The Benefits of Coconut

I have been growing my hair for a while now, it is getting really long but looking a little worse for wear at the ends. With this in mind, jasmine scented coconut oil was my first purchase. My mother-in-law is always wondering why I do not put oil in my hair and at only 34 rupees (33 pence UK / 55 cents US) for 120ml, how could I not give it a go?

It is said that when Lord Vishnu (the protector of the universe) incarnated on Earth he brought with him the coconut tree. The Vedas, the ancient and sacred scriptures of India, describe the tree as Kalpavriksha, ‘the tree of heaven’. The coconut tree is also known as Karpagavalli which means ‘the giver of all health, energy, strength, tranquillity, longevity and peace’.

It is not only the oil which has its uses. My husband and I often drink coconut water straight from the nut, you can find stalls selling them everywhere in Nagpur (only 25 rupees for a coconut the size of your head!). The water has been proven to be a better at hydrating the body than sports drinks so great if the Indian heat has left you dehydrated! The isotonic water from a coconut has even be used to save lives, it  has been given to wounded soldiers via intravenous infusion, straight from the nut, during the Pacific War (1941-45). Coconut water has the same electrolytic balance as we have in our blood and is completely sterile. How wonderful is that? Not only can the super hydration from coconut water give you glowing skin, it could also save your life! The coconut tree definitely deserves to be known as Karpagavalli!

Back to the oil….

My mother-in-law, our maids and even our three year old neighbour use coconut oil in their hair, rubbing it right into their scalp. I have used oil in my hair before but never have I rubbed it into my scalp as I fear I won’t be able to wash it out and be left with greasy looking hair. Now I live in India, many people are doing it, I may as well give it a go! Massaging the oil into your scalp increases the blood circulation and is said to stimulate hair growth and prevent hair loss. Coconut oil contains lauric acid which has a high affinity for hair proteins therefore is able to penetrate the hair shaft and so it can prevent breakages.

Instead of my usual habit of putting oil just on the ends of my hair, this time I covered my hair with the oil from root to tip! I left the oil in my hair for most of the day and then washed it out in the evening (I will probably leave it in over night next time). My fears of not being able to wash the coconut oil out where unfounded, the oil came out just fine, the fact I used it sparingly probably helped.  My hair is now very soft and extremely shiny, I will definitely be oiling my hair again.

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68 thoughts on “The Benefits of Coconut

  1. Lauren, first of all thanks for being the first visitor on my blog 🙂 I am following you for some time now, I showed meri jaan your post about sindoor and I remember him being happy that there are goris who are putting them themselves even when apart! Anyway just wanted to say hello and that I have been using coconut hair products for a while now, I really recommend them but also a virgin coconut oil to cook/eat as it is super healthy. Love from London, M

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    • Awww! Thank you for following!
      I cannot go a day without wearing sindoor now, even in England. I did get quite a few looks of concern though 😛 I am definitely going to look into using coconut oil to cook with! My mother-in-law buys this special cardio oil but I am not sure what is exactly in it 😀

      Lots of love and thank you again. Wishing you both a beautiful life together x

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  2. I have straight hair and it is mostly fine. I have not had good luck with coconut oil! Maybe I would try scented coconut oil… let’s see. My husband uses amla oil from time to time but hasn’t really in the past year or so.

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  3. I love coconut! The best part of our trip to South India was the food!. I am just about to post a great chicken curry recipe from Chettinad in youtube in the next few days. Thanks for the beauty tip about coconut oil as a leave in conditioning. I will buy it in an Indian Supermarket here in San Francisco!

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  4. Check the ingredients of this oil. It’s 1 of the worst I ever used in India. People are unaware many oils contain paraffinum liquidum. You should use pure oils. Pure coconut oil is good.

