Coconut oil is obtained from the meat or kernel of mature coconuts. In many countries, this oil is the primary source of dietary fat, and it is widely used for cooking. However, coconut oil has many uses in cosmetics too, and it is especially beneficial as a skin moisturizer and hair conditioner.
Coconut oil for hair
It is important to understand the structure of human hair in order to know how to take care of it. Hair is exposed to many harmful effects from the environment, from sunshine and water to pollution. Hair also suffers from coloring, bleaching, braiding, hard brushing, blow drying and other things.
Hair is porous, and it has an outer cuticle composed of layers that resemble fish scales or roof shingles. When it is damaged from the outside, the layers are worn away or dislodged, and the inner layer is exposed. This results in split ends, dry, tangled and brittle hair that breaks easily and looks very dull. Sometimes the hair can be repaired but in some cases it is so damaged that it needs to cut off.
Coconut oil can be effective in repairing the damage to the hair. Its molecular structure allows it to penetrate the hair shaft and work together with hair’s natural proteins. It also nourishes and moisturizes the hair.
How to use coconut oil as a hair conditionerCoconut oil works best on hair after it is washed and still wet. The hair needs to be wet but not dripping, and it is best to just dab it a little with a soft towel, without twisting it.
One problem with using coconut oil as a hair conditioner may be choosing the right quantity. There needs to be enough oil so it can penetrate every hair, but too much oil will result in unappealing oily look. The quantity should be small, about half a teaspoon of it for long hair, less for short hair. Coconut oil can be liquid or solid, it does not matter. This oil normally solidifies below 76F but it is still good for use.
The oil should be applied to the hair with fingers, concentrating particularly on the ends. The roots should not be treated with coconut oil because it will give the hair an oily appearance.
It is best to apply this oil when having a lot of free time to spend at home. It should be left on as long as possible before rinsing it. It does not need to be washed away with shampoo, unless too much is used.
Coconut oil also works great on dry scalp and dandruff.