As part of the growing preference for natural beauty products, many people are now using coconut oil for hair: from shampoo to conditioners, hair masks and leave-in treatments. Here’s why coconut makes one of the best hair oils, as well as when and how you could use it in your own haircare routine.
How is coconut oil made?
There are two principle techniques used to extract coconut oil: dry and wet processing. Dry processing uses the copra – the kernel of the coconut. The copra is pressed in order to extract the oil, before it is refined, bleached and deodorized (RBD). Wet processing is the technique used to extract virgin coconut oil. Raw coconut itself, not the kernel, is used and either wet-milled or dried before being pressed to produce the virgin oil. For haircare, the best hair oil is the latter: pure coconut oil for hair, not RBD.
Why is coconut oil good for hair?
Coconut oil has a lipid structure that is similar to the hair’s own, which means it adheres well to the fibre, filling in any cracks caused by damage. The thin layer of oil over the fibre can also provide protection.
Is coconut oil good for all hair types?
Sometimes, certain hair types just don’t take to pure coconut oil. This could be related to porosity: coconut oil is great for particularly porous hair, as it protects the cuticles, but less effective on hair with low porosity (which naturally repels water) because it can take up space that would otherwise be filled with essential moisture.
Different ways of using coconut oil for hair
There are so many ways to use coconut oil for hair, and it doesn’t have to be by pouring the oil straight over your locks...
Coconut oil shampoo: A coconut oil shampoo like Nutrifier by Serie Expert can be a great way to nourish your hair from the get-go.
Coconut oil conditioner: Many people enjoy the benefits of a coconut oil conditioner, focusing on the tips and any damaged lengths. Rinse out thoroughly.
Coconut oil hair treatment: Do you suffer from terrible tangles? Try the Daily Detangling Cream from Source Essentielle. Made from 99% natural origin ingredients, it contains coconut, sunflower seed and argan oils formulated to smooth and repair knotted, damaged hair.
Using pure coconut oil: Pure, virgin coconut oil for hair can also be used alone as a weekly treatment. Put just a few drops on your fingertips, then apply to towel-dried hair, focusing on the ends. Blow dry and style as normal.
Coconut oil hair mask: Also from the natural Source Essentielle haircare collection, the Nourishing Balm is another great option for dry or damaged hair that contains natural oils including coconut and sesame.
The best hair oil ingredients
If you’re looking to create a hair oil yourself, or browsing packaging for the best hair oil ingredients, here are those you should be checking for, depending on your hair type and needs. Remember, you’ll need a carrier oil to provide a base for your oil if you are planning to DIY.
Coconut oil: We’ve already said it, coconut oil for hair is great for adding shine and strength to porous hair. It’s also often used as a carrier oil for homemade hair oil treatments.
Sesame oil: Reputed for boosting blood flow to the scalp, which in turn promotes more hair growth, and stronger new hairs.
Jasmine: Not just a lovely-scented plant, jasmine produces a natural oil that also promotes high shine and hydration.
Lavender: Great for cooking with, and equally great in haircare, lavender oil is reputed to help soothe scalp concerns such as dandruff.
Sunflower seed oil: Rich in oleic acid, sunflower seed oil is a winner for strengthening the hair and reducing breakage.
Soybean oil: Full of fatty acids, soybean oil is another carrier oil whose lipids improve moisture retention and promote the absorption of hair treatments.
Not enough time to DIY? Try Source Essentielle
The Source Essentielle collection also contains some of the best hair oils! The Radiance Oil (rinse out) is formulated to provide nutrition for colour-treated hair, while the Nourishing Oil (leave-in) is designed for dry hair. Both contain between 80-100% naturally derived ingredients, meaning you know exactly what you’re putting on your hair.