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 .
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 . 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 .
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 .
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
- Heating the coconut oil to warm-to-touch temperature and then dabbing it on the scalp with your fingers, massaging as you apply.
- 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 ! 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 ! 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 .
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.
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 .
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