy for dandruff can be prepared by mixing coconut oil with sesame oil. Apply this mixture for about 30 minutes and then shampoo the hair.
Styling: Coconut oil can be a good styling oil for hair as well, as it melts on heating and then condenses when cooled. Therefore, when you apply it on your hair, it thins and spreads evenly due to the heat of the scalp. Soon afterward, as the hair comes in contact with air, the oil on the hair condenses, thus working as a styling gel or cream.
Lice Protection: Lice are a very common pest found in the hair and can cause embarrassment for anyone. They also have a tendency to come back again and again. There are many chemical products available for the treatment of lice, but unfortunately, they can also damage the scalp and hair due to their strong chemical components.
Combing wet hair with a fine comb is a good remedy for getting rid of lice but this may also damage the wet hair. However, if one coats the wet hair with coconut oil, it becomes much easier to comb and subsequently remove the lice. This study shows the effects that coconut oil can have on getting rid of annoying lice -and with good effect!
Hair Care for Dry Hair and Split Ends: For people with dry hair that is rough and thin, taking good care of your hair is a big concern. Coconut oil is a great way to moisturize the hair without causing further thinning or drying of the hair as it is able to penetrate the hair follicle (7).
Split ends and dry hair kind of come hand in hand and if you have a lot of them then it is advised to have a hair cut. However, if you only find a few but they annoy the living daylights out of you then the following natural hair remedy will give you smooth, split end-free hair in no time. Massage your hair with a mixture of coconut oil and almond oil for a few minutes; this will help in minimizing the split ends.
Hair Conditioning: Hair conditioner can be easily prepared at home using coconut oil. It is not only effective; it also does not have side effects. Many beauticians swear by it and say that applying a couple of tablespoons to your hair before sleeping at night then washing off in the morning is a miracle worker (8)!
Boils: Some people experience the condition of boils on the scalp, especially during the winter. This may also happen if exposed to heat or the sun for a long duration. It is important to keep both the hair and scalp clean, and occasional massaging of the hair with a mixture of coconut oil and olive oil may provide relief from the uncomfortable and unsightly problem of boils. However, if the problem persists, it is advisable to contact your health care specialist.
Coconut Oil in Shampoo
You may not be aware of this, but your shampoo likely contains coconut oil, at least in small amounts. Lately, people have come to understand how important natural oils are for hair nourishment. Oddly enough, over the past three decades or so, using oil on the hair was viewed as a sign of backwardness or ignorance. The majority of people believed that, particularly in India.
The excessive use of shampoo often results in drying up and breaking away from hair and total devastation of the health of the scalp. Commercially, using coconut oil in shampoos showed marvelous results and it was soon a widely accepted additive or pure form of hair care products.
Here is a good video on how to use coconut oil for hair care in an optimal way.
Finally, if you are not regularly using a reliable shampoo that contains coconut oil, you can always mix some coconut oil into your preferred shampoo and enjoy the results. For the best effect, make it an organic or herbal shampoo.
Apart from the uses of coconut oil listed above, it is important to keep hair clean, eat well, use good hair grooming products that have minimal side effects and use a good comb that does not break or damage the hair. Coconut oil is also a great, healthy alternative to use in cooking, it’s delicious and better for you than certain vegetable oils! Good Luck and Happy, Healthy Hair to Everyone!
(2) Antistress and antioxidant effects of virgin coconut oil in vivo. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25452773 Published: November 3, 2014. Accessed: December 6, 2016.
(3)Effect of oil films on moisture vapor absorption on human hair. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17520153 Published: March/ April 2007. Accessed: December 6, 2016.
A Randomized Double-Blind Controlled Trial Comparing Extra Virgin Coconut Oil with Mineral Oil as a Moisturizer for Mild to Moderate Xerosis https://www.researchgate.net/publication/8009961_A_Randomized_Double-Blind_Controlled_Trial_Comparing_Extra_Virgin_Coconut_Oil_with_Mineral_Oil_as_a_Moisturizer_for_Mild_to_Moderate_Xerosis Published: October 2004. Accessed: December 6, 2016.
(4) Secondary ion mass spectrometric investigation of penetration of coconut and mineral oils into human hair fibers:Relevance to hair damage http://journal.scconline.org/pdf/cc2001/cc052n03/p00169-p00184.pdf Published: May/June 2001. Accessed: December 6, 2016.
(6+8)The Coconut Oil Miracle https://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=M8RIhEMsNucC&oi=fnd&pg=PR7&dq=coconut+oil+hair&ots=ofZBAtqiFJ&sig=uboSr1kLCpWUm2Ch5n5Hxx6nJ7U#v=onepage&q=hair&f=false Published: N/A. Accessed: December 6, 2016.
Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damage. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12715094 Published: March/April 2003. Accessed: December 6, 2016.
(7) Efficacy of chemical and botanical over-the-counter pediculicides available in Brazil, and off-label treatments, against head lice ex vivo. http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/20465674 Published: 2010. Accessed: December 6, 2016.
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