Natural Hair, Nutrition, and Coconut Oil?

  • Coconut oil

I spent a few years debating if I wanted to allow my hair to go natural or not.  My daughter has always been natural and my mother wore her hair natural for several years. I have always been completely fascinated by those who were brave enough to take that leap. Just recently, I decided to give it a try. After a year of not chemically processing my hair, it has turned out beautiful. There are a few reasons I decided to embrace my natural look:

1. It is easier to maintain: I do not spend hours blow-drying, curling, and setting my hair in the morning. I shampoo and condition my hair (not every day) and let nature do the rest.

2. I save lots of MONEY: There is one thing I have learned from the Community and Economic Development department of Prairie View A&M University’s Cooperative Extension Program is, “save” your money and invest wisely. No more costly salon visits. Instead, my natural hair practices has saved me an additional $200 a month.

3. Natural hair is healthier: Chemicals from relaxers and alcohol based products strips the hair of its natural oil causing, resulting in brittleness and breakage; especially around the hairline.

4. I sing in the rain: I can take on any thunderstorm without running for cover. In fact, my hair loves the Texas rain and humidity.

5. Natural hair is beautiful: I use to get lots of compliments about my hair when it was chemically treated and I get even more compliments now. My natural hair is beautiful and unique. My curls and texture are different and have been conversation starters. The Family and Consumer Science Extension Agents teach families about living healthier lives and they empower families to love themselves by taking charge of their health. Wearing the hair I was born with is not only empowering… it’s freeing. However, finding the best products for your my unique natural coif can be challenging….

I’ve had been on the Internet for weeks researching trying to find the best product for my “new” natural hair.  However, it took the ingenuity of my daughter, who was researching how to make homemade lipstick, that we stumbled across the same product that works for both (hair and lipstick); coconut oil. To my surprise, this ingredient is located in the food section of Wal-Mart. Really?

Of course my curiosity has been peaked and I wanted to find out if there were any significant health benefits of coconut oil. This is what I have discovered.

According to some websites including ‘Organic Facts’, there are several health benefits of organic coconut oil and those benefits include “hair care, skin care, stress relief (now that is interesting), cholesterol level maintenance, weight loss, boosted immune system, proper digestion and regulated metabolism”. What’s really interesting is that in the 70’s coconut oil was considered pretty harmful for the human body due to its high saturated fat content until about ten years ago when those claims were questioned.

According to research conducted by Dr. Lita Lee, coconut oil was used as cooking oil for thousands of years until the anti-saturated fat campaign. The Wall Street Journal published an article that quoted Dr. Glen D. Lawrence, chemistry and biochemistry professor, stating that coconut oils appeal to consumers because it has “medium chain fatty acids,” which is a designation that relates to the number of carbon atoms in the fat. According to Dr. Lawrence most of the foods Americans consume have long-chain fatty acids.

The USDA has indicated that for nutritional purposes coconut oil should be considered a solid fat since it contains a high saturated or trans fatty acids content. Although there are opposing views regarding the nutritional health benefits of coconut oil, many sites have supported that coconut oil (filled with antioxidant benefits and vitamin E) is GREAT for the hair, nourishment, shine, and overall health. Check out the sites below and let me know your thoughts about coconut oil and its nutritional value.

  • Coconut Oil Contains a Unique Combination of Fatty Acids With Powerful Medicinal Properties
  • Populations That Eat a LOT of Coconut Are Among The Healthiest People on The Planet
  • Coconut Oil Can Increase Your Energy Expenditure, Helping You Burn More Fat
  • The Lauric Acid in Coconut Oil Can Kill Bacteria, Viruses and Fungi, Helping to Stave Off Infections
  • Coconut Oil Can Kill Your Hunger, Making You Eat Less Without Even Trying
  • The Fatty Acids in Coconut Oil Are Turned into Ketones, Which Can Reduce Seizures
  • Coconut Oil Can Improve Blood Cholesterol Levels and May Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease
  • Coconut Oil Can Protect Hair Against Damage, Moisturize Skin and Function as Sunscreen
  • The Fatty Acids in Coconut Oil Can Boost Brain Function in Alzheimer’s Patients
  • Coconut Oil Can Help You Lose Fat, Especially The Dangerous Fat in Your Abdominal Cavity