Tuesday, August 6, 2013

How the virgin coconut oil freed me of finishing hair products.

I've been free of hair-finishing products since about 3 weeks ago after using a brilliant natural product weekly on my hair for a month. 

I love meeting up with girlfriends especially since I've learnt a lot from the women I meet. One of them introduced me to this wonderful simple yet powerful natural product and upon reading its many benefits online, I was instantly hooked!

I mean if you googled up its advantages, you'd be surprised how it is actually touted as the healthiest oil on earth (source: here). Some of the health benefits of virgin coconut oil (cold pressed) include:

1. Thyroid-stimulating: Research shows that coconut oil contains a medium-chain fatty acids accelerate that stimulates metabolism, gives you more energy.
2. Get candida in check: Coconut oil has a good quantity of caprylic acid in it which is well known to kill off excess candida by targeting harmful bacteria.

3. Lowers cholesterol: It is rich in lauric acid which protects your heart by reducing total cholesterol and increasing good cholesterol.
4. Helps with weight loss: even though it is a fat, it actually helps with weight loss!  The healthy medium chain fatty acids do not circulate in the bloodstream like other fats; they are sent directly to the liver and are converted into energy. Thus the body does not store the fat in coconut oil as fat; it uses it to produce energy instead.
5. Helps keep diabetes in check: It does not produce an insulin spike in your bloodstream. Instead it helps control blood sugar by improving the secretion of insulin. Note: This is not a free pass to eat a lot of sugar and other dumb carbs
6. Reduces heart disease: studies on people in the Pacific Islands found that their total caloric intake included thirty to sixty percent from fully saturated coconut oil. These Pacific Islanders have nearly non-existent rates of cardiovascular disease.
7. Gastrointestinal malabsorption diseases: Combining Vitamin E supplements with coconut oil through the skin proved to be a good alternative for those with gastrointestinal malabsorption.
8. Supports the immune system. It is rich in lauric acid, a nutrient that supports the body’s immune system.
9. Good for the skin: When applied externally it forms a protective antibacterial layer protecting the infected body part.  Also, coconut oil speeds up the healing process of bruises by helping to repair damaged tissue. 
10. Nourishing for the brain: Studies show that it improves cognitive function, and stalls, or even reverses, neurodegenerative diseases in their early stages.

In another web page, it states that the Top 10 reasons for you to use it:
  1. Replenishes dead skin cells, making you look younger
  2. 3 in 1 cleanser, makeup remover, moisturizer
  3. Vitamin E makes it great for hair and skin
  4. Adds shine and volume to long hair.
  5. The high Lauric acid make it a wonderful natural healing remedy for skin complaints
  6. Helps the body burn fat quicker by speeding up the metabolism
  7. Its creamy, nutty flavor delicious in soups and curries
  8. Some research has shown that it can beneficial for dementia and Alzheimer’s suffers.
  9. Effective against dandruff, itchy scalp and skin diseases.
  10. Improves heart health by lowering bad cholesterol

Frankly, I was intrigued with the beauty benefits that come with it... I mean, if I am out of my usual cleanser or moisturiser, I know for a fact that I could just reach for this huge 500ml bottle and use it when necessary. But while that happens, I thought I should make use of its magic to help tame my dry, frizzy hair that's due for another rebonding and treatment session.

What surprised me the most is how disciplined I am with this new regime. I have sensitive scalp but its promise of helping me obtain a healthier scalp saw me massaging the oil diligently every Friday evening. I'd then use a shower cap to protect my hair (also to mask the pungent coconut smell and to provide a faux 'steam' reaction when I sweat while cooking in the kitchen). When applied, the smell of the virgin coconut oil feels sweet and lovely to me but it kinda grow musty after awhile, which I don't find too pleasing. The shower cap actually masks the scent pretty well and Mr Oosband has never complained about the smell. 

Just before bed time, around 10 or 11pm I'd take my shower, shampoo my hair twice to ensure all the oil are removed thoroughly and finish off with a thick paste of conditioner/ hair mask so that I eliminate any traces of strong odour. The smell basically goes away after the first shampoo but hey, nothing wrong with being extra careful ;)

After 4 weeks of diligent use, 4 Fridays in a row, I no longer need a finishing oil to tame my hair. The hair feels light and bouncy, and such a joy to the touch.

In fact, I have not coloured my hair in 4 months and some close friends actually noticed the lack of grey hair, smoother locks and shiny healthy hair. I am not very sure of how true it is that coconut oil prevents hair from greying, but I have noticed that I hardly gasp at the mirror upon seeing one or two strands of hair that stand out from the rest due to its noticeably fairer colour :)

I've even noticed that my hair feels thicker and if I tied my hair into a ponytail, the hair would go back into its straight shape and not crooked from the signs of hair being tied up. I especially love it when I bun my hair up with just a chopstick and the hair all comes down soft and bouncy when I remove the stick, just like how it looks like in one of those shampoo ads I've seen before.

It takes a little bit of work but I'm liking this regime so much... I have no time to visit the hair salon and by doing this, it just takes awhile for me to massage the oil in and I can then continue doing my chores at home rather than sit on a chair, waiting for hours. It also feels extremely liberating that I'm eliminating build-up of silicone-based products on my hair which in turn clog my skin along the jawline and areas where it is usually in contact with the hair.

I find that it is so much more cost efficient too as I no longer depend on expensive finishing oils to ensure a less oily scalp and to maintain healthy shiny locks.

The virgin coconut oil was purchased at Caring Pharmacy for about less than RM50. It also comes in a larger bottle but since I was just trying it out, I thought the 500ml bottle should last me long enough.

What do you think? Would you like to try this conservative way of maintaining your beauty?

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