Coconut oil is, hands down, one of the most effective hair treatments for a very wide variety of hair issues. Many claim that coconut oil actually works better than any man-made treatments on the market, and because it's 100% natural it's free of silicone, alcohols, and other chemicals that can aggravate sensitive skin and hair. It works incredibly well for repairing damaged hair that has been over-processed, heat damaged, or is just naturally dry. Coconut oil is also anti-fungal in nature, making it a perfect natural anti-dandruff treatment, or as a preventative treatment for dandruff. It's a great regular hair treatment for maintaining very healthy hair and scalp when used as a part of your regular haircare routine (1-4 times per month).
Why Coconut Oil Works Better
Coconut oil can be found at a variety of drug stores, grocery stores, organic food stores, or health stores. Coconut oil works well to recondition dry and damaged hair because the molecular structure of coconut oil, unlike other oils or moisturizers that just sit on the hair, is ideal for penetrating the hair shaft, getting past the cuticle, repairing and preventing damage from the inside out. Lauric acid, capric acid, and vitamin E (all present in coconut oil) help restructure hair, increase hair's strength by preventing protein loss, and vastly improve shine. People that regularly use a coconut oil treatment report increased body, shine, and manageability with less breakage, static, tangles, and split ends. Many also claim that hair sheds less and feels thicker after regular use.
How to Use Coconut Oil as a Deep Conditioning Treatment
For a deep conditioning treatment, massage a couple of tablespoons of the coconut oil into your clean, damp hair and scalp (if your hair is thinner or gets greasy easily, you may choose to skip the scalp as the oil could weigh your hair down). You may need more for long hair. Use more oil where your hair is the driest and most damaged (typically on the ends) and less where your hair is healthiest (mid-shaft and scalp area). I find that it's best to section your hair off and apply the coconut oil in manageable sections to be sure that every hair is coated properly. If your coconut oil is in a solid state, you will need to warm the oil gently to create a liquid. Allow the oil to sit on your hair for 20-30 minutes after application. People with very dry or porous hair may choose to leave it on longer and some people like to use it as an overnight treatment. To increase the effectiveness of the treatment, cover with a shower cap and wrap your hair in a hot towel (fresh from the dryer) or apply heat with a hair dryer for a few minutes. Because the oil is very heavy, you will need to shampoo the oil out of your hair well after the treatment.
Coconut oil can be a god-send to those with severely damaged, over processed, and heat styled hair. It will be important to experiment with the amount of coconut oil to use, and how long to allow the oil to penetrate your hair in a way that will work for your specific hair type. If the coconut oil leaves your hair feeling weighed down or greasy, try using less or shampooing more effectively post treatment.
How to Use Coconut Oil as a Daily Hair Moisturizer/Detangler
You can use a very small amount of coconut oil on the ends of your hair after showering as a detangler and as a daily moisturizer for very dry hair. It works wonders on dry skin issues as well.
How to Use Coconut Oil as a Dandruff Treatment
To treat dandruff, massage a small amount of coconut oil into your scalp and allow it to sit for at least 10 minutes and up to overnight (you'll want to wear a shower cap to bed or wrap your head/pillow in a towel). Shampoo out. To remove excess dandruff skin from your scalp, use this epson salt treatment.