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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

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    Rima Pundir

    Health, Wellness & Productivity Writer

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    Last Updated on September 18, 2020

    7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

    7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

    Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

    Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

    1. Exercise Daily

    It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

    If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

    Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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    If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

    2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

    Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

    One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

    This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

    3. Acknowledge Your Limits

    Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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    Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

    Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

    4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

    Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

    The basic nutritional advice includes:

    • Eat unprocessed foods
    • Eat more veggies
    • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
    • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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    Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

      5. Watch Out for Travel

      Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

      This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

      If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

      6. Start Slow

      Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

      If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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      7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

      Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

      My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

      If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

      I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

      Final Thoughts

      Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

      Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

      More Tips on Getting in Shape

      Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

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