Virgin Coconut Oil Protects Hair Better Than Other Oils
A study done in India shows that virgin coconut oil is a more effective hair treatment compared to other oils. The study compared the effects of mineral oil, sunflower oil and coconut oil, three most commonly used oils for hair treatment in India . The Taguchi Design of Experimentation was used.
Among the three oils, coconut oil was the only oil found to reduce protein loss in damaged and undamaged hair when used as a pre-wash and post-wash for hair. The sunflower and mineral oils did not reduce protein loss at all.
Researchers believe that the difference in composition of each of the oils accounts for the test results. Coconut oil, being a triglyceride of lauric acid (principal fatty acid), has a high affinity for hair proteins, and because of its low molecular weight, and straight linear chain, is able to penetrate inside the hair shaft. Mineral oil, being a hydrocarbon, has no affinity for proteins, and therefore is not able to penetrate and yield better results. In the case of sunflower oil, although it is a triglyceride of linoleic acid, because of its bulky structure due to the presence of double bonds, it does not penetrate the fiber, consequently resulting in no favorable impact on protein loss.