Coconut oil has emerged from obscurity in recent years and is now counted as a miracle product, often being incorporated into everything from food products to skincare creams to shampoos and conditioners. However, when it comes to using coconut oil for your hair things can get tricky. How much coconut oil should you use? Is it suitable for every hair type? How long should you leave it on for? Today, I try to answer some of these questions, discussing how you should use coconut oil when it comes to your hair.
Does coconut oil help your hair?
Coconut oil is extremely popular when it comes to hair care – it’s in everything, from shampoos to hair masks and it’s often used raw as a nourishing hair treatment as well. But, how does coconut oil help your hair? Well, part of the reason coconut oil is thought to be so good for your hair is that it’s rich in medium chain fatty acids as well as amino acids, which can help to nourish and strengthen troubled, tangled locks, especially if they’re damaged!
My colleague Anne from our Largs store talks a bit more about how coconut oil can help to heal split ends. In this blog she mentions the benefits of lauric acid and how it can bind with your hair proteins to prevent further loss and damage. It’s also worth noting that coconut oil is extremely rich in antioxidants too and, since free-radical damage is a major cause of premature ageing and weak hair, this definitely adds some credence to the idea of coconut oil being a go-to hair treatment!
However, coconut oil isn’t for everyone and part of this relates to protein. Protein is an essential structural component of your hair but too much or too little can be disastrous. If your hair is rough and brittle, it can be a sign that your hair has too much protein and it’s starting to impact your hair’s moisture balance. In this case, coconut oil might not be a good option as it may support your production of protein, worsening your situation!
It should also go without saying that, if you suffer from oily hair, adding coconut oil into the mix might not be such a good idea either!
Is it okay to let coconut oil sit in your hair?
If you’re curious to learn more about how you should use coconut oil for your hair, I’d highly recommend checking out Joanna from the West End’s blog, ‘How do you use coconut oil in your hair?’ for a more in depth approach. For now, I’ll be looking at the amount of coconut oil you should be using and how long you can leave it in your hair for.
Ideally, you shouldn’t be using massive amounts of coconut oil, in fact a few teaspoons should be more than enough. A little coconut can go a long way and too much might be detrimental. How long you choose to leave coconut oil in your hair for is up to your discretion. If you’re only after a quick treatment, then half an hour should be enough, however, some prefer to leave coconut oil in their hair for longer, sometimes overnight!
Providing you don’t leave the oil in your hair for too long i.e. more than nine hours, you should be fine. In fact, if your hair is damaged, the longer you leave the coconut oil in for, the better!
What type of coconut oil should I be using?
If you are considering using coconut oil, it’s important you opt for the right type. Since coconut oil has sky rocketed in popularity, supermarket shelves are full of the stuff but quantity definitely isn’t quality, and some of these oils may contain additional chemicals and additives that you certainly don’t want going near your hair!
That’s why organic and extra virgin are the best way to go – these products should hopefully contain nothing but pure coconut oil. One of my favourite coconut oils here at Jan de Vries is definitely Lucy Bee’s Extra Virgin Organic Raw Coconut Oil
Not only does it tick all of the boxes I’ve previously mentioned, this coconut oil has also been processed at a very low temperature to preserve as much goodness as possible. This means that it hasn’t lost any crucial nutrients and still retains its antioxidant qualities!