Coconut oil now finds its usefulness in wide ranging area from cooking to cancer protection. There was a time when coconut oil was considered a high fat item to avoid, but recent research work has indicated its multiple benefits. Hair benefits sit on the top of the list.
Coconut oil is loaded with nutrients including vitamins and minerals. The smaller medium chain fatty acids in particular are highly beneficial in strengthening and regrowing lost hair. Its antimicrobial capabilities keep your scalp in healthy state to support growth of hair, remove dandruff and kill head lice.
Why Coconut Oil is Good for Your Hair?
Coconut oil is rich in antioxidants and possesses antifungal and antibacterial properties as well.
Researchers have found that coconut oil increases protein replacement on the scalp.It contains triglycerides of linoleic acid which attracts and binds proteins.
Combing of hair can damage your hair particularly when they are not healthy. A study published in the March-April 2003 issue of journal of cosmetic science found that coconut oil significantly reduces hair fall during combing. This is because the fats in coconut oil penetrates the skin and nourishes the hair follicles by binding with proteins. In the case of hair the protein is keratin.
It also fights with the infections and fungus on the scalp keeping your hair protected and strong.
For these and other beneficial reasons, coconut oil is extensively used in cosmetic products for skin and hair.
Next time you look at the labels of cosmetic products for hair, don't get too surprised to see coconut oil listed.
Now the question is why should you use the expensive harsh chemical based hair care products when coconut oil and other natural products can help you to achieve the same objectives?
These Harsh chemical based products can give you the benefit of achieving your short term objective of making your hair look good, but in the long time they are not beneficial in most cases as they damage your hair and skin.
Of course there are number other chemical products available in the market and some of them are really good and may not cause any lasting damage. But they are very expensive. In contrast, coconut oil is natural, inexpensive and healthy for your hair and skin. If you love to use of natural products on your body for obvious reasons of being healthy, then it is for you. You simply can't ignore it.
Does Coconut Oil for Hair Work in Every Case?
Coconut oil will work on almost all kinds of hair, however it may produce better results in some type of hair than the others. So, if you are not sure than use it for a month to find the difference in your hair health before continuing with it. If it doesn't suit you then you always have many other natural choices. But, you will perhaps never leave coconut oil once you get used to using it.
If your hair have become dry and frizzy, than natural oils like coconut oil are your best bet to fix them and make them look glossy and lustrous again.
If your hair are greasy type, then use coconut oil less frequently. Use it as conditioner after shampooing your hair. The quantity of use will also depend on the length and thickness of your hair.
How to Use Coconut Oil for Hair?
You can use coconut oil in many different ways for your hair care. Some of the most effective and common ways are as under. Every benefit listed here may not be required for you if your scalp and hair are already healthy. Then use it simply to maintain its good health.
1. Coconut Oil as Hair Conditioner
One of the most powerful and effective way to maintain your hair in good health is too regularly condition them with natural products like coconut oil.
Irrespective of the kind of your hair (dry, oily or normal), conditioning with coconut oil will benefit your hair. The difference will be in the quantity and frequency of uses. For the dry and frizzy types of hair you will use more coconut oil more frequently as compared to the oily type.
Always use organic virgin coconut oil for the best results. The refined coconut oil loses some of the smaller medium chain fatty acids that have the capability to penetrate the skin and bind with the proteins to make your hair healthy. If you don't get it in your grocery stores then you can make it at home from the coconut.
Here is how to use coconut oil as hair conditioner. Remember it is important to warm it up before use for the best results.
- Wash your hair and make them dry with the help of a towel.
- Put 2-3 tablespoons of organic virgin coconut oil in a small steel bowl. Steel bowl is a better conductor of heat. Normal ceramic bowl is also Ok but will be slow in conducting the heat.
- Put some hot water in another bigger size bowl
- Let the small steel bowl float on the warm water of the other bowl. This helps in keeping it in the liquid form. Make sure the water doesn't get into the coconut oil.
- Take the oil in your fingers and massage your scalp. Keep doing this with rest of the coconut oil until your entire scalp is massaged and all the hair strands are covered with coconut oil.
- Cover your hair with shower cap or a towel for about an hour.
- Wash your with mild Herbal shampoo to remove coconut oil from the hair.
2. Coconut Oil for Sun Protection
Coconut oil is an excellent natural sunscreen for your hair. You can also use it on your exposed skin also. It has SPF of 8, so if the sun is not very harsh then it will protect your skin also.
- Warm up coconut oil on a waterbed as explained above
- Apply on your hair and scalp and you you are ready to go.
This will work well in the morning sun. However, if you are going to get exposed to the harsh afternoon sun , then better sue high SPF sunscreen to protect your skin. You hair will be ok with coconut oil.
3. Coconut oil for hair Detangling
Some people's hair gets tangled often. If your hair are curly then you know the difficulties of detangling them every day.
Coconut oil makes detangling hair as easy as ABC.
- Warm up coconut oil as explained earlier
- Apply it on your hair starting from the end working towards the roots
- Let it get absorbed for 10 minutes
- Now style your hair with comb or brush as you usually do
Do not apply too much coconut oil, otherwise your hair will look greasy.
3. Coconut Oil for Clearing Dandruff
Dandruff in your scalp can really damage your hair. Coconut oil comes in very handy to deal with the dandruff. You really don't need to use the harsh chemical based dandruff cleaning products as most of them really don't work without causing some damage to your hair.
This remedy is generally used before going to the bed. For the best results for removal of dandruff keep it on the scalp overnight.
- Wash your hair with a mild Herbal shampoo and dry them with a towel. Don't use hair drier as it dries the scalp and makes dandruff worst.
- Warm up the organic virgin coconut oil as explained above in a small steel bowl
- Massage the oil on your entire scalp. If you have long and dense hair then it might take longer to massage.
- Wrap your hair with a shower cap.
- Cover your pillow with a towel before going to the bed to protect the pillow from coconut oil staining.
- Leave it overnight. During the night it gets absorbed in the skin and nourishes it.
- Wash it off with a mild natural herbal shampoo.
4. Coconut Oil to Get Rid of Head Lice
Different studies have shown that coconut oil used with anise or ylang ylang oil has been able to kill head lice more efficiently than the prescribed medicines. This is significant finding as the head lice is generally a menace very difficult to get rid of. Headlice also are contagious so you really need to be very careful not to pass on to others in the family.
- Add one tablespoon of a anise oil to 3 tablespoons of warm coconut oil
- Massage your scalp
- Comb through the air with fine tooth comb
- Let it sit for 1-2 hours and comb again
- Rinse your hair with mild herbal shampoo
Do it 5-10 days straight and then give it a break for 3 weeks and repeat. Continue repeating the cycles until you get rid of head lice.
More Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
In the current times everyone talks about the huge benefits coconut oil offers. It has become almost a fad. For almost everything you can use coconut oil. There are hundreds of benefits of coconut oil other than for hair. Some of main are as under
- Rejuvenates skin
- Helps in weight loss
- Improves digestion
- Increases immunity
- Prevents Fungal infections
- Facilitates absorption if calcium
- Improves heart health
- Speeds up healing
Other Tips and Precautions
Use Coconut oil on your hair before styling your hair with any hot rollers or flat straightening irons. The extra heat will not make your hair dry due to the resistance offered by the oil layer.