Cocos Nucifera aka Coconut Oil

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Trying to understand what is in your hair product is never easy. Reading through all the ingredients can become tedius especially if you have no idea what you are looking at. 

Cocos Nuferia is sometimes seen on the back of hair and skin products.  There is no need to panic this is the Latin name for coconut oil.
Coconut oil is excellent as a skin moisturiser and softener. A 2003 cosmetic paper  'Effects of mineral oil, sunflower oil and coconut oil on the prevention of hair damage' which is referred to a lot on the blogosphere commented that coconut oil is able to penetrate the hair shaft: 'Coconut oil is a triglyceride of lauric acid (a principal fatty acid) and has a high affinity for hair proteins and because of its low molecular weight and straight linear chain, is able to penetrate inside the hair shaft.', you can access this paper here


This study showed that coconut oil is effective and safe when used as a moisturiser, with absence of adverse reactions and showed that coconut oil helped prevent protein loss from the wet combing of hair when used as a pre-shampoo treatment.

This corresponded to information in an earlier  paper 'Effect of coconut oil on prevention of hair damage: Part I' also commented on the protective effects of coconut oil on chemically treated hair during the grooming process. It can reduce water absorption and swelling of the hair cuticle and attributed this to its water hating (fat/lipid loving) properties. This stops the cuticle lifting and the hair getting snagged during wet combing.You can access this here.

You can see from these papers that the uses of coconut oil are not singular and there are different ways in which it can be used for different outcomes. These papers referring to its use both on dry and wet hair.

This is an wonderful moisturising oil and I especially like to use it as a pre shampoo conditioning treatment and it smells great too! I like to mix coconut oil with Jamaican Black Castor Oil and leave on my hair for a couple of hours before shampooing... Works wonders!.

Some other latin oil names:
Avocado Oil -  Persea americana 
Jojoba oil - Simmondsia chinensis
Castor Oil - Ricinus communis
Rosehip Seed Oil - Rosa moschata or Rosa rubiginosa

Embrace Your Inner AfroDeity
Leilu



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