Not everyone is blessed with thick and shiny hair. Fortunately, one of the many uses of coconut oil is as a hair conditioner and moisturizer. Whilst many people use this type of oil as an overnight conditioner, coconut oil also contributes to hair growth and repair of damaged hair. In fact, there exists a significant body of research that proves that the use of coconut oil fosters the growth of longer, thicker and healthier hair. So how exactly does coconut oil contribute to hair growth?
Why Coconut Oil For Hair Growth?
For starters, coconut oil contains fatty acids that combine with the natural proteins found in human hair to protect it from breaking. The fatty acids found in the oil mix with the protein to create a protective shield around the roots and hair strands. In addition to fatty acids, coconut oil also contains lauric acid. According to recent scientific studies, the lauric acid found in coconut oil is more effective in strengthening hair strands than a combination of sunflower oil and other minerals. Additionally, a study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Sciences concluded that coconut oil is the only type of oil that minimizes protein loss.
Coconut oil is rich in minerals and vitamins which are essential to hair growth. According to physicians and dermatologists, most hair and skin conditions are as a result of vitamin E deficiency. The reason being that vitamin E is instrumental in maintaining the integrity of the cell membranes found in hair follicles. Additionally, the accumulation of dandruff that causes hair loss can be attributed to vitamin E deficiency. Thus, coconut oil acts as a valuable source of vitamin E and other nutrients for your hair.
Human hair is vulnerable to environmental and heat damage. This is why moisturizing your key to maintaining a shinier and healthier hair and there is no better moisturizer than coconut oil. Thanks to its high penetration levels, coconut oil penetrates into hair follicles and creates a protective shield of moisture that ensures your hair is protected against heat and environmental hazards. Additionally, dry hair strands become thin and eventually break when not moisturized. The consistent use of coconut oil ensures this does not happen by ensuring that your hair strands and follicles are always hydrated.
Fungal and bacterial infections are among the main inhibitors to healthy hair growth. That being said, coconut oil possesses incredible anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties. These fungal and bacterial infections attack the scalp’s skin tissues and hair roots. The fatty acids found in coconut oil disrupt the growth of fungal and bacterial infections thereby protecting the scalp from fungal infections. Thus by using coconut oil you are able to protect your hair from infections.
The primary function of blood in the body is the transportation of nutrients to different parts of the body. Unfortunately, since the scalp occupies the outer portion of the head, blood flow to hair roots is not always sufficient. This results in hair roots receiving insufficient nutrients required for growth. Massaging your scalp with coconut oil stimulates blood flow to the scalp, which means that the hair follicles and roots receive sufficient oxygen and nutrients.
How To Use Coconut Oil
The best coconut oil for hair growth is unrefined or virgin oil which comes in solid form. Thus, before using you have to melt the oil. As with any other type of oil, coconut oil melts when heated. The best way to do this is to use warm water to melt your oil and refrain from using a microwave as it can alter the chemical structure of coconut oil. It’s also better to use a high quality organic product, which might cost slightly more, but is likely to have more of the necessary nutrients to give you the best chance at results.
After gently heating the oil, dampen your hair with warm water and then scoop a tablespoon of the warmed coconut oil. Make sure it’s not boiling as you don’t want to burn yourself. For efficiency, it is recommended to use at least two tablespoons of coconut oil if you have shoulder length hair. Contrastingly, if your hair is longer, you can use up to four tablespoons of the warmed coconut oil. Ensure that you apply the oil directly to the roots of your hair using your fingertips.
To improve blood circulation in your scalp massage it with the coconut oil for 5 to 10 minutes. While massaging your scalp you might notice that a few of your hair strands will fall off. Do not be alarmed by this as it is a normal result of the scalp massage process.
After you have massaged your scalp with the warmed coconut oil cover your head with a shower cap. This prevents the coconut oil from escaping and improves its penetration into your hair follicles and strands. Once the shower cup is on, the next step is to wait. Ordinarily, 20 to 30 minutes will be sufficient to get the desired results. However, if you want to get the best results apply the coconut oil before you go to sleep and leave the shower cap on overnight.
After waiting for approximately thirty minutes or when you wake up (if you leave it on overnight) rinse your hair with a sulfur and preservative free shampoo. Since coconut oil is a natural conditioner there is no need to apply a conditioner. The end result of this simple process is a shinier, silkier, softer and healthier hair.
So, Does It Really Work For Hair Loss?
Yes and no. As we’ve seen, scientific studies support the theory that coconut oil works better than other oils at repairing hair, keeping it healthy and even restoring it, but whether it would actually work on someone who is losing hair fast is doubtful. It’s more a method to ensure you have thick, healthy looking hair. But we’ve given it a recommendation because so many people are seeing amazing results and user reviews from our readers and all over the Internet tend to be very positive.
If you decide to give it a try, here’s a few tips:
- When heating coconut oil, you should note that the oil has a melting point of about 76 degrees Fahrenheit.
- If you have long curly hair that tends to get tangled use the coconut oil with a comb. One of the ways of applying coconut oil on such hair is to apply the oil to the ends of your hair. Then with a comb work out the tangles starting from the ends to the root. Afterward, brush your hair and style it to get a tangle free hair.
- It works best on damp or dry hair, so avoid using it when you’re hair is soaked.
- In addition, when using coconut oil avoid hair straighteners as the excess heat produced by straighteners can have a damaging effect on your hair strands.
- Another thing that you should avoid is over-brushing your hair as over brushing causes mechanical trauma that results in your hair looking unhealthy and having split ends.
- Finally, refrain from using artificial driers as the heat they produce also damage hair. Instead of using artificial driers let your hair dry naturally after applying coconut oil.
Again, if you’re a balding man, this might not be the best method and you may need to go beyond a natural home remedy, but since so many people have experience hair growth using the above methods, you might as well give it a try and see what happens! For women who want to add volume or slow down hair loss, this is one of the best natural remedies out there. If you want to improve the chances of seeing fast results, we suggest you take a look at our other recommended home remedies. You could even alternate using coconut oil for hair loss with another powerful oil such as olive oil, which can be almost as powerful for hair regrowth.