Coconut Oil Saviour Hair Mask
I want smooth, glossy hair
Many of us suffer from dry and damaged hair, whether it’s due to chemical colouring, heat styling, or the elements.
I have always had very dry and porous hair. The lockdown hasn't helped... I used home hair dye kits (with questionable results) and I spent a lot more time out in the elements. For years I tried every product on the market, from the very cheap to the eye-wateringly expensive.
There are hundreds of products on the market promising to nourish and condition your hair, but very few actually work. Many just cover your hair with silicones which give it a short term smoothness and shiny appearance. They'll flash tempting ingredient names such as "Argan oil", "Keratin", "coconut oil". But why pay a hefty price tag for a small amount of active ingredients hidden in a mix of unnecessary chemicals?
Having worked in the natural health and beauty industry for over 16 years, I have learnt a lot about topical ingredients that work. The natural remedy to dry, damaged, weak hair could be in your kitchen cupboard! Have you tried a Coconut Oil hair mask?
Coconut oil has many health benefits when ingested, but you can also use it topically on hair and skin. The better the quality of the oil, the better its nutrient profile and its nourishing effects on hair, so I like to choose organic and extra virgin. I use Biona organic and virgin coconut oil in the kitchen and on my hair! I also love Tiana coconut oils, they are the gold standard of cocout oils.
Though coconut oil is thick and rich, it will not leave your hair oily; it rinses well and leaves hair soft and manageable. Its main fatty acid, Lauric acid, has a high affinity for hair proteins. And Unlike other oils, because of its low molecular weight and straight linear chain, coconut oil is able to penetrate inside the hair shaft.
Hair dryness is not only caused by loss of moisture, it is also caused by protein damage and loss, which can happen from bleaching or over processing your hair. Hair strands can become brittle, dry and rough, which is why putting protein back into your hair and preventing further protein loss is necessary to restore texture and shine. And coconut oil has been show to help retain protein in the hair cuticle.
One study compared the effects of coconut oil, sunflower oil and mineral oil on human hair, and found that coconut oil was the only oil that was successfully able to reduce protein loss in both damaged and healthy hair (Rele AS, Mohile RB. Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damage. J Cosmet Sci. 2003;54:175–92. [PubMed]).
These findings suggest coconut oil has a protective effect and may help prevent damage and breakage from treatments such as colouring.
DIY Hair Mask
Coconut oil on its own makes a great hair mask. There are many hair mask recipes out there which combine coconut oil with other nutritious ingredients such as avocado or apple cider vinegar. These DIY masks are a great way to nourish and repair hair at least once a week.
But my absolute favourite recipe for a protein packed mask includes eggs. Rich in protein and biotin, eggs can provide the much needed nourishment and lustre you want in damaged tresses.This can be used all year, but I particularly use it in the summer as a solution for frazzled summer hair that has been over-exposed to the sun, sweat, chlorine, salt water and sand.
Pure Mama’s Saviour Hair Mask:
Organic coconut oil - 2 tablespoons
Egg x 1
Lemon Essential Oil, 3-4 drops (or your favourite oil)
(For longer, fuller hair, you may need to increase the ingredient amounts)
Melt down the coconut oil (I use a bain marie). Whisk the egg and combine with the oil.
Apply evenly to damp or dry hair (in sections) and leave on for at least 15min and up to an hour before rinsing out. I like to use a steam towel too further help the mask penetrate the hair - use an old hand towel, wet it, ring it out, and place it in microwave for 30 seconds (use tongs, careful not to burn your fingers!) Shampoo and condition as normal.
This will help restore protein into the hair shaft and moisturise it, which means softer, shinier, healthier looking hair. Give it a go! once a week if you can find the time... makes a world of difference!