Stretching far beyond the kitchen, coconut oil has become a popular beauty solution in its smooth transition out of drinks, dinners, desserts and into hair. The coconut itself is more than just a tasty tropical drupe. The oil of the palm’s giant ball of yum also acts as a natural repair (or maintenance) kit to many manes. The nutrients in coconut oil help promote shine and prevent hair loss through styling. That in part is due to its vitamin E and lauric acid components that penetrate deep into the hair shaft, making hair strong and healthy. Fuller hair growth, radiance and softness can be facilitated by the use of the oil as it nourishes, moisturizes and protects the scalp and hair. Best part? Because it’s also used for cooking, you can easily find it in your local food market. Between the purchasing convenience, inexpensive cost and alluring, yet playful scent, coconut oil is a winner. Below are three ways to incorporate it into your routine hair regimen:
1. Deep condition
Deep conditioning at least once a month helps restore nutrients that slip away during heat styling, some washing and different product use. Coconut oil as a conditioner is different from your typical post-shampoo conditioner, but essentially follows the same steps. After spooning out coconut oil in a bowl and heating it up in the microwave for about 15-30 seconds (or, stick jar in bowl of warm water until melted), massage the coconut oil into your scalp. If the coconut oil is hot, wait until it’s warm to proceed. Work your way downward from your scalp, rubbing the coconut oil into your hair and all the way to your ends. Place hair in a plastic cap and let sit for about a hour to let the oil soak in. Proceed to wash your hair as normal, 2-3 times or until hair no longer feels oily. During your last wash, rinse with cool water to lock in moisture, make silky and help eliminate frizz.
2. Frizz free
Frizzy hair is a result of dry hair. A lack of moisture. Loss of natural oils. Frizz points back to the management of hair cuticles (the outermost part of the hair shaft). How are you protecting yours? Think of coconut oil as a quick fix. For the days when your hair is a bit unruly, with coconut oil spread in hand, lightly run your fingers through your hair for a frizz-free hairdo. You’ll want to use sparingly to prevent a greasy and weighed down look, especially if you have thin hair. It’s best if only used as needed, but if using regularly, be sure to wash your hair at least every 1-2 weeks to avoid a heavy odor.
3. Split ends
While there’s really no remedy to combat split ends outside of a trim, there are ways to prevent them. Coconut oil is a preventative method on wet hair in deep conditioning because the texture of it helps detangle hair that otherwise might break off. Dabbing a little coconut oil on dry hair ends also creates a protective barrier to prevent split ends.
- Unrefined virgin coconut oil is the best for bodily usage. It’s natural and isn’t bleached or deodorized like the refined option. Recommended: Spectrum’s Organic Virgin Coconut Oil ($12)
Store coconut oil in a cool, dark place for easy scooping (i.e. cabinet or pantry)