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Benefits of using coconut oil | Hair & skin

Owner of Australian swimwear brand Beth, chats about the benefits of coconut oil for your hair and skin.

I view the world as something we need to cherish and look after, which is why I choose to use recycled materials for our swimwear. Our sustainable swimwear is a part of our business we are proud of. Not many Australian bikini brands can say the same but many are now heading in the right direction. We also choose to promote organic products for your body. Good for you, good for the environment! 

In a world full of crazy shortcuts and expensive ways of growing your hair and looking after your skin, have you thought of simply using organic coconut oil? 

 coconut oil for skin

Its multitasking powers put it in a league of its own. Rich in fatty acids, coconut oil is not only great at moisturising the skin, it also increases skin elasticity and can be anti-aging as well. The seemingly magical oil also contains many antioxidants, especially vitamin E, which means it can protect skin from free radical damage!

Having such dry, curly hair myself I always wondered why mine was so much worse than others. Following my research, I've realised it's a number of factors...

Hair breakage: Why does our hair break?

  • Lack of moisture
  • Too much heat styling
  • Blowdrying dripping wet hair
  • Chemical exposure and dying your hair
  • Sleeping on a cotton pillowcase
  • Towel drying your hair
  • Over washing your hair
  • An unbalanced diet

Benefits of coconut oil for your hair

coconut oil for hair and skin

There are ENDLESS benefits to using coconut oil in your hair. See some quick tips below:

  • Coconut oil prevents hair breakage and split ends, contributing to hair length.
  • Coconut oil slows down hair loss. 
  • Coconut oil stimulates hair growth getting deep into its follicles.
  • Coconut oil promotes the scalp health fighting against such problems as insect bites, lice and dandruff.
  • Coconut oil moisturises dry hair.
  • Coconut oil adds shine and softness to the hair.

The fats in coconut oil can penetrate each strand of hair, restoring lost moisture. The medium chain fatty acids are good at restoring lost moisture to hair. Coconut oil can even protect your follicles from heat or other damage, meaning that the very roots of your hair will be more healthy.

Coconut oil is also brimming with beneficial vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can restore health to dull hair. Coconut oil is high in vitamin Evitamin Kzinc, and iron. These vitamins and minerals have been shown to improve scalp health, increase oxygenation of hair follicles, and promote hair strength and health. So many benefits!!

How to use coconut oil for hair growth

I recommend warming the coconut oil so it becomes liquified and rubbing it in your hands to lather on the ends of your hair. You want the coconut oil to be warm enough to open the hair cuticles, which allows the molecules to penetrate the hair.

It's best to part your hair and apply the coconut oil in manageable sections to be sure that every hair is coated. Apply more coconut oil to wherever your strands are the driest and most damaged (usually on the ends) and less where your hair is healthiest (mid-shaft and scalp area). If your hair is thin or gets greasy easily, you can skip the scalp so the oil doesn't weigh your hair down.

Allow the coconut oil to sit on your hair for 20 to 30 minutes after application. If your hair is very dry or porous, you can leave it on for longer. I sometimes leave it in overnight. To increase its effectiveness, wrap your hair in a towel and apply heat with a hairdryer for a few minutes to open up the cuticle, and help the oil penetrate deeper into the strands.

If using the coconut oil as a hair mask, you'll need to thoroughly rinse the oil out of your hair after the treatment, which might take a couple of washes. You'll need to experiment with the amount of coconut oil you use and how long to allow the oil to penetrate. If the coconut oil leaves your hair feeling weighed down or greasy, try using less of it or shampooing more at the end of your treatment.

You can also work a very small amount of it into the ends of your hair after showering as a detangler or daily moisturiser for really dry hair like mine!

Coconut oil has absolutely saved my hair and I highly recommend it to everyone!

