Breath freshener, makeup remover, lip scrub: the list of claims that people have made about coconut oil goes on and on. While the debate on whether or not coconut oil is truly as universal as coco-obsessives claim is still up in the air (especially after it was proven to clog pores), there is one thing for certain about this naturally-derived ingredient: it will give your hair the winter glow-up it’s been dying for.
Why You Need Coconut Oil In Your Hair Routine
According to celebrity hairstylist Kiyah Wright, coconut oil is one of the most natural, inexpensive avenues you can take for pampering your locks. “It’s weightless, hydrating and stimulating for all hair types,” Wright says.
Sharon Ramcharitar, senior stylist at Vu Hair, also agrees that this natural oil is essential to better hair days — especially for those of you with dry, damaged, or patchy hair. “Coconut oil stimulates hair growth by penetrating deep into the hair follicle,” Ramcharitar says. “It also promotes scalp health, fighting against such problems as insect bites, lice, and dandruff.” Other benefits of coconut oil Ramcharitar notes are prevention of damage and split ends, adding lust and shine, and softening the hair.
The Definitive Guide To Treating Your Hair With Coconut Oil
Before you slather your locks in coconut oil, Wright has a few tips to keep in mind: First off, always use organic, cold-pressed virgin coconut oil on your hair. “It’s the best to use because it actually penetrates the shaft, unlike most oils which only coat the hair,” she said. “To get the most out of your coconut oil use, apply it as a hair mask, hot oil treatment or add a few drops to your conditioner for an extra boost of TLC. I recommend that it be used every other day if you have thick, curly hair and weekly to monthly if you have fine or thin hair that is dry.”
To use coconut oil in your hair as a mask or treatment, all you have to do is slather it onto your locks and let it sit for as much time as you want — as little as 10 minutes, or as long as overnight, whichever you prefer, according to our experts. But, the tricky part here is washing the gunk out without leaving a grease-slicked feel. “Rinsing coconut oil out of your hair with just plain water won’t help as water and oil don’t mix,” says Wright.
So, what can you do to get this nourishing gunk out of your hair? Follow the tips below, of course:
This one may seem like a given, but Ramcharitar suggests using this haircare staple to get rid of all of the coconut oil sitting on your hair. However, she did note that it may not get rid of all of it, and you may need to take some extra steps to fully cleanse your hair.
Another simple way to get all of that oil out of your hair: conditioner, and lots of it. “Grab your favorite hair conditioner and apply twice the amount you usually use and get to applying it from root to tip,” says Wright. “Because coconut oil is a fatty oil, conditioner is just as thick in consistency and will help to gently breakdown the excess coconut oil on your tresses. You’ll be able to remove the grease from your strands and scalp without damaging them as conditioners are typically formulated to also help moisturize and deeply nourish your strands.”
To give your shampoo an extra moisturizing boost that will rid your hair of excess coconut oil, Ramcharitar suggests mixing a teaspoon of aloe vera to your shampoo.
Ramcharitar also recommends using an egg wash to give your tresses some added nourishment, while breaking down the coconut oil in them. If you’re suffering from hair loss or breakage, this method is your best bet: egg yolk has actually been proven in a study published by the Journal of Medicinal Food to stimulate hair growth and strengthen your strands.
Are you an all-natural, vegan girl? Then try this nifty option: lemon juice. Both of our experts agree that lemon juice will give your hair the added cleanse it needs. “The acidity will help to break down the fatty molecules of the coconut oil, breaking it down and thinning the consistency,” said Wright.
If your scalp is feeling a bit greasy, Ramcharitar suggests creating a paste out of baking soda and water, and applying it to your head to exfoliate and purify it. It’s also a great trick for when your scalp is a little flaky.
Ramcharitar says that if your hair still feels a little weighed down with excess residue after drying, spray some dry shampoo into sections of your locks to create a more matte and cleansed look.
If all else fails, Wright suggests this surprising product: dish soap. “Dish soap is tougher than coconut oil and will remove it from hair in a snap,” she says.
If you’d rather take your coconut oil in small doses and avoid the process of removal, then check out some of our expert’s favorite coconut oil-infused products.
This gently purifying shampoo is one of Wright’s go-to hair products. ”The coconut oil helps to clarify and balance the oiliest of scalps, while refreshing your hair’s volume and shine,” she says.
Ramcharitar is obsessed with this product for its lightweight finish that leaves hair ultra soft and tamed.
One of Wright’s favorite post-shower hair products is this drugstore leave-in treatment for it’s quality formula: “It’s one of the few products that contain virgin coconut oil, but it also contains coconut milk which helps to nourish hair,” she says. “A little goes a long way, so you get a lot of bang for your buck.“
For curlier or kinky hair types, Wright suggests washing your hair with this underrated shampoo, and even toutes it as a “godsend.” “Not only is it paraben-free but the coconut oil helps to cleanse and remove scalp buildup while gently smoothing your stand for easy detangling,” she says. “It helps to enhance hair health and minimize frizz which this hair type can be more prone to.”