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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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    Health, Wellness & Productivity Writer

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    Last Updated on July 10, 2020

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

    We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

    So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

    Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

    What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

    Boundaries are limits

    —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

    Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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    Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

    Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

    Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

    How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

    Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

    1. Self-Awareness Comes First

    Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

    You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

    To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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    You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

    • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
    • When do you feel disrespected?
    • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
    • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
    • When do you want to be alone?
    • How much space do you need?

    You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

    2. Clear Communication Is Essential

    Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

    Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

    3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

    Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

    That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

    Sample language:

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    • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
    • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
    • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
    • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
    • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
    • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
    • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

    Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

    4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

    Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

    Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

    Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

    We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

    It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

    It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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    Final Thoughts

    Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

    Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

    Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

    The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

    Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

    Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

    They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

    Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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