Coconut oil has a long history of being used as a skincare and hair care product. In Polynesian cultures, people have been using it to style and nourish their hair for centuries now.
Today, coconut oil is widely used as a natural treatment for a variety of concerns. Some people consume it for their health, others put it on their skin as an anti-aging measure, and some use it for makeup removal. Its anti-inflammatory effects are well-known, and it can even help with wound healing.
There are many different ways to use it on hair. For many people, coconut oil appears to bring better results than professional hair care products.
Let’s take a look at how to use coconut oil in your hair to the best effect.
The Hair Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
What kind of improvements can you expect from using coconut oil and what makes coconut oil a better choice for your hair than other oils?
1. Restoring Your Cuticles and Other Hair Proteins
Our hair is damaged by environmental factors like pollution and sun exposure. Some additional damage comes from washing, drying, and styling it. These processes damage the cuticle of the hair, which can make your hair frizzy and thin. Hair with damaged cuticles seems lifeless and becomes prone to breakage.
Using coconut oil has been shown to restore the damaged proteins on the surface of your hair. Unlike mineral oil or sunflower oil, it helped restore some of the cuticles that were disrupted by environmental damage.
The reason why coconut oil is beneficial lies in the structure of its fatty acids, specifically the prevalence of lauric acid. This fatty acid has long, straight molecules, which allows it to get absorbed into hair more easily. Different oils contain a different combination of fatty acids.
2. Moisturizing the Scalp
Coconut oil helps improve the health of your scalp, which means that it reduces dryness and hair loss. It also makes the hair look hydrated. Since dehydration comes with aging, coconut oil is a good choice for older people looking to restore hair volume.
Because of the moisturizing effect and protein growth, coconut oil is a good remedy for hair breakage. For the same reasons, it helps the hair grow more quickly.
If you have to deal with a worrying degree of hair loss, consider introducing this oil into your beauty regimen. In some cases, it’s important to speak with a doctor and treat the underlying reason for hair loss. But coconut oil can help mask the effects by making your existing hair look fuller and healthier.
3. Dandruff Protection
Because this oil helps kill fungi, bacteria, and other microbes, it’s a good choice for people who have to deal with dandruff. Dandruff comes from a fungal growth on the scalp, and coconut oil can help eradicate this.
4. Lice Eradication
Combined with anise, coconut oil helps kill lice without damaging the hair or scalp.
5. Sun Protection – With a Caveat
We already covered the fact that this oil helps undo the damage caused by UV rays. It can actually help protect your hair from the sun, as it blocks some of the radiation before it reaches your hair or skin.
However, you can’t rely on coconut oil alone, and dermatologists advise using it in addition to sunscreen. While it does block out some of the rays that damage your cells, it can’t keep up with a professional-grade sunscreen product.
Some people apply coconut oil to their hair before swimming. In addition to helping prevent sun damage, it protects the hair from the salt in seawater and the chlorine used in swimming pools.
6. Extracting Bubblegum from the Hair
Getting bubblegum stuck in your hair is a frustrating experience. With coconut oil, you can remove it from the strands gently, without causing any damage.
How to Use Coconut Oil for Beautiful Hair
We’ve covered most of the reasons why people like using coconut oil as a hair care product. But how do you actually apply it?
Here is a sample of the different approaches you can take:
Put It on Your Hair Before Shampooing
People with dry hair can use it as a pre-wash product. It helps protect the strands from chemical damage. You can simply rinse it after shampooing.
Use It as a Conditioner
You can also apply coconut oil to your hair after you’ve washed it. This reduces the damage caused by combing and drying, and also makes it easier to untangle the hair.
Rub It into Your Scalp Before Bed
Protecting the health of the scalp is even more important than treating the strands of your hair. You can use the oil as a scalp treatment and leave it on the skin overnight. When you wake up, wash it out thoroughly.
Use It to Add a Natural Shine
If you’re looking for a sparkling but natural look, you can add a few drops of coconut oil to your hair using a spray bottle. It can also help reduce the frizz in your hair.
Try a Coconut Oil Hair Mask
You can also run coconut oil into your hair and then leave it for a few hours. Make sure to wash it out thoroughly to avoid any clumps.
How Do You Heat Up Coconut Oil Before Use?
While it’s fine to use it in its solid form for some treatments, if you want to use coconut oil as a conditioner, you need to liquefy it first.
Many people put it in a microwave to heat it up or just place it on the stove. However, it’s better to use gentler methods. You can put your cup of coconut oil in a bowl of warm water. This lets it melt gradually and retain all its beneficial effects.
Is Coconut Oil Right for You?
It is clear that coconut oil has many fine qualities that make it a good choice for hair care. Anyone with damaged cuticles can rely on it. It’s an especially good choice for people whose hair is damaged due to dyes or chemical straightening.
But if you have very fine hair, you might notice that this oil makes it look greasy. If that’s the case for you, try using less oil, or switch to a different method of applying it. Rinsing it out every time might be the best approach for you.