We're often asked, "is coconut oil good for your hair"? Here's everything you need to know
As part of the growing preference for natural beauty products, many people are now using coconut oil for hair: from shampoo to conditioners to coconut oil hair masks and leave-in treatments. But is coconut oil good for your hair in particular?
What is coconut oil?
Coconut oil is oil... from the coconut! There are two principle techniques used to extract coconut oil: dry and wet processing. The kernel is pressed to extract the oil, before it is refined, bleached and deodorized (RBD). Wet processing is the technique used to extract virgin coconut oil. Raw coconut itself, not the kernel, is used and either wet-milled or dried before being pressed to produce the virgin oil. For haircare, the best hair oil is the latter: pure coconut oil for hair.
Is coconut oil good for your hair?
Coconut oil has a lipid structure that is similar to the hair's own, which means it adheres well to the fibre, filling in any cracks caused by damage. The thin, non-greasy layer of oil over the hair fibre can also provide protection and shine, which is why there are so many fans of coconut oil hair masks.
Is coconut oil good for your hair if you suffer from hair loss? There are some articles that recommend coconut oil for hair growth but, while there are many people who swear by it, science has yet to prove coconut oil's reputation.
What about you in particular? Is coconut oil good for your hair?
Sometimes, certain hair types just don't take to pure coconut oil. This could be related to porosity: coconut oil is great for particularly porous (that can't hold in color) hair, as it protects the cuticles, but less effective on hair with low porosity (which naturally repels water) because it can take up space that would otherwise be filled with essential moisture. So, the answer to "is coconut oil good for your hair?" is... it depends.
Different ways of how to use coconut oil for hair
There are so many ways of how to use coconut oil for hair, and it doesn't have to be by pouring the oil straight over your locks (which can be too heavy for some hair types).
Coconut oil shampoo: A coconut oil shampoo like Nutrifier by Serie Expert can be a great way to nourish your hair from the get-go.
Coconut oil conditioner: Many people enjoy the benefits of a coconut oil conditioner, focusing on the tips and any damaged lengths. Rinse out thoroughly.
Coconut oil hair treatment: Do you suffer from terrible tangles? Try the Daily Detangling Cream from Source Essentielle. Made from 99% natural origin ingredients, it contains coconut, sunflower seed and argan oils formulated to smooth and repair knotted, damaged hair.
Pure coconut oil: Pure, virgin coconut oil for hair can also be used alone as a weekly coconut oil hair treatment. Put just a few drops on your fingertips, then apply to towel-dried hair, focusing on the ends. Blow dry and style as normal.
Coconut oil hair mask: With a coconut oil hair mask, it depends on how dry and thick your hair is as to the duration of the treatment. On average, you should leave your coconut oil hair mask on for between 5-20 minutes. Most people find that once or twice a week is enough, although those with severely dry or damaged hair may benefit from applying a coconut oil hair mask every other day.
Where can I find coconut oil in hair products?
The Source Essentielle collection contains some of the best hair oils, including coconut. The Radiance Oil (rinse out) is formulated to provide nutrition for color-treated hair, while the Nourishing Oil (leave-in) is designed for dry hair. Both contain between 80-100% naturally derived ingredients, meaning you know exactly what you're putting on your hair.
Also from the natural Source Essentielle haircare collection, the Nourishing Balm is another great option: it's a coconut oil hair mask for dry or damaged hair that contains natural oils including coconut and sesame.
As well as coconut oil, what are other oils used in haircare?
If you're looking to create a hair oil yourself, or browsing packaging for the best hair oil ingredients, it depends on your hair type and needs. Remember, you'll need a carrier oil to provide a base for your oil if you are planning to DIY. Some of the best oils for hair concerns include coconut oil (for hair growth), sesame (strength), jasmine (shine), lavender (scalp concerns), sunflower seed (anti-breakage) and soybean (moisture).
So, is coconut oil good for your hair? Try it and find out!
Image credit: Getty Images - rodrigobark