How Much Coconut Oil Does Hair Absorb?
Here’s more good news for lovers of natural hair care products.
Coconut oil penetrates hair
I'm sure you already know about how coconut oil is one of the few
natural oils that has been proven to penetrate deep inside the hair
where it can strengthen from within. The problem has been there has been
no way to quantify how much oil actually gets inside the hair. A 2012
research paper documents a new method involving radioactively labeled
coconut oil that can now measure how much oil actually gets inside hair.
This new method used a scintillation fluid to
radioactively tag the coconut oil. (BTW, Sarah Bellum thought the phrase
“scintillation fluid” sounded dirty.) The researchers were then able to
track how much of the oil actually penetrated into the hair versus how
much stayed on the surface.
The research (although small-scale and preliminary) shows that hair can
absorb around 15% of its weight in coconut oil in an hour. An overnight
soaking oil (six hours) increases absorption to around 20% or 25%.
With this new method validated, the researchers hope to expand the scope
of their work to include other types of oils. In the meantime you can
take solace in the fact that coconut oil has been once again validated
as an effective natural hair care ingredient.
Reference: Quantitative measurement of the penetration of coconut oil
into human hair using radio-labeled coconut oil. JSCC, 2012, Vol 63.