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Coconut Oil Hair Treatments Prevent Damage

Hair Oils

Coconut Oil Hair Treatments Prevent Damage

Hair oiling is a very big topic in the natural hair community.  It's also important for anyone with long hair or who is trying to grow their hair long.  Applying oil to the hair is often done as a pre-cleansing treatment, after washing and styling hair as a sealant or in-between hair cleansings to seal and protect.

One of the big concerns with hair oiling is selecting the very best oils to use on the hair.  The list of potential oils which can be used for oiling hair is very long ranging from sweet almond oil, coconut oil, mineral oil and sunflower oil, to name a few.

The key to finding a great hair oil is to find one which not only penetrates the hair shaft, but also assists in preventing protein loss of the treated hair.

Evaluating Three Of The Most Popular Hair Oils

Extensive studies utilizing a strict methodology evaluated and compared the properties of mineral, sunflower and coconut oil on hair.  The ultimate goal of the experiments was to cover different oil treatments as well as the the effect of these treatments on various hair types.


After evaluating three of the most popular hair oils - sunflower, coconut and mineral - The National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine published a report which shows coconut oil to be superior for preventing damage to human hair of all types.

The oils were tested utilizing the Taguchi Design of Experimentation.

Sunflower oil (SFO) was tested because it is thought to make an excellent hair oil.  It's considered excellent because it's the second most utilized base oil in the hair oil industry.

Sunflower oil is a popular hair oil base because it's odorless at ambient temperatures and has non-freezing properties.

Mineral oil (MO) is also a popular hair oil formulation because it's non-greasy and much cheaper than sunflower or related vegetable oils.

Coconut Oil Is Only Oil Found To Reduce Protein Loss

The findings clearly indicate the strong impact which coconut oil application has to hair, as compared to application of both sunflower and mineral oils.

Hair Oils

Among the three tested oils, coconut oil was the only oil found to reduce the protein loss remarkably for both undamaged and damaged hair when used as a pre-wash and post-wash grooming product.

Both sunflower and mineral oils do not help at all in reducing the protein loss from hair.  This difference in results could arise from the composition of each of these oils.

Ability For Oils To Properly Penetrate The Hair Shaft

Coconut oil is a triglyceride of lauric acid.  It's a principal fatty acid and has a high affinity for hair proteins.  Because of its low molecular weight and straight linear chain, coconut oil is able to successfully penetrate inside the hair shaft.

Mineral oil, being a hydrocarbon, has no affinity for proteins and therefore is not able to penetrate the hair.


In the case of sunflower oil, although it is a triglyceride of linoleic acid, because of its bulky structure due to the presence of double bonds, it does not penetrate the hair fiber, consequently resulting in no favorable impact on protein loss.


When evaluating whether to use coconut, sunflower or mineral oil on your hair, keep in mind that coconut oil has been tested and compared to both sunflower and mineral oil.

In those tests, coconut oil was found to be the only oil which can successfully penetrate inside the hair shaft.  Coconut oil also has a high affinity for hair proteins and will help in reduce protein loss from the hair.

When it comes times to reach for a product to oil your hair, reach for the coconut oil for its proven hair benefits.

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