No doubt you fall on one side of the great coconut-oil-for-natural-hair debate. On the one side, people argue that its effects are over exaggerated or that falsely, it can be damaging. On the other side, people claim it’s magical properties as the cure for every kind of hair issue.
The truth is somewhere in the middle. Using coconut oil for natural hair care is a beauty secret that’s been used for centuries. Well, I guess that doesn’t exactly make a secret anymore. Still, it’s nourishing properties are legendary for textured hair girls everywhere.
If you’ve had trouble with coconut oil in the past, chances are that it wasn’t the right product or used in the correctly intended way. Now, natural ingredients from the earth will always do more for your skin and hair than any man-made chemical. However, it’s not the best idea to slather raw coconut all over your head. This is the case for most natural elements because their benefits aren’t fully applied if they aren’t used properly and in the right amount.
African pride ingredients, like honey or coconut, uniquely piece these natural ingredients together into formulas that yield the most value for nourishing natural hair. African Pride Coconut Oil Shampoo for instance, combines the deeply moisturizing properties of coconut oil with the smoothing nature of honey that seals the moisture into the hair.
Uniting the two allows for the product to take full advantage of how beneficial they can be for the hair. So, it’s a definite “do” to find products that help you get the most out of natural ingredients, and it’s a “don’t” to crack open a coconut yourself unless you’re going to fill it with a piña colada.
Coconut has so many uses and comes in so many forms that it can be hard to know which is right for your unique hair type, pattern, and texture. Before we go any further though, let’s just end the debate right here: yes coconut oil is safe for natural hair. Beyond that, it can provide incredible benefits to make your hair healthy, shiny, growing, and more manageable. However, it’s important to remember that coconut oil should be used in particular ways and in specialized formulas to get these fabulous results. Let’s delve into the dos and don’ts of using coconut oil on natural hair, plus how African Pride ingredients utilize coconut in the safest, and most effective ways possible.
Get to Know the Different Forms of Coconut
Our favorite tropical scent comes from the coconut palm, a tree found in tropical areas that can grow up to almost a hundred feet. The coconut fruit itself is composed of the shell, water, and coconut flesh, which is also called coconut meat.
Coconut water naturally occurs within the fruit, and the other parts of it can be turned into oil, milk, or cream. Each of these forms of coconut are unique and have different purposes, but the nourishing properties of the fruit exist in them all.
Coconut water is the only form that exists without any manipulation. You can drink it straight out of a young coconut fruit before it matures and hardens into coconut meat. Coconut water is about 94% water and has virtually no fat or proteins, only carbs. It’s popular as an all-natural hydrating, low-calorie drink full of potassium.
Coconut oil is made by pressing coconut meat with a special machine and comes as either “virgin” or “refined.” Virgin coconut oil is often cold pressed and retains slightly more nutrients as well as its coconut taste and smell. Refined coconut oil is achieved by pressing and then steaming dried coconut meat to eliminate the coconut taste and smell.
Coconut milk is a processed byproduct of the fruit. It’s made by simmering the grated flesh of mature coconuts in hot water. It can be thicker or more liquified depending on how much water is used. Regardless, its composition remains about 50% water and the rest is largely saturated fats.
Coconut cream is essentially the same as coconut milk, but is thicker and has a lower water content. It’s similarly high in saturated fats and is not to be confused with cream of coconut, a version of it that has lots of added sugar.
Each of these different forms of coconut has their own benefits for different uses. Apart from the cream, they all have an advantage that can be applied to hair health. We want you to get the absolute most out of coconut in its ideal forms, so we’ve applied each one to various products in our collections.
Why Use Coconut Oil on Natural Hair?
Using oils on natural hair is great for nourishing strands and sealing in moisture, but some oils are more effective than others. Coconut oil is a standout among the rest because of its ability to protect the hair and reduce protein loss.
The fats that make up coconut oil are mostly lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid. This gives coconut oil the ability to penetrate the hair shaft, allowing its many nutrients to be easily absorbed into the hair.
It thoroughly moisturizes, adds shine, encourages growth, and can even act as a natural sunscreen. It also contains antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that are incredibly nourishing, especially for drier scalps and tighter hair textures.
The unique structure of coconut oil allows it to deeply penetrate hair strands, allowing intense moisture to hydrate curls and coils better than most other oils.
When Shouldn’t You Use Coconut Oil on Hair?
Unfortunately, coconut oil isn’t for everyone. Like with most oils or even shampooing, overuse can lead to stripping hair of the natural oils hair needs. Similarly, different hair types and patterns respond to ingredients differently.
Those with thin hair should use it sparingly and avoid applying raw coconut oil directly to the scalp. Since coconut oil is a heavier oil, all hair types will benefit from using smaller amounts of real coconut to strands.
How Should You Use Coconut Oil on Hair?
When used properly, typically mixed with other ingredients and in smaller amounts, coconut oil can do amazing things for your natural curls and coils.
To get the most out of coconut oil, you should opt for formulas that mix coconut oil with other nourishing ingredients like honey or olive oil. Similarly, you should look for water-based products that help to dilute the concentration of coconut oil.
Because coconut oil is a thicker consistency than most oils, it can lead to product build-up on the scalp leading to irritation. Never apply raw, 100% coconut oil to your scalp (or any parts of your hair for that matter). Only use coconut oil when it’s mixed with other natural ingredients in a specialized formula.
We’re breaking down below the best coconut oil formulas to look for and how to use them to receive the full benefits.
African Pride Coconut Products
combined it with other all-natural ingredients to ensure it’s maximum benefits without any negative side effects.
Our best-selling sulfate-free Coconut Oil Shampoo for example, blends coconut oil with honey to get the most out of the coconut oil. The honey adds shine and retains moisture while the coconut oil deeply conditions, hydrates, and helps repair dry or damaged hair.
We’ve also made it the star ingredient of our Coconut Oil Conditioner, African Pride 5 Essential Oils, and African Pride Leave-in Cream. Each uses the benefits of coconut oil combined with other natural ingredients to thoroughly moisturize all of your curls and coils.
African Pride Coconut Milk & Coconut Water
Coconut water has more sugar and electrolytes while coconut milk has more healthy saturated fats, but they are both packed with amazing nutrients for the hair. Coconut milk has small amounts of Vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5, and B6, but is also packed full of minerals like iron, calcium, and magnesium. It also features the same lauric acid as coconut oil that allows the hair to fully receive its catalogue of nutrients.
Coconut milk conditions the hair, promotes growth, and restores moisture. It’s featured in our African Pride Moisture Miracle Leave-in Conditioner and Deep Penetrating Conditioner Treatment.
Coconut water, on the other hand, is great for stimulating the scalp and cell growth. It improves blood circulation and strengthens the hair strands. Coconut water is also composed of lauric acid, but it infiltrates the hair strands as a more lightweight moisturizer.
Its sleek and smoothing properties add softness and shine, ideal for taming frizz and untangling knots in curly hair. Coconut water can be found in our Moisture Miracle Pre-Shampoo, African Pride Detangling Masque, and Hold & Cover Edge Gel.
Each of these effective yet nourishing products leverage the nutrients of coconut water in formulas made to delicately protect and nourish the hair at its most vulnerable.
African Pride Ingredient Commitment
Your natural curls and coils form a crown that must be properly cared for and admired. It’s our passion to provide products uniquely made for textured hair, not only to manage and style it, but to nourish and protect it.
That’s why we continue seeking out the best natural ingredients and finding innovative ways to apply their benefits in creative combinations. Each product in our catalogue is uniquely formulated to fit different needs for your individual curls and coils. We also strive to provide the best of the best because it’s what your natural hair deserves.