It was about three years ago when I noticed I had developed a dry scalp. None of the products I usually used were treating the problem, and I was uncertain if I would find a product that would. After a beautician recommended that I use coconut oil for my hair, I decided to make some changes in my daily hair schedule. I’ve been using it for a few months now, and based on the positive results, I plan to keep it as part of my routine. I even use the coconut shampoo and conditioner both at the salon and at home.
“It’s not so much the outside of the coconut that you’re using — it’s the inside. It’s the jelly substance that they (manufacturers) put out to dry, and after they dry it, they use the water from the coconut to pull out all of the preservatives to create the shampoo (and other coconut hair products), ” said Sashauna Coleman, who owns Transformed Beauty Salon in Newburgh, N.Y.
Shauna Beni, a student at SUNY Plattsburgh in Plattsburgh, N.Y., mainly used coconut oil as a substitute. “I started to use coconut oil for my hair when I decided to stop straightening it,” Beni said. “I did some research online, and I talked to other people with natural hair. I also watched a lot of YouTube videos on regimes that natural (hair) bloggers used on their hair and a lot of them said coconut oil.”
After Beni started using coconut oil for a week, she saw results but noticed her hair was becoming greasy. “It did leave my hair very moisturized and more shiny as well,” Beni noted. “But I did realize my hair was much oilier, and I didn’t know if I was a fan of that. I feel like it (the coconut oil) definitely left my hair more greasy; I now only use a little bit.”
Coleman says that although the products are natural-based, other preservatives are added to them, which is why she knows these products are not good for everyone’s hair.
“Coconut products are recommended to people who do not have an oily based hair,” Coleman emphasizes. “So if your hair is overly oily, you wouldn’t use coconut oil or coconut shampoo in your hair— it adds more moisture to the hair.”
Instead, Coleman recommends coconut hair products to people who have dry scalps. “It gives back moisture to those who have a dry scalp. It’s not oil that grows your hair, it’s the moisture of your scalp,” Coleman explains. “So if the scalp is dry, then it doesn’t produce the oil for the molecules in your hair. The roots of your hair get very brittle, not allowing anything to go through it. Your hair will start breaking because there’s no moisture to it. But if you have moisture, then your hair will grow; that’s what coconut oil does.”
Ever since I started using theses coconut hair products, I can see a difference in my own hair. It’s a lot softer thanks to the coconut shampoo and conditioner, but most of all, it’s less dry. I’m seeing less evidence of my hair ever being dry in the first place.
*Photos by Deja Skipper