I know Coconut Oil has innumerable benefits on health. But will it suit my hair type?
Here are the answers:
I’ve been a fan of coconut oil for a really long time. It is a highly nourishing oil with hundreds of uses, and lately, I’ve run across many sources touting the benefits of coconut oil for hair. It can certainly be beneficial for certain hair types when used correctly, but many sources recommend using it in ways that may do more harm than good.
Before you go pour coconut oil all over your head, make sure know how to use it correctly to get the benefits without harming your hair!
Why Use Coconut Oil for Hair?
Coconut oil is the richest natural source of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), special types of fatty acid with antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that are very nourishing to the body. It is especially high in the C12 chain of MCFAs known as Lauric Acid.
Lauric acid is naturally occurring in breast milk as well and is supportive of hormone health and cellular health. This beneficial property of coconut oil is also one of the reasons it can help prevent protein loss in hair (for some people). Coconut oil’s structure allows it to penetrate hair in ways that other oils are not able to, which is why some people notice amazing results relatively quickly when using coconut oil for hair.
The idea of putting oil directly in the hair can seem counterintuitive, especially to anyone with naturally oily hair. Nourishing hair oil treatments have been used for thousands of years, though these use a certain ratio of beneficial oils (and I add honey and magnesium) and these are not used as an everyday product.
Those who think that coconut oil may be beneficial for their hair types can benefit from using it, but there are some best practices when using coconut oil for hair:
Avoid the scalp: Though coconut oil seems to be beneficial for those who struggle with dandruff that has a fungal component, others may see negative effects from using coconut oil directly on the scalp. Coconut oil may clog pores and cause irritation for some scalp types (just as it does on certain skin types), and is best used directly on the hair and not the scalp (of those with the right type of hair).
Start with small amounts: Again, more isn’t better. Especially until you know how your hair handles coconut oil, use a small amount and see how hair responds.
Add other ingredients: Adding other oils can change how coconut oil affects hair. As a deep treatment, blending coconut oil with honey and yogurt may offer more benefit than coconut oil alone.
Eat the Coconut Oil for Maximum Benefit
For all the beneficial properties of coconut oil, hair doesn’t have the ability to digest or metabolize coconut oil like the digestive system does. It can offer some benefit on a strictly chemical level, but you won’t be able to fully utilize the beneficial properties of coconut oil when it is used externally or in hair.