If someone would have told me that using a single ingredient as a skin care treatment, a body lotion and a hair care treatment before I got on board with the organic trend, I would have laughed in their faces. Now that I’ve discovered the awesome superpowers of coconut oil, I feel sorry I stubbornly stuck to my beauty routine for years without giving it a try. It would have saved me a lot of effort, disappointments, money and shelf space.
Like you, I usually ignored all the blog posts, reviews and articles that praised organic and essential oils, thinking that technological advancements in the beauty industry have got to give better results than natural ingredients that have been around for ages, right?
Moreover, mixing, heating, researching the subject and getting ahold of the best raw products to achieve the miracle masks and treatments was a hell of a lot harder than dropping a bottle of shampoo or a hair mask in the cart, while shopping for groceries.
Now that I’m older, wiser, more concerned about what I apply to my hair, face and body, I know better. I’ve done the drudgery work of research and I wanted to share with you the multiple uses of coconut oil, its benefits in hair and skin care, my recipe for DIY coconut oil hair mask and information about where to purchase the best ingredients from.
Although there are plenty of articles on the subject out there, I figured that one post that covers all you need to know and a push in the right direction to purchase the best coconut oil at the right price is exactly what I would have needed to find when I decided to try this mask.
Why no other oil is as good
There are plenty of reasons why coconut oil is trending right now and why beauty editors say it’s the most effective skin care product known to man. The combination of anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-bacterial and hydrating properties make it more effective than any mineral oil out there.
If you’re into the whole science behind it and are interested in the health benefits, you might one to dig a litter deeper into the subject and see that coconut oil is composed out of saturated fats of medium-chain fatty acids (these are different from the bad saturated fats that you’re craving and trying to stay away from), however for beauty purposes, there are other awesome facts you need to know.
The organic variety contains a bunch of go-to ingredients that make hair manageable, soft and silky:
Fatty acids: help to repair the skin barrier and reduce inflammation. These acids also trap water inside the skin, thus keeping it moisturized for longer periods of time. When applied on the hair, the fatty acids contained by coconut oil are responsible for strengthening the hair, preventing and repairing split ends.
Capric / Lauric acid: something that most hair care products contain, which is enough reason to make you want it in your hair mask. These fatty acids have strong disinfectant and antimicrobial properties, so it helps to get rid of dandruff. When applied on the skin, coconut oil protects from microbial infections.
Vitamin E, alongside the Lauric acid, are essential for strong, healthy hair and prevent hair loss, by penetrating the hair shaft and revitalizing it. They repair the damage caused by heat styling.
Proteins: aid in tissue repair, causing less breakage, hair fall and split ends. The result is thicker hair, with added shine and softness.
Coconut Oil Hair Mask DIY
The molecular structure of coconut oil is smaller and it’s rich in proteins, so it penetrates the hair shaft, getting past the cuticle, repairing the damage from the inside out. Moreover, using this recipe for a hair mask, you can make your hair thicker, add shine and manageability, cause less breakage, static, split ends and tangles.
Before you begin, brush your hair thoroughly to make sure you get rid of tangles, in order to make the mask way easier to apply.
Virgin coconut oil comes in solid state and melts to the touch or if you pre-melt it. It’s easier to mix with other ingredients and to apply it if you warm it up a bit. Here‘s my recipe:
- 1 tablespoon of Honey
- 2 parts Coconut Oil (quantity depends on your hair length)
- 1 part Argan Oil (optional)
# Purchase unrefined virgin coconut oil for best results, as this is made from the first pressing of fresh, raw coconut without the addition of any chemicals.
Mix the coconut oil, the honey and the argan oil in a small bowl. Apply the mixture to the hair, focusing on the ends and midsection of the hair. Unless you’re using it as a hair loss or a dandruff recipe, avoid applying the mask to the scalp, especially if you have an oily hair type.
Wrap your hair in a bun, cover with a shower cap and a warm towel (freshly out of the dryer) and leave on for at least 30 minutes, depending on how damaged your hair is. Some people with very dry, porous or dyed hair may need to leave it longer, others like to use it as an overnight treatment.
Then, rinse out in the shower, shampoo and condition as usual.
How to wash hair and remove oil build-up
Because the treatment is based on oil, I have some trouble with washing the coconut oil out of my hair completely. This doesn’t happen to everybody, but if you are faced with the same issue, here’s a way to clear your hair completely. You will need stuff that’s most likely available in your house:
- Baking soda
- Egg white
- Apple cider vinegar
You can wash coconut oil out of your hair completely if you simply repeat the shampooing process 2 or 3 times, however I like to use a different method to rinse it out, that clears away any oil and grease, strengthens the hair and ads shine.
I beat 1 egg white in a bowl and mix it with 2 teaspoons of baking soda and the usual amount of shampoo I need when I don’t use this hair mask. I massage this on the scalp and hair, rinse with water and follow with apple cider vinegar to clarity and ad shine to the hair. It works wonders for normal and oily hair!
Multiple Uses for Coconut Oil
The composition of this oil makes it beneficial not only for your hair, but also for the skin on your face and body, for your feet and hands, for your teeth and gums or for a wide range of skin disorders.
Here are some of the multiple uses in cosmetology for coconut oil:
Coconut Oil as an Anti-Dandruff Hair Mask
As mentioned early in the article, coconut oil has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, that help you get rid of dandruff and prevent flaking. It sooths the skin from your scalp and helps it heal faster. Massage a small amount onto your scalp and allow it to soak in overnight.
Fights Acne, Psoriasis and Eczema
Coconut oil is sometimes applied to the skin as a moisturizer to treat several skin disorders like acne, psoriasis or eczema. Due to its high protein content, it helps with cell rejuvenation and heals the damage cause by skin conditions. Plus, because of its anti-inflammatory properties it also aids in battling microbial bodies.
Anti-Aging Face Moisturizer
Although I myself prefer Argan Oil or Jojoba Oil as a face moisturizer, there are plenty of people who swear by coconut oil as a face moisturizer and a body lotion. It’s extremely hydrating, penetrates deep into the skin and the major benefit is that it sinks in fast. It will also help remove dead skin cells, remove any roughness and leave your skin soft and glowy.
Oil Pulling Mouthwash
Oil Pulling, the method of swishing oil in your mouth for several minutes a day, is trending thanks to countless celebs like Gwyneth Paltrow who swear by this ancient Indian technique. Benefits include teeth whitening and preventing bleeding gums and tooth decay. I’ll give you the full details on the practice in this oil pulling piece.
Works as a Makeup Remover
Natural, virgin oils are great to use as makeup removers, as they are effective, but also gentle to the eye area, don’t cause drying and premature aging. Rub a small amount on the eyelashes and lids to soften mascara and make it easier to remove with your face wash.
Soothe and Prep Skin for a Mani & Pedi
Soothe your dry hands or apply a small amount on your heels to treat cracks or prevent foot fungus and infections. Coconut oil contains antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, so it’s the perfect ingredient to prevent toenail infections and foot fungus.
Coconut Oil – Side Effects and Warnings
Not everyone should apply this ingredient head-to-toe, alert some dermatologists. If you plan on using it as a hair mask, there are no counter indications whatsoever. However, I recommend using it as a moisturizer for your face and body only if you have dry or normal skin.
Combination and oily skin, that is prone to acne and breakouts are advised not to use coconut oil as a moisturizer, as it may be comedogenic – clog pores and cause breakouts. That’s truly a shame, since the anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties of this ingredient could have sealed the deal for most of us.
With that in mind, we’ll just have to settle for the best coconut oil hair mask out there and use this amazing ingredient’s power at its full potential