Updated on August 16, 2022 at 6:23 p.m.
Coconut oil – from the coconut tree generally growing in tropical countries – is extracted in particular in South East Asia (Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, etc.). More than a simple food condiment to integrate into our cooking recipes, coconut oil is also prized for its undeniable cosmetic benefits on the skin of our face and our body. But that’s not all ! This natural vegetable oil is known for its effects on our hair. What are they exactly? And how to use it well on our hair? Sarah Bovaere, in charge of formulating oils at Léa Nature, answers our questions a bit about hair.
What are the effects of coconut oil on hair?
This vegetable oil is obtained by pressing the flesh of the coconut “harvested in the traditional way, by hand and with the help of long bamboo rods, says the expert. The certified organic coconut oil is cold pressed and does not undergo a refining stage in order to preserve its richness and its properties”. Starting with its nourishing properties. Composed of approximately 50% lauric acid, a saturated fatty acid with a particular affinity for hair keratin, coconut oil penetrates the hair fiber deeply. In addition, its film-forming effect acts as a protective veil on the surface of the hair and thus limits hair dehydration. It also makes it less porous when shampooing and more resistant when combing. Under the effect of coconut oil, your hair is then sheathed and fortified. It also regains shine and radiance!
True or false: misconceptions about coconut oil
Many are the benefits of coconut oil on the hair. But sometimes, his popularity gives him virtues that are not his own. Focus on the received ideas that we can read, rightly or wrongly, about this vegetable oil.
Read also: Castor oil, the beauty ally for healthy hair
Is coconut oil an antioxidant for hair?
Fake. In addition to lauric acid, coconut oil contains other cosmetic active ingredients such as vitamin A and Vitamin E. “If these vitamins, which are powerful antioxidants, will give coconut oil its great stability, they have no direct effect on the hair,” explains Sarah Bovaere.
Coconut oil protects hair from external aggressions?
True. This vegetable oil protects the hair from numerous and diverse external aggressions: pollution, tobacco, the sun… It even protects it from our daily hair tools such as hairbrushes, combs and other hair dryers. And this, thanks to its film-forming effect.
Coconut oil promotes hair growth?
Fake. The expert explains that this oil “is not directly responsible for faster growth, but it will promote hair and scalp in good health “.
Coconut oil lightens hair?
Fake. Contrary to what you may read or hear, coconut oil has no lightening effect on our hair. For this, it would be necessary to bet on honey, lemon and chamomile.
Coconut oil has anti-dandruff and anti-lice properties?
True. “Its richness in lauric acid gives it antifungal and antibacterial properties. Its film-forming effect will also allow it to “suffocate” lice, explains the specialist. For optimal effectiveness, we recommend combining it with other antibacterial ingredients such as essential oils* of lavender or tea tree, for example. »
Which coconut oil for hair?
To maximize the effect of the care provided to our hair, we gladly turn to a 100% pure and natural vegetable coconut oil, preferably certified organic and not deodorized, so it retains all its virtues. But… where to find it? To get it, there is no need to go to Asia since it is sold almost everywhere: in supermarkets, specialized stores, parapharmacies, and even on the Internet for delivery directly to the home. The most important thing before getting it: look at the provenance, the composition, the labels and the certification then the opinions.
How to use coconut oil on hair?
Coconut oil: for which type of hair?
It should first be noted that coconut oil adapts to all types of hair without exception: straight, curly, curly, frizzy… However, it is necessary to adapt the frequency of use according to the needs of each hair. For repair dry hair and/or brittle, the expert recommends use once a week. For other hair types, once or twice a month is sufficient.
Coconut oil: its application
Place to practice! In its pure form, coconut oil tends to solidify below 20/25°C. You should know that this phenomenon has no effect on its quality. However, it must be warmed (by passing the pot under hot water for example) so that it liquefies and is easier to use. Then it can be applied by hair oil bath. In this case, we gorge our hair with this quality plant substance and let it rest between half an hour and all night to allow the oil to penetrate as much as possible into the hair before shampooing. Like a homemade mask with coconut oil, this long-lasting treatment promises nourished, soft and silky hair.
You can also take advantage of the benefits of coconut oil by adopting cosmetic treatments containing the oil in their formulations. “Easier to use, these shampoos, conditioners and other masks are a good alternative” since they are applied directly in our bathroom, under or after the shower. The expert Léa Nature concludes: “they can be used daily and more regularly than pure oil”. Good point, very good point!
*For any use of essential oil, seek medical advice.