When it comes to hair care, valuable plant-derived oils are probably the most popular ingredients of homemade hair masks, as well as of manufactured hair products. Many of those natural oils are believed to have an enhancing effect on hair.
However, only a few of them firmly established themselves on the cosmetics shelves as ‘miracle remedies’ for various hair problems. Let us shed some light on one of them, i.e. coconut oil for hair, an absolute hit of the beauty industry nowadays.
Coconut oil is used for a variety of purposes, be it cooking, cleaning, or for health and beauty care. It is extracted from the white pulp of coconuts and is solid in its form at room temperature.
The oil is famous for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties due to the high lauric acid content. That is why it has become a staple product in skincare, as it can prevent such conditions as acne, eczema and a yeast infection. But what are the advantages of coconut oil for hair?
Compared to many other plant-based oils, it can be better absorbed by the hair strands. The reason behind it: its fat molecules have a medium-chain structure, which makes it easier for the oil to enter the hair shaft.
Most other commonly-used oils are composed of long-chain fats and may not interact with the hair so well. This ability makes coconut oil great for nourishing and protecting the hair from outer exposure.
The main component of our hair is keratin, a type of protein. Very dry hair is a sign that it lacks protein. Heat-styling and chemical cosmetic procedures like dyeing, damage the protein molecules, thus making your hair thinner and weaker.
In this case, coconut oil can be a helpful remedy to fight protein loss. Mostly due to its ability to deeply penetrate through the hair cuticle.
Also, did you know that wet hair is more prone to breakage and damage? When water penetrates the hair strand, it lifts and deforms the hair cuticles. That is why you should never rub your wet hair with a towel, as this action ruins the hair structure.
Applying some coconut oil on the hair before washing it will close the cuticles and prevent water and harsh chemicals from going deep into the hair shaft. Besides, if you let the oil sit on your hair for about an hour, it will enrich the strands with the nutritional elements.
Coconut oil is primarily used for weak and dry hair both before and after washing. If you do a coconut oil hair mask before shampooing, you reduce the damage caused by aggressive chemicals that most shampoos contain.
Alongside applying the oil as a pre-wash routine, you can also use it as a great post-wash leave-in conditioner. Apply a small amount of oil starting from the middle part of your hair and on its ends to add more shine and sleek.
This will also tame your hair and make it easier to style it. Do not apply too much to avoid a ‘greasy’ look, especially if your hair tends to be on the thinner side.
Some online sources claim that coconut oil can also be used for hair growth, however, this information has not been well studied and is only based on anecdotal reports. Coconut oil as such does not have a particular ability to stimulate hair growth. However, since it can improve the overall health of your mane, hair growth can become more visible.
If you want to reap the various benefits of coconut oil plus boost your hair growth, try mixing a tablespoon of coconut oil with the same amount of castor oil and a few drops of essential lemon oil.
When combined, these ingredients become much more effective in facilitating hair growth. Rub the mixture onto your scalp and leave it for an hour or two before shampooing.
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This precious oil is a multi-purpose substance that is claimed to work for different hair types. Nevertheless, some people write online that coconut oil has actually made their hair drier. What could be the reason behind it?
To find out whether coconut oil is suitable for your hair, you need to know your hair type and porosity. Porous hair has raised cuticles, hence, coconut oil is great for their treatment, as it gets easily absorbed, ‘seals’ in moisture and smooths out the hair shaft.
Low porosity means that the hair cuticles lie flat and tightly closed, preventing the water from entering the strands. If you apply coconut oil on low-porosity hair, you create an extra barrier for moisture to enter.
As a result, your hair may become even more brittle and dry. Try a coconut oil mask one or two times and pay proper attention to your hair quality after doing it to see whether such treatment works for you.
You can also determine your hair porosity by placing a single hair strand into a bowl of water. If the hair sinks, then it has high porosity and vice versa. If it flows in the middle of the bowl, then your hair has normal porosity, in which case, apparently, you can safely use coconut oil too. Remember, that curly hair tends to be porous.
Coconut oil has a myriad of benefits for one’s health and is a staple product both in the food and cosmetic industry. The benefits of coconut oil for hair are numerous, which are:
If you think that pure coconut oil does not do much good for your hair, you can mix it with other oils or ingredients in a mask. It will improve the absorption of other active elements.
It is a great oil to use for your hair on a regular basis. However, you should also take care of your whole hair routine and choose the right complex of products to make your hair grow healthy and beautiful.
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