Many women native of India, Indonesia or Tahiti are recognized for their incredible beauty. Long hair, dewy skin…But do you know the main ingredient to their surreal beauty?
That’s coconut oil.
Since thousands of years, women have used coconut oil to keep their hair long, bouncy, and shiny. Also, they used it as a wonderful remedy to heal many skin conditions. And it’s still the case today in many cultures. Whatever your skin color or hair type, you’ve probably used coconut oil at least once in your life.
And if this is your case, you’ll be right. This article will show you the multiple benefits of coconut oil for your hair and skin. Let’s discover them together!
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What is coconut oil?
Coconut oil is an edible oil extracted from the flesh of mature coconuts. It is rich in vitamin E, and contains predominantly medium chain triglycerides, among which you have:
- 92% saturated fatty acids (lauric acid, myristic acid, palmitic acid, and caprylic acid)
- 6% monounsaturated fatty acids (oleic acid)
- 2% polyunsaturated fatty acids (linoleum acid)
Moreover, due to its high saturated fat content, coconut oil is a very stable oil. Indeed, it is slow to oxidize and is resistant to rancidity. That’s why it is possible to keep it up to two years without any issue, especially if it is stored in its solid form.
What are the benefits of coconut oil for your hair and skin?
Coconut oil has many benefits for your hair and skin. Even if its hype has waned over the years because of many controversies, it is still very popular. Let’s examine what are the benefits of coconut oil for your hair and skin.
Moisturizes your hair and scalp
Do you have dry, dull, and lifeless hair strands? If that’s your case, then coconut oil might be your cure-all! Indeed, thanks to its high content of lauric acid, coconut oil effectively penetrates your hair shaft. Thus, you can use it to strengthen your hair, prevent breakage and reduce frizz.
However, coconut oil is not designed for every type of hair. I will take my own case as an example. One day, I decided to use coconut oil as a pre-poo treatment and to seal my hair as well.
As months went by, I realized that my hair became really dry, hard, and unmanageable. And that happened especially when I used coconut oil a a sealant. From that day, I decided to stick to coconut oil before shampooing my hair at specific times.
Protects your hair
Whenever you want to protect your hair from wind, sun or sea water, coconut oil is the best oil. Indeed, by being easily absorbed into your hair shaft, it will prevent protein loss. Thus, your hair will continue to be shiny and healthy.
Reduces the appearance of dandruff
Coconut oil has anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties. Therefore, it is an excellent oil to minimize dandruff. It will help you in this area by reducing the levels of yeast that causes inflammation and flaking. Don’t hesitate to combine a scalp massage with coconut oil and an anti-dandruff shampoo. You may have the winning solution for your hair problem!
Boosts hair growth
No, you won’t have Raiponce’s hair overnight with coconut oil. However, it will help your hair grow healthier and longer. Thanks to its multiple fatty acids, coconut oil fights thinning hair. If your hair has been damaged due to bad grooming habits, then coconut oil can restore your hair shaft for the best. You won’t be afraid to comb your hair anymore!
Reduces bad skin conditions
Have you been desperate with having bad skin conditions? Thanks to its anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties, coconut oil will reduce your skin rashes and allergies. You can use it while you wait for a proper prescription from your doctor.
Softens your lips
Have you noticed that many lip balms have coconut oil in their ingredients? It’s because coconut oil is renowned for fighting chapped lips. If you live in dry and/or harsh climates, coconut oil can do wonders for your lips.
Moisturizes your body
If you have dry, itchy, and ashy skin, then coconut oil is just what you need. Indeed, coconut il is rich in lauric acid, which has anti-microbial, moisturizing, and hormone-balancing properties. Thus, it will boost the production of collagen in your skin and protect it from sun damage. Also, thanks to its high content in lauric acid, coconut oil has healing and anti-aging properties.
Improves your nails
Thank God for coconut oil’s fatty acids goodness! Coconut oil is excellent to moisturize your dry cuticles and nourish brittle nails.
How to use coconut oil for your hair and skin
You can use coconut oil directly on your hair and scalp. Here are some ways to use coconut oil for maximal effects.
Apply a small amount of coconut oil on your face and massage well. Then, remove your makeup with a cotton pad. If you have oily skin, then you must absolutely follow this step with a thorough face wash – coconut oil is very comedogenic.
You can use coconut oil as a moisturizing oil on your body just after your shower; on a damp skin. Thus, it will be more effective to lock in moisture. However, coconut oil is not suitable to moisturize your face if you have acne, or oily skin in general.
You can use coconut oil in DIY lip scrub to fight chapped lips. For instance, you can mix coconut il, brown sugar, and honey to get soft and plump lips. Massage the mixture well on your lips and rinse. You can use a small toothbrush with this recipe as well.
Also, you can use plain coconut oil on your lips twice a day to keep them soft. Or, you can do even better: make your own lip balm with coconut oil, cocoa butter, and beeswax.
You can use coconut oil with other oils such as olive oil or castor oil as a pre-poo treatment. You can apply them on your hair and scalp and leave it at least two hours before washing your hair. If you are very courageous, you may even leave it overnight.
I heard some people saying that they have better results when they leave oils on their hair the whole night before their wash day. It ‘s up to you!
If you have dry hair, this recipe is for you! I’ve always got the greatest benefits from a blend of:
- 2 tablespoons of my usual conditioner (4 when my hair is longer)
- 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 15 drops of peppermint essential oil
Apply on your wet strands and let it sit during 30 minutes on a shower/heating cap. You hair will thank you, believe that!
If you have afro hair, you must always seal your hair in moisture. Coconut oil can help you retain moisture in your hair. Moreover, you can use coconut oil after a day at the beach to protect your hair against the sun and the salt.
What kind of coconut oil should you choose?
To use coconut oil in your daily beauty routine, you have several choices. However, you must choose carefully depending on your beauty goals and your budget.
Unrefined coconut oil
This coconut oil is also called “virgin” or “extra virgin” coconut oil. Unrefined coconut oil results from the first pressing of fresh and raw coconuts. Moreover, unrefined coconut oil has no added chemicals of any sort. Usually, unrefined coconut oil has a distinctive smell, taste and aroma. Some like it and some don’t, but personally the smell of unrefined coconut oil is one of my favorite smells on Planet Earth.
If you want to get more benefits of coconut oil for your hair and skin, I definitely recommend unrefined coconut oil. The one I currently used and recommend is the Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil.
Refined coconut oil
On the contrary, refined coconut oil is highly processed by degumming, neutralizing, bleaching, and deodorizing dry coprah. Thus, through this process, coconut oil become odorless and flavorless.
However, refined coconut oil lost all its properties during the processing, especially the properties of lauric acid. As a consequence, I don’t recommend refined coconut oil if you want to benefit from its goodness to the full.
Summary: why coconut oil is good for your skin and hair
Coconut oil is filled with vitamin E and fatty acids that will your help and skin to be moisturized and repaired. Thus, coconut oil is a precious ally to keep your hair and skin healthy and shiny. However, if you want to get the maximum benefits of coconut oil for your hair and skin, you must rely on the unrefined kind. You won’t regret it!
That’s it for today! Do you use coconut oil in your beauty routine? How do you use coconut oil for your hair and skin? Share it in the comments below!
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