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How To Nourish Your Hair With Coconut Oil

How To Nourish Your Hair With Coconut Oil

Did you know that coconut oil can multitask as a hair conditioner, dandruff zapper, a styling agent, a hair-growth stimulant as well as an excellent and all-natural sun protection for the hair, and skin? If you think that these are nothing but tall claims, you thought wrong; for all this and more is scientifically backed with strong evidence.

Coconut Oil: A True Multi-Tasker

Coconut oil has long been known for its healthy properties which is why it has been used extensively in the kitchens – most of us have a bottle in our larders. It contains healthy minerals, vitamins and nutrients and is perhaps one true superfood we can all use to eat, and apply to truly nourish the hair as well [1].

So Good For The Hair Too!

With anti-microbial action and sun protection of about SPF 7, coconut oil contains natural ingredients like lauric acid and fatty acids that not only strengthen the hair and induce growth but also condition the scalp as well [2]. Lauric acid has an affinity for protein and so in easily penetrates the hair shaft and strengthens the hair strand itself, making it break resistant. A coconut oil massage on the scalp stimulates blood flow to the hair follicles thus aiding in hair re-growth [3].

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Which Coconut Oil Should You Pick?

Coconut oil labeling can get a bit tricky at times. The safest bet is to go for virgin (extra-virgin means the same in coconut oil terminology), organic (so that it is pesticide free) and cold-pressed or expeller-pressed. This means you will be buying the best grade coconut oil there is, be it for eating, or applying to your hair [4].

How to Use Coconut Oil For Hair Care?

The easiest, though messiest way to apply coconut oil to the hair is by oiling your hair. Whilst in countries like India this is common practice in almost every household; for someone unaccustomed to oiling, things could get a bit messy and a lot sticky.

Steps to oil your hair is

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  1.  Heating the coconut oil to warm-to-touch temperature and then dabbing it on the scalp with your fingers, massaging as you apply.
  2. Once the scalp is covered, you can choose to oil the hair from roots to ends and then brush the hair to further spread the oil. You can wear a shower cap and leave the oil overnight to work its magic but can also choose to shampoo off after 30 minutes for a coconut oil quickie.

Remember to use plenty of warm water to rinse as cold water can cause the oil to solidify and clog the scalp pores as well as clump the hair. And also, a little of coconut oil is a lot, so apply in lesser amounts to start with [5]! If you have oily hair, skip it entirely.

Now if you cannot take the feel of all the oil sitting on your scalp and hair, there is this one other way to make coconut oil a part of your daily hair care routine, and also throw those chemical-laden shampoos out. How? By making a coconut oil shampoo, all by yourself!

DIY: Coconut Oil Shampoos

There is many a different way to make your own coconut oil shampoo at home that not only cleans your hair of dirt, grime and dandruff but also protects your hair from a lice infestation [6]! Regular use of a homemade, artificial-chemical free coconut oil shampoo means that you would not need any conditioner or styling agent and the SPF factor of the coconut oil will also protect your hair from the drying rays of the sun [7].

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    DIY Soapy Coconut Oil Shampoo

    • ¾ cup virgin coconut oil
    • 1 cup liquid castile soap
    • 10 drops vanilla extract

    Gently mix all three ingredients together so that the soap doesn’t lather up – keep it in a squeezy bottle in the fridge, and it will last about a month.

    Use this as a normal shampoo, and the great thing is that you would not need a conditioner after this as the oil in this DIY shampoo will condition your hair, keep it tangle and frizz free and also provide sun and weather protection.

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    DIY Non-Soapy Coconut Oil Shampoo

    • 1 cup extra virgin coconut oil
    • 1 cup aloe vera gel
    • 10-15 drops of your favorite essential oil

    Gently mix the three ingredients and store in fridge – this shampoo should last about 2-3 weeks. Remember that while this shampoo doesn’t lather up or feel like a traditional shampoo, it does clean and nourish the hair from inside out making it stronger, glossier and more manageable than before. And in case your hair feels a little oily after the wash, just rinse once with ½ cup of apple cider vinegar [8].

    Basically, coconut oil is literally like an elixir for your hair. It doesn’t matter if you traditionally oil your hair or make a homemade coconut oil shampoo as long as your hair gets the TLC of all the nutritious benefits that coconut oil brings to the table.

    Featured photo credit: CoconutMerchant via coconut-merchant.com

    Reference

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    Rima Pundir

    Health, Wellness & Productivity Writer

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    How to Keep Yourself Awake at Work Without Caffeine

    How to Keep Yourself Awake at Work Without Caffeine

    Keeping yourself awake at work can be a real challenge when you’re bored, exhausted or sleep-deprived.

    But before you reach for that can of Red Bull, bottle of Mountain Dew, or pot of coffee, try these healthy remedies to stimulate your 5 different senses and help you stay awake at work:

    Sight – Visual Stimulation

    The first thing you do when you wake up is opening your eyes, so your visual stimulation is very important to keeping your energy level high.

