How often is coconut oil referred to as the end-all, fix-all to your problems? The natural oil is known for having numerous health benefits. Beyond revitalizing your skin and hair, it is a superfood that has strong medicinal properties. Despite coconut oil’s benefits for the curly hair of many, the magical oil has also proven to be damaging to others, depending on the texture and porosity of your hair. In other words, there are pros and cons to incorporating coconut oil to your regimen.
Pro: Coconut oil can encourage hair growth and thickness
Coconut oil can hydrate, nourish, and clean the scalp by removing buildup. Applying a small amount after your wash day allows the oil to penetrate the hair shaft, seeping deeply into the follicles. This strengthens the hair as a whole, promoting growth, fullness, and density. Sounds great, right? If your hair type is on the drier, coarse side, it will do the exact opposite.
Con: Coconut oil can promote protein buildup
Although coconut oil cleanses the scalp, it can also cause a protein buildup by restricting moisture on dry or coarse hair. This will block the needed moisture and cause your strands to dry out. The end result? Split ends and hair breakage.
Pro: Coconut oil can tame your curls
If you have frizzy hair, adding a little bit of coconut oil is sure to tame your curls. Applying a small amount before you unravel your twist-out will reduce unruly strands. Depending on your hair porosity, it can keep your curls under control.
Con: Too much Coconut oil can be bad for your hair
Typically we naturals never follow the “dime size” instructions given to us on the back of a conditioner bottle. Truth is, we use the old-fashioned guestimate — trial and error — regard to how much of a product will suffice for our hair. In the case of coconut oil, oversaturating your hair is counterproductive. Because it is a heavier oil, it will weigh down your curls if you use too much.
Before you succumb to the coconut oil craze, it is vital that you know your hair porosity. Dry or coarse hair will reject coconut oil, possibly resulting in brittleness and/or breakage. Fine or medium hair will absorb it, increasing growth and density. If you find that the superfood is doing more damage than good, use it for its other benefits like healthy skin, teeth, and diet. If you need a hair oil substitute, peppermint, jojoba, argan, and castor oil are great options.