Coconut oil has been a hot button hair issue for a little while now. Many swear by the oil to add moisture and shine back into their locks, whereas others point out how brittle it makes their strands. Why is that? Why does coconut oil work for some hair types and not for others?
We needed to know more. So, we reached out to an expert that was very familiar in all things coconut oil and haircare: Courtney Chiusano, owner of Courtney Chiusano Skincare in Los Angeles.
Courtney was kind enough to detail why coconut oil benefits some strands, why it damages others, and who stands to gain the most from the oil. Scroll below to read what she had to share with us!
Why does coconut oil work for some people and not for others?
Not everyone’s hair takes to coconut oil the same and there’s a pretty major reason for that. One that likely has never been brought to your attention.
“Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, which is a fatty acid that helps fortify your cuticle and prevent protein loss in your hair,” Courtney shares. “Curlier textured hair types tend to have a more delicate cuticle prone to breakage, so coconut oil is most beneficial for those hair types. However, if you have dry, brittle hair, too much protein is often the culprit. Adding coconut oil will only strengthen that protein, which is the opposite of what you are looking to achieve.”
Why does coconut oil make some people’s hair more dry and brittle?
Again, this all relates back to your hair’s protein levels. If your hair is already dry, you have more protein than you need. Given coconut oil adds protein to your strands, it only makes your hair more brittle.
“Coconut oil helps reduce protein loss,” Courtney shares. “Dry, brittle hair is generally caused by too much protein, so you do not want to use it.”
Which hair types should never use coconut oil?
At this point, it should be aware that those with “dry, brittle, or damaged hair should avoid coconut oil.”
There are other hair-related issues coconut oil can aggravate.
“If you suffer from scalp conditions, such as seborrheic dermatitis/dandruff, coconut oil can worsen the condition,” Courtney says.
Still, there are hair types that can benefit from “the occasional boost of moisture and protein” that coconut oil provides.
It’s fine to use for normal, healthy hair types for the occasional boost of moisture and protein but definitely not meant for brittle/super dry hair or people which scalp conditions.
Which hair types benefit the most from using coconut oil?
Have healthy strands that aren’t dry or brittle? Chances are you stand to benefit from an added dose of coconut oil.
“Curly textured and fine/medium/thick hair that is healthy can benefit from the occasional pre-wash treatment of coconut oil,” Courtney states.
She recommends you “start with a small amount when using [it], [as] a little goes a long way.”