07 / 25 / 17

Coconut Oil for Hair Health – Nuts or Not?

It’s the latest health craze to be embraced by the masses… it’s not kale, it’s coconut oil! The fragrant tropical coconut (which is technically a fruit) is rich in lauric acid, a compound that research shows may help with weight loss and lower cholesterol levels.

Many coconut oil devotees are stocking up on this baking-aisle staple not to ingest, but to slather on their skin and hair – although those uses have undergone far less scientific scrutiny. They may think, “Why not? It won’t hurt anything!” Well… that may not be entirely true, as some users have discovered.

Everything in Moderation

Just as it would be disastrous to your health to ingest spoonfuls of fatty coconut oil in the name of heart health, massaging spoonfuls into your hair would leave you with a slippery mess. Like any oil applied topically to the hair or skin to moisturize and lubricate, a little goes a long way. A small amount of coconut oil, warmed up in the hands and massaged into ends of the hair, is sufficient to tame frizz and fly-aways, add shine and help keep split ends at bay. If you’re tempted to lube your locks with any type of oil, less is more.

Not Ideal for Everyone

Generally, people whose hair is fine to medium in texture and generally healthy stand to reap the biggest benefits from coconut oil. If your hair is coarse, brittle, or dry – from extensive chemical processing, for example – coconut oil could exacerbate those problems. If you have any concerns about your hair’s health, it’s best to seek advice from a hair-care professional before applying any product.

Aesthetically Helpful, Perhaps. Miraculous? No.

Unfortunately, some of the most exciting claims about coconut oil’s healing powers simply aren’t backed up by science. (File them under “Fake News.”) Case in point: coconut oil “pulling” (swishing the oil through the teeth for long periods) doesn’t kill bad breath, whiten teeth or prevent tooth decay, according to the American Dental Association. And, sadly, there is no credible information confirming that coconut oil promotes hair growth, says an internist interviewed on the subject. (If it did, he noted, people who use it to moisturize their skin would complain about unwanted body hair growth.)

The bottom line? Coconut oil is a natural product that may provide some health benefits when used properly. If you do decide to partake in this or any other trendy health fad, indulge with a chaser of skepticism.

At Transitions of Wisconsin, we believe hair health is important and what works for you may not work for others. If you’re suffering from thinning hair or hair loss your confidence may not be working for you. Be the one who does something about it. To determine which hair loss solution is right for you, schedule a free consultation today!