You may have heard all kinds of wonderful powers that coconut oil possesses. It is said that this fruit oil can soothe bug bites, burn fat, hydrate your skin, and even boost your energy. Another area in which it is believed to help in is hair growth.
This fatty oil made from raw or dried coconuts looks like white butter when at room temperature. Natural and healthier than many other oils, it is traditionally used for cooking. However, just as common is its use as a hair and beauty treatment.
Many people use coconut oil to deep condition their hair or help it grow. But does it hold the right properties to speed up follicle growth when massaged into your scalp? Well, much medical research has gone into the health benefits of coconut oil for your skin and hair.
Unfortunately, there is little scientific evidence to back up the claims that coconut oil quickens or helps hair growth. However, coconut oil can improve your hair and scalp health. This may explain why hair looks like it’s growing faster.
Healthy hair always begins at the root. Maintaining a healthy scalp will certainly help your hair grow better over time. A recent study discovered that coconut oil can help reduce or even eliminate certain fungal infections that can impede hair growth.
It may also heal and prevent dandruff that occurs on the scalp. However, more research is required to know the true benefits that coconut oil has on the skin and scalp.
Treatments such as Minoxidil, otherwise known as Rogaine, are specifically made to strengthen hair follicles and even prevent thinning hair. While coconut oil may have certain benefits, the effects are quite different from such medicinal treatments.
While there is no scientific evidence that supports the idea of coconut oil increasing hair growth, it could be beneficial as part of an anti-inflammatory diet. If you have chronic inflammation, some side effects can appear through the length and thickness of your hair.
Therefore, ingesting coconut oil can limit inflammation and could possibly help your hair grow longer and healthier as the body reaches a healthy state again.
Does coconut oil thicken hair?
If your hair is damaged from over coloring, over straightening, or just from lack of care, then coconut oil can help rejuvenate it and bring back the glory days of thicker, lustrous locks.
If used correctly, coconut oil can thicken your hair. This is primarily down to some properties within the oil such as lauric acid, capric acid, and protein content that deeply penetrates the hair.
Coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs). These help to nourish your body and hair. Lauric acid, which is present in breast milk, is especially abundant in coconut oil.
Fortunately, the human body is quite familiar with this C12 chain of MCFAs. Because lauric acid leaves a monoglyceride known as monolaurin directly on the hair, coconut oil becomes extremely beneficial in strengthening and thickening your locks.
A further substance contained in coconut oil called capric acid is believed to help thicken hair. Additionally, vitamin E, K, and iron provide hair strands with vital nourishment that stimulates and thickens them over time.
Hair elasticity is thought to be promoted by linoleic acid which, in turn, prevents damage and split ends. While this doesn’t thicken hair, it may produce the appearance of thicker hair with regular use.
Because coconut oil is a natural hair moisturizer and conditioner, it penetrates the hair and makes it thicker. This is by preventing the strands of hair from breaking and even acting as protection from the sun’s UV rays and pollution in the atmosphere.
As coconut oil is massaged into the scalp, it is believed that the oil promotes improved blood circulation which adds nourishment to the follicles resulting in thicker hair.
As we mentioned, coconut oil can combat dandruff which can be an indirect link to hair loss and unhealthy hair. Moreover, there are antimicrobial and antibacterial properties within this oil which protects hair against different attacks and possible illnesses that can thin out the hair.
What can I mix coconut oil with for hair growth?
Many commercial shampoos and conditioner products contain an array of chemicals that can actually impede your hair’s health, quality, and growth. Instead, mixing coconut oil with certain ingredients is far more beneficial.
Whether you use it topically or internally is based on your needs and preferences. For topical use, you can combine it with your favorite shampoo to promote healthier hair growth.
This process stimulates your hair, scalp, and follicles without any clogging and the risk of hair loss.
To mix coconut oil with shampoo, you need to:
- Combine equal amounts of coconut oil and shampoo together
- Apply to your hair and leave on for a few minutes
- Rinse and wash your hair as you normally would
- You can also add a hint of coconut oil to your hair after you have used the shampoo. This will moisturize and condition your hair and prevent it from becoming dry, dull, and brittle
You can also incorporate lemon juice into the mix. This helps to detoxify your scalp and prevents dandruff.
- Mix coconut oil and lemon juice in a 2:1 ratio
- Massage into the scalp and leave on for 3 minutes
- Comb the mixture through your hair and cover with a shower cap. Leave on overnight
- The next morning, rinse your hair with cool water and wash with a natural shampoo before towel drying
Other ingredients that can be combined with coconut oil include:
- Almond oil
- Indian gooseberry
- Castor oil
- Olive oil
For a hair mask, you can use:
- Raw honey
- Essential oils (lavender, peppermint, rosemary, ylang-ylang)
While more scientific evidence is needed to prove the promotion of hair growth and thickness, there is little doubt that coconut oil can be extremely beneficial to your hair when used correctly.
While it may not increase the length of your hair, its properties can improve the overall health of your scalp, follicles, and hair fibers. The healthier your hair is, the thicker and longer it will appear.
From nails to skin and hair to makeup and even waxing and eye care, Steph loves it all. A firm believer in personal expression and style she’s rarely ready on time herself but loves helping others look their best.