Coconut oil is a miracle oil for many reasons. You can literally use it from head to toe. Its wonderful for babies, too (I love that!). If you follow Natural Hair Rules, you know I mix coconut and olive oil for my hair and scalp. I also whip up a wonderful Coconut Oil Body Butter. Because I love the stuff so much, I wanted to share 5 ways I discovered it helps to prevent damage in natural hair. Scientists have done extensive research on the benefits of coconut oil for hair. Here are some of the things they’ve discovered.
Decreases Protein Loss
Protein is an important building block of hair. It keeps the hair strong, since protein is the hair’s natural defense against breakage. Coconut oil has been proven to decrease the amount of protein loss naturally during each cowash and shampoo.
Prevents Split Ends
Adding a little coconut oil to your regular deep conditioning treatment can help prevent split ends. It naturally penetrates the hair shaft, leaving it soft and increasing elasticity.
Reduces Effects of Hygral Fatigue
Hygral fatigue is the stress of the hair swelling and contracting when water leaves and enters the hair shaft. This is a natural occurrence, but it can lead to breakage over time. The best way to combat hygral fatigue is by pre-pooing with coconut oil before each wash.
Oil is not a moisturizer. This is very true, but oil that naturally penetrates the hair will bind to the hair’s internal proteins. This binding increases the hair’s ability to hold onto water molecules.
Prevents Mechanical Hair Damage
Mechanical hair damage is usually self-inflicted by rough-housing with your hair. In most cases, it’s from improper detangling or combing dry hair. Coconut oil gives natural girls what we like to call “slip.” It serves as a lubricate for your comb or fingers, helping them to glide through without breaking hair strands. Some also believe it loosens tangles. (I haven’t been able to find any scientific evidence to confirm this, though.)
Other Sources: Effect of Coconut Oil on Prevention of Hair Damage. Part 1
Tamara is the Founder and Editor of Natural Hair Rules.com, a site dedicated to encouraging others to be who they are naturally. Visit anytime at www.naturalhairrules.com. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.