Who does not want to have long shiny and strong hair? But as you can see around yourself, it is easier said and done. I myself keep struggling to keep dandruff away, not to mention hair fall issues. There can be several other issues such as scalp infections, dry scalp, hair thinning etc. Overall, most of us has one or another issue with our hair. When we have these issues what do we do? we start using expensive shampoos and conditioners, many of them can actually harm your hair due to chemicals then benefit it.
Is there a natural solution without side effects of hair problems? yes there is. If you have ever visited Sri Lanka or southern Indian states, you will not fail to notice how thick, shiny and healthy hair these people have. Also their hair also does not grey till they have crossed 50-55 years (with today's lifestyle, hair starts greying as early as 30 years!). What is the secret. In both places I have mentioned people use coconut oil and coconut products extensively - both as part of diet and topically (especially for hair). Let us try and understand what makes coconut oil beneficial for hair?
Benefits of coconut oil for hair
Here are some key benefits of coconut oil for hair:
Removes dandruff : Dandruff is one of the most common hair related problem. Dandruff can be caused due to several reasons including excessively dry scalp, non maintaining scalp hygiene, excessively oily skin, chronic illness, etc. Coconut oil is considered to be one of the best anti-dandruff remedies. It not only removes the dandruff but also works to eradicate the reason of dandruff formation. If you have dandruff you should apply coconut oil on your scalp and massage gently. Keep it for 1-2 hours and then wash using a shampoo. Repeat this for a few days and you will see significant less dandruff on your scalp.
A great scalp moisturizing agent : Several people have very dry scalps which are devoid of any moisture. Stability of coconut oil ensures that moisture is retained. Coconut oil not only moisturizes the scalp but also conditions them. It is a natural hair conditioner. if you shampoo your hair after applying coconut oil, you hair will not be dry but smooth as when you use conditioner. Coconut oil is both inexpensive and natural way of conditioning your hair.
Fighting scalp infections : Coconut oil is rich in medium chain fatty acids such as lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid. When we apply coconut oil on skin / scalp bacterial present on our scalp breaks these down into free fatty acids / monoglycerides. There are several bacterial which do that - Lipophilic bacteria is one such helpful bacteria. These have amazing capabilities to fight infection spreading bacteria, fungus and viruses. Out of the three medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil, lauric acid is most abundant and its monoglyceride - monolaurin is most effective in killing harmful bacteria and other microbes present on our scalp.
Treating hair lice : Unhygienic scalp may develop hair lice. Lice feed on blood from the scalp and cause lot of itching. Coconut oil can be used to treat hair lice too. The first step is to apply coconut oil and then comb hair to remove as many hair lice as possible followed by shampoo. After this again apply coconut oil / coconut milk and keep overnight. This would kill lice and next day wash thoroughly your scalp so that none of them remain.
Thus when we apply coconut oil on our scalp and keep it for some time, coconut oil not only nourishes the scalp and hair but also remove harmful microbes from the scalp. Thus dual action!
Easy ways to use coconut oil for hair
Here are some tips to use coconut oil for hair:
- Massage your scalp gently using coconut oil before going to bed. Wash your head with shampoo the next day. Make sure you put towels above your pillow in this case. This ensures coconut oil is properly absorbed in the scalp and its anti-microbial action also gets enough time to kick in.
- Massage your head with coconut oil and wash it after 1-2 hours. This is effective remedy for dandruff
- You can also add half lemon with coconut. This increases the scalp cleaning and nourishing effectiveness of coconut oil.
There is a small precaution you need to take if you plan to use coconut oil for hair styling. If you are living in cold climates, coconut oil applied for styling will freeze making your hair hard to comb. In some cases it may cause a light grey / white coloured layer to form on hair (this is frozen coconut oil). Thus use it with caution during winters.
Which coconut oil to use for hair
I would suggest you use virgin / pure coconut oil for this. There are several coconut hair oil present in the market but not all are actually natural. natural coconut oil will provide higher benefits than other ones.
Have you used coconut oil for hair care? share your experience of you have !