The benefits of coconut oil for hair and skin
Coconut oil is full of healthy saturated fats and offers a distinctive and delicious taste making it a beloved ingredient in many foods. In recent years however, many people have also begun to celebrate the wide and varied cosmetic benefits coconut oil offers. Due to its antimicrobial properties, coconut oil has natural anti-fungal properties making it an important aid for a number of skin issues, such as acne and athletes foot. What’s more, due to its naturally hydrating properties, the oil can be used as a moisturizer and is effective at reducing dryness.
The benefits of coconut oil for hair are well-documented and varied. While it may seem counter-intuitive to apply oil directly to the hair, it doesn’t not have the heavy and greasy effect you may think: instead it naturally strengthens, cleanses and smooths the hair. Comprised of medium-chain fatty acids, the oil from coconuts is able to penetrate much more deeply into the hair shaft than other substances. As such, it can provide much needed moisture to dry hair and help strengthen the cuticle to help prevent split ends.
Different ways to use coconut oil for hair
There are a number of different ways to use coconut oil for hair. The most popular are:
- As a deep conditioning hair mask
- As a detangler
- To help fight dandruff
For anyone looking to use coconut oil for a hair mask the process is quite simple. Follow these tips for a deep and hydrating experience.
- For cosmetic use, it’s best to pick a virgin coconut oil that has been cold pressed. This will best ensure it is packed full of the healthy nutrients your hair craves.
- Wash your hair first to ensure it is totally clean and let it dry completely before getting started.
- Take a small amount of coconut oil, about the size of a tablespoon, and rub it between your hands to warm it up to a liquid state.
- Gently massage through the tips and middle section of your hair using your fingers. Try not to let too much sit on the scalp and this can block the pores.
- Wrap your hair in a warm towel and let it sit for up to thirty minutes.
- To wash out, use a clarifying shampoo.
When you shouldn’t use coconut oil for hair
The very things that make coconut oil so well suited as a treatment for some types of hair, can equally make it have more damaging effects on others. The high concentration of lauric acid that naturally occurs in coconut oil helps it to reduce protein-loss from hair strands. For hair that is very fine and benefits from added strength, this is a huge asset. However, if your hair is coarse and comprised of thick individual strands, using coconut oil for hair treatments could prove counterproductive: rather than smoothing the strands, the oil can create a protein buildup, exacerbating their stiffness.
A great alternative to coconut oil for hair is a weightless smoothing oil or serum that seals the cuticle without weighing the strands down. Try out the GLISS Oil Nutritive Weightless Oil to achieve light-as-a-feather frizz-fighting that also leaves hair feeling soft and shiny.