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The beard trend has been going strong for a few years now and it doesn’t look like it’s going to end anytime soon. One of the most important things about having a beard is taking care of it. That means using beard oil, beard balm, and other products that add moisture or shine without feeling greasy. Coconut oil is one of our favorite beard grooming ingredients because not only it makes your beard soft and shiny, but its antibacterial properties help reduce the likelihood of breakouts on your face.
Coconut oil is a great ingredient in any bearded man’s grooming arsenal – from styling to conditioning to adding some much-needed sheen!
It’s super moisturizing, it can promote facial hair growth, and it smells like vacation. Keeping your beard in good condition is one thing that separates you from the rest of the population with beards – especially if you’re trying to grow one out. Coconut oil will help keep your beard healthy and shiny with just a few drops per day. This blog post will tell you everything you need to know about coconut oil for your beard, so keep reading!
What is coconut oil?
Coconut oil is an oil (just like olive oil) that gets extracted from the white part of coconuts. It is used in cooking, as a frying oil, or as an ingredient in other foodstuffs. Coconut oil has several industrial applications, ranging from biodegradable plastics to cosmetics and of course as a beard oil.
It has a really high percentage of saturated fats which means that it is solid at room temperature and has a high melting point.
It contains a lot of fatty acids like lauric acid, caprylic acid, oleic acid, and myristic acid. It also contains a huge amount of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) which help the body absorb it quickly and utilize it to produce energy.
Coconut oil is also antibacterial due to the lauric acid in it which makes it a great ingredient in beauty products for men.
Last but not least it has a nice scent that’s not too overpowering.
Benefits of Coconut oil
Good moisturizer and beard softener
One of the best things about coconut oil is that it can be used on both your skin and your beard. It’s a great way to add moisture to dry facial hair so you won’t have to worry about split ends or a dry, brittle feeling.
It is often called “beard hydrating oil” because it nourishes the roots of the beard and allows for better absorption of vitamins. Because of the deep moisturizing properties, it can soften even the roughest beard hair.
Having a soft healthy beard is good for many reasons, one being that your facial hair will be more manageable and healthy.
Helps with beard growth
Coconut oil helps stimulate hair growth, especially on the cheeks and chin which have a tendency to be pretty patchy. Studies have shown that it promotes hair growth when eaten and not when applied to the skin.
The two main hormones that trigger hair growth are testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and coconut oil consumption can increase testosterone levels.
Testosterone is converted in DHT by the enzyme 5-alpha reductase. It’s a pretty complicated process but in simple terms – higher levels of testosterone mean more beard growth and lower levels of DHT mean less beard growth.
One common misconception is that coconut oil slows down beard growth because lauric acid (coconut oil fatty acid) slows down DHT production by reducing the enzyme 5-alpha reductase.
While this is true it does not slow down beard growth. Coconut oil consumption increases testosterone levels meaning that even with a slightly reduced DHT level production you get more DHT thus better beard growth because of the higher testosterone levels.
The reason that coconut oil increases testosterone levels is that it provides a lot of easily absorbed nourishment that is turned into testosterone.
At the same time, because it’s so good at moisturizing facial hair follicles, coconut oil can help those with patchy beards from any irregularities in the skin underneath your beard because it forms an occlusive barrier to keep moisture locked in.
Helps to Fight Beard dandruff (Seborrheic dermatitis )
Beard dandruff is another common problem and coconut oil can help with that too.
Beard dandruff is caused by Malassezia yeast that lives on everyone’s skin but can cause problems in those who are susceptible to it.
The most common symptom of Malasezzia yeast infection of facial hair is itching which can be very annoying and, if left untreated, can lead to major skin problems.
The trick is to treat the beard dandruff at its root which means treating Malassezia yeast infection of the facial hair by using antifungal components like lauric acid (coconut oil) and tea tree oil.
Coconut oil combined with another antifungal agent like tea tree oil is a very good treatment for beard dandruff and the combination of these two in a beard oil means that it becomes stronger than just using one or another alone.
Caprylic acid, capric acid, and myristic acid in coconut oil are also antifungal and that’s why coconut oil is such a good treatment for beard dandruff.
Antibacterial and Antimicrobial benefits
Coconut oil is not only fighting Malassezia yeast but is also an agent against bacteria and microbes on the skin.
Lauric acid is a member of a family of fatty acids called monoglycerides and these acids have properties that make them antibacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-fungal while at the same time helping your body absorb important vitamins faster.
Besides lauric acid also capric acid, caprylic acid, myristic acid are all members of that same family of fatty acids with similar properties to lauric acid.
To summarize the above, coconut oil has powerful anti-fungal, antibacterial, antifungal benefits that are very good for your facial hair.
Protects beard from damage
One thing to remember is that coconut oil doesn’t just provide nourishment, but also protects the beard from damage and environmental factors like dry air.
Our facial hair tends to get damaged easily because of how long it is and the fact that water evaporates quickly on such a large surface area. The best way to protect your facial hair from damage is to prevent protein loss which coconut oil does by acting as a preventative moisturizer.
Once again lauric acid comes to the rescue by penetrating deep into the hair follicles to create a seal so your beard stays hydrated and does not lose its protein.
A 2003 study tested 3 oils and their ability to prevent hair damage. The three oils tested were coconut oil, mineral oil (baby oil), and sunflower oil.
