Post by Chantelle

This blog posting is late, and I apologize for that! I’ve been tied up with some other obligations during my free time but now it’s calmed down and I’m able to get back at it! I hope I didn’t keep you waiting too long, and I think you’ll find this one particularly on trend and useful for everyday life, not just hair.

I don’t know about you guys and gals, but I notice food trends, and this season seems to be the season of the Coconut….An interesting change from seasons past of colorful and rare Goji Berries, Acai Berries and the ever hard to eat Pomegranate. Coconut oil. Coconut milk. Coconut meat. Coconut butter. Coconut chips. Coconut husk. Coconut water. Coconut brains. Why are we being bombarded with this food?

Coconut

Coconut, an ever confusing exotic food, with it’s deceiving name (not a true nut) and armoured shell, making it one of the hardest things to open (for Canadians anyways). And for what?! All that effort of setting it up on the counter, wrapping it in cling wrap so it doesn’t slip, in true Dexter fashion, and stabbing it repeatedly with the sharpest knife one owns…For mildly interesting tasting water, not in a pleasant way, and a hard white center, the coconut meat, that molds almost instantly if not dried into coconut chips or pureed with oil to make coconut butter.

Watermelon

Pic swiped from Reddit.com.  (Just pretend that’s a coconut, not a watermelon)

Coconut water contains sugar, fiber, proteins, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and provides an electrolyte balance, which is quickly turning it into the most popular sports drink out there. Sorry Gatorade. Mature fruits have less liquid than young immature coconuts. Coconut water can also be fermented to produce coconut vinegar, another interesting use for cooking.
Coconut milk, not to be confused with coconut water, is obtained by extracting juice by pressing the grated coconut’s white kernel or by passing hot water or milk through grated coconut, which extracts the oil and aromatic compounds. It has a fat content around 17%.  When refrigerated and left to set, coconut cream will rise to the top and separate from the milk. The milk can be used to produce virgin coconut oil by controlled heating and removal of the oil fraction.

What a second….What does this have to do with hair?

Well, Coconut milk is rich in protein and fatty acids, (My favorite!) which makes it a great alternative and natural choice for conditioning, strengthening and minimizing hair breakage. It also protects hair from the UV damage of sun exposure. AKA restoring shine and softness to beach damaged vacation hair. (Aloha, Hawaii….)

For a treatment, you’ll need:

  • 1 cup coconut milk,
  • 1 peeled and mashed avocado (rich in fatty acids which are very nourishing for dry, brittle hair. Avocados are also abundant in vitamins, protein and amino acids to promote healthy and stronger hair.)
  • 1 tbsp of honey (Honey is a natural humectant, which means that it holds on to water molecules. This makes it a great moisturizer. Honey hair treatments are good for conditioning hair and adding a nice sheen. Honey is also super rich in sulfur, iron, zinc and vitamins B1, B2, B3- all nutrients that aid in hair growth…Bonus!)
  • Be sure to apply to freshly shampooed hair.

Side note: These are all foods I’ve mentioned before to ingest to get healthy hair, well now you know you can wear them too.

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. You can apply mixture directly to the hair, or preheat mixture in microwave for 30-45 seconds. When applying, massage into hair and scalp. Wrap hair in a towel or cover with shower cap for 15-60 min. Rinse out with shampoo/conditioner and style as usual.

How about Coconut oil? That’s something a few of my clients have been using on their own hairs, and I say, have at ‘er!  According to one study, published in the Journal of Cosmetic Sciences, in a comparison of Mineral oil (a hydrocarbon that has no affinity for proteins), Sunflower oil (Although a triglyceride of linoleic acid, because of it’s bulky structure due to the presence of double bonds, it does not penetrate the fiber), and Coconut oil as potential hair nourishing products, Coconut oil is the only one that was able to reduce protein loss for damaged and undamaged hair types. It worked best as a pre-wash treatment, because Coconut oil is Hydrophobic (it repels water). So, when it’s used as a pre-wash treatment, a small amount of the oil is able to penetrate deeper into the hair shaft as your shampooing, since the hair fiber expands a little. It also stops the penetration of water into the hair shaft, which could raise the cuticle of the hair shaft, and make it more susceptible to breakage.  According to some coconut oil enthusiasts, this is the reason it stops frizzy hair in humid weather.

  • Just warm up 3-5 Tablespoons of Coconut oil, apply to damp hair generously, wrap in a towel and watch the latest Game of Thrones before rinsing out. Do this once a week if your hair is really porous or once a month for maintenance.

Coconut oil is around 50% lauric acid.  Another place you’ll find it is in human breast milk – If it’s safe for new born babies, then it must be good, right?  Lauric acid is antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral, and coconut oil is full of it. The best way to benefit from the high lauric acid content is to use it on your skin, which can easily absorb the oil. Skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, dandruff and ringworm can potentially be controlled with regular applications of coconut oil. It has been used for centuries as a natural remedy. Also great for dandruff and itchy scalp sufferers: massage coconut oil into the scalp after washing, leave overnight and wash out in the morning. Enjoy dandruff free hair, naturally!

Personally, I use coconut oil as a daily moisturizer as well, and as an after sun exposure skin treatment. Look for extra virgin, cold pressed, that has not been hydrogenated, bleached, refined or deodorized.

Unrelated health tip:
****Make sure it comes in a glass jar. Chemicals in plastic containers seep into oils and are proven to cause hormonal balances leading to weight gain, various diseases and cancer.  The plastics problem is particularly bad for oils as they absorb much more synthetic estrogen than other foods. Do yourself a favor and NEVER buy fatty food wrapped in plastic****

I did find this nifty chart saying what other great things coconuts are good for, and I hope you learned something today:

Mercola.com coconut infographic

Infographic from mercola.com

If you have comments or questions, be sure to leave them at our Facebook page and we’ll respond ASAP.

*Common sense disclaimer: as always, our blogs are meant for information/entertainment purposes only and not meant to replace advice from a physician. Use coconuts, avocados, shampoo and other stuff at your own risk.