Coconut oil has been used by humans since time immemorial. From treating skin problems to providing healthy and shiny hair, coconut oil has variety of benefits. Coconut oil is rich in anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties, lauric acid, and medium-chain fatty acids that make hair strong, improves the scalp condition, removes dandruff and help to regrow hair.
• Nutritional Profile
1. Powerful antioxidants
Coconut oil is rich in antioxidants and they provide a healthy nutrition to our hair. Antioxidants like Vitamin E and Vitamin K is found in coconut oil which helps repair and build healthy tissues. When you apply coconut oil to scalp, it reduces inflammation and repairs damages done to hairs by chemical-filled hair products. Vitamin E and K will make hairs soft, manageable and shiny.
2. Caprylic acid
Caprylic acid is a good saturated fatty acid that has antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. It kill the bacteria and microbes causing damages to the hair and scalp. It kills the microbes which makes hair fall or prevents from natural growth or increasing dandruff condition on the scalp.
3. Lauric acid
lauric acid is more easily absorbed by the body and has a host of other associated health,skin and hair benefits. The hair protein easily binds with lauric acid from this oil that gradually leads to the strengthening of hair strands and stops the breakage of hair due to thinning. The strong bactericidal properties of lauric acid can be used to effectively and naturally treat acne. Studies have demonstrated that lauric acid works as an antibiotic treatment method against Propionibacterium bacteria that causes acne breakouts on the skin. This bacteria promotes follicular inflammation (inflammatory acne), especially when other skin bacteria are present.
4. Capric acid and other nutrients
Capric acid, together with other medium-chain triglycerides, is responsible for the health benefits attributed to coconut oil. Capric acid has strong antiviral and antimicrobial properties. Capric acid is converted into mono-caprinin the body, where it can help combat viruses, bacteria, and the yeast.
Both sunflower and mineral oils do not help at all in reducing the protein loss from hair. Coconut oil, being a triglyceride of lauric acid (principal fatty acid), has a high affinity for hair proteins and, because of its low molecular weight and straight linear chain, is able to penetrate inside the hair shaft.
• Tips for using coconut oil for hair
1. Amount to be applied on hair and scalp
Apply moderate amount of coconut oil to your scalp. Over using the oil is not gonna do any good to you. Applying too much of coconut oil, there is a possibility that it can clog the hair follicle which is a definitely not good for healthy hair.
2. Mix other ingredients too
The strength of coconut oil increases when it is mixed with other ingredients like essential oils,castor oil,olive oil, argan oil,mustard oil and more. For example, honey is also good for hair when mixed with coconut oil because it gives moisture to the hair and gives extra strength to coconut oil when applied in combined form.
Do get your hair patch test done before applying coconut oil because you may not get desired results if your scalp doesn’t respond to it.
• Top 10 uses of coconut oil
1. Hair growth
Coconut oil deeply nourishes your hair and helps it grow. Changes can be seen with regular usage. To get better results , try using warm coconut oil. It penetrates deeply and opens the follicle. To increase the effect, you can also add rosemary essential oil to it and massage it on your hair for 4 to 5 minutes. You can wash your hair after 1 hour or keep it overnight.
2. Anti dandruff
Due to its anti microbial property, coconut oil can actually make you get rid of dandruff. To get better and faster results , you can mix some lemon juice and tea tree oil or aloevera gel. Apply it on your scalp and massage gently . You can repeat it 2 to 3 times a week and get rid of that itchy scalp.
3. Removes split ends
Split ends can be caused due to many reasons, but the cure is here. Take 2 eggs and mix 1-2 tablespoon coconut oil well. Now, add 1 tablespoon of honey to the mixture and apply to the scalp and hair. Keep it for at least 30 minutes and wash it off with shampoo. You can repeat it for at least once in a week. This egg and coconut oil hair mask will provide the nutrients necessary to improve dry and damaged hair with split ends.
4. Cures hair loss
No one wants to be bald, but one will if they don’t cure their hair loss problem. Well, were here to help you to fix this issue. Take 2-3 inches of fresh ginger root and extract the juice from that. Now mix the ginger juice with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and apply this to your scalp. Keep this mixture for about 20-30 minutes and rinse it off with a mild shampoo. Repeat this 2-3 times in a week. Both have antibacterial and antifungal properties which kill microbes and unclog the hair follicle to grow new hair.
5. As hair conditioner
You can soften and strengthen your hair at the same time by using coconut oil. Take 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, 1 tablespoon of shea butter and 1 tablespoon of honey. Now, melt the shea butter and coconut oil on low flame and mix honey when it cools down. Make partitions of your hair and apply the hair conditioner from root to tip of the hair and on the scalp too. Keep it for 1 hour and rinse it off with the mild shampoo. Repeat at least once in a week.
6. Treats hair lice
You can actually get rid of hair lice by following some simple steps. Melt a cup of coconut oil and add 12 drops of tea tree oil or anise oil. After a hot shower and careful combing of the hair using a lice comb, apply the coconut oil lotion and cover the head with a shower cap. Leaving this type of coconut oil and anise solution on the scalp and hair for 20-30 minutes and repeat the procedure within 7-9 days.
7. Detangling hair
We all suffer from this issue each morning we get up or each time we wash our hair. However , coconut oil can be a great solution to it. Take a hair spray container and add one cup distilled water and mix 2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil, 2 tablespoons of your favourite hair conditioner and 20 drops of lavender essential oil. Seal the container and shake it well before application. Spray this solution on your tangled hair very well. Start from the tip of the hairs. Make several partitions of your hair and firstly detangle your hair from a tip by combing it slowly with wide tooth comb and slowly move to the upper direction of your hair and finish that section of your hair before going to the next section.
8. Treats scalp acne and itchiness
Acne seems to be occurring anywhere. But what can one do if you have it on your scalp. Coconut oil is the solution again. Take 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and mix 5 drops of tea tree oil and apply to the scalp daily. Coconut oil and tea tree oil have the anti-microbial property which kills the microbes causing and spreading acne. Coconut oil exfoliates the skin and tea tree oil unclogs the hair pores. Tea tree oil is also very effective in hair growth and dandruff.
9. Frizzy hair
Different hair styling tool like hair dryer, curler, straightener make hair rough and dry. Use coconut oil for hair styling, this will lock the moisture from hair and make it smooth and silky.
10. Managing hair
If you got a whole day planned, you need you hair to stay maintained and set for all day long. Coconut oil is effective here too. Mix ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil, 7 drops rosemary oil and ½cup distilled water in a spray bottle and mix well. Spray this condition from middle to tip of your hair and let it dry for some minute.
Variety of coconut oil
1. Virgin coconut oil
It is by far the best coconut oil and one can extract the most desired results from it. It has better antioxidant properties.
2. Extra virgin coconut oil
Their is not much difference between virgin and extra virgin coconut oil.
3. Refined coconut oil
It isn’t the most pure form of coconut oil. But it provides all the benefits of coconut oil without the distinctive taste and smell of coconut oil.
4. Liquid coconut oil
It is natural coconut oil that has been fractionated. It actually stays in liquid form at room temperature, while virgin coconut oil does not. Some of the key benefits cannot be achieved by liquid coconut oil.
5. RBD coconut oil
Refined Bleached and Deodorized coconut oil is not something to be used. This process removes the coconutty taste and smell and if you are using it, you are taking chemicals too.