Many people are surprised to learn that using coconut oil for hair can completely transform the condition and appearance of your locks. If you are not aware of the benefits of using this natural treatment, it is time to learn more about what it does and how it works so you can decide if this treatment is appropriate for your hair. It is particularly effective on dry hair and damaged hair. In Asia, women have known about the coconut oil benefits for hair for many years but it is only starting to gain popularity in the rest of the world as a treatment for dry hair.
Coconut oil is unique compared to other oils typically used on hair such as mineral and sunflower oils because it can actually penetrate through the hair shaft to the scalp and infuse it with protein. This helps hair to grow stronger, have more body, and be less resistant to breakage. If your hair is lacking a bit of life, this is a great way to add some bounce. It also makes dry ends or split ends appear much healthier thanks to the fatty acids it contains. This oil moisturizes and fortifies hair in a way that no other treatment can.
Not just any oil or product labeled with coconut will do the job, however. First of all, coconut shampoo is easy to find but this does not carry the same benefits as the oil. Many of these shampoos only feature the fragrance of shampoo so you are going to have to look a bit harder to find what you need. A health food store or natural beauty aisle is a good place to start. You must use pure coconut oil for hair to reap the benefits so avoid the refined types. These lose all of the nutrients that help the hair during processing. That’s why it is essential to seek out something labeled as virgin coconut oil. For hair, the closest you can get to nature is usually a better choice so read labels and ingredients very carefully.
When you buy pure coconut oil, you might be surprised to find that it is not a liquid at all but rather is more of a wax. It only becomes a liquid at higher temperatures so some slight warming may be necessary before using it. It is usually enough to scoop a bit out and warm it slightly in your hand before applying it to your hair. If you purchase it in liquid form, there is a good chance it is not virgin coconut oil so again, make sure you are getting the real thing if you want to reap the benefits.
After warming the oil, apply it to dry or damp hair. Make sure hair is not dripping wet when you apply it. Pay extra attention to the scalp, massaging into the scalp so it can penetrate. Then distribute it all the way through to the ends of your hair using a comb. Put a shower cap on to help the oil stay in place while you do other things. It should be left on for a few hours or ideally overnight if possible. Stick to the lower range of time if your hair tends to be oily but try to sleep with it if you have really dry hair. Once it has had a chance to soak in, wash your hair and dry and style it as usual. Note that you may need to shampoo your hair twice to get all the oil out and you may want to skip conditioner. If you find that your hair looks too greasy the first time you use it, you can use dry shampoo to make your hair look less greasy and next time try using less oil.
Most people find that doing this intensive coconut oil for hair treatment once a week is plenty. This should help counteract the stripping effect of your shampoos as well as any heat styling you may do during the week. While you may want to do it more often than that at first to help restore your hair’s condition, you should eventually switch to once weekly for maintenance. Any more than that can be a bit of a hassle and really shouldn’t be necessary. As the condition of your hair improves, you may only need to use coconut oil once or twice a month.
After using natural coconut oil in your hair, you will start to notice less breakage and shiny hair. Straight hair will look more healthy and even and curly hair will have better curl separation and definition. This is a great place to start before shelling out for expensive treatments as many people find no need for high end deep conditioners once they try coconut oil. It’s a cheap and natural way to get beautiful hair.