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bodycare haircare science

Lovely, Lovely Coconuts!

 Coconut oil is a head-to-toe ingredient that needs a round of applause! More and more people are experiencing the benefits of coconut oil on hair and skin and Noughty is all about this ingredient hype.

As one of our favourite plant oils, you’ll find coconut oil in several of Noughty’s Plant oil blends that are carefully curated to deliver results for the hair and skin. As with any ingredient, it’s all about using the right amount in the right way to achieve the best result. So here at Noughty HQ, we thought we’d take on a few of the myths and challenges around coconut to help you understand why we think it’s a great ingredient and how to best to benefit from it.

 

Coconut Oil + Frizz

Social media and blogs are packed with people using copious amounts of coconut oil on their manes as a DIY hair oil used to tackle frizz. Sounds simple and great, right?

There are, however, a couple of drawbacks. A common mistake is to apply oil before making sure the moisture content of their hair is balanced. This means that instead of sealing moisture in, they are in fact keeping critical hydration out. This can result in hair that feels dry and  frizzy. By their very nature, plant oils are anhydrous – they don’t contain any water and do not hydrate hair... this is why, at Noughty we don’t use any plant oil on hair on its own and instead formulate with coconut oil combined with hydrating ingredients to improve moisture.

So how exactly do we raise that moisture? This is done by taking advantage of the hair’s habit of absorbing things and providing it with Noughty products that blend coconut and other plant oils with humectant ingredients like glycerine and aloe vera. Humectants attract water from the environment, and then hang on to that water. This gives plant oils the opportunity to trap that moisture in the cortical fibre where it can raise the natural moisture content.

Blended in a balanced formulation, coconut shouldn’t contribute to frizz, but there are things that might. In fact, frizz is one of the symptoms you might experience when hair’s going through the transition to natural haircare. It could also be that your hair needs more moisture to improve its condition. You might try a leave-in conditioner or one of Noughty’s hair masks.

 

Coconut Oil + Hair Growth

Oooh we’d love it if this rumour were true. Unfortunately, there’s no evidence that coconut makes your hair grow longer, thicker, or faster. What it will contribute to hair thickness is stronger strands. This is because plant oils help trap moisture in the hair, improving its condition and hydration levels to leave it more flexible and stronger. Think healthy, happy hair instead!

 

Coconut Oil Is Comedogenic

This is true. The comedogenicity of plant oils (and other ingredients), in other words their propensity for clogging pores, is measured on a scale from 0 to 5. Ingredients that are 2 and below are considered non-comedogenic. Comedogenicity won’t affect your hair but does have an impact on the scalp – it is skin, after all.

Coconut oil scores a 4. However, a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology concluded that just because a product contains ingredients that are comedogenic doesn’t necessarily mean the product is. And skin type matters, too. Oilier skins are more likely to be impacted by comedogenicity, for example.

 

Coconut Sensitivities

Coconut oil, acids and extracts are used widely across a whole range of personal care products, appearing as more than 25 different ingredients in the listings on the back of pack. For the vast majority of us, this is great news. Coconut ingredients are sustainable, renewable, and a great source of active chemistry that delivers tremendous benefits and enables the creation of highly natural, performance products. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR), an impartial scientific body that looks at the safety of ingredients, has safety assessed the whole spectrum of coconut-derived ingredients and found them to be safe.

As with any ingredient, a very small minority of people can have a sensitivity to coconut. These sensitivities tend to be associated with proteins, and therefore are more likely to occur with ingredients based on extracts rather than coconut oil, which doesn’t contain protein.

 

Benefits of Coconut Oil For Hair And Skin

Coconut oil helps to trap moisture in the hair and skin, contributing to a reduction in water loss and improvement in condition and suppleness. Both hair and skin (including the scalp) need moisture for their barriers to function properly. By barrier-enhancing, coconut helps ensure that critical hydration and actives are held on and in the hair and skin where they are needed.  It’s why we’ve reached for this superhero ingredient over and over again.

 

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