Before you go pour coconut oil all over your head, like I and so many other’s have done, make sure you know how to use it correctly to get the benefits without harming your hair. I’ve been a fan of coconut oil for a really long time and I still use it, just in a different capacity. It is a highly nourishing oil with hundreds of uses.
So, a little science, this helps things make since to me. Coconut oil consist of (MCFAs) medium chain fatty acids, which is a special type of fatty acid with antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. This is one of the reasons why we like it. One of the main MCFAs is Lauric acid. Lauric acid is found in breastmilk, so it must be good right? This beneficial property of coconut oil is also one of the reasons it can help prevent protein loss in hair (for some people).It’s low molecular weight and straight fatty acid chain,is able to penetrate inside the hair shaft.
Coconut oil is mostly a triglyceride (think human fat) and is hydrophobic (doesn’t mix with water). So the way that coconut oil acts when applied as a pre-wash conditioner is that it coats the hair and inhibits the penetration of water into the hair. A small part of it is able to be absorbed into the hair during the wash when the fiber is swollen. Introduction of this hydrophobic component reduces the swelling ability of the cuticle, which limits the upward curving of the surface cuticle.This reduces the chipping away of the cuticle cells, which reduces protein loss.
Because it helps the hair retain its natural protein, it can be helpful for those who lack enough natural protein in hair follicles, like straighter hair types. Studies have even confirmed coconut oil’s benefits for certain types of hair, but it isn’t for everyone!
Ok, so this is the critical part: Those with fine to medium shiny hair will see good results from coconut oil and notice stronger, shinier hair with more volume. Those with coarse or dry hair may not struggle with low protein at all and coconut oil may lead to more brittle hair and hair loss. These people may benefit more from other types of oil like marula oil or argan oil.
My loose curled people, PLEASE READ: When it comes to using coconut oil for hair, the amount used also matters. You’ve probably heard the saying “too much of a good thing,” and this absolutely applies when it comes to using coconut oil in hair. Just as with supplements, if a little bit is good, a lot isn’t necessarily better.
Coconut oil seems most beneficial when used in small amounts to coat hair or reduce frizz and hair may not respond well to being coated in large amounts of coconut oil.
For best results, try just rubbing a small amount of coconut oil between your hands to warm it up and then working through hair gently. This should help tame frizz and make hair shiny without the negative effects.
Ok, I hope this helped. If you, like me, have tons of coconut oil just hanging around because you found out about the harm it could cause late; use it on your face or eat it. It does wonders for your complexion and may aid in weight loss!
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