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  5. I forgot to mention. Don’t use it for cooking!!! It is not a coconut oil. If you want pure coconut oil for both hair and cooking buy classic parachute in blue bottle (not transparent). Your husband should know. 😉
    Regards from Polish-Indian wife 😉

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  6. Ingredients: Mineral Oil (79,7%), Coconut Oil (20%). Jasmine 0% (fragrance is 100% artificial)
    Mineral Oil=Paraffinum Liquidum=Liquid Paraffin=distillate of petroleum 😉
    Sorry I really got scared You are going to use it for cooking and it’s a poison.

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    • Don’t be scared. I am not silly enough to cook hair oil 🙂

      I read about mineral oil, sorry I didn’t know mineral oil was another name for liquid paraffin and consider it to be safe to use in my hair. It is really good for untangling and my hair tangles so easily!! I really have battles with it on a daily basis… this oil has been great for it.

      I am also going to try the pure coconut oil as you suggested 😀 Thank you so much 🙂

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      • Oh NO!!! I just bought I bottle from Amazon. I should have read Madzia’s comment before! but it only cost me sic dollars including shipping. I’ll give it a try anyway. So I wonder if I could use coconut oil (for cooking) for my hair?? has anybody try it??? it might be really messy…..

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      • Don’t worry, Maria!
        Mineral oil is completely safe, it has just had some bad press but the scientific evidence says it is non-toxic and not harmful. It is a great lubricant and so amazing for detangling hair.

        You can also use the pure coconut oil but some people say it tangles hair and does not wash out well, I think the mineral oil helps it come out also.

        My plan is to try both!! 😀 I hope you are well x

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      • OOh no I just bought in amazon the oil but I don’t feel very bad because I only paid 6 dollars for it. I should have read Madzia’s comment before. I will give it a try anyway. I wonder if I can put cooking coconut oil in my hair?? I mean not much leave it there for a while and then wash my hair. Would it be a mess???

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  7. Well Lauren, You would be glad to know that you get coconut for as cheap as Rs. 5 down South! Bdw, your hairs look beautiful 🙂 Also try hair oils from the Indian brand ‘khadi’. It is a 100% natural brand free of parabens and also one of the oldest brands.

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  8. I would also suggest you to try Bajaj Almonds Oil. It is total value for money product. slightly expensive than the oil you bought but non-sticky and natural scent in it makes it great, plus it has more Vitamin E than coconut oil which helps with split end issues.

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  9. Pingback: Friday Roundup! | A New Life In India

  10. using coconut oil on my hair is the only thing that does not agree with my limp baby thin hair, it semply doesn’t wash off and I end up having greas hair for 5-6 shampoos, and usually the oil attract dirt to my scalp making it itchy, but then I have a particularly crappy hair quality. I love coconut oil to treat my dry skin in the winter, this stuff works wonder there, and I use the parachute brand in my cooking sometimes, it gives cupcake that divine hint of coconut flavour and make home made granola that much more nutty.

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    • My hair is really really thin too… my mother-in-law was amazed when she saw a strand. Have you tried the coconut oil with mineral oil? Mineral oil is a lubricant and so may wash out easier.

      Argan oil (Moroccan oil) is really really good.

      WOW coconut cupcakes… I am yet to get my oven, as soon as I do- I am trying this!! 😀

      I hope you are well, Cyn!

      Lauren

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      • Never tried the mineral oil enriched one, maybe I should, but a bit reluctant after my bad experience with pure coconut oil over the years. A thing I like to use on my hair when they are particularly rebel is Livon, it is a silicone oil leave in serum, instant frizz control, instant detangler and instant hair shine.

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  11. I LOVE the scent of Jasmine. I never knew there was Jasmine scented coconut oil though.
    I used to use organic coconut oil in my hair, but it didn’t work well for my hair type. (At this point in time I only oiled my hair every few months.) Next, I did a bit of research, and found a recipe using almond oil and peppermint oil.
    That’s what I use now, and I love it. Until I found this recipe, I didn’t know people oiled their hair on a daily and weekly basis. The recipe came from an Indian woman who also found it strange that people didn’t use oil in their hair. Hahaha 😀
    The recipe is simple.
    2 Tablespoons of 100% Almond Oil
    8 Drops of 100% Peppermint Oil
    Start from your scalp and work it down. 🙂 Try it out sometime.

