The fundamentals of healthy hair is a balance of oil, water, and protein. Not only should you pay attention to your strands, but your scalp also plays a huge role in healthy hair. Coconut oil is that miracle ingredient that you cannot hear enough about. It has natural properties that alleviate dry hair and help get your scalp and tresses ready for whatever life throws at you. Because you are a boss babe, you want to know exactly why coconut oil is excellent for nourishing dry hair.
Coconut oil contains a high amount of lauric acid, a medium chain fatty acid. Lauric acid has a small molecular structure which allows it to work its way under the cuticles and penetrate into the cortex of the hair, helping to moisturize and strengthen the strands from within.
Other oils have large molecular structures and cannot easily pass through the hair cuticle merely because they are just too bulky. These coat the hair shaft, sometimes causing a heavy, greasy feeling on the hair.
Now you are thinking: “But what about if I have a dry scalp?” Or, “what if I have an oily scalp?” Here is how coconut oil can be your secret weapon broken down into 4 easy to understand steps:
1. Coconut Oil Rebalances Sebum Production
Sebum is a natural secretion of oil that lubricates the scalp. Both sebum and coconut oil have similar compositions in that they are both comprised of medium chain fatty acids.
DRY SCALP: A dry scalp indicates not enough sebum is produced or the scalp has stopped producing sebum altogether. Applying coconut oil to the scalp will communicate to the scalp that sebum is present and it will begin to produce sebum again, slowly rebalancing sebum production over time. Fun Fact: Using an oil that is not similar to the composition of sebum will indicate to the scalp that there is already too much oil present and in turn won’t produce any sebum.
OILY SCALP: An oily scalp indicates that there is an overproduction of sebum. This is usually due to using overly stripping hair cleansers; all the natural oils are completely removed and the scalp is compensating by producing too much sebum. Applying coconut oil to an oily scalp will dissolve excess oil and communicates to the scalp that sebum is present, thereby discontinuing its over production. (Oily roots and scalp are vanquished, never to be seen or heard from again. The End.)
2. Coconut Oil Moisturizes The Scalp
Because of coconut oil’s medium chain fatty acids and small molecular structure, it is easily absorbed and moisturizes the scalp quickly. Coconut oil is also close to the scalp’s sebum composition so it helps to restore the body’s natural lipid barrier which can help seal in moisture by protecting loss of hydration from within the skin layers.
Coconut oil can also help with itchy scalp as it helps to moisturize the scalp by protecting against loss of hydration from within the skin layers, regulates sebum production, and has natural anti-fungal properties.
Itchy scalp can be caused by several factors including dry scalp, dandruff, poor sebum production, or fungal infections. For a really dry scalp, use coconut oil 1-2x a week. Apply to scalp and massage for 5-10 minutes. Let it sit on scalp for 30 minutes to overnight and shampoo to remove.
For maintenance, apply just a few drops of coconut oil to fingertips and massage onto scalp. Don’t apply too much to make roots heavy so that the oil can be left on the scalp for one or more days. Using a conditioner in between shampoos can help to cleanse hair without over stripping oils from hair and scalp.
3. Worried about Dandruff? Don’t Be. Coconut Oil has Natural Antifungal Properties
There are a few causes of dandruff with fungus being a main culprit. Since coconut oil has some antifungal properties, it makes it a natural anti-dandruff treatment. Not only can it help in killing the fungus that causes dandruff, but since coconut oil also has moisturizing properties it can help alleviate the irritation associated with dandruff and dry scalp. (Later Alligator!)
4. Vitamin E Rich Coconut Oil Promotes Circulation
Coconut oil is rich in Vitamin E. Vitamin E is an antioxidant which promotes circulation to the scalp and can help repair damaged hair follicles; increased circulation means increased nutrient supply to follicles which is related to healthier hair.
Now that we know coconut oil is the secret superpower to perfect hair, what kind should you use?
Not all coconut oils are the same! The type of coconut oil you use makes a difference especially when it comes to hair care. And if we are honest, you will want to use it in everything. Here is the best type of coconut oil for when you want to feel and look your best.
BEST: EXTRA VIRGIN, COLD PRESSED, UNREFINED
The best quality coconut oil is EXTRA VIRGIN, COLD PRESSED, UNREFINED (which is what we use in NIUCOCO products, because only the best for our customers). To produce this type of coconut oil, only fresh, raw coconut is used which is air dried. The oil is then cold-pressed by hand so that minimal heat is introduced and is also a chemical-free process. This maximizes the coconut oil’s benefits and ensures that the naturally occurring nutrients are intact. It also contains a higher lauric acid and vitamin E content than refined coconut oil.
NOT OKAY: REFINED COCONUT OIL (It is not the highest quality)
This type of oil uses desiccated coconut flakes or copra. Copra is coconut meat dried at very high temperatures, usually under unsanitary conditions, and is not suitable for consumption. This process uses a chemical distillation method usually dependent on harsh solvents or is expeller-pressed using added heat. Refined coconut oil is bleached to remove impurities and deodorized to remove the smell of the chemicals used in the extraction process. This is abbreviated RBD, i.e. refined, bleached, deodorized, and is necessary to create a palatable product.
Because you are putting coconut oil on your body, you want the purest you can get with no added chemicals. Also, since extra virgin, cold pressed, unrefined coconut oil is minimally manipulated, the percentage of lauric acid and vitamin E is higher than in other types of coconut oil. Therefore, its properties and benefits are maximized when applied to hair and scalp.
Now that you are an expert, you know why it is important to use organic, extra virgin, cold-pressed coconut oil. Other types of coconut oils, especially refined coconut oil, may contain chemicals and other unknowns that can irritate scalp further and no one wants that. So for the healthiest strands and scalp to tame your mane, turn to NIUCOCO for the best coconut oil based products that only uses the highest quality of coconut oil.