Our Resident Curly Chemist on Olive and Coconut Oil
MOur Resident Curly Chemist on Olive and Coconut Oiloisture, as we know, is one of the keys to achieving healthy hair. My hair is the type that drinks moisture like water is quickly going of style. As such, I am on the hunt for a fabulous deep treatment (DC), as proper moisture retention begins with the DC treatment. So, I decided to try out an equal part DC mix of Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (EVCO) and Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO). I have always praised the effects of EVCO, as I use it to seal my moisture, and was curious of its DC effects. On the other hand, I never really cared for EVOO because I was never a fan of the smell, but I was well aware of its moisturizing properties.

So, I co-washed with my trusty AOHR, warm-water rinsed, moderately t-shirt dried, DC’d with EVCO and EVOO mix for one hour with minimal heat, cold-water rinse, sprayed a leave-in condish made of diluted Giovanni 50:50 Balanced Hydrating-Calming Conditioner, two-strand twisted with 100% shea butter, EVCO, aloe vera gel and castor oil. I did not see a difference until two days later: hair was UBBER soft, moisturized for DAYS and the mild itching on my scalp subsided. The moisture was so good that I did not have to re-moisturize as much and was able to skip a week of co-washing.

I then co-washed two weeks after my last co-wash. I followed the same regimen as above. Now, I was REALLY able to see a significant change of my hair during the regimen: my hair was plump, luscious and juicy even while co-washing!!! BOOM BOOM KABOOM!!! I also noticed that the mix helped me untangle my hair; this is a BIG deal because I have alot of hair that can get tangled easily…sigh…The hair was even more luxuriously moisturized than the first EVCO and EVOO treatment so much so that my shed hairs had an easier time shedding through my twists. I was curious, and unraveled one of my twists, and was highly impressed with the added softness and shine of my curls.

So, how did the EVCO and EVOO mix give these results?

First, we need to understand the structure of hair. Hair is mostly made (97%) of a protein called keratin and the rest is water. A strand of hair has three layers: the outermost layer is the cuticle, the inner layer is the cortex and the innermost layer is the medulla. The cuticle is thin, allows nutrients to pass through the hair and protects the cortex. If the layers of the cuticle lay flat, then the hair will be softer, shinier and tangle less. If the layers of the cuticle are raised, then the hair will be frizzy, dry, dull and tangle more. The cortex is responsible for the hair’s characteristic strength, color and texture. The medulla is responsible in transporting lipids to the cortex or cuticle. The amphiphilic nature of lipids (being both water-soluble and non water-soluble) allows for dual binding of moisture and protein to the hair.

EVCO is mostly made of fatty acids with moderate amounts of antioxidants. EVOO is made of triglyceride esters of fatty acids, polyphenols, sterols and squalene. Fatty acids are compatible with the hair lipids because they both have non-water soluble properties, and thus make it easy for EVCO and EVOO to attach and penetrate the hair. Both EVCO and EVOO have emollient (softening), moisturizing and antioxidant properties. Studies have demonstrated that EVCO and EVOO can penetrate to and through the hair cortex, thereby delivering and increasing hair’s moisture, strength, color and texture, and explains why my hair seemed so plump, luscious and juicy. My hair was easier to detangle because the emollient properties allowed the layers of the cuticle to lay flat.

Studies have also linked EVCO’s lauric acid to antimicrobial properties, thus explaining why the DC helped alleviate my itching. The antioxidant properties, in which some studies suggest are attributed to polyphenols, are important because they help fight free radicals that can occur from UVA and UVB exposure. I believe my experiment successfully exploited all of these characteristics by warm-water and cold-water rinsing, as characterized by my hair being softer, shinier and less tangled.

FINAL VERDICT: I am so in love with EVCO and EVOO DC!!! Both are cheap and moisturize like none other!! Mother Nature knew what she was doing!!

Our Resident Curly Chemist on Olive and Coconut Oil

DaJewel contributes to CurlyNikki.com bi-weekly, picking apart the ingredients in popular as well as lesser known products. She will be making recommendations based on her findings… enabling PJs worldwide!

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