As the weekend approaches I will be indulging in one of my favourite treatments for my hair and scalp: Coconut oil. For years I have been plagued with a problematic scalp that is extremely dry, itchy, flaky and sensitive. I have up until the last few years of my life been utterly reliant on strong coal tar shampoos to keep it under control.
My problematic scalp was the one thing that sparked my interest in natural beauty, I will never forget the moment that I paid really good money for an expensive shampoo raved about in the beauty community, only to find it irritated my scalp so much that my scalp bled.
Through the joys of the Internet I discovered forums of people that had similar problems to mine and the two suggestions that came up again and again were 1) Use an SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulphate) free shampoo 2) Use coconut oil as a hair and scalp mask.
Using both of these tips have helped a huge amount and they are both tips I will follow for life. If you have never used coconut oil on your hair before this is how I use it:
It is important to choose good quality coconut oil, there are lot's of brands available and many in your local supermarket. Fractionated coconut oil is coconut oil in it's liquid form and is particularly easily absorbed by the hair and scalp. Coconut oil is naturally antibacterial and anti-fungal, making it a perfect choice for a problematic scalp. Coconut oil seals the hair shaft leaving it silky and smooth, great if you are using silicone free haircare and especially useful in the transition to more natural products.
I apply the Coconut oil to both my hair and scalp because my scalp is so dry, but if you have greasy roots you can still use coconut oil on the lengths of your hair. You need to apply to dry hair and then cover your hair with a towel. If you are in a cold climate like Britain be aware that in the cold weather if you don't cover your head and keep the warmth in, your hair will go hard as the coconut oil solidifies. It will wash out easily though so don't worry of this does happen.
I take a small amount and work my way round the hair and scalp taking sections of the hair, I like to be really generous but again you can use the amount that you feel works well for you.
The next thing to know is that in my experience for best results you need to keep the coconut oil on your hair for about twelve hours, I know some people apply for less time, but for me the longer I leave it on the better my results. You can do this overnight and wash out in the morning. Just make sure you cover your pillow because some oil will transfer onto the pillowcase.
Coconut oil really penetrates the hair and helps to reduce damage from heat styling repairing the hair, I really notice the difference in the condition of my hair with this method. Unlike Lot's of other hair masks and treatments Coconut oil is completely natural for me it is also the best in terms of performance. coconut oil works well for cradle cap for babies too.
With regular use this treatment keeps my scalp moisturised and soothed, it is not a magic cure, I know I will have to keep doing this for the rest of my life to keep my scalp from becoming problematic again but I am so happy to have found this method.
Another thing to point out is that coconut oil smells amazing. I love it for cooking too and I also remove my makeup with it, making it the ultimate multi-tasking product.
When you want to remove the coconut oil simply wash your hair with your regular shampoo, I rinse and repeat twice and find that as long as the coconut oil has had enough time to absorb into the hair no residue is left at all.
Coconut oil recommendations, brands I use:
Lucy Bee coconut oil - Extra virgin, organic and fair trade.
RMS Beauty Raw coconut cream - Raw organic coconut oil, great for cleansing and make up removal for dry skin too.
Have you tried the Coconut oil? What are your thoughts?
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