Coconut hair oil is simply coconut oil that is applied to the hair for its rejuvenating effects. The purported benefits of coconut oil applied to hair and scalp include: moisturized hair, fewer split ends, less dandruff, and repair for coarse, brittle and overly-processed hair. Coconut oil's molecular structure and its inherent nutrients and proteins allow it to remedy many different kinds of hair damage and reportedly works better than the chemicals in many over-the-counter products designed to improve hair's texture and appearance.
In the west, coconut oil is popularly used as a pre-conditioner for hair before washing, a leave-in conditioner for extended hair therapy, a moisturizer and a styling product. However, outside of the West, coconut hair oil is used for much more. Citizens of India and Sri Lanka use it as a scalp soother and as a treatment to cool the head. In other cultures, oil from coconuts is a tool to combat lice and lice egg infestations in the hair.
When used as a pre-conditioner, applications begin 20 to 30 minutes before hair washing. Extended moisturizing sessions usually include an overnight treatment followed by a rinse with a non-toxic shampoo in the morning. Moisturizing is usually best accomplished by immediately applying coconut hair oil after a shower when the hair has been washed and is still slightly damp.
Dropping some coconut hair oil on the palms and rubbing them together warms the oil and evenly distributes it across the skin. Application of the coconut hair oil starts at hair ends. The oil is gradually worked up to the roots so that most of the oil is located at hair ends and less is at the roots. This same application process can also remedy dandruff because of coconut oil's anti-fungal properties.
If coconut oil is over-applied, hair may be left with a greasy feel and appearance that can only be removed with a thorough washing. For this reason, coconut oil should be carefully distributed throughout the application process. The proper amount of coconut hair oil to use depends on the condition of the hair on which it is to be applied. Generally, though, approximately 1/2 teaspoon (2.46 ml) of coconut oil is sufficient for a single application on long hair. Shorter hair lengths can find an optimum amount in less than 1/2 teaspoon (2.46 ml).
The greasiness and strong scent of coconut hair oil may require a few preparations for those who wish to minimize both byproducts of the treatments. Those who undergo coconut oil treatments may consider staying home to control the odor or covering linens with plastic to protect them from the oil's deep penetrative properties. Despite its many restorative benefits, coconut hair oil does not contribute to hair growth speed or length. Genetics play the predominant role in determining hair growth rate and consumers should beware of manufacturers who claim that their coconut oil-containing products can effect hair in these ways.