If you have been to southern parts of India or Sri Lanka you must have noticed thick, black, long and shiny hair (see the picture, notice how thick, shiny and black the hair are!). Even old people are not bald and many of them even have black hair till age of 60 or 70! Research has shown than the primary reason for the same is a coconut rich diet.
Coconut is used in various forms in these regions. Coconut oil is used for cooking and for hair care. Coconut meat is used for cooking recipes / gravies. Coconut water is used for quenching thirst. This coconut rich diet is the primary reason for excellent condition of their hair.
Why is coconut oil beneficial for hair?
Some of the key reasons of hair fall include, low nourishment to hair and scalp. dandruff, dryness of hair (lack of moisture) and bacterial action leading to hair fall. There are other genetic reasons for hair fall but little can be done to control that kind of hair fall. But fortunately, using coconut oil for hair can get rid of common reasons mentioned above:
- Anti microbial action of coconut oil : Our skin is host for many microorganisms, some are harmful and others helps skin to fight against harmful microbes. Lipophilic bacteria is one such helpful bacteria which acts upon the triglycerides (3 fatty acids joined with glycerol molecule) and break them into three independent molecules (free fatty acids). These independent molecules have powerful anti-microbial action on skin. Lauric acid present in coconut oil is a triglyceride and is broken down by Lipophilic bacteria releasing free fatty acids which help fighting bacteria on scalp. Apart from Lauric acid, coconut oil also has Capric acid which is also a triglyceride and helps in similar manner.
- Stops protien loss in hair : Coconut oil has medium chained triglycerides which easily penetrate through hair shaft and prevent protien loss. This keeps hair healthy. Other oils such as sunflower / mineral oils which have long chain triglycerides do not penetrate well and thus are ineffective in stoping protien loss.
- Great conditioner and moisturizer : coconut oil is one of the best natural conditioner and moisturizer. It retains the moisture keeping the hair soft.
- Fights dandruff : If you are experiencing dandruff issues, coconut oil can be of great help. It can permanently eradicate dandruff which is not possible even after anti-dandruff shampoos. Just apply coconut oil gently over your scalp and wash after several hours. In just 2-3 washes dandruff will be gone and hair will be soft and shiny too!
How to use coconut oil on hair
It is very simple to use coconut oil for hair care. Some most common ways are:
- Massage your scalp using a couple of teaspoons of coconut oil before bed and wash it in the working
- One can also soak hair in coconut oil and massage the scalp and wash after an hour or two
- Some people use warm coconut oil, especially if its winter. Make sure the oil is not too warm, just warm enough to be liquid.
- You can also use a few drops of coconut oil and apply after the wash. This will make hair look shiny and give a nice luster.
The key benefit of using coconut oil for hair is that it is 100% natural, no side effects and just at the fraction of the cost of shampoos and conditioners we generally uses for hair care. So go ahead and try coconut oil on your hair today!