    I think I will definitely give the Jasmine scented coconut oil a try, if I find it. 😀

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      • I think this post will be endless!! I just bought a coconut hair oil product called Vatika Naturals in a Indian Supermarket. It seems to have “natural ingredients Cocos nucifera oil (coconut oil0, herbal extracts (Emblica officinalis (Amla) Fruit extract Terminalia Chebula, Soy Lecithin, Rosemary leaf oil, lemon oil and butylated hydroxy troulene that suppose to be an antioxidant. If it doesn’t work I will try the almond oil mixture from Whole Foods Supermarket!

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  12. I too use coconut in my hair, sometimes I use the oil and sometimes I use the coconut milk. I think its working wonderful and the hair seems healthier and thicker 🙂 Thank you for a very informative blogpost 🙂 Namaste 🙂

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  13. I briefly mentioned to M about this post and that I wanted to try the oil. To my surprise he brought me the exact same bottle and sent it back with his cousin. I have just put it in my head and it smells amazing!

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  14. Oiling is actually good… other benefits include relief from headache! it actually works!! 🙂

    More than these scented coconut oils, you should use pure coconut oil Lauren!! They are better as compared to these! you can try PARACHUT OIL! the brand is quite old and trustworthy! http://www.marico.com/html/brands/para-coco-oil.php

    It’s better to leave oil overnight.. (so that you don’t have to show your oily hairs to unwanted people :O lol) Also, you need not to leave your oily hairs for a long time.. as it will attract dust and dirt.

    hehehehhhe.. i must appreciate your courage to post oil dip hairs on WP… Once I do hair oiling, i dont step out of my house… or at least to office or somewhere or click pics!! 😀 😉 😛

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  15. Pingback: The coconut dilemma | The Chronicles of Pilli

  16. A word of caution about coconut oil for cooking.

    It’s not considered healthy for eating. It tastes good and even smells amazing but is high on cholesterol.

    The high percentage of heart problems in the Indian state of Kerala is attributed to coconut oil. These are based on studies.

    However, later many came and claimed it to be a conspiracy against coconut growers.

    You can google and find out that coconut oil has higher percentage of cholesterol compared to other healthier oils like sunflower.

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  17. I also use coconut oil! Mine is from Philippines and like you, I used to use it only in the ends but 2 months ago I decided to try it all over my hair.
    I did feel my hair was softer but I did not feel it was more shiny, since I moved to China my hair has changed and it doesnt shine anymore, is just weird, too mate.

    It was difficult to wash for me though!!!!

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  18. Laurean: you are adorable… i really love your story and reading about it makes e really happy…. as for ur hair.. There is an excellent hair growth oil called “Neelibringhadhi Tailam” ………. its a potent hait growth stimulator, u can apply it on hair. Buy it in coconut oil and NOT sesame oil……… u may use it same way u use coconut oil…… search for “Arya Vaidya Sala Kottakkal” in your local area…this is literally the best brand in India…. if this shop is not there u can then buy other brands. keep posting!

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  19. Hi Lauren .. I am reading your blog from some time and I am really proud on you … that you have absorbed the Indian Culture very well….. You are really a sweet person with golden heart 🙂 🙂 ❤

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  20. Hey Lauren! Just wanted to suggest a thing. As far as possible, avoid the jasmine scented coconut oil. It has artificial additives and could result in hair fall in the long run. Go for the plain coconut hair oil by the same brand Parachute..Recently, I switched to Ramkrishna’s Maha Bhringraj. (This is the one – http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Ramkrishna-Maha-Bhringaraj-MahaBhringaraj-Hair-Oil-50-100-200-ml-Select-/281359210238)
    It has an amazing scent from the herbs. Besides, it has a cooling sensation on your head, which should be great when you want to beat the Nagpur heat. Also, you tend to get better sleep due to the oil. I am sure you will love it. Do give it a try. 🙂 In India, you can find it in Baidyanath shops in your city or any other place selling ayurvedic goods.

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