Of all the hair oils on the market, coconut is easily one of the most popular. While coconut oil gets a lot of attention for its internal health benefits, it’s also one of the best oils that you can use on your hair and skin. This is not just hearsay either. There are quite a few studies that back up these claims.
The Benefits of Coconut Oil for Hair
Coconut oil makes an excellent pre-wash conditioner that helps to prevent damage and seal in moisture. The oil is hydrophobic, which means that it repels water. When applied as a pre-washing treatment, the oil prevents the water from penetrating the hair shaft. This may sound counterintuitive, but when water penetrates the hair’s surface, it causes the cuticle to rise and makes it more vulnerable to damage. This also explains why coconut oil helps eliminate frizz with ease.
Coconut oil is also rich in vitamin E, which helps repair damaged protein caused by heat styling and protein breakdown.The capric acid and lauric acid in the oil further helps repair dry and brittle hair. Preventing breakage and split ends is the key to having long, thick and luxurious hair.
The antifungal and antibacterial properties of the oil also help prevent dandruff and scalp infection. In turn, this aids in hair growth as it prevents the hair follicles from becoming clogged and keeps the scalp moisturized. This results in shiner and stronger hair.
Treatment for Scalp Conditions
Research also suggests that coconut oil can be an effective treatment for head lice. This is because the oil contains antifungal and antibacterial properties.
Coconut oil is also used as a treatment for other scalp conditions, such as dandruff and eczema. Its ability to moisturize the scalp and eliminate bacteria help promote a healthy scalp. A healthy scalp will improve hair growth and also prevent hair loss caused by damage and environmental pollutants.
Using Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is light and easily absorbed by both the scalp and hair. One of the best and most effective ways to use this oil is as a deep treatment. Simply apply the oil directly to dry hair. Focus on the ends of your hair as they tend to be the driest. Allow the oil to sit on your hair for at least 30 minutes before washing. Depending on your hair type, you may need to shampoo twice to rid your hair of the excess oil.
You can also add coconut oil to your daily shampoo or conditioner for a nutrient boost and to keep dandruff at bay. Adding just a little bit of oil will help keep your hair hydrated and protect it from breakage.
When purchasing coconut oil, make sure that you choose pure extra virgin oil. Extra virgin oil is cold-pressed, which leaves its natural nutrients intact. There is no need to refrigerate the oil and coconut oil has a long shelf life. It will solidify when temperatures are cool, but the oil will liquefy once it is warmed up by your hands.