A. We Ask A Derm: How Often Should I Use Coconut Oil For Hair Growth? And Does It Actually Help?
Coconut oil is appreciated by many for its many uses. In addition to adding a subtle flavor to any dish, it’s used in common household tasks (like conditioning hardwood floors) and as a moisturizing ingredient in hair and skin care routines. To talk about the latter, we have two certified dermatologists, Dr. Steven Shapiro, founder of Shapiro MD, and Rachel Maiman, who works at Marmur Medical, shared their findings.
1. What are the benefits of using coconut oil on your hair?
“From using heaters and dye treatments to things like pollution and extreme weather, your hair suffers a lot. These things can leach moisture and protein from your hair, making it dry, opaque and prone to breakage, split ends and Excessive hair loss “says Shapiro. Fortunately, coconut oil can help on all fronts, which is why it can often be seen in your hair care products and household routines. Because coconut oil contains lauric acid, a fatty acid that, unlike other fatty acids, can penetrate deep into the hair shaft. This allows you to protect your hair from protein loss while providing long-lasting hydration. This will make your hair look fuller, shinier and healthier. It also gives your hair a softer and smoother quality, easy to comb”, he adds.
Maiman agrees, adding: “Like mineral oil and many vegetable oils, coconut oil is effective in retaining moisture in the hair fiber. This is because coconut oil coats the outside of the hair shaft, creating a hydrophobic barrier that retains moisture. As a result, this effect slows down the hair shaft’s moisture loss over time, much like some conventional grooming products can do for you. ”
2. Does coconut oil help hair growth?
He can. As Shapiro explains, “Coconut oil is incredibly nourishing to the skin, so applying it to hair can help prevent hair loss, creating ideal conditions for healthy hair growth.” And do you remember the lauric acid we just talked about? Well, not only is it an excellent moisturizer, but it can also help fight inflammation around hair follicles, which is one of the most common culprits of hair loss,” says Shapiro.
Again, lauric acid is the main component of coconut oil, which allows it to easily penetrate the hair, which can also help to strengthen the cuticle. “Similar to a weakened skin barrier, a damaged cuticle welcomes the penetration of harmful substances and water, which can easily lead to hair breakage. Increased strength and tightness of hair result in less breakage and hair loss, which is directly related to damage,” adds Maiman.“ However, there is insufficient data to support the claim that coconut oil actually promotes hair growth. hair at the level of the follicle”.
3. How to use coconut oil on hair
There are many different ways to use coconut oil on hair, but first of all, Maiman recommends sticking to unrefined virgin coconut oil (or even extra virgin coconut oil) for the best results. OK, ready for some recommendations on how to incorporate the moisturizing ingredient into your routine?
- “You can apply coconut oil directly before or after washing to protect it from damage and lock in essential moisture,” offers Shapirpo.
- “Use it as a hair mask two to three times a week. To do this, just heat the coconut oil and apply it to dry hair. Use a wide-tooth comb to evenly distribute the oil, starting in the middle of your hair and let it run to the ends.For a quick treatment, leave it on for 30 minutes, then wash and condition your hair as usual.For additional hydration, let it pass overnight with a shower cap or silk towel. Bath and shampoo by morning.
- Try it as a finishing oil to minimize the appearance of split ends, reduce frizz and tame unruly hair (this is especially helpful for those with frizzy, thick or porous strands). Use one on damp hair with a small amount of coconut oil at the ends or lift it a little higher towards the center. It doesn’t end with an oily scalp.
4. Do you need precautions when using coconut oil on your hair?
“The most important precaution is for those with acne-prone skin, as coconut oil is considered comedogenic, which means that it clogs the pores”, warns Maiman. “As a result, it can actually make acne worse in some people, so I recommend staying away if that’s a problem. Even though application is limited to the scalp, it can easily migrate and cause rashes along the hairline and forehead. ”
“Too much coconut oil can also make your hair greasy,” warns Shapiro. “Always start with the smallest amount (no bigger than a dime-sized spoon) and see how your hair reacts to it first. You can always add more later. Or, instead, you can use a coconut oil-infused hair product, which will give you the extra moisture you’re looking for, without dirt or residue. ”
5. Are there other ingredients you recommend for hair growth?
“Green tea extract, saw palmetto and caffeine extract are extremely beneficial for hair growth, especially for men and women who struggle with fine, damaged hair or hair loss. These ingredients can help fight DHT, the hormone that causes hair loss and is believed to contribute to scarring and shrinking hair follicles. By fighting DHT in the scalp, these natural extracts can help them reach their peak performance,” explains Shapiro.
