coconut oil for hair

Extracted from the fruit of the palm tree, this edible oil has been consumed in tropical places for thousands of years, and populations that eat a lot of coconuts are among the healthiest people on the planet. Add the benefits it brings to skin, hair, and scalp, and you can see the love for this miracle oil is well deserved. 

Despite what you may think you know about this premature-aging defying oil, coconut oil has more than one type. There are refined, unrefined (virgin”>, and fractionated coconut oils, and while they all have the amazing composition of coconut oil, there are slight differences either through extraction or processing.

What is unrefined (virgin”> coconut oil?

Virgin coconut oil is considered superior to fractionated and natural coconut oil. It has a longer shelf life, it has a more distinctive aroma, and it has the most therapeutic properties without the addition of processing or detrimental heat altering its composition.  Virgin coconut oil retains the original coconut’s chemical composition. It is made from fresh coconut meat rather than dried coconut meat, and it retains more coconut flavor because of its lack of exposure to high temperatures.

What is refined coconut oil?

Refined coconut oil is exclusively made from dried coconut meat or copra. The meat has been bleached, treated, deodorized, and processed through high heat to help extract the flavor and aroma. While some of the nutrients are stripped away in refined coconut oil, the fatty acid composition is kept intact.

What is fractionated coconut oil?

Just as the name states, fractionated coconut oil is a fraction of coconut oil with almost all of the long chain triglycerides removed through hydrolysis and steam distillation, leaving only the medium-chain triglycerides and turning it into a saturated oil. This gives the oil a very long shelf life while increasing the oil’s stability. This coconut oil variation maintains its liquid form at room temperature, but since lauric acid is removed from this oil, so are the bacteria-fighting antimicrobial properties. Fractionated coconut oil is predominately composed of capric and caprylic acids thus giving it a more antioxidant and disinfecting effect and ideal for cosmetics, lotions, ointments, and soaps.

Fractionated coconut oil still has the same moisturizing and emollient abilities as virgin coconut oil along with vitamins A, C, and E, which all help maintain collagen production. It can be added with essential oils especially essential oils that have anti-bacterial components since those portions were removed when creating the fractionated coconut oil. This will boost its benefits making it an excellent hair treatment, pre-poo, or even a sealant. Completely soluble with other oils, fractionated coconut oil is an excellent carrier oil and very light, which allows it to absorb quickly into the skin. Since there is more processing involved with fractionated coconut oil, it is slightly more expensive.

This oil can be added to any essential oil. Consider blending it with an oil containing anti-bacterial properties to replace that property which was removed from fractionated coconut oil; this will boost its benefits, making an excellent hair treatment, pre-poo, or even a sealant.

Have you tried fractionated coconut oil? 

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