Hair products can be expensive, ineffective, and, even worse, some may even contain chemicals that can damage our hair. Yet, most of us use blow dryers, curling irons, or hair straighteners that leave our hair dried out or damaged. While there are plenty of beauty products in hair salons, it might be best for your hair and your budget to check out the grocery store. Popular in many Asian countries and available in many stores around the world, coconut milk is full of vitamins and minerals that are essential for healthy hair. Packed with protein, natural oils, vitamins, and calcium (naming only a few essentials), applying coconut milk to your hair may promote healthy hair growth and leave you with a fuller, softer head of hair.
Coconut milk, which is the liquid squeezed from the shredded meat of the coconut, is a popular and delicious ingredient in many Southeast Asian cuisines. Said to have health benefits ranging from treating wrinkles to helping your immune system, coconut milk is also great to put on your hair. Using it as a deep conditioner, coconut milk is an effective treatment for dry or brittle hair. Combining it with honey, this pre-shampoo hair mask is perfect to add some shine to your winter-beaten hair. But does coconut oil help your hair grow faster and thicker? In the book Coconut Cures: Preventing and Treating Common Health Problems with Coconut, Bruce Fife states that coconut milk not only enhances hair growth but also might stop your hair from turning grey! He explains that the new hairs will grow in as your natural hair color instead of grey. He suggests massaging the coconut milk into your scalp and leaving on for as long as possible, even overnight in a shower cap if you can. While Fife swears by it, others think it may only be an illusion.
Applying coconut milk to your hair does help soften, detangle, and protect your hair from lack of protein; however, researchers have found during a study that “coconut oil was the only oil [out of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil] found to reduce the protein loss remarkably both for undamaged and damaged hair when used as a pre-wash and post-wash grooming product,” according to Pub.Med.gov. The coconut oil is a triglyceride [a main component of natural fats and oils] and “has a high affinity for hair proteins,” says the site, which means that coconut oil is able to get into hair strands and, therefore, blocks water from penetrating into hair strands, preventing the hairs from becoming damaged. So, you are more likely to lose less hair while in the shower and your hair will be less damaged!
Verdict: Truth. Coconut milk contains protein, iron, and manganese which are essential for healthy hair growth. It is beneficial to add coconut oil to your hair mask as well if you want to maximize results. Coconut is a natural remedy for hair damage that will leave your hair looking radiant, even in the middle of winter.