The main ingredient of this hair mask (though by no means the only beneficial one) is coconut oil, which contains vitamins and minerals (Vitamins E and K, as well as iron). Coconut oil has been used since ancient times for hair grooming in India and in many other parts of the world throughout the years, predominately in countries such as Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Burma, Malaysia, Philippines and parts of the Caribbean where coconut is more abundant.
This oil has many health benefits for the body, but the focus for now would only be on hair. For example, coconut oil contains lauric acid (a fatty acid which has an affinity for hair proteins and penetrates the hair fibres due to its low molecular weight) which can help reduce protein loss in damaged (as well undamaged) hair. Coconut oil is also great in moisture retention and thus prevention of hair breakage by keeping it moist and soft. Last but not least, by improving the general health of hair through regular application, coconut oil can also strengthen the roots and contribute towards the prevention of hair loss.
The other three ingredients of this nourishing hair mask are lemon juice, honey and olive oil. They are all also well-known for their beneficial effects on hair.
Here are some of the benefits of:
- Lemon Juice – stimulates the scalp and promotes hair growth; helps strengthen the roots; makes your hair shiny. It’s also a natural bleach, so if you are not looking to lighten up your hair colour, be mindful when using (dilute with water), and stay away from direct sunlight for at least an hour or so after the treatment.
- Honey – a humectant, helping to retain moisture and strengthen hair follicles, thus preventing hair loss; a natural softener; improves scalp health and promotes hair growth.
- Olive Oil – similarly to coconut oil, rich in Vitamins E and K and iron; it helps protect the keratin in hair and seal moisture; promotes scalp health; helps to stimulate growth and prevent hair loss; adds softness and shine to your hair.
So here is how to prepare and apply this hair mask:
- 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon of extra virgin or virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of honey (preferably raw and unprocessed)
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
Heat the coconut oil, then add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Make your hair wet to ease the application process. Using a piece of cotton, apply some of the mixture on a fine-tooth comb and brush through from the roots to the tips of the hair. Do this until the whole of the hair has been brushed and covered with the mask. Then gently massage the scalp for about a minute. Put on a warm towel and leave for 30-60 minutes. Then gently wash off the mask with warm (not very hot) water.
Tip: If you have a swimming hat, put this on before the towel to create and preserve heat on your scalp and hair even better. (You can also use a simple plastic bag – not as fancy but it does the job equally well!)
1. J Cosmet Sci. 2003 Mar-Apr;54(2):175-92. Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damage. Rele AS, Mohile RB. Research and Development Department, Nature Care Division, Marico Industries Ltd., Mumbai, India.
2. Lemon Juice in Hair – Learn the Benefits You Can Get -http://www.lemoninfo.net/lemon_juice/lemon_juice_in_hair.php
3. 6 Amazing benefits of Honey For Hair Growth – http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/amazing-benefits-of-honey-for-hair-growth/
4. Olive Oil for Hair : Benefits, Reviews, and Using Guide – http://www.oliveoilforhairhq.com/
5. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Basic Report: 04053, Oil, olive, salad or cooking – http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/636
6. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Basic Report: 04047, Oil, coconut -http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/637
Featured image credits: Dimitri Otis