We know coconut oil has numerous benefits internally, but what about externally? If you have ever searched online for a natural beauty remedy, you’ve most likely read about coconut oil and how it can help with beauty.
The first area of beauty that coconut is perfect for is your hair. When you look up natural remedies for your hair or just ways to make your hair healthy and shiny, coconut oil often comes up as the primary recommendation. Coconut oil isn’t too harsh and doesn’t leave behind an oily residue, while providing a lot of benefits for your hair. Let’s talk about how to use coconut oil for hair and why it helps.
History of Coconut Oil as a Beauty Product
Applying oil to hair and skin is an age-old tradition in Asian and African countries. The traditional system of medicine in India, Ayurveda, has several formulations of oils (based mainly on coconut and sesame) with herbal extracts. (Source)
It Gives You Natural Shine
Who doesn’t want to add a little more shine to their hair? When you use a lot of hair styling tools with heat and don’t use a heat protectant beforehand, you are killing a lot of that moisture in your hair. People with dry and frizzy hair naturally can also get some help with moisture by using coconut oil.
Coconut oil doesn’t break down easily or evaporate in your hair, so when you add it to dry hair, it can help you retain more of the moisture. It leaves your hair feeling silky smooth and soft without making it super oily. This extra moisture is also going to help reduce further damage from split ends and sun damage.
You Can Reduce Hair Loss and Damage
The next benefit of coconut oil for your hair is by helping with hair loss and other forms of damage to your hair follicles. By adding coconut oil to your hair a few days a week, you can help prevent or stop hair loss and damage.
Hair damage happens after excessive or repeated chemical treatment, grooming habits, and environmental exposure which cause changes in hair texture. These changes can be seen microscopically as “weathering” of the hair shaft and contribute to tangling and frizzing.
Coconut oil helps repair and prevent this damage to hair by reducing protein loss in both damaged and undamaged hair! When studied alongside mineral oil and sunflower oil, coconut oil was the only oil found to reduce the protein loss remarkably when used as a pre-wash and post-wash product. (Source)
Why is this? Well, coconut oil is a triglyceride (a type of fat found in the body) made up of lauric acid. Because of this and its molecular structure, it has a high affinity for hair proteins and can easily penetrate inside the hair shaft.
Coconut oil also helps prevent hair loss by protecting hair follicles. The oil can fill the gap between the hair and the follicle wall and prevent the penetration of damaging chemicals like sodium laureth sulfate into the follicle. Surfactant molecules like SLS, when penetrated into the follicle, can lead to loosening of hair in the follicular cavity, and ultimately leading to hair loss. Applying oil on a regular basis can eliminate follicular damage leading to hair loss. The overall effect is a head full of rich and long hair! (Source)
To reap the damage repair benefits, you can apply coconut oil to your hair or you can make a mixture with lime water and even a little bit of gooseberries to it. This is a mixture often used in India and sometimes combined with other herbs as well. Apply it either before or after you have washed your hair. You won’t strip all of the moisture from the oil even if you add it before taking a shower.
It Might Remove Dandruff and Flakes
You may think that adding coconut oil to your hair would worsen your scalp build-up and dandruff, but it is actually the opposite. Coconut oil is revered as being a top natural remedy for dandruff since it is antifungal, antiviral and anti-bacterial. There are fatty acids in coconut that can help get rid of all that build-up and help to prevent it from forming in the future. With a little coconut oil added to your shampoo or massaged directly on your scalp, you can stop being embarrassed whenever you wear black. It won’t happen overnight, but after regular use you should see an improvement.
You Have a Natural Detangler
Since coconut oil helps so much with adding moisture to your hair, it will also benefit you if you struggle with knots and tangles in your hair. You might struggle with tangles if you have long hair, a lot of waves or curls, or if you like to wear it up a lot, which can cause knots when you remove it from the hair tie. If you want to use coconut oil for detangling, always start with a natural organic virgin coconut oil, since doesn’t leave behind a residue.
Melt the coconut oil by massaging it in your hands, then apply it to the ends of your hair. Once you do this, begin brushing it through to remove the tangles. If you apply the oil to your hair on a regular basis, you should start seeing less tangles!