Coconut oil is no stranger to the hair care world. It is the most popular and commonly used hair oil for its numerous benefits. But, have you been using it the right way? More importantly, do you purchase a good quality coconut oil?
Well, leaving excess coconut oil in your hair for a long duration or applying a coconut oil laden with chemicals can do more harm than good. The usage also depends on your scalp and hair type. So, let's understand how to buy and use coconut oil for the best results.
Benefits Of Coconut Oil For Hair
- A study which probed the effectiveness of mineral oil, sunflower oil and coconut oil in preventing hair damage found that coconut oil worked the best in penetrating inside the hair shaft and preventing hair damage. (1)
- Since coconut oil is derived from fatty acids, it has an ability to retain protein in your hair, thus preventing hair loss, repairing damage and keeping your scalp clean and healthy. This is why coconut oil application is considered one of the best deep treatments you can give your hair right in the comfort of your home.
- Studies have shown that coconut oil can function as a hair conditioning agent and is generally safe for application. (2)
- Coconut oil also has anti-microbial properties and thus helps in fighting dandruff and lice in your hair. It also helps prevent dry hair by forming a fine layer of protection around your hair strands.
- The natural oil present in your hair often gets disintegrated due to excessive heat from styling or exposure to environmental pollutants. This is why coconut oil works as the best replacement for your scalp’s oils.
- Some studies have also shown that coconut oil can be a natural sun protectant for your hair. (3)
How To Use Coconut Oil For Hair Growth?
Over a longer period of time, making coconut oil a part of your hair care routine will give you more nourished, manageable, strong hair that does not break easily. There are quite a number of methods to do this:
1. Always begin by applying a small amount of coconut oil on the mid section and then spread it across the rest of your hair. Gently massage your head post application for blood circulation, which will help in absorption of the oil into your scalp.
2. Your hair is in fact at its most vulnerable stage when it is wet. Applying coconut oil to your hair before wash prevents damage and breakage. This is because application of coconut oil to your hair reduces the amount of water being absorbed by your hair while washing, thus preventing hair loss.
3. While most people apply oil to their hair before they wash it, some also apply oil to their hair after they have washed it. Studies say that coconut oil is applied to hair after washing mainly to prevent the damage caused by styling or grooming products. (4)
4. Many also use coconut oil as a natural hair mask, letting it sit in their hair for several hours together before rinsing it off. This gives your hair a natural deep nourishing treatment. It is recommended that you give your locks an overnight coconut oil deep treatment once every week or in every two weeks.
For thick/curly/dry hair:
You can be generous with the quantity of coconut oil you apply. The more amount you take, the better conditioning it will offer to your hair. However, remember to limit the quantity if you have an extremely oily scalp.
For thin/fine/oily hair:
You must not apply more than 10 drops of coconut oil throughout your hair. This is because excess coconut oil can lead to buildup on your scalp, making your hair weighed down and fall flat.
What Kind Of Coconut Oil Is Best For Hair?
Pure and natural coconut oil can transform dry and dull hair into nourished, soft locks. This means you should look for the unrefined, cold-pressed, virgin variety.
Though refined coconut oil has the same moisturizing effect on hair, you might want to look out for additional chemicals often used by many brands to extend the expiry date.
Coconut oil is also available in the market in a liquid form at room temperature-known as fractionated coconut oil. It has a very similar moisturizing ability as unrefined, virgin coconut oil and is often used as a carrier oil to dilute essential oils or other oils like almond and castor.
Coconut oil is also often infused with keratin in certain hair products such as hair masks and hair sprays.
How Long Should I Leave Coconut Oil In My Hair?
It is considered safe to apply coconut oil for about 10 to 15 minutes and then let it sit in your hair for several hours together throughout the night. If you have very fine hair however, it is advised that you don’t let it sit overnight. Remember to not step out with coconut oil on your hair if you’re going to be in a dusty and polluted area, as the dirt can easily stick and get absorbed into your hair.
What Happens If You Leave Coconut Oil In Your Hair For Too Long?
While coconut oil is generally considered safe to use, studies have proven that using too much coconut oil in your hair for very long could lead to an excess oil build up in your scalp and hair.
Your hair already has some natural oils present in it. Using excess coconut oil in addition to the natural oils in your hair could make your hair feel very greasy and dull. It could also make fine hair look thinner if you leave coconut oil in your hair for too long.
Some people complain of hair loss while washing their hair after applying coconut oil. In such cases, the hair loss may be due to some other factors. Using coconut oil only makes the already broken hair fall from your scalp while washing.
Coconut oil is considered a miracle natural oil that works wonders for your hair. It not only repairs hair damage caused by styling, heat and exposure to pollutants, but also prevents dryness and frizz. Long term usage of coconut oil gives you nourished, stronger, healthier and more manageable hair.
Coconut oil also improves the health of your hair and scalp over time, prevents hair loss and stimulates hair growth. It is important to note that you will need to make coconut oil a part of your hair routine for some time in order to start seeing the benefits.
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