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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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    Last Updated on November 11, 2019

    How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

    How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

    Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

    To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

    Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

    1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

    Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

    Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

    To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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    2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

    Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

    If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

    Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

    3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

    Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

    Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

    4. Feed Your Brain

    Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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    This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

    Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

    Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

    5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

    According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

    Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

    Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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    6. Write it Down

    If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

    It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

    You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

    7. Listen to Music

    Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

    8. Visual Concepts

    In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

    Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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    Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

    9. Teach Someone Else

    Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

    Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

    10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

    Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

    So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

    Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

    More About Boosting Memory

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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