Please Don't Do It!
Something tells me you know where I'm going with this....
Last month I had a conversation with someone over DIY hair treatments a coconut oil. I know this remedy has been out for years, but it's super harmful for your hair. Lemme break it down a bit....
First off, the reason why this became a recommendation for dry, ultra-damaged hair is totally understandable. The fatty acid chain in coconut oil most closely resembles that in humans. It would stand to reason that because they're pretty similar, it would be quickly absorbed into the hair -- I mean, what could be more perfect???
But here's the real deal:
Coconut oil molecules are just too big to help! The "holes" in your hair shaft (due to over processing and/or heat damage) are too small to let the larger coconut fatty acid chains in to do any repair work. It creates a water-resistant lipid layer on the exterior of the cuticle. This doesn't sound that bad, but instead of smoothing the hair, it will feel stiff and greasy.
Food oils of any kind will -- AT BEST -- thoroughly coat the hair. Coconut oil creates a water-resistant lipid layer on the exterior of the cuticle...which doesn't sound that bad, but instead of smoothing the hair, it leaves your hair feeling stiff and greasy.
This water-resistant layer will take repeated repeated shampooing to get it off your hair (if it ever comes off at all). Think of all of the soapy scrubbing it will take to remove it. Even if the coconut oil is helping your hair, the shampooing is drying it out again, and all of the lathering is causing frizzy flyaways.
Are you ready for THE WORST PART????
Even with one application, and numerous tries to remove it, coconut oil will leave a residue on your hair.
Ever cook with coconut oil? It has a low smoke-point, which means it takes very little heat to liquify and quickly burn whatever is in your pan.
Do you know the average setting of a flat iron or curling wand? It's 350 degrees.
Your hot tool is the stove and pan, your hair is what's supposed to be your tasty dinner.
Even if you do put a heat protectant on your hair, it won't penetrate and that oily coating is what's closest to your hair strand.
The oily coating on your hair will intensify the heat from your hairdryer/iron/wand and cause it to scorch faster than if there was no heat protectant on it at all.
Once hair is scorched, there really is no treatment available that will bring it back. Not deep conditioning. Not keratin. Not even Olaplex. The only option to "fix" it, is to cut it.
I know folks turn to coconut oil because it's natural, or they're desperate for a quick fix, or it's budget-friendly, or we're in the middle of quarantine and can't get out of the house. I get it. As in I-did-this-once-and-I-so-regretted-it, get it.
If you need help, or a recommendation, please contact me! Whatever your specific needs are (budget, vegan, available on Amazon), I know I can find a coconut oil alternative that will work for you. Better yet, add an in-salon deep conditioning treatment at your next appointment; I have solutions that will address any of your concerns.
PS -- the thing I can recommend coconut oil for? It's an amazing eye makeup remover. It melts on contact with your skin and quickly dissolves waterproof products without clogging pores. It's great for ultra-sensitive skin, be sure to use a damp cloth/makeup wipe to easily wipe it away before cleansing.