Treat your strands like a fine stir fry and coat them in this miracle oil.
You may already moisturize with coconut oil and stir it into your morning coffee, but if you’ve heard the buzz about using it in your hair, it’s not just hype.
“Coconut oil is unique because it’s similar to hair’s natural lipid structure, so it’s able to penetrate the hair more than other oils,” says Leo Izquierdo, co-founder of IGK Hair Care, a brand that utilizes coconut oil in many of its products, most notably, the popular Rich Kid Coconut Oil Gel ($29, sephora.com).
You should start to see results right away. “When applied on a regular basis [2-3 times a week if your hair type is normal to course, less often if you have fine hair], coconut oil can enhance hair’s lubrication, making it easier to comb and manage, while increasing shine and preventing frizz,” adds Sabina Wizemann, senior chemist at the Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab. It’s especially useful on damaged hair because it helps protect the hair shaft from becoming waterlogged, which “can eventually increase further cuticle lifting and damage,” she says.
If it sounds like your hair could benefit from a little tender, love, and coconut, there are several ways to incorporate the ingredient into your routine:
1. Coconut oil as a pre-wash treatment.
Coconut oil can start working for you before you even get your hair wet. Apply it as a prewash, i.e. “treat hair for 15 to 30 minutes with coconut oil before shampooing in order to protect hair from absorbing too much water,” according to Wizemann. This cuts down on frizz and makes hair easier to style post-shower. Straight coconut from the jar, like Garden of Life Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil ($6, amazon.com), is ideal for this step, with one caveat — “If you have an oily scalp, only use it on the middle and end sections of your hair,” cautions Brooke Evans, a L’Oreal Professionnel artist.