    1. Maximize your exposure to light.

    Your body’s internal rhythm is regulated by the amount of light you receive. The greater your exposure, the more alert you will feel.

    Open the shades and let in the sunlight. Step outside or look out the window. Turn on all the artificial lights in your office or around your work space.

    2. Exercise your eyes (or give them a break).

    Roll your eyes up and down, side to side and diagonally. Rotate them clockwise and then counterclockwise. Squeeze them shut and then open them wide. Do this several times.

    Reading and sitting in front of a computer screen for long periods can lead to eye fatigue.

    Take regular breaks with deliberate blinking and looking out into the distance.

    3. Take note of your environment.

    Learn to enjoy people-watching. Observe their activities, speech, body language and interactions with others. Notice the details of building, trees and other objects around you, including their color, shape and size.

    By doing this, you’re not only relaxing your eye muscles but also calming your mind.

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    Hearing – Auditory Stimulation

    What you hear or listen to have direct effect on your brain. This is why we feel so annoyed and sometimes angry when we hear construction noise when we’re working.

    4. Engage in conversation.

    Talk to a friend or colleague. Trade funny stories. Discuss your business venture, a creative idea, the latest political scandal, or any other topic that interests you.

    Practice mindful listening to what you and the other person are saying. Tune into the tone, volume and content of the conversation.

    Learn how to practice better listening from this guide:

    Why Listen to Reply Instead of Understand Is the Key to Failure

    5. Listen to upbeat music.

    Try hip hop, rock or jazz to keep you alert. Instrumental, non-distracting music works best.

    Sing, whistle, and hum along if you can. Plug in the earphones if you must.

    Smell – Olfactory Stimulation

    If you’re feeling sleepy and suddenly smell the coffee, you’ll probably feel more energetic. This is why smell is an influential stimulation.

    6. Work your nose.

    Aroma therapists recommend essential oils of peppermint (to boost energy), rosemary (to build awareness), eucalyptus (to increase oxygen), cedarwood  (to activate your mind), and cinnamon (to improve your reaction time).

    If you don’t have essential oils on hand, you can use lotions or burning candles that provide the same scents.

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    Citrus like lemons, limes, grapefruits and oranges are also natural olfactory stimulants. Get a whiff of these citrus scents to stay awake.

    Taste – Gustatory Stimulation

    If you want an energetic day at work, you can’t let your tongue feeling plain and flavorless.

    7. Have a good breakfast.

    Start off with the most important meal of the day.

    Think fresh, light and healthy: bran cereals, wholegrain breads, fruits, and yogurt.

    Nix the heavy stuff like sausages, greasy eggs or pancakes.

    Need some breakfasts inspirations? Check out these ideas:

    20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time

    8. Drink lots of water.

    Keep a glass or bottle of H2O near you and sip from it throughout the day. Dehydration can leave you feeling tired, sluggish and sleepy.

    So make sure you drink enough water throughout the day. Not sure how much to drink? This can help you:

    How Much Water Should You Drink Each Day (and How Much Is Too Much for You)

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    Think that you’ve been drinking too little water? Try these friendly reminders:

    3 Best Apps To Help You Drink Much More Water

    9. Eat energy-boosting snacks.

    Nuts and fruits (like bananas, apples and strawberries) are sure bets. Pairings with staying power include baby carrots with a low-fat cream cheese dip; celery sticks with peanut butter; red peppers with hummus; and plain yogurt with granola.

    Avoid carb-filled, sugary snacks that make you crash and leave you feeling tired.

    Here you can find some healthy snack ideas:

    25 Healthy Snack Recipes To Make Your Workday More Productive

    Touch – Tactile Stimulation

    Last but not least, your sense of touch will make you physically feel more energetic and less stressful.

    10. Splash cold water on your face.

    Do this in the morning, during bathroom breaks and in the afternoon. Being exposed to cold water pushes your body to adjust and regulate its internal temperature, which in turn keeps you alert.

    This works the same as you take a cold shower to increase mood and alertness. Take a look at this article to learn more about it:

    5 Surprising Benefits of Cold Showers

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    11. Use acupressure.

    Apply pressure to, massage, or tap on the stimulation points of your body. These include the top of your head, the back of your neck, the back of your hand (between the thumb and index finger), just below the knee and your earlobes.

    Watch this video to learn about the acupressure points you can try:

    12. Get moving.

    Move away from your chair and stand, walk, run or climb the stairs. Feel the earth under your feet. Stretch and twist. Do jumping jacks, lunges, push-ups and back bends.

    And if you need to move more discreetly, wiggle your feet, bounce your knee up and down, scrunch your toes, or cross your legs.

    You can also try some simple stretches and exercises at your desk:

    Unlike addictive caffeine fixes, these remedies activate your senses, engage your attention, amp up your energy and prevent morning grogginess and afternoon slumps without the side effects or health risks.

    Pick a few ways from this list of suggestions and practice them consistently. And when you do this consistently, you’ll soon see the positive results — a more energetic and productive you at work.

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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