Coconut oil is one of the most popular ingredients used in homemade body creams, sunscreens and beauty products. Lately, it’s even been added to hair products.
In India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, Burma, Philippines and the Carribean, women have been using coconut milk and coconut oil to keep their hair silky, long and naturally colored for hundreds of years.
There’s no denying the many benefits you get from eating coconut oil, but what about when it’s used topically? Here’s why coconut oil for hair is good for you.
1. Prevents Hair Loss
Hair loss can be caused by inflammatory skin conditions, fungal infection and nutritional deficiency. Coconut oil is full of healthy fats, which nourishes the hair shaft and scalp, fights skin infections and reduce inflammation (1).
To use, mix 2 tbsp of sage oil and 3 tbsp of coconut oil. Cook over low heat until everything is combined. Let it cool until and test on the skin of your hand. It should be warm but not burning. Apply all over your head before bed and cover with a shower cap. Wash out in the morning and style as usual.
2. Repairs Hair Damage
When compared with mineral oil and sunflower oil, coconut oil came on top as the best natural oil for hair damage prevention (2). Coconut oil was also the only oil found to reduce protein loss and strengthen the shaft.
You can also use the oil on split ends to help repair them, although it’s always best to trim them off every 6 weeks or so.
3. Makes Your Hair Smooth
Frizzy hair is actually often caused by excessive dryness of the cuticles and hair shaft. Coconut oil is hydrophobic, meaning it repels water, but it also retains moisture within the hair shaft.
Applying coconut oil for 10-15 minutes before washing will leave your hair silky and smooth. You can also lightly apply coconut oil to split ends to make them easier to brush through. As for styling, use a little bit of coconut oil to tame flyaways and slick down hair to create smooth updo’s.
4. Fights Dandruff
Dandruff is a common chronic scalp condition marked by flaking of the skin on your scalp, which can be caused dry skin or fungus, among many other reasons (3).
Coconut oil can actually treat dandruff (4) by fighting fungal infection (5) and hydrating dry skin.
To use, mix equal part coconut oil and castor oil and massage into the scalp and leave for 30 minutes before washing out. If you suffer from severe dandruff, use this trick every time you wash your hair.
5. Kills Lice
Lice are a very common problem with young children. Most lice treatments are highly toxic and burn the scalp and damage the hair.
Coconut oil is often used to treat lice in small children because it hydrates the skin instead or irritating it. It even works against pesticide-resistant lice (6).
The oil coats the lice and slowly suffocates them as well as preventing them and their eggs from hanging onto the hair shafts.
To use, apply evenly to the hair, leave in for several days and continue applying more oil as it gets absorbed into your skin and hair. You can also add in a few drops of tea tree oil for a more potent lice formula.
6. Gray Hair
Pigment cells located at the base of each hair follicle is responsible for the color of your hair. However, as you grow older more and more of these pigment cells die and become less efficient.
One way that coconut oil prevents gray hair is by nourishing your scalp and protecting the base of your hair follicles. The healthier it is the longer you’ll be able to avoid gray hair.
To do this, massage your hair with coconut oil and lemon everyday for at least 15 minutes. If that doesn’t work for you, you can always try this.