But I am, Coco-nut for life!
If you are from India, most likely you would have in your life-time got a coconut oil head massage done. For me, coconut oil can save the world. Ok fine, even Boroline can.
The taste of coconut drives me insane. I love it in my food, in my body butter & of course on my hair. Very recently, I came across some conversations around coconut hair on oil. Some people went totally against it & some swore by it. Some almost boycotted it. I almost had a panic attack.
Started with my Curly Girl Method a year ago. Learning new hair care vocab, old hair care hacks in a new form, different products but focusing on the ingredients.
It rocked my life, with the thought of letting go of coconut oil for curlies. I cannot in the love of cosmos let go of my world savior.
So, my research started.
Nutrients of Coconut Oil: 80 % Saturated fat & vitamin E, K, Zn & Iron. Absolutely no protein. No fiber, no other minerals & vitamins as per Medical News today publication.
So, some doubts in my head got cleared right away: No, It doesn’t add protein to our hair. No, it doesn’t add hydration/moisture to our hair. The oil creates a barrier to retain & block.
In a dipstick poll, I received responses like, hair feels dry, brittle, stringy, hay-like. These responses were the exact opposite of my experience with coconut oil & it further got my online research spiraling further.
What does coconut oil does to the hair & why?
- Penetrate hair strands because of saturated fatty acids through the cuticle
- It wants to protect our hair – sun damages, pollution, water (heard about hygral fatigue?)
- Has water repellent properties that act as a sealant to the hair cuticles, which otherwise with too much moisture can swell up & our hair can lose its protein too in the process.
- Helps our hair retain its natural protein
- Coconut oil is an emollient. If you have moisture in our hair, the oil will create a protective barrier to ensure the moisture does not leave the hair, the same goes for the natural protein.
Coconut oil adds shine, strengthens & helps retain the balance of protein & moisture on the hair. In a high humid environment for me, I have benefited with no frizz on a washday. My hair feels light, bouncy & soft.Here you will see my hair pre wash with Coconut oil head massage & post wash with shampoo plus conditioner plus styling gel (all protein free)
So who benefits from coconut oil?
Let’s say, which kind of hair type or situation benefits from this goodness.
- High porosity hair, which attracts moisture & very easily loses it.
This means the hair is porous, tends to soak up a lot of water from the environment (eg – high humidity & frizz is a good story to tell). While it soaks up it also lets the moisture go away from hair in the same breath. There is rapid moisture loss. The oil creates a barrier to our hair.
- Damaged hair with too much exposure to sun or heat or even water.
Which means the natural protein of the hair has been compromised. So if the oil penetrates deeper into our hair and helps retain the existing natural protein and doesn’t let it leave the hair strands. It is good news.
Then the plan of action should be some good protein treatments & moisture balance.
Look out for…
Coconut oil is heavy stuff!! Metaphorically & literally.
Use its light, blended, or just a few drops for massage.
Check out for low porosity hair type. They tend to have tight cuticles, which means the structure of the hair doesn’t easily allow moisture to be absorbed into your hair shaft. Harder for water to saturate the hair when washed. Tends to repel moisture, it may be challenging to process and style, oil seals the hair strands.
This could be the reason why some people just detest it.
P.S: I have not found any study that talks about the facts about types of hair & coconut oil. However, the nutrients found & the hair porosity tendencies logically make sense.
Besides, if you are allergic to coconut, it’s altogether a different story. Please check your hair products & cosmetics if they have forms of coconut at all.
It is very important to know our hair type. Porosity for sure. Remember every head is different.
Check, if your hair doesn’t like coconut oil – what could be the reason?
Low porosity hair
Using the heavy oil too much
My love for coconut oil got deeper with this understanding.