Coconut oil is an essential oil of which you all must be aware. However, do you know how coconut oil is made? And what are its various uses and benefits? If not, then this is the perfect guide for you to find out more about coconut oil! This blog will explain what coconut oil is and how it is made, as well as impart knowledge as to what are the various uses and benefits of coconut oil.
What is coconut oil?
Coconut oil is obtained from the wick, meat, and milk of the coconut fruit. It includes medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) or medium-chain fatty acids, such as capric acid, caprylic acid, and lauric acid. Coconut oil (or coconut butter, as it is commonly called) is edible oil and is used in cooking as well as industrial applications for cosmetics and detergent production. Coconut oil in its unrefined form has a distinct coconut fragrance. It can be stored at 25℃ room temperature, where it will be in the form of a clear thin liquid.
How is coconut oil made?
There are two ways through which coconut oil is obtained- wet process or dry process. Let’s learn about them both.
In the wet process, coconut milk is extracted from raw coconuts. This is then broken down to retrieve the oil from the milk. This is done using various methods- prolonged boiling, pre-treatments including cold, heat, acids, salts, electrolysis, steam distillation, or some similar combination. However, the wet process is less feasible because it yields at least 15% less oil as compared to the dry process. Virgin coconut oil is extracted from fresh coconut milk, meat, or residue. The fresh meat is grated, then dried with moisture content up to 12%, and then the oil is extracted using a manual press.
In the dry process, the meat is retrieved from the shell of the coconut and dried using fire or sunlight. It is then dissolved with solvents, extracting the coconut oil and a high-protein-fiber mash. Since this mash is unfit for human consumption, it is then fed to ruminants.
Uses of coconut oil
Coconut oil is used almost everywhere- from preparing food to manufacturing soaps! Both refined and unrefined coconut oil can be consumed as well as used in manufacturing. Coconut oil can do wonders to your hair as well. Its conditions the hair and promotes scalp health. Read on to find out more about the various uses of coconut oil for your hair.
- For a healthy, hydrating hair mask: Coconut oil masks can keep your hair hydrated and healthy. You can make a DIY hydrating hair mask from coconut oil by adding ¼ cup of coconut oil to rosemary oil. Applying this for one hour before washing your hair with shampoo will reduce split ends and rough hair, and keep your hair hydrated.
- For protecting your hair before shampooing: It is natural for your hair to turn frizzy after shampooing. Applying coconut oil before shampooing will protect your hair from dryness and frizziness while shampooing.
- For conditioning your hair: Applying coconut oil to your hair after shampooing will give you shiny, conditioned hair. Simply spread a few drops of coconut oil over your comb and then run the comb through your hair.
- For detangling your hair post washing it: It is normal for your hair to get tangled after you shampoo it. Therefore to protect your hair from breaking, massage a little coconut oil through your hair before brushing it.
- For a healthy scalp: Coconut oil prevents the scalp from drying up. Therefore, massaging your scalp with coconut oil and leaving it overnight before washing it off will lead to a healthy, hydrated scalp.
All these techniques will prove effective if you want to have healthy hair. You can use these regularly or every once in a while, depending on your hair length and texture. If you have short hair, you may need as much as one to two teaspoons of coconut oil. Whereas for long hair, you will require at least 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Using more may lead to greasy hair.
Benefits of coconut oil
Coconut oil has several benefits. It is especially beneficial for the hair. Some of the benefits of coconut oil for hair are listed below:
It helps in making your hair longer.
Want long, sleek, and shiny hair but your hair growth is too slow? This could be due to the styling tools you use as well as air pollution and weather, as these also affect the growth and texture of your hair. If you suffer from this problem, we have the solution for you- coconut oil. Coconut oil moisturizes, hydrates, as well as protects your hair from protein loss and all kinds of damage. This, in turn, will prevent your hair from becoming rough and weak and also boost your hair growth, so that you can have the long, sleek, and shiny hair you want!
It protects your hair from the sun.
UV rays can damage your hair, making it seem dry and frizzy. Therefore, it is necessary to protect your hair against these harmful UV rays. Coconut oil plays the perfect role in this. Skin studies and research have found that coconut oil is SPF 8. In simple words, applying coconut oil to your hair may prove effective in protecting your hair against UV rays.
It cures dandruff.
Dry scalp and overgrowth of fungus or yeast on the scalp are one of the most common reasons for dandruff, no matter the season. Since coconut oil has antimicrobial properties, therefore, it helps in curing dandruff.
It protects against hair fall.
There can be many causes for hair fall- too much usage of heat-based styling tools, coloring your hair too often, not conditioning your hair enough, etc. All of these factors lead to damaged, frizzy hair, which in turn leads to hair breakage or hair fall. Coconut oil prevents hair loss as it penetrates deep into the hair shaft and prevents protein loss.
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