Coconut oil is very popular and frequently preferred as hair oil worldwide. Before you start using this oil for its many beneficial, functions, perhaps you should find out what makes it so special, and why millions of people choose to use it.
Many people living in coastal areas of the world, more specifically in the areas where coconuts grow in abundance, know that the the sweet smelling coconut oil is their one and only hair oil. These are areas like the Indian Subcontinent, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, Burma, Philippines, and parts of the Caribbean.
Coconut oil is rich in carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals which are good for the human body. However, coconut oil is not limited to hair; it is used in the preparation of cosmetic soaps and creams, and in Asian countries, it is also used for preparing various kinds of food and salads.
Coconut oil has been in use as hair oil for thousands of years, and it has shown remarkable results. Certain components in it keep the hair strong, nourished and protected from the effects of premature aging, like baldness and excessive hair loss. Let’s see what some of those benefits to hair are, and what components of coconut oil are responsible!
Benefits of Coconut Oil for Hair
Hair Loss: Coconut oil has been used since ancient times in India for grooming hair. Various remedies were prepared using herbs and coconut oil to prevent hair loss. One such remedy can be prepared in modern times by boiling sage leaves in coconut oil. This mixture can be applied to the scalp for the improvement of healthy hair, and its use will also prevent hair loss.
Applying a mixture of lime water and coconut oil can also provide relief from hair loss, as does the mixture of coconut oil and gooseberries. Boil the gooseberries in coconut oil and then apply it on the hair.
Hair Damage: The use of coconut oil on hair helps to reduce protein loss in both damaged as well as undamaged hair. Coconut oil rich in lauric acid, has a high affinity for hair protein, and easily penetrates inside the hair shaft, which is due to its low molecular weight. It can be used for pre-wash or post-wash hair grooming.
Cooling Properties: The application of coconut oil on the head and scalp also has a cooling effect. It can cool and soothe people with hot heads, or those who suffer from severe scalp sweating.
Moisture Retention: Coconut oil has a high moisture retaining capacity, since it is not easily broken down nor evaporated, being very stable. It does not let moisture escape, thus keeping hair moist and soft, which prevents breakage of hair.
Hair Conditioning: Coconut oil is a better conditioner for hair than any synthetic one available in the market. Use of warm coconut oil helps in keeping hair shimmering and soft. Apply some warm oil at night and wash your hair the next morning. This can be repeated every few days for healthy, strong and conditioned hair.
Anti-Dandruff: The various fatty acids present in coconut oil serve as very good anti-dandruff agents and are far better than any anti-dandruff shampoo. Regular application of coconut oil can help you get rid of dandruff forever. Coconut oil mixed with lukewarm water and castor oil can also be effective in treating dandruff. Massage the scalp and hair with this mixture for ideal results.
Another home remedy for dandruff can be prepared by mixing coconut oil with sesame oil. Apply this mixture for about 30 minutes and then shampoo the hair.
Styling: Coconut oil can be a good styling oil for hair as well, as it melts on heating and then condenses when cooled. Therefore, when you apply it on your hair, it thins and spreads evenly due to the heat of the scalp. Soon afterwards, as the hair comes in contact with air, the oil on the hair condenses, thus working as a styling gel or cream.
Lice Protection: Lice are a very common pest found in the hair and can cause embarrassment for anyone. They also have a tendency to come back again and again. There are many chemical products available for the treatment of lice, but unfortunately, they can also damage the scalp and hair due to their strong chemical components. Combing wet hair with a fine comb is a good remedy for getting rid of lice but this may also damage the wet hair. However, if one coats the wet hair with coconut oil, it becomes much easier to comb and subsequently remove the lice.
Hair Care for Dry Hair: For people with dry hair that is rough and thin, taking good care of your hair is a big concern. However, using strong hair care products for cleansing, toning and conditioning may lead to a dry and flaky scalp. Coconut oil can be effective in taking care of this sort of dry hair.
