Home Hair Hack: Coconut Oil
So I mentioned in my last Home Hair Hacks article how I typically am not one to recommend DIY Hair Treatments. As a licensed cosmetologist I have been educated in countless professional treatments. I know the difference between what works and what is garbage. That being said, using natural and virgin coconut oil in your hair has so many amazing benefits I just had to share. I would never recommend doing a treatment that I don't do myself. I have been doing coconut oil treatments for a few months now and have been completely amazed by the results. I use it as an overnight conditioning and strengthening treatment on my distressed locks.
Strengthen and Condition Hair
Coconut oil and Argan oil are the only 2 natural oils that can be fully absorbed by the hair strand because it has very small molecules. It helps to strengthen by adding some protein missing from damaged hair. It is also rich in lauric acid. I notice after doing an overnight coconut oil treatment my split ends are minimized, my hair is shinier, and my hair is softer than it's been in years.
Promote Hair Growth
Another great benefit of coconut oil treatments is helping thicken and lengthen your hair. It is not some instant magic potion, but it helps do this in 2 ways. The first is what I listed above. By strengthening and conditioning the strands and minimizing split ends it prevents breakage and and further splitting up the hair strand. The second is the act of massaging the coconut oil into the scalp, it not only helps nourish the scalp but also stimulates blood flow which is what promotes the growth.
Some fatty acids found in coconut oil are very efficient anti fungal and anti dandruff agents. Regular applications of coconut oil to the scalp can help remove dandruff better than some dandruff shampoos. Also because it has moisturizing properties it helps soothe dry and itchy scalps
Other benefits I have heard but have not personally used it for so I can't vouch for their efficacy (dandruff either but it is a common problem so I felt the need to include more info on it.) People claim it works as a lice treatment, sunscreen, gray hair and balding, and boils on the scalp.
I apply the coconut oil treatment overnight for maximum absorption. When you purchase some virgin coconut oil it will be solid at room temperature. Microwaving coconut oil makes it less effective. I like to take the jar of coconut oil and put it in the sink and let hot water run over the closed jar melting the oil inside. Coconut oil has a melting point of only 76 degrees so if you are patient you technically could melt it in your hands.Because the melting point is lower than our body temperature, it stays drippy and melted from the heat from your scalp for quite a long time and can be very messy. You will need either a shower cap/ towel/tshirt to put your hair in to help minimize the mess. I wrap my hair up in an old tshirt with the neck hole around my scalp line and go to sleep.
Removing the coconut oil from your hair the next morning requires a few more steps than just your average shampoo. Many people will just wash their hair like 2-3 times to remove the oils so they don't look crazy oily. Washing your hair that many times does remove the oils, but also just reverses everything the coconut oil just did and drys your hair back out. The way I remove it from my hair and maintain the full benefits is simple.
I take a conditioner and apply it all over my coconut oil covered hair. I take a fingerbrush and comb it through. Then I pin my hair up and place it in a shower cap. Once in the shower cap I take my blow dryer and blast the shower cap with some heat for a few minutes. Then I wait maybe another 5 min with it whatever heat has remained trapped in the shower cap. Once I get in the shower I make sure to really scrub the conditioner in and act as if I am shampooing my hair with it. Next I rinse it all out really well. Because the whole likes attract likes thing, because they are both heavy moisturizing products the conditioner helps lift the oil off the hair. Then you only have to wash your hair once as you usually would.