So here are your options summed up:

  • As a conditioner. Like any good conditioner, coconut oil may help strengthen the hair shaft and prevent breakage. You can use coconut oil as an alternative to standard conditioners, or just add a few drops of the oil to your usual conditioner to boost its smoothing power.
  • As a styling aid. Just a dab of coconut oil can go a long way when it comes to taming frizz. For easier absorption and optimal styling, make sure to apply the oil to damp hair.
  • As a hair mask. For a super-nourishing hair treatment, massage a teaspoon or two through your hair and let it work its hair-softening magic. You can wash the oil out after a few hours, or leave it on overnight for exceptionally dry or damaged hair.
  • As a pre-wash protector. When applied pre-shampoo, coconut oil can stop your hair from soaking up too much water (and, in turn, stave off damage and dryness). Try applying coconut oil about 20 to 30 minutes before you wash, focusing on the midsection and ends of your hair.

How to use coconut oil for your skin

So what can you expect from using coconut oil on your skin? Again, the benefits are ENDLESS!! SO many cleansers today are made with harsh chemicals and other ingredients that are harmful for our environment

Moisturiser

The concentration of oil glands are less intense on your body compared to your face, coconut oil is for some people better suited as a body moisturiser. Its occlusive and waxy nature combined with it being rich in vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids allow to form a barrier on skin while delivering deep moisture for dry skin in areas not prone to breakouts. Smooth it on dry spots to protect the skin’s moisture barrier, and you’ll be good to go. Just don't use too much! You'll also notice a gorgeous refreshing glow and just wait.. people will notice!

Skin Softener

Skin is softer in the cooking aisle! Organic coconut oil is an intense moisturiser, soothing dry skin by coating it in a non-greasy layer of lightweight hydration. In fact, studies have shown it is a superior oil moisturiser, so apply liberally, rub it in, and enjoy super soft skin with no oily residue. It can help to restore the skin’s natural PH levels thus leaving it silky and smooth.

Make Up Removing Power

Coconut oil provides effective, gentle makeup removal that’s suitable for all skin types. Unlike some makeup removers that are harsh and dry out your skin, coconut oil nourishes as it removes makeup. It is especially useful for stubborn eye makeup like mascara, and is harmless even if you get a little in your eyes (Just a bit annoying!). The best way is to apply it sparingly all over, being extra gentle around the eye area, and then wipe off with a warm, damp and clean face cloth.

Stretch Mark Minimisation

If you’ve lost or gained weight, are pregnant, just had a baby or gone through a growth spurt, we know these things can cause stretch marks. While they are completely natural, harmless and NOTHING to be ashamed of, many of us would still prefer smoother looking skin. Fair enough! Apply coconut oil to your body regularly to diminish the appearance of stretch marks. If you are pregnant, apply it as the baby grows to prevent stretch marks.

Exfoliant

Coconut oil is also a wonderfully powerful and gentle exfoliant. Not only will it help slough away dead skin cells that can dull your complexion and make you look older, but it will also unclog pores and leave your skin supple and hydrated. For best results, apply the coconut oil onto your skin and then use a face cloth to massage it in using small, circular motions. Rinse the remaining oil from your skin.

Fights Fine Lines & Wrinkles!

Use coconut oil to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while also warding off future signs of ageing. Not only does coconut oil moisturise your skin and make it appear more supple, but because it actually helps your skin rejuvenate and repair itself (an ability that decreases as we age) it can actually help diminish the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. 

The secret? Coconut oil has been shown to increase collagen production so our skin looks and feels more youthful. It is also rich in vitamin E, which will further contribute to the your skin’s ability to heal itself. Amazing!

Skin Detox

The super strength of coconut oil’s antioxidants has been thoroughly researched and well documented. You can ingest it to detox from within, or add it to your bath in combination with some Epsom or Himalayan salts to soak in the antioxidants from the outside. Your skin will be the visible evidence of the detoxifying power of coconut oil, both feeling and looking smoother, softer and refreshed.

And there you have it! Coconut oil is one of the most incredible versatile and useful ingredients you could use for your body inside and out. 

Don't forget to check out our amazing Australian swimwear boutique if you wish to support an eco friendly brand. We would love your support and I hope this article provides you with some useful tips to live a more environmentally friendly and healthy life! 

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