The Scientific Reasons Why You Should Try Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is totally safe for use on hair. Even for those with delicate hair and sensitive scalps, it is effective in providing soothing moisture to hair with lasting results.
So, maybe you’ve tried many an oil only to be left with straw-like hair a day or two later? That’s because many hair oils cannot penetrate the hair shaft, but rather just coat strands and make them feel softer and smoother. Until they are rinsed out or wear off, that is.
Coconut oil happens to be different than other oils when it comes to hair retention. Studies show that coconut oil is the best oil at penetrating the hair follicle. This means it gets down into the hair cuticle and repairs damage, creating longer lasting results.
And that’s not all. A 1999 study by the Journal of Cosmetic Science found that coconut oil is effective in reducing damage and breakage when applied to hair.
As Marissa Waller, founder of BeauTeaBar.com, says…“Coconut oil is fantastic for the hair because it’s ultra hydrating and nourishing. If you have dry, damaged or color-treated hair then coconut oil is an inexpensive and simple way to repair damaged hair quickly.”
Super long history and science-backed benefits aside, coconut oil for hair has other bonuses too. The oil is easy to use and store, convenient to purchase, and rather wallet friendly. What’s not to love?
The Many Benefits of Using Coconut Oil for Hair
Take a look at the many ways coconut oil can make your mane happy.
- Completely nontoxic and safe for hair and scalp.
- Moisturizes without feeling heavy or greasy.
- Improves scalp health.
- Wards off fungus and infection.
- Boosts hair growth.
- Adds volume and shine to hair.
- Helps to prevent hair loss.
- Repairs hair damage due to dryness or coloring.
- Helps hair to hold color when used before coloring.
- Diminishes dandruff.
- May help to prevent graying.
- Soothes irritated scalp.
How to Use Coconut Oil On Your Hair and Scalp
Possibly the most common way to use coconut oil on your hair is as a conditioning treatment. While the oil makes an effective de-frizzer and detangler when used as a styling treatment, deep conditioning is the best way to get all of the healthy hair advantages of coconut oil.
As we’ve shown above, coconut oil is good at penetrating the hair shaft and this works even better if the coconut oil is heated. Follow these simple instructions for using coconut oil as a deep conditioner:
- Warm two tablespoons of coconut oil in a glass dish in the microwave for 15-20 seconds. Be sure the oil is not too hot before applying.
- Massage the heated oil into dry hair and scalp, working through to ends of hair.
- Don a towel or shower cap and allow to soak in for at least 20 minutes.
- Shampoo and condition as usual.
Coconut oil also makes a useful nighttime hair treatment. Marissa is fan of this approach.“I drench the lengths of my hair with coconut oil until it is fully coated and then pin it up in a loose bun before I go to bed. In the morning, I shampoo and condition as usual and when it’s dry it is so shiny and full. I love it!”
Society of Cosmetic Chemists. (1999) Journal of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists. Available at: http://journal.scconline.org/pdf/cc1999/cc050n06/p00327-p00339.pdf