When choosing a coconut oil to use on your skin and hair you should look for organic, extra-virgin coconut oil. Buying organic edible products has been a growing trend for years but there is also value in using organic bath and body products as well. When it comes to coconut oil, organic means that the coconut has been grown and processed without the use of synthetic solvents, pesticides or fertilizers. Even if you are not ingesting coconut oil there are still unknown health risks to bringing non-organic coconut oil in contact with you skin and hair. The safest bet is to choose any one of the many organic brands and products on the market and use them exclusively for all purposes, including coconut oil hair treatments.
There is no single U.S. definition or designation for organic beauty products. But one good marker to look for on product packaging is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's USDA Organic certification badge. USDA’s National Organic Program certifies products are grown and processed without the use of synthetic fertilizers, certain pesticides, sewage sludge, irradiation or genetic engineering. Only body products that are at least 95 percent organic excluding water can claim the USDA Organic mantle and display the logo on their packaging.
In addition to buying organic, it also important to pay attention to the manner in which the oil was extracted from the coconut. There is a range of terminology that may be used on packaging to explain the extraction process. Terms you may find on packaging include virgin (a.k.a. extra-virgin), unrefined and cold-pressed. Cold-pressed is a specific term describing the method of oil extraction that, when used, will ensure that the final product falls within the broader definitions of terms like virgin and unrefined. Cold-pressing is a mechanical method of extraction that refrains from using any outside heat source. In the case of coconut oil, the raw coconut or copra is ground into a paste and the oil is separated out by grinding or pressing the paste with a stone or other tool. The high pressure needed to press out the oil generates some heat naturally, but it cannot exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit to be considered cold-pressed.
Buying organic, extra-virgin, cold-pressed coconut oil from a reputable manufacturer is the most reliable way to ensure that you are buying coconut oil that will give your hair the maximum benefit. The lauric acid and other saturated fats found naturally in coconut oil are what give it such moisturizing power. Any introduction of synthetic chemicals or excessive heat into the process of extraction and packaging will degrade the purity and effectiveness of the coconut oil. And the good news is that you can find this sort of high-quality, organic coconut oil for sale online at very affordable prices. So there’s no reason to compromise. When using coconut oil for hair, be sure to buy organic.