“Minoxidil is another great supplement for people struggling with thinning or thinning hair, and it’s based on decades of experience for both men and women. It is easy to apply topically and is one of only two solutions officially approved by the FDA for the treatment of hair loss. “When I work with hair loss patients, these are some of my main ingredients. They are supported by research and since many of them (eg coconut oil and green tea extract) are natural ingredients, I would recommend them to almost anyone who cares about health and hair loss,” he adds.
B. 9 Ways To Use Coconut Oil For Supersoft Hair
If checking kitchen cabinets is on your spring cleaning list, you could be up against an old friend who’s been there for a while: coconut oil, darling of the DIY beauty world. People wear it on their face, brush around their mouths and even rub their stomachs, but it really shines – literally – in a hair care routine. Coconut oil doesn’t really moisturize (no oil does), but used strategically can soften, add shine and repair dry hair. Here are nine ways to use coconut oil in your hair routine if you’re considering changing the pot for the bathroom sink.
1. Use it as a “Pre-Poo” protection
Here’s a trick that’s especially helpful for people with dry or curly hair: Avoid the scalp and spread some coconut oil on dry hair about an hour before showering. The oil protects each strand from drying out during washing. After washing, rinse the hair oil and apply conditioner normally. (Note that if you have fine hair, the oil may be too much for you.)
2. Use it to strengthen your conditioner
Coconut oil makes every conditioner even more nutritious. After saturating your hair with the conditioner, place a layer of coconut oil over it. The oil is occlusive, so it locks the moisturizing ingredients in the conditioner into your hair so they can penetrate the shaft longer and more effectively. Wait at least 15 minutes or up to an hour to rinse – the longer you wait, the softer your hair will be.
3. Use it to strengthen your moisturizer
This is a practical solution for people with thick, dry hair. After shampooing and conditioning, apply a moisturizer to your hair (Oyin Handmade Dew is great). Then take a quarter-sized amount of coconut oil and place it on top of the moisturizer. Dry your hair normally. The oil binds to the moisturizer and helps keep hair hydrated longer.
4. Untangling a little less annoying
Curly hair? Apply coconut oil to areas that need a little help. The oil provides a useful “slip” that makes combing a less harrowing ordeal.
5. Make your hair more photogenic
Put some coconut oil in a spray bottle and spray your hair for a natural shine. If you are working with solidified oil, place the bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes so that the oil becomes liquid again.
6. Wear it as a swimming cap
The worst part of taking a shower? The devastating salt water and chlorine naturally wreak havoc on your hair. Before going to the pool or beach, cover your hair with coconut oil. Oil acts as a barrier between your strands and water to some extent. Think of it as a natural cap (or a cap that won’t make you look like an idiot).
7. Or a moisture cap
To tame the wayward, frizzy strands, rub a pea-sized amount of coconut oil between your fingers. Transfer the oil to the frizzy areas of the hair to soothe stray strands. Little things have a big impact!
8. Use it to “Photoshop” your split ends
Coconut oil doesn’t glue the split ends together (nothing will, despite what some products claim), but it can hide the frayed ends for a short period of time – definitely enough to snap a photo or appear in the zoom. Just rub a small amount over the ends. The oil gives shine and temporarily straightens ragged hair.
9. Use it to naturally ward off head lice
If you really hate the idea of using medicinal treatments for head lice, coconut oil is a surprisingly effective alternative. A 2002 study examined 940 children who were given a hair cocktail made from coconut oil, fennel oil and ylang-ylang oil. The mixture was applied to each child’s hair three times a day for five days. It was successful in 92.3 percent of head lice cases and performed slightly better than the drug control group, which had a 92.2 percent success rate.
10. Why not use
Unfortunately, coconut oil does not help with hair growth or dandruff. There are no reliable and peer-reviewed studies to show that coconut oil can cause hair to grow back. Your best bet is still Rogaine. As for dandruff, coconut oil can actually cause more flakes! When used on the scalp, coconut oil clogs the pores and prevents the hair follicles from “breathing”. This dehydrates the scalp and can make dandruff stronger. Instead, try a medicated shampoo.
11. The bottom line
So can coconut oil help with hair growth? Yes, to that extent it helps to create a healthier environment for your scalp and therefore your hair. As mentioned earlier, hair growth is a multifactorial process that requires a holistic approach that targets all the underlying causes of hair loss or hair loss, such as stress, hormones, bowel health, diet and other environmental factors. Coconut oil alone – or any ingredient – probably won’t solve all your hair loss problems. Instead, it can be a supporting factor.
Hair growth aside, most people can use coconut oil as a moisturizing ingredient in their routine to tame and moisturize dry strands. Remember to use it as directed (start with a small amount and add as needed) to avoid clogging the follicles.