The market is full of hair oils, but coconut oil is considered the “king.” It has an impeccable reputation because people of various hair types can use it.
And there’s practically nothing that it cannot do – from controlling hair fall to fighting dandruff, inhibiting bacteria, and conditioning the hair. (1)
But today, this article will address your question of when to use coconut oil – in the summer or winter? Scroll down to know the answer.
Coconut Oil for the Summer or Winter?
Oil up before you hit the beach
During the summer months, coconut hair oil is ideal for the hair as it protects the hair from the harmful UV rays and helps prevent hair breakage. (2) So, don’t hit the beach till you oil up!
In comparison to mineral oil, which is found in most hair oils, coconut hair oil penetrates the hair strands better and helps prevent protein loss due to combing and washing the hair. (3)
Another great thing is you can use coconut oil as a pre-wash or a post-wash during the hot summer months; it works both ways.
Ideal for cold winter nights
During winter, applying coconut hair oil to the scalp can reduce dryness and help nourish the hair as it deeply penetrates every hair strand.
Amla hair oil and mineral hair oils have a thin consistency and so are not as hydrating on the scalp during winters as coconut oil.
Coconut oil is a triglyceride of lauric acid with a great affinity for proteins in the hair; coupled with a low molecular weight and a straight linear chain, it can easily penetrate the hair shaft and nourish it from within. (4)
So, depending on your hair condition (whether dry, oily, frizzy, or falling) in the summer or winter, you can decide for yourself if you want to use coconut oil as a pre-wash, post-wash, mask, or serum to get the most out of this magical hair oil.
To know more about the oil benefits of coconut oil when used in the summer or winter, continue reading.
Benefits of Coconut Hair Oil in the Summer
1. Pre-sun care
Escaping to the mountains or hitting the beach for the summer? Apply a few drops of coconut oil to your scalp before you head outdoors in blisteringly hot conditions. This oil has SPF 8 and antioxidant properties, which will protect your hair and scalp from the harmful UV rays. (2)
2. Gets rid of lice
The warm summer months can bring a wave of head louse and nit infestation to your hair.
To get rid of these parasites, rub coconut oil thoroughly on your scalp and hair. Then use an apple cider vinegar rinse to eliminate all the eggs and nits on the hair.
Alternatively, combine a few drops of tea tree oil and coconut oil and apply this mixture to your hair and scalp to completely get rid of stubborn lice. (5)
3. Tames frizzy hair
The hot and humid weather can also affect your hair and scalp and cause frizz and split ends. Oiling your hair with coconut hair oil can help smoothen the cuticles on the split ends and help tame the frizz.
Coconut oil is an excellent hydrator and deeply nourishes the hair compared to other oils such as mineral oil and sunflower oil. (4)
4. Reverses premature graying of hair
Spending long hours in the sun can cause premature hair graying, (6) which can be embarrassing for some people.
Applying coconut oil to the scalp and hair has been shown to improve blood circulation in the scalp, gradually restore the original hair color, and stop premature graying of the hair. (7)
Benefits of Coconut Hair Oil in the Winter
1. Gets rid of pesky dandruff
The scalp can start itching and flaking during the winter months, and existing dandruff can worsen to an entirely new level. Don’t fret because coconut oil can help prevent dandruff flakes from appearing on your scalp due to its antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. (1)
One study found the novel effects of using coconut oil on the scalp of 140 Indian women, out of which 70 had dandruff scalps and 70 had healthy scalps. (1)
Coconut oil application for 15–20 minutes helps in restoring the scalp microbiome. However, if applied for a longer duration, it can increase the colonization of fungus and thereby increase seborrhea.
So, apply a few drops of coconut hair oil to your scalp before washing your hair. Let it sit in your hair for 15–20 minutes only before washing it off thoroughly with shampoo and conditioner. (1)
2. Makes hair shiny
During winter, the production of natural oils and sebum in the scalp is reduced, causing dryness and lack of shine in the hair.
Massage your hair and scalp with coconut oil that is rich in fatty acids such as lauric acid, which deeply penetrates the hair strands, making them well hydrated and shiny. (3)
3. Deeply conditions the hair
The cold winter months can be harsh on your scalp and hair, making them dry and brittle.
To maintain a healthy scalp with luscious locks, you must apply coconut hair oil to your hair and scalp and leave it overnight for best results.
4. Relieves scalp itching
It is common to have scalp dryness during the winter, leading to itching and infection with bacteria and fungus.
Coconut oil is rich in fatty acids; when applied to the skin, it serves as an effective protective barrier against bacterial and fungal activity on the scalp. (1)
Apply a few drops of coconut oil before and after washing your hair to reduce dryness and itchiness.
Coconut oil is the holy grail of hair care products and deserves every bit of attention that it is garnering worldwide. Whether to use it in the summer months or winter months depends on your hair type and your scalp condition.
This versatile hair oil can transform your hair, and when used regularly, it can hydrate your hair and reduce scalp itching and dandruff, among other benefits.
However, make sure to use it judiciously and not overuse it.
- Saxena R, Mittal P, Clavaud C, et al. Longitudinal Study of the scalp microbiome suggests coconut oil to enrich healthy scalp commensals. Scientific reports. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8012655/. Published March 31, 2021.
- Kaur CD, Saraf S. In vitro sun protection factor determination of herbal oils used in cosmetics. Pharmacognosy research. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3140123/. Published January 2010.
- RB; RASM. Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damage. Journal of cosmetic science. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12715094/.
- Gavazzoni Dias MFR. Hair cosmetics: An overview. International journal of trichology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4387693/. Published 2015.
- NA; BIFB. ”anti-lice protector shampoo”: Clinical study shows lack of efficacy of coconut oil derivatives in the elimination of head louse infestation. Turkiye parazitolojii dergisi. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33269562/.
- Kumar AB, Shamim H, Nagaraju U. Premature graying of hair: Review with updates. International journal of trichology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6290285/. Published 2018.
- Mahajan BB, Mahajan R, Nagpal R. Premature greying of hair and role of oiling in Indian perspective. Journal of Clinical & Experimental Dermatology Research. https://www.longdom.org/proceedings/premature-greying-of-hair-and-role-of-oiling-in-indian-perspective-9475.html. Published November 30.