Oils, any oils, are occlusive by nature. Occlusives primarily act as a barrier, wrapping round pores and skin or hair ideally retaining the good things in and the dangerous stuff out. This is the reason you prime your water-based toners and lotions with an oil—you’re sealing within the hydration and vitamins beneath. This can be a good factor.
It turns into an issue, nonetheless, when mentioned oil does not have any moisture to lock in—after which could also be actively retaining water out. This brings us again to utilization: Hair oils must be layered over water (be it on damp hair or from a water-based spray or cream), so that they have conditioning brokers to seal in; that is the primary challenge. The second is that utilizing an excessive amount of hair oil could also be more durable to scrub off within the bathe (particularly should you go for mild, sulfate-free shampoos or co-washes). So then, since you’re not totally washing off the product, water out of your bathe is repelled, unable to soak in, leaving your hair dry, dehydrated, and brittle.
(An addendum to this: For these with very high-porosity hair, the above state of affairs may go in your favor, as your strands have a tendency to soak up an excessive amount of water—inflicting swelling and breakage. However for these with common to low-porosity hair, oil buildup will result in brittleness.)
So why do I single out coconut oil right here? As a result of coconut oil is the one almost certainly perpetrator. There are a number of causes for this. The primary, “Coconut oil tends to solidify some,” says board-certified dermatologist Raechele Cochran Gathers, M.D. (You know the way it is usually strong at room temperature? Yeah, kind of like that). Because it dries right into a strong, it will possibly trigger strands to really feel stiffer and extra coarse—resulting in breakage.
However coconut oil is also excessive in lauric acid, which naturally attracts and binds with hair proteins. It will trigger protein buildup, resulting in much less elasticity and suppleness of hair—or widespread signs of brittleness.