What would happen if you didn’t water your plants every day in summers?
They will wither away. The hot sun can be harsh on your delicate small plants and leave them dry and limp.
Similar to the plants, our hair too can wither away from the heat. But not from sun’s heat, our own body heat can do a number on our hair. Some people, especially type ‘A’ personalities or people with high ambition have high body heat, also known as pitta body type in ayurveda.
And this heat can be detrimental for our hair. And the best way to calm the body heat is by soothing it with cooling oils such as coconut. But coconut is more than just a mere heat pacifier. It’s extremely nourishing for hair and also contains innumerable healing properties.
Before we see how amazing coconut oil is for hair, let take a brief look about the origins of coconut oil.
What is Coconut Oil and Where it Comes From?
Coconut tree is a 100 feet tall tree that thrives on saline water, sandy soil and abundant sunlight. So the perfect place for it to grow is the seashores of the tropics and sub-tropical regions.
The coconuts grow on the top of coconut tree, beneath the umbrella shaped crown formed by the broad pinnate shaped leaves.
The coconut fruits are green or yellow when immature, and contain more water and thin delicate meat. But as the coconut matures, the outer husky portion dries out and along with that its water, but its white meat or ‘khopra’ thickens.
And from this thick white coconut meat or ‘khopra’, coconut oil is extracted.
Coconut Oil is Magical for Hair Growth: Here’s Why
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.
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.
Besides, lauric acid 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 (1). 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.
Okay, if you are still not convinced, here’s another wonderful reason to apply coconut oil.
Chronic and ongoing inflammation can contribute to hair loss in many people. 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 (2). (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
Coconut oil is so versatile, you can head massage with the oil, or you can include it in your cooking or add it to your smoothies. Whatever you choose from, coconut oil will only work to benefit your hair.
1. Apply Coconut oil on your Hair
Coconut oil head massage is one of the most effective ways to reap hair benefits of coconut goodness.
You will need:
- 2 tablespoon of coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon castor oil (optional)
- 3 drops lavender essential oil (optional)
If you wish to use just coconut oil, it’s perfectly fine. But you can add some castor oil and lavender oil for extra boost.
Massage coconut oil (plus) into your scalp and hair and let it soak in for a few hours. Then wash as usual.
Your hair will be thick, shiny and beautiful.
2. If your hair is dry and brittle, stay away from the oil, instead use Coconut Milk
The moisture rich coconut milk contains all the nutrients of coconut , and it will work to nourish your hair without causing protein overload (which is the common problem with coconut oil, especially of your hair is dry).
You will need:
- ¼ cup coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon aloe vera gel (optional)
- 3 drops of rosemary essential oil (optional)
Place the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
Massage the coconut milk into your scalp and let it soak in for a couple of hours. Then wash as usual. You may not need to use a conditioner as this milk is so moisturising and conditioning.
3. Lastly, if you dislike putting oils or milks on your hair, you can include coconut in your diet.
And even if you don’t mind putting the oil on your hair, including coconut in your diet will only do you good. It’s not just great for your hair, it works to naturally balance your hormones and provide antioxidants such as selenium and zinc – thus it’s useful for growing beautiful hair after pregnancy and menopause.
Plus coconut helps to improve satiety and keeps you from snacking junk. It will also 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 high smoke point and is considered ideal for cooking and frying.
- Or add a teaspoon of coconut oil to your smoothies, soups or rice.
- You can eat the ‘khopra’ or white meat as a snack.
- Or you can drink coconut milk.
Buying Coconut Oil
How do you use coconut oil for your hair? Let me know in the comment box below
- Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damage.