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Coconut Oil for Hair: Nourish Roots and Grow Thicker Hair Strands

Tall coconut tree with green coconuts growing on it

Do you know much about coconut tree?

I know the title is coconut oil for hair growth. Yes, we will look at the benefits of coconut oil for hair. But first, let’s get to know a little bit about this fascinating tree, so you will see coconut oil in a new light and appreciate it even more.

Coconut trees grow up to 100 feet tall and thrive on saline water near the seashore. While it takes in the saline water, it turns it into sweet coconut water – which is delicious to drink.

This tall tree is branchless, yup, like the palm tree. At the very top is the crown of giant feather-like leaves. At the tree top, also grows coconut in bunches of 5 to 20.

The coconut tree is fascinating because it’s one of the most beautiful and useful trees in the tropics.

The dried leaves will turn into a broom to clean the house. You can even make a hut with its long leaves. The wood will provide fuel, and the shell of the coconut can turn into a bowl you can eat in. The outer husky portion of coconut will make doormats and brushes.  And its fruit, the coconut meat, you can simply eat or use to extract coconut oil.

Coconut oil is of our interest, and how it can benefit hair.

What are the Hair Benefits of Coconut oil?

Coconut hair oil in a glass jar

In India, it’s a custom to break a coconut (yes literally crack open) before beginning any new work or journey. Coconut is symbol of good luck and thought to remove  obstacles or ‘Vighna’.

And with the hope that your hair growth journey will only get better, let’s talk more about benefits of coconut for hair:

1. Improves Scalp Health

Coconut oil is rich in medium chain fatty acids including lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid.

These healthy fats have strong anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. They help to keep the scalp healthy by getting rid of fungus and bad bacteria that may be lurking on your scalp. And healthy scalp is the foundation for growing thick, beautiful hair.

2. Encourages Strong and Healthy Hair Growth

The lauric acid in coconut has a special liking for hair proteins.

Because of its low molecular weight, it is able to penetrate within the hair shaft. One study shows that coconut oil reduces protein loss from both damaged and undamaged hair when applied as pre-wash or post-wash conditioner. This is important for hair growth, because when your hair strands are protected from damage, they remain strong and healthy.

From ayurvedic point of view, hair loss and thinning is a sign of excess pitta (or high body heat). Therefore eating/applying pitta pacifying oils such as coconut will promote thicker hair as well as reduce greying.

There’s another wonderful reason to apply coconut oil

3. Reduces Scalp Inflammation

Chronic and ongoing inflammation can contribute to pattern hair loss. With coconut’s strong anti-inflammatory properties, it brings down the scalp inflammation, so your hair follicles can begin to repair and grow healthy hair. (Inflammation can be caused by the build-up of DHT or bacterial and fungal infections.)

You see coconut oil is fabulous for your hair and scalp. But unless you use it, how will it work…

How to Use Coconut Oil to Grow Thick, Beautiful Hair

How to Use Coconut Oil to Stop Hair Loss

Coconut oil is so versatile, you can use it for head massage, you can use it to infuse your favourite hair nourishing herb like amla or bhringraj or you can include it in your cooking or add it to your smoothies. Whatever you choose from, coconut oil will help your hair.

1. Head Massage with Coconut oil

This is a simple way to reap the benefit of coconut goodness. You can use coconut oil on its own or combine it with castor oil for an extra boost.

What you will need:

-2 tablespoons Coconut Oil

– 1 teaspoon Castor Oil

Massage the oil combo into your scalp and hair and let it soak for at least an hour (or overnight if possible). Then wash as usual.

Your hair will be thick, shiny and beautiful.

Tip: if coconut oil is solid, place some oil in a bowl and stand the bowl in hot water till the oil melts. This way it will be easier to apply.

2. Use Coconut Oil to Get Rid of Itchy, Flaky Scalp

I got this tip from my mother. You combine coconut oil with lemon juice and rub into your scalp. This will bring instant relief from flakes and leave your scalp clean and clear.

What you will need:

-2 tablespoons Coconut Oil

-1 tablespoon Lime Juice

Mix the coconut oil and lime juice and massage it into your scalp. Let it sit for half an hour and wash it out.

If you don’t like putting coconut oil on your hair, you can include coconut in your diet.

3. Add Coconut to Your Soups and Curries

Even if you don’t mind putting the oil on your hair, including coconut in your diet will only do you good. It provides antioxidants and important minerals like iron, selenium and zinc. Eating coconut will nourish your body, skin and hair from the inside so you will glow from the outside.

Plus coconut helps to improve satiety and keeps you from snacking junk. It will help bring relief from constipation, IBS and improve overall gut health.

How can you include coconut in your diet?

-You can cook with coconut oil. It has a high smoke point and is considered ideal for cooking and frying.

– Or add shredded coconut to your curries, stews, soups or rice.

-You can eat coconut flakes or white meat as a snack.

-Or you can add coconut milk to your smoothies.

Mistake to Avoid

Can Everyone Apply Coconut Oil for Head Massage?

No. Coconut oil may cause protein overload in people with coarse hair. The sign of protein overload is dry, stiff hair. (You can read more here)

Also, some people are allergic or intolerant to coconut. If you think you may have coconut intolerance, do not eat it.

Buying Coconut Oil

It’s best to buy cold pressed virgin coconut oil, which contains maximum nutrients and benefits. You can also get dried coconut chips/shreds here to make your own coconut milk or use in baking.

How do you use coconut oil for your hair? Let me know in the comment box below

Resources:

  1. Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damage.
  2. Antimicrobial Property of Lauric Acid Against Propionibacterium acnes: Its Therapeutic Potential for Inflammatory Acne Vulgaris
  3. Improvement of Medium Chain Fatty Acid Content and Antimicrobial Activity of Coconut Oil  

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