An ever-expanding supply of hair products pops up on the market everyday nowadays and some of them becomes a revolution in our lives. Coconut oil for hair stands in the top positions of this category of many people and it’s not for a coincidence: the fragrant scent, the organic varieties available and its chemical properties can deliver exquisite results for hair treatment.
On the other hand, a quick search about hair use of coconut oil will bring as results many accounts of people unhappy with the products, and that’s not a coincidence either: apart from the different brands, the using the oil requires some previous knowledge.
What is coconut oil for the hair
This extract from the coconut has a wide variety of uses, from skin care to culinary purposes, and it’s been very popular for many decades in the Caribbean, India and many South Pacific countries, such as Indonesia and the Philippines. In some places it is used as an ingredient in hair loss remedies and other mixtures.
The growing popularity of coconut oil for hair masks, deep-conditioning and other treatments comes partly from the oil’s molecular structure, which allows it to act more deeply than most of the compounds in hair products.
The most obvious advantages from applying some oil directly on the hair are for styling and conditioning purposes. Warm coconut oil will melt and spread evenly on the scalp, tone the hair and condense in the contact with the air, taking care of the split ends – not to mention its fabulous conditioning effects and the powerful moisture retention properties.
Apart from carbohydrates and nourishing vitamins and minerals, coconut oil contains lauric acid, which penetrates the hair shaft and reduces protein loss. That’s why using it in pre-wash or post-wash grooming can help with frail hair. Also because of the protein loss reduction action, it may strengthen the hair and bring protection against premature aging effects – excessive hair loss, for instance.
Some kinds of hair problems like dandruffs have a microbial cause. Another remarkable advantage in using coconut oil for hair is the antibacterial and antimicrobial properties of the oil’s medium chain fatty acids. In fact, it is the richest natural source for these.
And the versatility of coconut oil doesn’t stop there: apart from the many disposable ways of use, it is also often incorporated in shampoo formulas. Differently from the usual soap-based shampoos, which sometimes bring roughness and hardness to the hair, coconut-oil-based shampoos keep hair moist and soft and contribute to its health.
Precautions of coconut oil for hair
First of all, take it easy: coconut oil for hair sure is great, but is not a miraculous ointment. So, try it in small amounts on your hair until you learn its particular response to the product. Typically, the benefits of frizz reduction and hair coating come from applying the oil in small portions. Rubbing up some oil between the hands and spread and style it on the frizzy hair is an example of common use without exaggeration.
The oil is also not recommended for every type of hair. Coarse or dry hair, for instance, may already be rich in protein. Therefore, the continuing use of these products may result in frail shafts of hair in such cases. Also for this reason, it must be regarded that applying coconut oil in the scalp may obstruct the pores and irritate some types of skin. On the other hand, other types of skin can be benefit from its antidandruff action.
Finally, blending honey, argan oil and other ingredients to coconut oil for hair will bring completely different results, because of the mix of their fatty acids. Just remember that each case is a different case.