Coconut Oil - Best for African American Hair and Skin

coconut oil

Photo courtesy of Phú Thinh Co

Coconut oil is the best defense of African-American women against hair damage. If you’ve had a chance to travel to Asia, you’ll see women young and old with jet black, silky hair and young-looking skin. This natural moisturizer that the West so far hasn’t mainstreamed yet is the secret.

There are many reasons why Asians favor this "magical" oil over more expensive hair and skin treatments.  And that’s why African-American women should sit up and take notice.

It rejuvenates damaged African-American hair

curly hair

African-American women subject their hair to plenty of hairstyling like coloring, extensions, and weaves so that hair cuticles are extremely prone to breakage. When damaged black hair is washed, hair proteins bind with water, making the hair swell. Once hair dries the swelled cuticle shrinks but in the process becomes vulnerable to splitting, breakage or fraying. 

Applying this oil while the hair is still moist (not dripping wet) reduces the hair’s ability to bond with water since the hair’s proteins bond with coconut oil first. This action squeezes out excess moisture, preventing further distress to the hair.

Please note that this oil is most effective on hair when it’s barely moist. Use about half a teaspoon for shorter hair (more for longer hair) applying a generous amount on the ends and less, if any, down at the roots.

An added bonus: it is a natural antifungal. African-American women suffer dandruff at a higher rate than other ethnicities so this oil applied to the scalp and left overnight helps address this problem. Plus, thanks to the natural Vitamin E content, its superior hair conditioning properties guarantee a softer, silkier hair come morning!

A natural skin moisturizer

It is composed of medium-chain triglycerides and has three fatty acids—lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid—that are extremely effective against microbial, fungal and oxidizing action on the skin.

One problem with skin dryness on African-American women is that it causes a grayish, ashen appearance. Frequent moisturizing is the only solution but an application of this particular oil while the skin is barely damp will help seal in moisture. The small structure of the triglycerides means that it is easily absorbed, yielding skin that’s suppler, silkier and smoother.

It also has anti-aging properties, helping reinforce the connective tissues beneath the skin responsible for smoother complexions—wrinkles and age lines are healed and repaired naturally. Its anti-oxidizing qualities also revitalize skin, exfoliating dead skin cells and limiting damage from too much sun. The result: younger-looking skin.

coconut oil/coconut

Photo courtesy of Phú Thinh Co

It's restorative action on skin isn’t limited to keeping it young looking, though. It also helps in the repair of damaged tissues. The lauric acid in coconut oil has microbial properties—when applied on cuts and scrapes, the thin coating of coconut oil on the skin surface protects it from bacteria, viruses and dirt, preventing further infections. It’s also effective at speeding up the healing process, preventing skin darkening after injury—something that African-American skin are prone to.


Not any oil will do though. When buying this oil for your skin or hair, look for the words “virgin” and “extra virgin” on the labels. That means it’s free from too much processing like bleaching, hydrogenating, deodorizing and other refinements.

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