Thanks to the heat emitted from styling devices like curler and straighteners and the harsh chemicals that seem omnipresent in convention hair care products, hair damage is unfortunately extremely common and people are always seeking out new remedies. That’s why today I’m going to step away from the usual treatments such as shampoos and conditioners, and instead focus on a more natural alternative that’s readily available and affordable – coconut oil!
How does coconut oil help your hair?
Coconut oil has exploded in popularity in recent years, with people hailing its benefits for everything from dental health to skin care to nutrition. This is rightly so as coconut oil is a powerhouse of nutrients and fatty acids, but how exactly does it benefit your hair, especially if it’s damaged?
1 - Coconut oil is rich in fatty acids – You might be wondering exactly how do fatty acids benefit your hair exactly? Well, to start with, fatty acids can help to promote hair growth and even impact how your hair absorbs certain nutrients, so they’re actually incredibly important! If you have damaged hair, you’re going to need as many nutrients as possible and sometimes a low intake of fatty acids have even been attributed to drier, weaker hair.
In particular, one of the medium chain fatty acids that coconut oil contains, lauric acid, is especially good at penetrating your hair shafts, binding with your hair proteins and helping to protect your hair from further damage. In fact, studies have even demonstrated that coconut oil can prevent hair protein loss more effectively than any other oil!
2 - Coconut oil is extremely hydrating – Dry hair and damaged hair are two distinctive problems but often they occur simultaneously. If your hair is dry, it’s more vulnerable to breakage and damage but, fortunately, coconut oil can remedy this problem as it helps to keep your hair hydrated, soothing dry hair issues such as dandruff and resulting in stronger hair that’s more resistant to wear and tear damage.
3 - Coconut oil contains plenty of antioxidants – If your hair is damaged, what you really need is plenty of antioxidants. Antioxidants can help to support the overall health of your hair, protecting it against sunlight and other environmental pollutants that can cause extensive damage. Antioxidants such as vitamin E can also help to ward off free-radical damage, a potential cause of hair loss!
4 – Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory – Inflammation can be quite destructive for hair that’s already damaged as scalp inflammation has even been associated with hair loss. It also goes without saying that excessive amounts of bacteria can pose the risk of infections which will only diminish the overall quality of hair even further. That means applying a little coconut oil once in a while may help as it is a natural anti-inflammatory, possessing antibacterial and antifungal properties too!
Is coconut oil suitable for all hair types?
When it comes to dry, damaged hair, coconut oil can be a very good option however, it does have some drawbacks. If your hair is oily or very fine, for example, using too much coconut oil can result in greasiness and dullness, which you definitely want to avoid. Remember, a little coconut oil really does go a long way so try to bear that in mind when using the substance.
Which type coconut oil is best?
If you’re going to be using coconut oil then it’s definitely worth opting for quality over quantity. Since coconut oil is so widespread these days, becoming a permanent fixture on supermarket shelves, sometimes it can contain unwanted chemicals and preservatives which definitely won’t help your damaged hair.
That’s why I always opt for an organic, extra virgin coconut oil which is 100% pure and unrefined such as Lucy Bee’s Raw Extra Virgin Organic Fairtrade Coconut OIl. This oil is produced from fresh, mature raw coconut kernel and is processed at a very low heat to preserve as much goodness as possible. It is also incredibly versatile as you can use it not only as a beauty product, but also in cooking!