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How To Use Coconut Oil For Hair Health

Ah, coconut oil – you may have tried it for cooking and cleaning. But have you learned how to use coconut oil for hair health yet? Unsurprising to many who love this natural product, there are many potentially beneficial effects of coconut oil for your hair. Read on to learn more about all of the incredible applications of coconut oil for your hair.

Properties Of Coconut Oil That Are Useful For Hair Care

Coconut Oil Is Easily Absorbed By Hair

Coconut oil is mostly made up of lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid. Lauric acid has a low molecular weight and a long, straight structure. This makes it easy for it to penetrate into the hair shaft – more so than many other hair oils, like sunflower oil and mineral oil.1,2

Coconut Oil Can Support Your Hair’s Protein Levels

The lauric acid content of coconut oil can help restore and strengthen the protein structure of your hair. Keeping up your hair’s protein levels can help keep your hair healthy.3,4

It Offers Some Sun Protection

Some in vitro studies have found that coconut oil has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 8.5 This could be useful in protecting your hair from UV rays and the environment.

how to use coconut oil for hair | KintsugiIt May Help Seal Hair Cuticles

The outermost layer of your hair is called the cuticle. The cuticle is made up of overlapping protein-based scales, like shingles on a roof. They act as a protective shield for your hair, guarding the more fragile layers beneath.6

The health and quality of your hair largely depends on this cuticle layer. Like some other oils, coconut oil can help seal the cuticle layer, which could protect the hair by keeping potentially harmful substances out.7,8

The Potential Benefits Of Coconut Oil For Your Hair

You Can Use Coconut Oil To Protect Your Hair

Believe it or not, water can be quite damaging to hair. When your hair gets wet, the internal cortex layer absorbs water and swells. This pushes on the outer cuticle layer so the scales flare up. This can open up the cuticle layer and leave the layers underneath vulnerable to damage.

Coconut oil can help coat your cuticle layer. If done before you wet your hair, this can help reduce the amount of water your hair absorbs, which in turn can help keep your cuticle scales in place. This is useful for curly haired gals and others who tend to have dry hair. Applying coconut oil before shampoo as a “pre-poo” helps seal in natural moisture.9

It Supports A Healthy Scalp

Healthy hair begins with a healthy scalp. Coconut oil may help support scalp health by preventing dandruff and other issues that might affect your scalp.10

how to use coconut oil for hair | Kintsugi

It May Support Hair Growth

While it doesn’t directly make your hair grow, coconut oil is a good tool to use if you are growing your hair out. Coconut oil moisturizes, strengthens, and protects – which may help prevent your hair from breaking as you grow it out.11

It Can Act As A Deep Conditioner

Coconut oil can be an excellent deep moisturizer. It can help strengthen the hair shaft, penetrate the cortex with moisture, and prevent hair breakage. When hair is very dry or damaged, protein loss is typically to blame. Because coconut oil supports protein levels, it’s a good option for damaged hair.12,13

Coconut Oil May Minimize Dandruff

If you’re dealing with dandruff, coconut oil may be able to help. With its antimicrobial properties – it may be able to support a healthier scalp. The high fat content in coconut oil may also be able to address the irritation and flakes caused by dandruff.14

how to use coconut oil for hair | KintsugiAdd Shine To Your Tresses

Coconut oil adds a subtle shine – and a sweet scent – to your hair. The fatty acids and vitamin E content of coconut oil give it moisturizing properties, which makes hair shine.15

It Helps Soften Your Hair

Coconut oil is an emollient, which help to soften and smooth. If you tend to have coarse or rough hair, you may love the way that coconut oil makes your hair feel.16

How To Use Coconut Oil For Hair Care

  • Apply It Before You Hop In The Pool Or Hit The Beach: If you’re planning a day out in the sun, spread some coconut oil through your tresses to protect it from UV rays and moisture loss.
  • Use It As A “Pre-Poo”: ”Pre-poo” is one of the most popular applications of coconut oil for hair. When used as a pre-shampoo treatment, coconut oil can protect your hair from soaking up too much water and becoming frizzy. Before you hop in the shower and shampoo your hair, work a small amount of coconut oil into dry hair, and then wash your hair as normal.
  • Mix It In With Your Regular Conditioner: For a moisture boost, add a dab of coconut oil in with your regular conditioner.
  • Use As A Leave-In Conditioner: Warm coconut oil up so it becomes liquid, and rub a small amount into the areas of your hair that are driest (usually the ends).
  • Use It As A Detangler: After you shower, work a bit of coconut oil into your ends to help detangle your hair before you try to comb it.
  • Work It In To Define Curls: Coconut oil can help infuse moisture into curls, helping to define them for a more polished, less frizzy look. Apply a few tablespoons of coconut oil to curly hair while it is still wet, and let it air dry.
  • Use It After You Style To Tame Frizz: If you find yourself dealing with baby hairs or frizzy hair when you pull your hair back into braids or an updo, coconut oil may help. To use it as a styling aid, apply a dab of oil to problem areas to help tame them.
  • Use It As A Nourishing Hair Mask: Rub a tablespoon of coconut oil through your hair and let it sit for a few hours before washing it out. If you have extra dry or damaged hair, try leaving it on overnight.17,18,19

how to use coconut oil for hair | KintsugiIs It Safe To Use Coconut Oil On All Hair?

In general, virgin coconut oil is safe for most people to use on their hair.20 It’s always a good idea to speak with your doctor or dermatologist before you start a new regime. Keep in mind that coconut oil is, well, oily, and a little goes a long way. Using too much oil too frequently may leave your hair greasy or dull.

Who Shouldn’t Use It?

Because coconut oil helps the hair maintain its protein levels, coconut oil may be especially helpful for people who could use additional protein in their hair. This tends to be people with soft, shiny, fine, medium, or thick hair.

If you have stiff or coarse hair, you may not benefit from using coconut oil on a regular basis. It may support the protein levels in this type of hair a little too much. If you notice your hair is becoming coarse and difficult to work with, stop using it.21

Bottom Line

Coconut oil has a ton of potentially beneficial properties that may help your hair. Whether you’re looking to strengthen, moisturize, or protect, you may find what you need in a little jar of coconut oil. Consider adding coconut oil to your hair care routine; you just may love it.

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