by BR Tabatha
Coconut oil. My hair saviour. My ultimate multi-tasker. The most economical product I own. Ahhhh. Coconut oil. My one-true love
But although widely touted as the cure-all for everything from stinky breath to damaged hair, coconut oil isn't for everyone. It has two properties that might turn it from a dream product to the nightmare you can't wake up from.
1. Coconut Oil is 50% Lauric Acid..
Lauric Acid is also naturally found in breastmilk - it's a type of Medium Chain Fatty Acid that does amazing things. It's antibacterial, antimicrobial and promotes cellular and hormone health. It's awesome. So why is this a bad thing? Lauric Acid reinforces protein in the hair shaft and helps prevent protein loss from things like heat and processing damage. Again, I hear you cry, why is being so full of good stuff bad for some hair types?
- If you have particularly dry and coarse hair that's not badly damaged, your hair is going to be naturally full of protein, using coconut oil will stimulate protein production, essentially over-protein-ing your har and leaving it feeling hard.
- Lauric Acid might also be incompatible with your other hair care products - if you're using products with added proteins or panthenol (a form of Vitamin B5) you'll probably find your hair left feeling really stiff and unhealthy. Either your regular products need to go, or the Coconut Oil does.
2. Coconut Oil is highly comedogenic.
On the Oil Comedogenic Scale an oil rated 0 won't block pores. An oil rated 5, well you might as well slap chip fat on your face and block your pores that way. Can you see where this is going? My beloved Coconut Oil rates a...4.
If you use Coconut Oil as a cleanser, moisturiser or hair mask and begin to suffer from breakouts or an overly oily scalp, it's probably the Coconut Oil that's to blame. Like wise if you have acne or are prone to breakouts, approach coconut oil on your skin with extreme caution.
So, yes, for different people and different reasons, Coconut Oil is a wonder-product, powefully providing solutions to all kinds of beauty dilemnas. But, before you go slathering your hair and skin in it arm yourself with the above knowledge, and do a patch test first!