They didn’t call the coconut tree as the tree of life for nothing. A lot of people have been fans of this tree not only because of its fruit but also due to the nourishing oil you can get from it.
Coconut oil is highly nourishing and believe it or not it has hundreds of uses. You may also have heard elsewhere that you can use coconut oil for your hair. And yes, it can be used as a deep conditioner for your hair.
However, note that it is not for everybody. That’s a precaution that all those marketing people don’t ever tell you. Remember that it should be used only on certain types of hair and it should be used correctly.
If used incorrectly—just like any other good thing on this planet—then it can do more harm than good. Now, before you put coconut oil on your head, you should first know the how’s and they why’s about using coconut oil as a deep conditioner.
Why You Should Use Coconut Oil as a Deep Conditioner
The first reason why coconut oil is so good as a deep conditioner for your hair is that it is the richest natural source of MCFAs. That is short for medium chain fatty acids.
That’s a certain type of fatty acid that has antimicrobial. On top of that, coconut oil is also rich in Lauric acid, which is very helpful for preventing protein loss on one’s hair.
A lot of people also see fast beneficial results when using coconut oil on their hair. This is due to the structure of coconut oil, which allows it to penetrate hair unlike other oils.
There are numerous studies that support the benefits of coconut oil. It actually has a lot of health benefits other than supporting hair growth and health.
Benefit #1 – Prevents hair damage due to regular brushing and combing
According to one study the application of coconut oil based hair products helped to protect the hair from damage from the regular brushing and combing that people do every day.
The study was not solely dedicated to coconut oil only. They studies other products as well that were sunflower and mineral oil based. Now that doesn’t mean that mineral oil and sunflower oil weren’t effective.
According to the said study, all the oils were effective as a form of hair treatment. Nevertheless, comparing all three oils they found that coconut oil was the most beneficial.
The study further indicates that coconut oil helps prevent protein loss in hair. Note that coconut oil was used either before or after showering.
Benefit #2 – Deep Conditioning Effect
Other than the fact that coconut oil is better at preventing protein loss in hair strands, scientific studies also say that the chemical structure of coconut oil actually allows it to penetrate deeply into hair. This type of oil can actually penetrate into the inner structures of human hair.
This chemical structure is unique, which makes it the most penetrative oil available to us. Some people even call it the “magical powers” of coconut oil. Well, it isn’t really magic. It’s just how coconut oil naturally is. This is according to a study conducted at the George Mason University’s Department of Nutrition and Food Studies.
Benefit #3 – Hair Moisturizer
Since coconut oil is able to penetrate deeply into hair, then that means it is better at conditioning your hair. To put it simply, it is better at maintaining or retaining your hair’s moisture. This is according to a study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Science.
The same study also found that coconut oil was able to help hair maintain moisture in the hair for longer periods of time. The study compared the effects and benefits of coconut oil and mineral oil.
Half of the participants in the study applied mineral oil on their hair for a specified period of time while the other half used coconut oil. The study determined that when coconut oil is applied to hair, water is unable to fully enter hair follicles.
Water wasn’t able to go into the inner regions of hair strands. It was only able to enter the surface cuticle. This property is actually very beneficial for people who live in places where there is relatively low humidity.
That means if you live in areas where the climate is usually particularly dry then you may want to apply coconut oil on your hair. You can do it every now and then to provide your hair with significant benefits overtime.
Applying coconut oil on your hair will help maintain adequate moisture levels on hair strands. With proper moisture in your hair, it gets protected from the stress and friction from the daily grind of hair styling that we usually do.
When hair remains moisturized it prevents breaks and split ends. The key is keeping moisture locked in the inner regions of the hair strands. Not only does it prevent split ends, it also promotes the vibrant shine in your hair.
How to Use Coconut Oil as a Deep Conditioner
There is actually a lot of literature on how to use coconut oil as a deep conditioner. We won’t go into the fancy stuff that other people talk about. We’ll just show you how to use it as it is.
You can make your own coconut oil naturally if you have the time to do it. But if you have a rather busy schedule then you can just purchase virgin coconut oil from stores. It’s going to be pretty much the same thing.
You don’t need a lot of coconut oil on your hair to get the desired effect. You only need about two teaspoons of the oil on your hair. Just spread it well across all hair strands.
One form of treatment will require you to keep the oil on your hair overnight. That means after applying coconut oil on your hair, you need to put on a shower cap (yes, you have to sleep with that on) to prevent the oil from getting on your pillows and other beddings.
