Coconut is used for food purposes, religious ceremonies and even beauty treatments. Every part of the fruit is beneficial — the water, the kernel, the oil and the milk. Coconuts are rich in vitamins and minerals and highly nutritious. For beauty treatments too, they are beneficial for both skin and hair.
Coconut oil is one of the most popular oils for the hair. Another advantage is that unlike other oils, coconut oil does not become rancid. As far as the skin is concerned, it has several benefits. In fact, it is especially beneficial during the winter months when the weather is cold and dry. Oil, by itself, does not moisturise the skin but helps the skin to hold moisture better. Therefore, oils help people with dry, dehydrated skin by softening it and preventing loss of moisture. The skin feels and looks soft and smooth after application of oil. In fact, it has been used to help skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis, softening and soothing the skin.
Pure coconut oil is commonly used in India. It is extremely nourishing for the hair and actually helps to improve hair texture and also promote growth. It is said to strengthen the hair and make it thick and shiny. The application of oil with a light massage helps to stimulate blood circulation to the follicles and also softens hair texture. The hair should not be rubbed vigorously. Massage the scalp gently, using only the finger tips. Move the scalp in small circular movements. This helps to stimulate blood circulation to the follicles. Keep the oil on overnight and wash the hair the next day, using a mild herbal shampoo.
Hot oil therapy
Twice a week heat pure coconut oil and apply on the hair. Then dip a towel in hot water, squeeze out the water and wrap the hot towel around the head, like a turban. Keep it on for five minutes. Repeat the hot towel wrap three-four times. This helps the hair and scalp absorb the oil better.
Make your own hair oil
Take 10-15 g dry amla and one teaspoon methi seeds. Grind both amla and methi seeds coarsely. Add them to 100 ml pure coconut oil or til oil. Put all the ingredients in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. Keep it in the sun daily for 15 days, shaking it each day in order to stir the ingredients. After 15 days, strain the oil through a clean muslin cloth and keep the oil in a glass jar. This oil may be used to apply on the hair. It will benefit all hair types and also help dandruff conditions.
For the lips
There is no doubt that coconut oil has a great skin softening ability too and helps to make the skin soft and smooth. It may be applied on the lips and is also said to protect the skin from the damage caused by exposure to ultraviolet rays of the sun. It also helps to heal cracks on the lips. In fact, it can be used to remove make-up from the face, including the lips. Coconut oil may be applied on the lips and left on overnight. Or, it can be left on for 15 minutes and wiped off with moist cotton wool. The advantage is that unlike other preparations that may contain synthetic ingredients, coconut oil can be safely applied on the lips.
Fragrant body massage oil
Add five drops of rose essential oil or sandalwood essential oil to 50 ml pure coconut oil. This makes a fragrant massage oil for the body. Sandalwood protects the skin from rashes and rose helps to improve blood circulation and tone the skin.