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.