People have used coconut oil on hair for thousands of years. Especially in the coastal areas, including Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia and some parts of the Caribbean where coconuts grow in abundance they are used for almost everything, for example as soaps, for polishing wood or to fight inflammation.
In the western world, coconut oil became popular because of its vitamin and mineral density. Applied regularly, it keeps the hair healthy and fights hair loss. This article gives an overview of the benefits of coconut oil for hair growth, describes how you apply it best and provides a short review about the best oils for your hair.
Using Coconut Oil for Hair Growth
Benefits of Coconut Oil for Hair Growth
1. Prevents Breakage
There is a reason why coconut oil is considered miraculous. It has the ability to repair even the most damaged hair. Blow dryers, curling irons, straighteners, hair dye, and other styling products cause severe damage to our hair.
Hair becomes dry and brittle, which is why it is crucial to restoring the hair protein to a balanced content. Coconut oil contains all the essential hair nutrients that hair follicles need in order to be restored to their original state.
The fatty acids present in coconut oil protect the hair from breaking by working with the proteins naturally found in hair, therefore enabling it to grow. The Lauric acid in particular is brilliant at hair care.
A study showed that coconut oil is one of the best oils for significantly decreasing protein loss in both damaged and undamaged hair.
Using Coconut oil regularly evidently makes the hair softer and more manageable than ever.
Due to the fact that coconut oil has a low molecular weight, it penetrates hair follicles easily, conditioning and moisturizing it both from the inside and out. The moisturizing effects of the oil are so impactful that it even does a good job of protecting the hair shaft from environmental damage and heat.
Coconut oil is excellent for combatting against dandruff. This itchy and usually unsightly condition is primarily caused by a dry scalp, which can be further problematic if your skin is sensitive to harsh chemicals found in hair products.
As mentioned before, the fatty acids found in coconut oil have strong antifungal, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties that kill the fungus and any other bacteria that might be growing on your scalp.
4. Protection from the Sun
While a lot of us take special care to protect our skin from sun damage, we usually neglect to do the same for our hair.
Luckily, coconut oil has an SPF of 8 and acts as a natural sunscreen, safe to use for both children and adults. For a day out in the sun, apply the oil as a leave-in conditioner.
5. Lice Prevention
The European Journal of Pediatrics published a study which proved that coconut oil combined with anise spray is more powerful at eliminating lice than permethrin; the mainstream lice treatment.
The same study showed that the coconut oil concoction was almost 50% more effective than permethrin, being successful in 33 of the 50 participants. Alternatively, coating damp hair with coconut oil makes it a lot easier to comb through as it detangles the hair and removes the lice more efficiently.
The Best Ways to Use Coconut Oil
Integrating coconut oil as part of your hair care regimen will add volume, shine and give a boost to your hair growth. With consistent use, your hair will show significant improvement.
For Hair Growth
Apply coconut oil and either shampoo it after a couple of hours or leave it overnight in your hair for a deeper treatment.
For best results, use a chemical free shampoo that is gentle on your hair yet strong enough to remove all oil residue. Otherwise, the excess oil can make your hair look greasy.
Heat some coconut oil in a safe utensil for a few minutes over low heat. Make sure you can touch it without burning your skin otherwise it can be dangerous to use on the scalp. Rub it on your scalp and gently massage. Let the oil sink in for a while and then rinse out with a good anti-dandruff shampoo.
For Damaged Hair
Warm up some coconut oil and massage it into your scalp and hair, targeting trouble spots in particular. Dip a towel in warm water, squeeze out the excess water and then wrap it around your head while it is still warm. Alternatively, cover your hair with a shower cap.
After a couple of hours, gently wash out the oil with preferably an herbal shampoo. A shampoo with harsh chemicals is just going to hinder the restoration process.
Which Coconut Oils are worth buying?
To get the best results from using coconut oil, we suggest that you try to stick to extra virgin, organic, and raw types of coconut oil.
This means that you are using the purest form of the oil to your hair, minus the additives and chemical ingredients. Here are some of the products that we recommend:
1. Viva Labs Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Viva Labs coconut oil is a gluten-free product made of extra virgin, unrefined, and cold pressed coconut oil. Certified by USAD, it is free of pesticides and trans fats guaranteed! The formulation and processes to maintain quality assurance are done diligently to make sure that you are getting the best form of coconut oil.
It’s been reviewed by almost 16’000 customers and rated 4.7 out of 5. See the reviews on Amazon.
2. Cococare 100% Coconut Oil
Cococare should be an essential part of everyone’s beauty regime. It consists of 100% natural coconut oil which moisturizes well and absorbs fast. Making it perfect for skin, hair and even nails. It doesn’t have a strong odor or chemical fillers. Another plus point is that it is affordable and has an extended shelf life.
It’s been reviewed by more than 550 customers and rated 4.4 out of 5. See the reviews on Amazon.
3. Nutiva Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
One of the best-sellers on the market, Nutiva is made from cold-pressed, non-hydrogenated coconut. The formula complies with USDA standards and has a pleasant aroma. Other than being a great product for the hair, it is also ideal for other things such as cooking and oil pulling.
It’s been reviewed by almost 8’000 customers and rated 4.7 out of 5. See the reviews on Amazon.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should you put coconut oil in your hair?
Coconut oil can be used daily if necessary, but benefits can be seen with less frequent use. Apply coconut oil as often as necessary to treat brittle hair, dandruff, and hair loss. Most people get satisfactory results using coconut oil every two to three days.
Is it safe to use coconut oil as a leave-in conditioner?
Coconut oil is safe to use on hair and skin, and will not damage skin or hair if left on for an extended period of time. However, it can make hair look greasy, so it is best used as a deep conditioning treatment before shampooing.
Will coconut oil strip hair color?
Yes! If you are looking to remove hair dye to return to your natural color, coconut oil can be very effective. However, if you have dyed your hair and do not wish to remove the color, coconut oil is not recommended.
Is coconut oil good for every hair type?
In contrast to oils like castor oil, coconut oil get mixed results: people with fine to medium shiny hair will see good results quickly and notice stronger, shinier hair with more volume. Those with coarse or dry hair may not struggle with low protein at all and coconut oil may lead to more brittle hair and hair loss. These people may benefit more from other types of oil like marula oil or argan oil.
There is a reason why coconut is considered a “super food”. Even though coconut oil is fantastic for the hair, always be mindful of your diet, keep your hair clean at all times and use hair products that don’t have strong damaging effects on your hair.