Hair is nothing but dead protein filaments, each follicle being placed deep within the dermis or the inner layer of the skin. Only the cells that lie beneath the surface of the skin and inside the follicles are alive. The main component of hair is known as keratin. Long and lustrous hair has been always regarded as a sign of health and vitality, and the secret behind it lies in a healthy diet and proper hair care.
How Coconut Oil Promotes Hair Growth?
Coconut oil has a long association with skin and hair care. It has been used since ancient times to get soft, supple skin, and thick, long hair. So, let's see how this oil actually works to help you get long and healthy hair.
Coconut oil can nourish each hair strand by penetrating deep into the hair shaft. It adds shine and softness to the hair follicles and prevents hair breakage and dryness. It adds strength and vitality to hair by moisturizing it from deep within, and also protects it from harsh environmental conditions. Coconut oil is specially ideal for dry hair, which is more prone to breakage. It contains vitamin E, which is believed to promote hair growth and prevent excessive hair loss.
Using coconut oil before shampooing, helps prevent the loss of natural oils from the hair follicles during the shampooing process.
Coconut oil is known to have antifungal and antibacterial properties. Therefore, it can be used for common scalp problems, and to heal insect bites and pimples of the scalp. It can also keep lice and dandruff away from the scalp. Excessive dandruff can slow down the growth of hair by blocking the hair follicles. The capric acid found in coconut oil possesses antimicrobial properties. So, it helps keep the scalp healthy and thus create a proper environment for hair growth.
Coconut oil is an excellent emollient, being a rich source of fatty acids, like oleic acid, linoleic acid, and lauric acid. Lauric acid in particular, may prove effective in promoting hair growth, as it has a high affinity for hair proteins. It can bind with hair proteins and thus prevents its loss from hair.
How to Use Coconut Oil for Promoting Hair Growth
For getting maximum benefit from coconut oil, it should be slightly warmed and then massaged gently on the scalp. You can leave it overnight, or just for 1 - 2 hours, before washing it with a mild shampoo. If your hair is straight or wavy, you can use this oil only before washing your hair, but those having curly and thick hair can benefit more by applying the oil both before and after shampooing. If not washed properly, this oil can clog the hair follicles inhibiting hair growth.
Many people have also benefited extremely by using coconut oil during shampooing, by mixing it with the shampoo or the conditioner.
Other Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
Much of the health benefits of coconut oil can be attributed to its fatty acids content. Coconut oil is used for cooking purposes in various regions and has been found to be effective in maintaining the level of blood cholesterol. It can boost the immune system and ensure proper digestion and metabolism. Coconut oil is rich in vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant, and protects the body from the damaging effects of the free radicals.
So, whether used for nourishing hair and skin, or for cooking some delicious foods, coconut oil is one of the few natural oils that has so many health benefits. As far as coconut oil for hair growth is concerned, it should be complemented by a healthy diet that includes lots of vegetables, fruits, milk, and foods rich in vitamins, especially vitamin A and vitamin E.