In the internet age and world of 'fake news', it's hard to separate fact from fiction and beauty is no different. Coconut oil has been heralded by fans of natural products for a whole host of uses, from moisturizing skin, to reducing cellulite and burning fat. And healthy eaters will be familiar with the recent coconut oil fad that promoted it as a 'healthier' alternative for cooking, although the jury's still out on how healthy it is.
So what's the latest verdict on coconut oil for your hair? Is it a magical potion that can transform even the dullest locks into Goldilocks? Or is it just another natural health fad that doesn't quite stand up to closer inspection?
The reason why it's so popular, Wellness Mama, explains is because the structure of coconut oil makes it penetrate hair "in ways that other oils are not able to", while the lauric acid contained in coconut oil helps to reduce protein loss from hair - more protein equals stronger hair.
But it cautions that although coconut oil can be good for the hair, this is only so if it is used correctly and on the right hair type. So, even with this wonder product, there can be 'too much of a good thing'.
It suggests those who are most likely to get positive results from using coconut oil are people with fine to medium shiny hair, while those with coarse or dry hair may actually make their hair more brittle and even experience hair loss. Yikes!
If the latter matches your hair type, Wellness Mama recommends that you go for different oils instead, like marula oil or argan oil.
If you do go for coconut oil, its recommendation is to use just a small amount to coat the hair and reduce frizz.
BlackDoctor makes a similar warning, quoting professional natural hairstylist Aeleise Jana who wants girls everywhere to put down the shea butter and coconut oil. Why? Because in her experience, women are layering on too much of it, with the result being dry, frizzy hair.
She explains that the coconut oil essential stops the hair shafts from absorbing water.
“Shea butter and coconut oil used the way most consumers do suffocates the hair and scalp. Moisture = water. Oil= sealant. If you don’t clarify the oil layer off of the hair and allow water to get into the cuticle you’re moisturizing dry hair," she told BlackDoctor.
Hair Buddha draws a similar conclusion, saying that coconut oil is best suited to soft, fine and medium thick hair, where users can expect the results to be more body and volume, and less damage from brushing and styling.
But those with dry, brittle or coarse hair should avoid it because it may actually result in protein build up which in turn will make the hair more "stiff, hard and less elastic".
If that sounds like your hair, then Hair Buddha recommends trying natural moisturizers like aloe vera, flaxseed gel, honey or plant derived glycerin.
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