Using Coconut Oil In Your Hair – Good or Bad For Hair?

When, how much and right way to use coconut oil on hairWhen it comes to hair treatment there are quite a few good oils that you can use. But for every oil there are different opinions. This is due to the reason that no two individuals have the same hair type, texture, condition or hairstyling requirements.  What works for me may not work at all for someone else.

Coconut Oil – Good For Which Hair Type, When To Use And How Much To Use?

Is coconut oil good or bad for hair? It depends on type of your hair and also when, how much and how you use it. It’s good if it works for your hair and you’re not experiencing any problems as a result. It’s only bad if you don’t get the desired results. Read on to find the answers.

According to one study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Science, coconut oil is superior compared to many other oils such as mineral and sunflower. This study also reported that coconut oil was the only oil, which helped to reduce protein loss for all types of hair, whether damaged, or not.

As per my experience it can indeed be beneficial for certain hair types when used correctly. However many people advise using it in ways that may do more harm than good.

Coconut Oil Is Good For What Type Of Hair?

Coconut oil isn’t for every hair type. Find out here which type of hair it suits.

(i) Porosity:

To quote Francesca Fusco, New York City dermatologist: “Coconut oil indeed penetrates the shaft of hair deeper than most oils.” On the other hand this boon is exactly why for some individuals, coconut oil can cause dryness.

Ni’KitaWilson, Cosmetic Chemist re-affirms: “The reason some individuals end up with dryness using coconut oil – particularly while applying it alone as a treatment – is that it can penetrate hair cuticles, and so occupy space within the strands. Consequently when you wet hair, there is less space for water so your hair doesn’t get as saturated as it could without coconut oil.” But if your hair is more of the porous type, you are not susceptible to experience dry, straw-like texture that some people end up with using coconut oil.

Wilson clarifies: “Low porosity hair has tightly closed cuticles that fend off water (moreover adding proteins causes wetting of the hair to become much more difficult). On the other hand hair on the porous side has open cuticles, which allow moisture to seep in and out of the strand easily.”

Coconut oil is good for hair with high porosity as it fend off water flowing into the strands too fast leading to too much swelling, which otherwise is bad as it subject the hair to excessive stress on the cuticles by lifting them up. However, for hair with low porosity, it’s difficult for water to flow into the strands, so hair is likely to not get the moisture that it needs, thus, it dries out.

(ii) Protein: Coconut oil helps hair to retain its natural protein. And one study demonstrated that it could reduce protein loss, too. So naturally it can be good for the type that lacks enough natural protein in hair follicles.

(iii) Fine To Medium Shine Type: Another type for which coconut oil gives good results is fine to medium shiny hair. Coconut oil is likely to add more shine and volume to this type. On the other hand the people with coarse or dry hair may not struggle with low protein at all and coconut oil may result into more brittle hair and hair loss. These people may benefit more from other types of oil like argan oil.

And the individuals with an allergy or reaction to coconut oil should not use coconut oil products in hair either, no matter what hair type. They can look for other oils that are liquid at room temperature, like jojoba oil to get best results.

When To Use Coconut Oil On Hair?

Though coconut oil can be used as a pre or post-wash treatment, the experts say it gives best overall hair benefits when applied as a pre-wash treatment. This is because coconut oil naturally repels water.

How Much Coconut Oil To Be Used For Hair?

While using any oil for hair, the amount used also matters. You’ve probably heard the saying “too much of a good thing is not always better” Just as with supplements, if a little bit is good, a lot isn’t necessarily better.

Coconut oil seems most beneficial when used in small amounts to coat hair to reduce frizz and hair may not respond well to being coated in large amounts of coconut oil.

For best results, try just rubbing a small amount of coconut oil between your hands to warm it up and then working through hair gently. This should help tame frizz and make hair shiny without the negative effects.

How To Use Coconut Oil In Your Hair Safely?

If you think that coconut oil may be compatible for your hair type, you can benefit from using it. But make sure to follow these best practices when using coconut oil for hair:

(i) Avoid The Scalp: Coconut oil can clog pores and lead to irritation for some scalp types (just as it does on certain skin types), and so it’s best to use directly on the hair and not the scalp.

(ii) Begin With Small Amounts: As already said above, more isn’t better. Make sure that until you know how your hair responds to coconut oil, use a small amount and watch how your hair reacts.

(iii) Add Other Ingredients: Adding other ingredients can change how coconut oil affects hair. As a deep hair treatment, blending coconut oil with honey and yogurt make coconut oil even more beneficial than coconut oil alone. These two ingredients when combined with coconut oil nourish hair and make it naturally smooth and frizz free.

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You can also combine it with olive oil, argan or marula oil and you will notice it doesn’t seem to make the hair dry or brittle as it sometimes do when used alone on certain hair types.

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Bottom Line: Certain oils are known to be good universally for hair, but coconut oil isn’t one of them. For example, Castor oil is a centuries-old beauty secret for improving hair growth. I use it on my hair and eyelashes and have seen great results, and many of my clients have had a similar experience.

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Do you use coconut oil on your hair? Share your experience about using coconut oil under the comments below!

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