Getting your hair soaked in coconut oil overnight will help work its magic. It does take time for hair follicles to absorb the oil. You can then wash the coconut oil off first thing in the morning.
2 Hour Application
Sleeping with a shower cap on is not exactly the best way to sleep. No one wants to sleep with that thing on their head every night. It can be a bit annoying if you it regularly. It can also be annoying to your spouse or partner.
An alternative to an overnight application is a regular 2 hour treatment. So how do you do that? The first thing that you should do is to find a 2 hour window where you can put on a shower cap and have some solid “me” time.
Next, apply ample amounts of coconut oil on your hair—you can use 2 tablespoons if you have really long hair. Just make sure you have enough oil on your hair. Put on a shower cap to keep the oil on your hair and not on your shoulders or anywhere else.
You can do that at night after dinner. Apply the oil, get the dishes done, watch TV, do your evening chores, check your emails, chat with friends on social media, or do whatever routine you usually do at night for about two hours.
After those two hours are up take the shower cap off and wash your hair. Make sure that all of the coconut oil on your hair has been thoroughly washed away. Notice that your hair is almost instantly more vibrant and a bit shinier.
Remember that this is not a quick fix. The more you use coconut oil on your hair the more noticeable the effects will be, although of course you’ll see some immediate improvements each time you use it.
Reminders When Using Coconut Oil
If you are looking to use coconut oil to use coconut oil on your hair, here are a few reminders:
- Try to avoid getting it on your scalp as much as possible: we know that coconut oil has antifungal properties which is why probably some would like to put it directly on their scalp. That’s understandable.
However, just to be clear, there can be negative effects to putting coconut oil directly onto your scalp. The oil can clog the scalp’s pores and maybe cause an irritation.
That of course will depend on the type of skin you have. If you have a sensitive scalp then you may want to avoid this. But if you are using it as a treatment for dandruff and flaking then make sure to wash and rinse thoroughly.
You don’t want coconut oil to stay that long on your scalp. Well, sometimes you just can’t avoid getting coconut oil on your scalp anyway so just remember to rinse well as much as you can.
- Use small amounts of oil: you should be familiar with the saying that getting too much of a good thing can also be bad for you. This piece of advice works very well especially if you are using coconut oil on your hair for the first time.
If you don’t know how your hair handles coconut oil then use small amounts at first. The goal at first is to test how your hair responds to the oil. If you use a small amount then it will be a lot easier to rinse that off.
- Don’t forget to add other ingredients that can also benefit your hair and scalp: you’re already putting oil on your hair, but remember that coconut oil is a great type of base oil. Which means this oil goes very well with other ingredients.
Two of my favorite ingredients that work great with coconut oil are yogurt and honey. This ingredient blend increases the benefits that you can get from coconut oil.
When Not to Use Coconut Oil as a Deep Conditioner
Now, here’s a hard and fast fact—there is no such thing as a product that works for everyone. Yes, science has shown that coconut oil can be beneficial to hair but it is not a guarantee that it will work for everyone.
In fact, there are plenty of folks out there who have benefitted from using coconut oil as a deep conditioner. Some even report almost instant results. However, there are also lots of other people who have reported getting hair problems after using coconut oil. Some even say they have lost a lot of hair after regularly using coconut oil on their hair.
So, what factors are we missing here?
Well, here it is—coconut oil is not for every type of hair. Each hair type responds differently to different oils. Some hairs respond better to coconut oil, some work better with mineral oil, some with castor oil. All of these oils have been used for quite a while as hair treatments.
It seems that coconut oil is best suited for people who have hair that lack natural protein. Studies show that people with medium shiny hair will benefit from using coconut oil. It gives them the added boost to make their hair healthier. This oil also gives their hair more volume and makes their hair stronger.
People who have dry or coarse hair but who do not suffer from low hair protein may not be the best candidates for using coconut oil as a deep conditioner.
In fact, if their hairs have become brittle then applying coconut oil on their hairs may result in hair loss. These people may benefit more from using other oils on their hairs like argan oil for instance.
Sometimes It Is Better Just to Consume the Oil
Now, it doesn’t mean that you can’t benefit from coconut oil if your hair is coarse or doesn’t lack protein. You may ask what about the other benefits that you may get from it?
Well, if you can’t apply it on your hair then you can just add coconut oil to your meals. The antioxidants and its medium chain fatty acid content will help to promote hair growth from within. It’s a total win/win for everyone.
For more hair tips and tricks, check out this blog post.