Beauty Vocab, Hair

Hair: Introduction to Coconut Oil

Now that I have organized my facial care, I decided to proceed to learning about principles of hair care. Currently my routine involves nothing more than shampoo, conditioner and a styling cream with occasional use of heat protector and coconut oil as a deep treatment. As I look around, I started to realize that my hair-care routine probably belongs to the past century so I am full of enthusiasm for updates. I decided to evaluate pros and cons of my present day hair-care ritual so I can center myself and gain better sense of direction.

Benefits of coconut oil as applicable to hair-care:

 

Helps to prevent protein loss in the hair

 

 

Coconut oil is the richest natural source of medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs). It is especially rich in the C12 chain of MCFAs known as Lauric Acid which in turn is supportive of hormone health and cellular health. This property of coconut oil alone is one of the reasons it helps to prevent protein loss in hair. Coconut oil was found to reduce protein loss remarkably for damaged and undamaged hair when used as a pre-wash and post-wash grooming product (Mineral oil and sunflower oil which are the most commonly used in hair product formulations were found to be not at all effective in addressing the protein loss in hair). Lauric acid has high affinity for hair proteins and people claim to achieve visible results within short period of time.

 

Hair loss due to lack of protein in the diet is a rather common thing. As such, if your hair are or have recently become dull or thin, you could benefit from protein treatment in the salon or coconut oil conditioning at home. Either way please be careful not to do treatment too often and avoid product that over-deposit protein in your hair

 

 

Helps to manage hair frizz

 

 

Hair with high porosity often has tears and gaps in the strands that make it more susceptible to damage. Those gaps allow the hair to absorb too much water which can cause frizz. The protein of coconut oil nourishes the hair with vital proteins which strengthen the strands and returns elasticity to the hair

 

 

Nourishes the scalp and helps to remove sebum buildup

 

 
 

Moisturizes and conditions the hair

 

 
 

Helps to grow hair longer, thicker and faster

 

 

Hair growth is largely dependent on internal issues. That said, coconut oil helps to restore health of your existing hair. This way, the effort of your body can focus on growth rather than supporting existing weak hair

 

 

Helps to defeat dandruff

 

 

Rich in vitamins K and E, coconut oil is said to be of great help in fighting the dandruff. Coconut oil has antifungal properties and as such helps to kill bacteria causing dandruff. Coconut oil is super nourishing so it moisturizes the scalp and as such prevents dandruff

 

 

Helps to detangle the hair

 

 

Coconut oil coats the hair making it easier to detangle the hair after washing or in the evening

 

 

Helps to protect hair from sun damage

 

 

In one of the previous posts I mentioned that coconut oil has SPF 4

 

 

Many nourishing hair benefits of coconut oil stem from it being super protein rich product. As such people who have soft, fine or medium thick (in diameter) hair can directly and immediately benefit from including coconut oil in their hair-care routine. The protein supplied by coconut oil will add body and volume to such hair types. It will also minimize the damage caused by combing and styling of the hair.

However, I believe that there is no such thing as “one fits all” and that the statement “too much of a good thing is a bad thing” rings the truth. If some people lack protein in their hair, some people are protein sensitive which means coconut oil might not be the best beauty solution for them. It is suggested that people who have dry, stiff, brittle or coarse hair (could be wavy or curly) might have a tendency for their hair and scalp to be protein sensitive. Those people could still try using coconut oil; however, they should use more caution when doing so. They should be very acute to the feedback their body provides them with. For example, if your hair became hard, stiff and less elastic or if your scalp burns upon contact with coconut oil, it means that you might be protein sensitive or that you are dealing with protein buildup.

Writing this post my objective was to present a more complete picture of coconut oil use for hair. As such, following are the best practices and the things to keep in mind in case you do decide to use coconut oil as part of your hair-care:

 

Thorough rinsing

 

If your haircare routine consists of all natural products, you have to make sure that they are capable of removing excess oils from the hair. Many commercial products contain strong detergents that are too rough for the hair; however, some homemade solutions might be too gentle resulting in the product buildup.

 

 

Avoid the scalp

 

 

Thought coconut oil seems to be beneficial for people who struggle with dandruff that has a fungal component, generally speaking it is suggested to avoid application of coconut oil directly to the scalp as it may cause irritation.  People who are protein sensitive experience severe burring feeling and

 

 

Start with small amounts

 

 

Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. In this case, overuse of coconut oil can cause protein buildup which all negative aftereffects

 

 

Hair and scalp sensitive to protein

 

 

 

Hair protein sensitivity test DIY: Use Greek yogurt or coconut oil on the strand of your hair. If upon wash, your hair feels crunchy or hard you might be protein sensitive.  Listen to your body

 

 

Add other ingredients

 

 

Adding other ingredients can change how coconut oil affects your hair. When using coconut oil as a deep treatment, you will get better results if you blend coconut oil with honey or yogurt as opposed to using coconut oil alone

 

I do believe that the outside packaging we have should be taken care of in a very consistent manner. However, using coconut oil on your hair provides benefits on a strictly chemical level. Our hair does not have the ability to digest or metabolize coconut oil like the digestive system does. As such, to fully utilize the beneficial properties of coconut oil you should consume it internally. Hair just like skin is a reflection of our overall health so it would be best to work inside out. If you balance your hormones and nourish your body then your luscious hair will be a reflection of your inner state!

Thanks for reading,

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