The more time you spend outdoors, the more care you should put in preventing sunburns and dried hair. Sun damage can increase breakage and bleach the colour out of your carefully-kept locks – and that’s not the only thing you need to watch out for when it comes to maintaining strong, healthy hair.
“Improper hair care, mechanical abrasion, sun damage and chemical treatment changes the physical and morphological characteristics of hair,” one study states(1). Depending on your hair type, you may find that during the sunny days your hair gets frizzy, or limp, or hard to control. Color-treated hair can get bleached out from swimming pool chlorine, and wind, humidity, and salt water can all have a negative impact on your hair as well.
Fortunately there’s a simple trick to protecting your hair and increasing its strength so that exposure to the elements doesn’t damage it beyond repair.
That trick? Coconut oil. This simple, natural substance can penetrate your hair and improve its texture, especially when used in a conditioner. It can protect from sun damage, chlorine damage, salt water damage and wind damage, making it a great comprehensive hair product.
Here’s two simple recipes, one for coconut oil shampoo and one for coconut oil conditioner:
The Recipe: Coconut Oil Shampoo
- 1 cup liquid castile soap
- 1/3 cup canned coconut milk
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
50-60 drops of essential oil of your choice – lavender, peppermint, rosemary, lemongrass, wild orange, and clary sage are all great essential oils for your hair.
In a saucepan over low heat, melt together the coconut oil and coconut milk. Make sure you melt it slowly – if you burn it it will damage the nutrients. Pour the melted mixture into a bottle and pour the castille soap over it, then cap the bottle and shake vigorously until the soap and coconut mixture are blended. Add the essential oils and then shake it up again.
Use this shampoo the same way you would use any other shampoo – just apply it to your hair while you’re bathing, paying extra attention to your scalp, then rise it out thoroughly.