The only oil that successfully prevented protein loss was coconut oil thanks to lauric acid. Preventing protein loss won’t only prevent your beard hair from breaking but will also promote faster beard growth.
Helps with beard itch
Another benefit of using coconut oil is that it eases the itching and irritation that can come with new beard growth.
Beard itch is caused by dry skin, ingrown hairs, and bacteria trapped underneath the skin, just to name a few causes.
Coconut oil is so effective in fighting beard itch because it can be used as both a preventative moisturizer and an emergency treatment if the itching has already started.
By applying coconut oil to affected areas you can create a protective layer that makes your skin retain more moisture thus preventing uncomfortable dry skin and beard itch.
When you buy virgin coconut oil, you are getting an all-natural product that is chemical-free.
A lot of pre-made beard oils and products contain harsh chemicals and additives to make them last longer.
Coconut oil is not only chemical-free but also comes from a plant which means it’s vegan friendly and you can use it on sensitive skin without worrying about reactions.
Coconut oil also provides sun protection which is a very important factor to keep in mind when you’re applying it during the summer months.
When you’re out and about your beard is exposed to harmful UV rays just like the rest of your skin.
Coconut oil has SPF 5 which is enough to protect your skin from most UV rays.
It also contains antioxidants that help you fight free radicals and repair your skin, so it’s a two-in-one product that prevents sun damage and fights against the aging process.
Finally, one of the best things about using coconut oil on your beard is that it smells nice.
You should not use beard oils that contain fragrances because they can irritate your skin but with coconut oil, you’ll be getting all the benefits plus a very pleasant smell that’s not too overpowering or lingers for hours.
It has a mild sweet coconutty smell that will win you a lot of compliments.
How to choose your coconut oil?
There are different qualities of coconut oil and the quality level depends on the extraction process.
There are 4 different extraction processes we are going to analyze:
- Dry fit extraction
- Wet produced
Dry fit extraction
During the dry fit extraction process, they use solvents to extract the oil from the dried coconut meat.
The finished product (dry fit coconut oil) is low quality and is not made for human consumption so you should avoid putting it on your beard too.
In the hydro generation extraction process, high pressure is used to extract the oil from dried coconut meat.
During this process, all the unsaturated fats and monosaturated fats of the oil are converted into saturated fats.
This is happening to increase the melting point and shelf life of the oil because saturated fats are not likely to become rancid.
However, this process is destroying the antioxidant properties in the oil and lower its quality significantly.
The RBD stands for refined, bleached, and deodorized.
RDB sounds very similar to the other processes but here they use high temperatures and enzymes to extract the oil instead of chemical solvents.
This process is better than dry extraction but it still lowers the quality of the oil significantly because high heat also destroys monounsaturated fats.
During this process, coconut oil is separated into different fractions which each have a specific function.
The best quality fractionation process will separate the oil into the different fatty acids oil, lauric acid, capric acid, caprylic acid, oleic acid, etc. and each fraction will have a different percentage of each fatty acid.
Because this process is usually more complicated it has a higher cost attached to it.
The best coconut oil extraction method is the wet process. During this method, the oil is extracted from the coconut meat, filtered, and purified over boiling water.
Since it uses steam distillation, there’s no high temperature applied to the oil so it keeps all its properties intact which makes wet-produced virgin coconut oil the best quality of them all.
How to apply coconut oil to your beard
Apply it directly to your beard or make your own DIY beard oil.
If you choose to apply it directly to your beard, make sure to apply it just like you would with another beard oil. Apply it right after showering when your pores are open and the beard is clean.
Make sure that you rub it into both hands so that they are equally warm and then rub them into the areas that need hydration.
Then you can use a beard comb to evenly spread it throughout the beard.
If you choose to make DIY beard oil, here’s a basic formula:
-3 parts of coconut oil
-1 part of essential oils
-a few drops of vitamin E
All you have to do is put coconut oil and the rest of the ingredients in a dark-colored glass bottle and shake it up.
The carrier oils, essential oils, and vitamin E will form a homogenous mixture that you can then apply to your beard.
What is refined coconut oil?
Refined coconut oil is a type of coconut oil that is produced by heating the coconut oil and then applying a steam distillation process that will separate it into fractions.
This usually happens because different fractions have different uses and by separating them, a company can create a specific product for a specific purpose.
Refined coconut oils are used in cooking because they can withstand higher temperatures than virgin coconut oil.
When it comes to beard oils you should not use refined coconut oil because it does not have any of the beneficial properties that virgin coconut oil has like antioxidants and lauric acid.
To sum everything up, using pure coconut oil for beard is one of the best things you can do. It prevents protein loss, dandruff, itchiness, and dry skin and beard while protecting against sun damage and stimulating beard growth.
It’s has an antibacterial effect which means it fights against beard dandruff and the bacteria that cause itchiness and beardruff.
It also has antioxidant properties which means it protects against free radicals and prevents premature aging.
There are many different ways you can use coconut oil on your beard: you can apply virgin coconut oil directly to your beard or make your own DIY beard oil.
Make sure that if you decide to do either of those two things, choose a cold-pressed, unrefined, virgin coconut oil that is organic and extra-virgin.
If you still haven’t made up your mind hit us in the comment section, let us know if you have any questions, we’d love to answer them as soon as possible!