By Yusra Hashim
Studies proved that coconut oil is the best oil to use for hair treatment. It not only moisturises the scalp and hair from outside, it nourishes hair from inside out by its ability to penetrate the hair to its middle layer and the scalp. It binds its protein and prevents excessive water absorption that damages the hair texture.
How washing might damage our hair?
On washing the hair absorbs the water and swells. This hair swelling pushes the outer scaly cuticle layer outward makes it easily damaged and eroded by wet combing or rough handling of the hair. This erosion of cuticles leads to hair protein loss. The hairs become thin, dull colour with split ends.
When the hair dries, the water evaporates, the hair diameter shrinks to its original state. These swelling and shrinkage processes with each wash damage the cuticle layer and facilitate protein loss.
Coconut oil for prewash hair treatment
Coconut oil pre-wash hair treatment can solve this problem and more. According to the study that was published in the journal of cosmetic Science.it compared the effect of mineral oil, sunflower, and coconut oil on preventing hair damage. Sunflower and mineral oil are the two most used oil in hair oil industry. The study showed that coconut oil is the only oil among the three types in the study could penetrate deeply in the hair and reduce hair protein loss.
The Researcher‘s conclusion of the study was;
“This study has firmly established the superiority of the protective effect of coconut oil on hair damage when it is used as a pre-wash conditioner as compared to mineral oil and other vegetable oils such as sunflower oil. It not only has a protective effect on undamaged hair but also on chemically treated hair, UV-treated hair and hair treated with boiling water (i.e., hair in water at 100øC for 2 hr.)”
Why coconut oil could penetrate hair better than other oils
Because the coconut oil has a linear structure, and it is of small molecular size, it penetrates the hair shaft easily, in addition to its polarity and protein binding affinity. Since Sunflower oil is like almost all other oils, of long chain fatty acid type and can’t penetrate the hair shaft, coconut oil is the best oil to use for deep hair treatment and hair conditioning.
Lauric acid in the coconut oil can penetrate the hair shaft to the cortex and binds its protein. while the other fatty acids of coconut oil cover the outer cuticle layer and prevent the excessive absorption of water into the hair, cuticle layer damage and protein loss.
How to use coconut oil for hair as a pre-wash treatment
Warm small amount of coconut oil (depend on your hair length and thickness). Dip your fingertips in the oil and message it all over the scalp then distribute it through the hair. Take the amount of coconut oil that can coat the scalp and your hair without dripping of oil on your neck. Cover you hair by the bath cap for 20-30 minutes (the longer you keep it the better) then wash it. Some of them uses coconut milk instead of the oil and gets the best result as well.
Best Natural Hair Conditioner
Apply very small amount (depend on your hair length and thickness) on your washed hair. Just oil your fingers and pass it through your hairs away from the scalp.
When the hairs absorb coconut oil, it increases its diameter. Coconut oil will add an extra volume to the hair.
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