Is it okay to leave coconut oil in your hair overnight?

Sep 15 2020Jeanette

Is it okay to leave coconut oil in your hair overnight?

Coconut oil is definitely a force to be reckoned with in the world of beauty and skincare. In the past decade or so it’s sky-rocketed from relative obscurity and is now seen as a go-to treatment for everything, from dental hygiene to dry skin to damaged hair. However, there’s still a bit of uncertainty circulating the product as many are unsure how best to use coconut oil which is why today I’m going to be addressing a common question – can you leave coconut oil in your hair overnight?

Why you should be leaving coconut oil in your hair longer

Coconut oil can offer your hair a more intense treatment the longer it is left in (within reason – don’t go leaving coconut oil in your hair for days!) especially if you’re looking to hydrate your hair.

You see, coconut oil contains what are known as medium chain fatty acids as well as plenty of amino acids. Now the word acid is a bit misleading as these nutrients help to strengthen and hydrate your hair, particularly if it’s damaged or lacking in protein, a key structural component. It also helps that coconut oil is rich in plenty of other vitamins and minerals, including antioxidant vitamin E, meaning that it can help to ward off free-radical damage and oxidative stress.

The longer you leave the oil in your hair, the more chance it has to soak up these wonderful nutrients! However, there are some cases where an overnight coconut oil hair mask might not be such a good idea so I’ve decided to discuss a couple of them below!

2 reasons NOT to leave coconut oil in your hair overnight!

1 – Oily skin, oily hair

It should be common sense but, if you do suffer from oily hair or oily skin, an overnight coconut oil hair mask might not be for you. Adding more oil to your hair or skin, especially overnight, is unlikely to improve the problem and may only make things worse. If you have oily hair I’d recommend opting for a treatment like Dr Hauschka’s Hair Tonic which, rather than adding oil, can help to absorb excess oil from your hair and scalp, making your hair appear healthier and less greasy.

2 – Too much protein

This can be a confusing one, particularly since protein is more often than not associated with keeping fit and building muscle rather than with your hair. However, your hair is formed of a special type of protein called keratin but modern day stressors – namely thermal heat, pollutants and harsh chemicals – can play a role in diminishing the quality of your hair, causing you to lose protein. This, in turn, causes your hair to become weak and more prone to frizz and split ends.

Just as too little protein can damage your hair though, too much protein can often lead to a similar result as it can cause your hair to lose moisture, allowing it become brittle, stiff and dry. If your hair has too much protein, adding coconut oil into the mix can make the situation worse as it contains amino acids which can help to bolster your production of protein.

Always go for quality, not quantity!

As with everything, it’s never about how much you use but rather what you use. It doesn’t matter if you’re dousing your hair in coconut oil for 20 minutes or 7 hours, if you’re using poor quality, processed coconut oil then you’ll be at a disadvantage and you’ll be unable to make the most of the beneficial substance. That’s why I always recommend using a high-quality, organic coconut oil like Lucy Bee’s Extra Virgin Organic Raw Fairtrade Coconut Oil.

Unlike most high-street coconut oils, this oil is processed at very low temperatures and filtered to remove any impurities, leaving only the oil itself. This is chockfull of goodness as it has had none of its nutrients stripped away or removed. If you want to learn more about how to use coconut in your hair, I’d suggest reading Joanna from our Edinburgh West End Store’s blog, ‘How do you use coconut oil in your hair?