Coconut oil is regarded as a highly nutritious and benefit-packed food and also a powerful and multi-tasking beauty product with many uses. It can act as a makeup brush cleaner, skin moisturizer, lice remover, massage oil, teeth whitener, and much more.
In a previous article I talked about the usage of coconut oil for treating dry and damaged hair. As mentioned in that article coconut oil is not for everyone and may have adverse effects on some hair types.
In this article we’ll delve into the why it may do more harm than any good for certain types of hair.
Is Coconut Oil Good for Hair?
The first question one may ask regarding to using coconut oil as a hair treatment is why someone should bother to put coconut oil directly in the hair? Are there any benefits of using it this way? Is coconut oil good for hair anyway?
Hair oil treatments have a history of thousands and years. Coconut oil is not an exception, and has been used as a hair treatment for thousands of years too.
Coconut oil is a great natural source of medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs). These fatty acids have powerful antifungal and antiseptic properties. These properties of coconut oil makes it a great product for controlling and fighting microbial and fungal conditions of hair and scalp such as dandruff.
Coconut oil is also a great source of Lauric acid which help prevent protein loss in hair (source).
Coconut oil is also fully packed with vitamins and minerals which would promote the health and texture of hair strands.
Why Coconut Oil is NOT for Everyone?
Despite all amazing benefits of coconut oil for hair, mentioned above, you can find lots of contradictory comments on the net which explain how coconut oil has worsen their condition or vice versa.
For example, check out this video from Naptural85, a Youtube hair guru explaining how coconut oil has been affecting her hair negatively.
On the other side, there are some people who have reported that they have been using coconut oil as an effective hair treatment for many years and without any side effects. They have declared it has promoted the health and look of their hair in a clearly noticeable manner.
For example, coconut oil has helped Lea from Island Picnic to improve the dry, frizzy and curly hair of her little child as depicted in the image below.
Then, why it’s working wonders for some, but spells disaster for others?
As the cosmetic chemist Ni’Kita Wilson told Allure:
“The reason some people experience dryness with coconut oil – especially when using it alone as a treatment – is that it can penetrate the hair cuticle, taking up space within the strands”. He added, “This means that when you’re wetting your hair, there’s less space for water, which means that hair doesn’t get as saturated as it would without the coconut oil.”
If that’s so then why coconut oil does wonders for some hair types? You may ask.
The answer is that it depends how porous your hair is.
“Low porosity hair has tightly closed cuticles that repel water (adding proteins on top of this makes wetting out the hair so much more difficult),” Wilson explains.
But, for a hair with high porosity, coconut oil not only does not affect it negatively, but makes it smoother, healthier, and shinier.
“It’s great for very porous hair because it prevents water from rushing into the strands too fast causing excessive swelling, which is bad because it puts undue stress on the cuticle by lifting it up,” says Wilson.
What Should I Do if Coconut Oil is Not Compatible with my Hair?
If, after testing coconut oil on your hair, you found out that it does not work well with your hair type, it’s recommended to avoid applying coconut oil directly to your hair and also stay away form all hair products such as hair masks which have coconut oil in them as an ingredient.
It’s also recommended that instead of using coconut oil, use other helpful oils for hair such as Jojoba or Argan oils.
You might yet reap the numerous benefits of coconut oil by adding it to your diet as a super food or even use it as a beauty product in a plethora of other ways.
Have you ever used coconut oil as a hair treatment? What was your results? Share your experience in the comment section below.