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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 and shine without feeling greasy. Coconut oil is one of our favorite beard grooming products because it not only softens your beard, but its antibacterial properties help reduce the likelihood of breakouts on your face.
Coconut oil is a great product in any bearded man’s grooming arsenal – from styling to conditioning to adding some much-needed sheen! It’s also super moisturizing, promotes facial hair growth, and smells like vacation.
Keeping your beard in good condition is important not only for your appearance but also for your comfort. Coconut oil will help keep your beard healthy with just a few drops per day. Keep reading because in this blog post, we will tell you everything you need to know about coconut oil for your beard!
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 many processed foods. It has several industrial applications, ranging from biodegradable plastics to cosmetics and, of course, as a beard oil ingredient.
It has a really high percentage of saturated fats which means that it gets 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 our bodies absorb it quickly and utilize it to produce energy.
Coconut oil is also antibacterial due to its lauric acid, making 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 helps with vitamin absorption.
It helps with beard growth
Coconut oil helps stimulate hair growth, especially on the cheeks, which tend to be pretty patchy.
Studies have shown it promotes hair growth, but only when eaten and NOT when applied topically.
The two main hormones that trigger hair growth are testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and coconut oil consumption can increase testosterone levels. Testosterone is converted into 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 beard growth because lauric acid (coconut oil fatty acid) slows down DHT production by reducing the 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, because of the higher testosterone levels, you will get more DHT, thus better beard growth
The reason 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 causes 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 to treating beard dandruff at its root (which means treating Malassezia yeast infection of the facial hair) is to use antifungal components like lauric acid (coconut oil or tea tree oil).
Coconut oil combined with other antifungal agents like tea tree oil is a very good treatment for beard dandruff. Combining these two antifungal agents will help to keep your beard itch-free and dandruff-free.
Antibacterial and Antimicrobial benefits
Coconut oil does not only fight 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. These acids have antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties and, at the same time, help your body absorb vitamins faster.
It also contains capric acid, caprylic acid, and myristic acid, all of the same family of fatty acids with similar properties to lauric acid.
To summarize the above, coconut oil has powerful anti-fungal, antibacterial, and antifungal properties, making it an ideal ingredient in any man’s beard care routine.
Protects beard from damage
But coconut oil doesn’t just provide nourishment; it also protects the beard from damage and environmental factors like dry air.
Our facial hair tends to get damaged easily because of dehydration. This is especially true when you have a really long beard because the sebum oil your body produces is not enough. 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.
And 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 will prevent your beard hair from breaking and promote faster beard growth.
It helps with beard itch
Another benefit of using coconut oil is that it eases the itching and irritation that comes with beard growth.
Beard itch is caused by dry skin, ingrown hairs, and bacteria trapped underneath the skin, just to name a few.
Coconut oil is effective in fighting beard itch because it can be used as a preventative moisturizer and an emergency treatment if the itching has already started.
When applied to affected areas, coconut oil creates a protective layer that helps your skin retain more moisture, thus preventing uncomfortable dry skin and beard itch.
You get an all-natural, chemical-free product when you buy virgin coconut oil.
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, meaning it’s vegan and much more natural than other beard oils on the market.
Coconut oil also provides sun protection for your face and beard.
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 protects your skin from UV rays.
It also contains antioxidants that fight free radicals and repair your skin, so it’s a two-in-one product that prevents sun damage and fights against aging.
Finally, one of the best things about using coconut oil on your beard is that it smells nice.
You should not use fragrance beard oils because they can irritate your skin. You’ll get all the benefits with coconut oil, plus a 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?
Coconut oil has different qualities, 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
Only solvents are used to extract the oil from the dried coconut meat during the dry fit extraction process.
The finished product (dry fit coconut oil) is low quality and is not meant 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 oil’s melting point and shelf life because saturated fats are not likely to become rancid.
However, this process destroys the oil’s antioxidant properties and significantly lowers its quality.
The RBD stands for refined, bleached, and deodorized.
While RDB sounds very similar to the other processes, it is not. They use high temperatures and enzymes to extract the oil instead of chemical solvents during this process.
This process is better than dry extraction but still significantly lowers the oil’s quality because high heat also destroys monounsaturated fats.
During this process, coconut oil is separated into different fractions, each with 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, making wet-produced virgin coconut oil the best quality.
How to apply coconut oil to your beard
Like with every other carrier oil like jojoba oil, there are two ways to apply it to your beard:
You can either apply it directly to your beard or make your own DIY beard oil.
If you apply it directly to your beard, do it just like you would with another beard oil. Apply it right after showering when your pores are open, and the beard is clean.
Rub it into both hands and then apply it to the areas that need hydration.
Finally, 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 the 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 the steam distillation process that separates it into fractions.
This usually happens because different fractions have different uses; 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 the 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 has an antibacterial effect which means it fights against beard dandruff and the bacteria that cause itchiness and beardruff.
It also has antioxidant properties, protecting against free radicals and preventing premature aging.
You can use coconut oil on your beard in many different ways: 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 and let us know if you have any questions; we’d love to answer them as soon as possible!
Russell is the founder of themensattitude.com. He is a barber a beard enthusiast and he is obsessed with trying men’s lifestyle products and blog about them. If you have any questions you can hit him up via the contact page.