My love for coconut oil runs deep. It kicks butt at everything from soothing sunburns and strengthening teeth to relieving eczema (seriously, is there anything the stuff can’t do?) But hair is one of the places where coconut oil both literally and figuratively shines. Using coconut oil for hair softens strands, adds a silky luster and helps repair dry locks without leaving it limp and greasy. Heck, it even gets rid of embarrassing dandruff and encourages hair to grow faster. That’s a lot of bang for your hair care buck.
5 Ways to Use Coconut Oil for Hair
Here are 5 ways to use coconut oil for hair and incorporate it into your daily routine.
I swear by coconut oil for adding much-needed moisture and revitalizing dry strands. Since it’s a rich source of fatty acids and proteins, it helps strengthen hair and prevents further damage. To use as a deep conditioner, simply take a pea-size amount and rub it between the palms of your hands until it’s nice and liquid-y. Then rub your hands through your hair, starting at the roots and moving toward the ends. You don’t need much, just enough to lightly coat your hair.
For extra conditioning action, pop on a shower cap and use a warm blow-dryer to gently heat up your hair.
Leave the oil on for an hour (or overnight if you have time), then shampoo and condition like usual. If you only used a small amount of oil, you shouldn’t run into problems washing it out completely. But if you do, add a teaspoon of baking soda to your shampoo and wash a second time.
On humid days, hair can puff up in no time, but coconut oil is great way to tame the flyaways naturally. Simply rub a dollop of oil between your palms. Then gently swipe ‘em over hair and rub any leftover oil into split ends.
Homemade hairspray is one of the more unique ways to use coconut oil for hair. As opposed to most commercial hair sprays, this hair spray helps hydrate strands and naturally strengthens damaged locks. While you shouldn’t expect the hold of alcohol-laden hair sprays, you will end up with fewer flyaways and a natural shine.
There are several factors that can lead to dandruff (bacteria, eczema, dryness and even an oily scalp to name a few), so before applying coconut oil willy-nilly, it’s best to get to know your scalp. If you think eczema, dryness or bacteria are at play, coconut oil can be a great remedy for flakes.
It’s naturally antibacterial and anti-fungal. Plus, when applied to the scalp it penetrates deep into the epidermis, adding moisture and soothing inflammation.
Use your fingertips to apply a tiny bit of oil to your scalp and massage it in. Let it sink in for 15 minutes, then rinse it off thoroughly. You can follow up with shampoo or simply let hair dry naturally and apply dry shampoo to soak up the excess oil. Coconut oil can clog pores and cause sebum buildup, so always do a test-run and if you notice dandruff getting worse, give the oil a rest.
Hair Strengthening Superfood
Coconut oil may offer the most benefit for hair when eaten, as opposed to being applied topically. It contains a myriad of fatty acids, proteins and antioxidants that provide a host of health benefits. When eaten regularly, it’s said to support everything from healthy hormone production to metabolism. And since hair is a reflection of our internal health, incorporating more coconut oil into your diet, along with other foods that boost hair health, can improve hair strength and appearance from the inside out.