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Is Coconut Water Any Better for Your Hair Than Coconut Oil? We Asked an Expert

Coconut oil has long been lauded as the holy grail of haircare products for softer, shinier, and all-around healthier strands. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work for everyone. While many have been able to grow their hair because of coconut oil, others have noticed how brittle it makes their strands. This led us to wonder if coconut water is any better for hair than coconut oil. Well, that and we read a Byrdie article on it.

To learn more about the hair benefits of coconut water, we reached out to holistic facialist Courtney P. Chiusano. The Los Angeles-based skincare expert was able to answer all our burning questions on the topic. Keep reading to see what Courtney had to share!

A coconut lying open on a white sheet background
(via Unsplash)

Why Is Coconut Water Better Than Coconut Oil?

Sadly, as we mentioned before, coconut oil doesn’t work for every hair type. This is because coconut oil is rich in protein. Dry and brittle hair is caused by an excess amount of protein in the strands. So when you’re applying coconut oil, you’re adding more protein into locks that already have too much of it. Courtney shares that coconut water, on the other hand, offers an abundance of hair benefits.

“Topically, it helps to hydrate, soften, and replenish the hair with its vital minerals and moisturizing abilities,” Courtney notes. “It also is high in antioxidants, so it’s great to help prevent damage. Coconut water is also anti-inflammatory and may help with dandruff. As for drinking it internally, it’s loaded with vitamins and minerals, which help with healthy hair growth. It’s rich in potassium, which a deficiency in can sometimes lead to hair loss.”

Which Hair Types Benefit the Most From Coconut Water?

All hair types can benefit from coconut water more than coconut oil. This is because it’s “so much lighter, so it will replenish but not weigh the hair down.” Courtney also notes that “coconut oil is great for some hair types (dry, curly, normal hair), as it helps with protein loss, but it’s much more of an occasional treatment, as it’s not as versatile and light as coconut water.”

Courtney does warn that “if you have any coconut allergies or any severe scalp issues like seborrheic dermatitis,” you should stay away from using the product.

How Should You Use Coconut Water to Get the Most Out of It?

Though there are plenty of coconut water hair products on the market, Courtney makes it clear that it’s best to use the real thing. No need to invest in a fancy shampoo or conditioner when a bottle of coconut water from your local grocery store will do the trick.

As far as how to use coconut oil for healthier hair, Courtney has a tried and true method. “Massaging it topically twice a week into the hair and scalp and leaving it for about 20 minutes is best,” she shares. “I also recommend drinking eight ounces daily for hair and skin, as it’s so hydrating and nourishing.”

Best Coconut Water Hair Products

Harmless Harvest Original Coconut Water

For a coconut water to drink, we highly recommend Harmless Harvest. It is by far the most delicious, and as the company notes, the closest you can get to drinking out of a real coconut.

Harmless Harvest Original Coconut Water

(via Harmless Harvest)

Joico HydraSplash Hydrating Shampoo

This hydrating shampoo replenishes dry and thirsty strands with up to 24 hours of much-needed hydration. Using coconut water and sea kelp, hydration and moisture are just a wash away.

Joico HydraSplash Hydrating Shampoo

(via Ulta)

Not Your Mother’s Blue Sea Kale & Pure Coconut Water Sea Minerals Conditioner

Fortified with blue sea kale and pure coconut water, this conditioner provides weightless hydration for all hair types. It’s also safe to use on color-treated hair.

Blue Sea Kale & Pure Coconut Water Sea Minerals Conditioner

(via Ulta)

Joico HydraSplash Replenishing Leave-In

This leave-in product is the perfect way to add hydration back into your strands on wash day. Again, coconut water and sea kelp are the dynamic duo that provide all the weightless moisture you need for healthier hair.

Joico HydraSplash Replenishing Leave-In

(via Ulta)

Wondering why coconut oil works for some and not others? Courtney shared her expertise with us HERE!

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