Hair Toning: Coconut oil also helps in the toning of hair, especially dry hair. Apply a warm mixture of coconut oil and lavender essential oil on scalp at night, then wash and rinse your hair the next morning. You may repeat this as frequently as you want until you see your desired results.
Hair Conditioning: Hair conditioner can be easily prepared at home using coconut oil. It is not only effective; it also does not have side effects. Mix some henna with coconut oil and warm milk to make a paste. Apply this to the hair for 20 minutes and then rinse hair properly. This hair conditioner is very effective, particularly for dry hair.
Boils: Some people experience the condition of boils on the scalp, especially during the winter. This may also happen if exposed to heat or sun for a long duration. It is important to keep both the hair and scalp clean, and occasional massaging of the hair with a mixture of coconut oil and olive oil may provide relief from the uncomfortable and unsightly problem of boils. However, if the problem persists, it is advisable to contact your health care specialist.
Split Ends: If you have a lot of split ends in your hair, it is generally advised to cut them, but in case this problem appears on a small number of your hair strands, then you can use simple home remedies to solve the problem. Massage your hair with a mixture of coconut oil and almond oil for a few minutes; this will help in minimizing the split ends and joining them back together.
Gray Hair and Baldness: Coconut oil is also beneficial for preventing baldness and gray hair. Try mixing Bhringraj or Eclipta Alba leaf juice into coconut oil and apply this on the scalp and hair.
Coconut oil is widely available in the market. Many people choose an odorless variety, use it for any and all hair conditions, and reap all the benefits of a healthy head of hair!
Coconut Oil in Shampoo
You may not be aware of this, but your shampoo likely contains coconut oil, at least in small amounts. Lately, people have come to understand how important natural oils are for hair nourishment. Oddly enough, over the past three decades or so, using oil on hair was viewed as a sign of backwardness or ignorance. The majority of people believed that, particularly in India.
The most popular look was wind-blown, fluffy light hair, resulting from indiscriminate use of oil-less, caustic and chemical-based shampoos. Very soon, however, those who oiled their hair continued to do so, while the other group had no hair left to shampoo. The excessive use of shampoo often results in drying up and breaking away of hair and total devastation of the health of the scalp.
That is when oils began to make their way into the shampoos and manufacturers began widely using coconut oil in shampoo. The major manufacturers learned a lesson from the old men and women with natural, strong jet-black hair living in coastal areas of India and neighboring countries who had been using coconut oil on their hair since childhood. Their unbelievably healthy hair was due to the coastal climate and the cultural traditions that placed pure coconut oil as an important part of their health regimen.
Commercially, using coconut oil in shampoos showed marvelous results and it was soon a widely accepted additive or pure form of hair care products.
Healthy Hair: With the various benefits such as hair nourishment, anti-aging properties, moisture retention, and vitamin E supplementation, coconut oil in shampoo is one of the best things to aid in the health of your hair.
The Oily Factor: Detergent or soap-based shampoos leave your hair dry, rough, hard and bleached. That is why you occasionally find that your comb does not go smoothly through your hair after you shampooed it. The oil in shampoo counters this effect. In coconut oil, that component comes from natural saturated fats, and they keep the hair smooth and shiny.
Fragrance: Coconut Oil adds a sweet and refreshing scent to the shampoos as an added bonus.
Finally, if you are not regularly using a reliable shampoo that contains coconut oil, you can always mix some coconut oil into your preferred shampoo and enjoy the results. For the best effect, make it an organic or herbal shampoo.
Apart from the uses of coconut oil listed above, it is important to keep hair clean, eat well, use good hair grooming products that have minimal side effects and use a good comb that does not break or damage the hair.
Here is a good video on how to use coconut oil for hair care in the optimal way. Good Luck and Happy, Healthy Hair to Everyone!
Sources of Information: Reports of Coconut Development Board of India, Reports of KERAFED, Text books of various courses of agriculture, Various other reports on internet