There are many reasons why people experience thinning hair (genetic, scalp diseases, deficiency etc.). Regardless of the reasons it is a frustrating experience. There are many thickening products on the market, but only a handful can actually deliver what they promise to do. One alternative way to go could be through Coconut Oil treatments.
What makes coconut oil great?
Coconut oil consists mainly of a mixture of fatty acids such as lauric acid, myristic acid, caprylic acid etc. It is a semi-solid at room temperature which easily melts to a liquid at about 78F. It is also a low molecular weight oil (mixture of small/medium sized molecules) which allows it to penetrate the hair shaft instead of just sitting at the surface. For that reason, it offers great protection to the hair and hair follicles as compared to other oils such as mineral oil. Let’s discuss how.
1. Reducing hygral fatigue
Hygral fatigue can be defined as the repeated swelling and deswelling of the hair due to moisture intake and loss. This can cause damage to hair, especially if the hair is already weak. Coconut oil once penetrated into the hair, can reduce water absorption and thus lower hygral fatigue. If your hair is thinning, this can help to save it from breakage.
2. Protecting follicles against surfactants
According to this journal: The oil can fill the gap between the hair and the follicle wall and prevent the penetration of small surfactants such as Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) into the follicle. When surfactants penetrate the hair follicle, they interfere with the adhesion of follicular structures, leading to loosening of hair in the follicular cavity, ultimately leading to hair loss. Applying oil on a regular basis can eliminate follicular damage.
3. Reducing protein loss
Studies have established that the usage of coconut oil can reduce protein loss from damaged or undamaged hair. Protein loss from the follicles of already thinning hair can make matters worse: it causes the fiber to lose even more density. The newly growing hair becomes weak, and more prone to breakage. Coconut oil can act as a barrier and prevent the protein from being degraded and from leaving the hair. In other words, it can help thinning hair to recover. Note that coconut oil itself does not contain proteins.
4. Antibacterial properties
If your hair thinning is due to some scalp (skin) condition, the antibacterial property of this oil can soothe the scalp from irritations and inflammations. Being an oil, it will also keep the scalp hydrated to avoid itching due to dryness. Note that the itching process can deteriorate hair loss.
5. Lowering friction
Being an oil, coconut oil can significantly reduce friction on hair. This is synonymous to lower mechanical damage. Thinning hair is prone to breakage which occurs during brushing, styling, detangling etc. Therefore coconut oil can clearly bring some benefits in that aspect. [ see here]
Coconut oil will not regrow hair. Instead, it can provide preventive/protective benefits which can aid existing hair loss treatments: coconut oil can help protect the hair follicles, delay hair thinning, and protect hair against damage.
It is usually massaged and left for 20 minutes or so on the scalp before shampooing. Most people recommend following this regimen 2-3 times a week with pure coconut oil to see the effects.
Note that not all coconut oil are created equal. Make sure to look for the quality seal for virgin 100% coconut oil, and that the container doesn’t contain other added ingredients.