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Coconut Oil for Dry Hair, Skin Care and More

Coconut Oil for Dry Hair, Skin Care and More

If you’re not yet cuckoo for coconuts, time to reconsider. Nothing perks up dry, listless hair better than slathering on a dollop of coconut oil. It brings hair stressed by the elements, natural and otherwise (think wind, sun, chlorine, harsh products, coloring, and blow-drying), back to life.

This long-maligned oil nourishes hair, skin, and overall health when you apply it topically or even eat it. Contrary to the bad press it gets, coconut oil is not high in saturated fat; the medium-chain fatty acid it contains actually packs a protective punch against heart disease and atherosclerosis. (Of course, you never want to use it in its hydrogenated form.)

Coconut oil, which Asian and Pacific cultures have used for centuries to treat an array of illnesses from athlete’s foot to urinary tract infections, boasts antiviral, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties. In addition, recent research notes coconut oil’s ability to penetrate viral cells and fight off viruses that cause flu, hepatitis C, and even HIV, according to the Coconut Research Center.

For body care, the oil moisturizes, soothes, and forms a lipid barrier that wards off sun damage. It also combats wrinkles and skin discoloration and promotes healing. The oil’s health-promoting nutrients pass readily through the skin, so using it topically brings benefits that go more than skin deep.

Jungle Products, based in Healdsburg, California, contracts with family farms in the South Pacific to create its line of unrefined coconut oil—sold in two potencies, one for eating and one for topical use, and in an array of personal care products including a soon-to-be-introduced hibiscus hair tonic.

Says company founder Emily Mattison, “Coconut oil has long been used by indigenous cultures for skin and hair care. In India, hibiscus flowers, which have antioxidant properties, are dredged in oil that is then massaged into scalp and hair and left on overnight.” The overnight treatment nourishes the hair and also rids the scalp of any unwanted microbes.

For a simple in-home treatment, put a couple spoonfuls of plain coconut oil in a small glass bowl and place that bowl in another one filled with boiling water for 10 minutes until the coconut oil warms to a malleable consistency. Work the oil into your hair, one section at a time, moving from the roots to the ends until all the hair is covered. Give yourself a head massage using the fleshy parts of the fingertips, moving in a circular motion across the scalp. Leave the oil on for at least an hour (or sleep with it on for a deep healing treatment) and then shampoo. The coconut oil rejuvenates depleted hair and leaves the scalp smelling of lush locales.

Natural Solutions: Vibrant Health, Balanced Living offers its readers the latest news on health conditions, herbs and supplements, natural beauty products, healing foods and conscious living. Click here for a free sample issue.

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By Barbara Hey, Natural Solutions magazine

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Natural Solutions: Vibrant Health, Balanced Living offers its readers the latest news on health conditions, herbs and supplements, natural beauty products, healing foods and conscious living.


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11:54PM PDT on May 16, 2014

Continue the good work; keep posting more n more n more.
exposed skin care coupon

8:09PM PST on Feb 18, 2014

I see a lot of pro's and con's about coconut oil. I guess with good diet and finding out what best work for your hair is the best I can come up with for me and my situation.

8:38PM PDT on Jul 9, 2012

I was a loyal follower of coconut oil but my hair started complaining, guess it became too greasy for me. I started using argan oil and it's not greasy at all so it's really good. My favorite argan oil is from this brand called Pro Naturals (ordered it online from "") because it's also a heat protectant and it's very light and has a really nice, subtle smell. You can put some on your damp hair after a shower and it'll fix your hair all day long, it's really good for breakage, frizz, dryness and to prevent hair loss and split ends.

7:25AM PDT on Oct 21, 2011

Hi, Care your hair with some fresh fruits just take some best and fresh juice and care your hair easily

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7:39AM PDT on Jun 10, 2011

I've been trying to make my dry brittle hair softer! I'll have to try this

3:15PM PST on Jan 13, 2010

this is the first time ive heard of using coconut for anything besides eating and decoration

9:21PM PDT on Oct 25, 2009

dry skin may be a result of your diet as opposed to lotions. give a good look at what you're eating and maybe change of diet/vitamins/water intake.

11:23PM PST on Jan 4, 2009

I've switched from conventional body lotion to virgin coconut oil for a while now, but my skin keeps getting drier and drier to the point that it now itch and flakes!!!
Can anyone tell me what I'm doing wrong? I've always had dry skin but never had a problem like itching and flaking when using conventional lotion. I'd really like to switch to using natural oil..
Please help!

5:57AM PST on Nov 10, 2008

In India, particularly Kerala state people use coconut oil even for cooking purposes. Women of that state will have two times shower in a day and apply coconut oil regularly to hair. And that is the reason why they have very long and beautiful hair. Kerala women look very pretty and attractive.

1:17PM PST on Nov 7, 2008

Even if it's ad-related, what an usually good article. Excellent advice, sure to benefit all who avail themselves of it. Thank you VERY much.

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