Every few years a common item or ingredient is touted as the “new miracle ingredient for XYZ!”
So, hearing the benefits of coconut oil for beards, I needed to take a closer look to see if the hype lived up to the reality.
Is coconut oil good for beards like the experts claim?
In this article I hope to answer that question and more. If you’re as sceptical as I was, then you may find yourself surprised with a lot of the facts about coconut oil vs other beard oils.
To get these answers, let’s explore what coconut oil is and what it can do.
Types of Coconut Oil
For the sake of simplicity, we’ll just go through the two main types you’re likely to encounter on an ingredient list on a beard grooming product.
Refined and Virgin.
Refined Coconut Oil
This is a chemical process to extract the oil from the coconut. First the coconut is baked to kill any mites and insects in the fruit.
The oil extracted is filtered and refined to make a more consistent and odor free product.
Most people looking to cook with coconut oil or eat it will reject this kind in favor of unrefined.
Since you’re not eating it with regards to grooming products, it is perfectly acceptable to use a refined coconut oil.
In fact, the refined coconut oil has larger amounts of lauric acid than the unrefined.
Many of the benefits on your skin and hair from coconut oil come from the presence of this lauric acid.
Lauric acid can help prevent the bacteria that causes acne, it hydrates skin and hair and can also lead to thicker and fuller hair follicles.
Some even claim that it can help regrow hair, but scientists are not in agreement with that point yet.
Virgin Coconut Oil
You may see some beard grooming products using virgin coconut oil since it is the pure form. It is made using a process similar to crushing and pressing olive oil so the result is a chemical free process.
This is good news if you plan to cook with it or eat it, but it doesn’t end up with as much lauric acid as the refined version.
Do the benefits of lauric acid diminish in virgin coconut oil, then?
The jury is still out on that one, but there are studies being done to find out just what compounds in coconut oil are responsible for the benefits to skin and hair we are seeing.
If you plan to eat the coconut oil then you should probably get this for cooking or eating straight, and for your grooming go with the refined version.
Benefits of Lauric Acid
Lauric acid is finding its way into many soaps and cosmetics due to its properties that help heal the skin and hair.
It has been used in products to treat psoriasis, acne and eczema.
One of the primary benefits of coconut oil since it has lauric acid is its antimicrobial properties on skin and hair. It can help fight off bacteria and fungus and is now being touted as a great way to prevent MRSA.
It can even calm skin irritation and inflammation. This makes it an ideal component in beard oils since they can end up feeling so itchy during the growing phase.
Benefits of Coconut Oil for the Beard
The benefits of coconut oil on the skin and hair are pretty hard to ignore. It seems like the hype really is accurate when it comes to a lot of the properties it has that help your hair and skin.
Beard hair is notoriously thick, wiry and dense. It can be hard for a lot of oils to penetrate into the shaft to give the hair its benefits.
Coconut oil is very light, molecularly speaking, and can quickly absorb into the hair.
Because of that, it is able to quickly add protein back into the hair and keep it strong.
Controls Beard Dandruff
Dandruff is bad enough but bearduff is even worse.
Since the lauric acid in coconut oil is an antifungal and antimicrobial it can keep the fungus and bacteria that can cause dandruff at bay.
It can kill the fungus to eliminate the dandruff that you already have and then the antiseptic properties can keep it from returning.
If your bearduff is caused by dry skin under your beard, the coconut oil is great at hydrating the skin and preventing the dry flakes that can cause embarrassment.
Prevents Hair Loss
Going back to the point about repairing damaged hair, if you find yourself with a patchy beard and lots of hair falling out, then coconut oil for beards might be the way. Its ability to keep your hair healthy and strong will prevent the hair from falling out in the future.
Softens the Beard
Lightweight and non greasy, coconut oil for beards will penetrate into the hair and replenish the lost moisture leaving it feeling soft.
If your beard is feeling stiff and bristly, then getting it softer with coconut oil is the way to go.
Many other oils for beards will do the same thing, but generally they will take longer to get the beard soft. And many don’t get it quite as soft as when you use coconut oil.
When you want your beard to not look dull and unhealthy, then using coconut oil for beards will give it some shine and vibrance.
Once again, the fact that coconut oil for beards can penetrate into the shaft of the hair much better than other oils is the key in a healthy shine for your facial hair.
It is very rich in vitamins that will nourish the hair and make it look much healthier than before.
Coconut Oil for Beard Growth?
The jury is definitely still out on coconut oil for beard growth being as effective as it has been advertised.
There seems to be something to the hype, but not enough studies have been done to determine if it is really something that can happen.
In theory, coconut oil for beard growth could help by doing all the things that I just outlined as far as benefits.
If your beard is healthier, better hydrated, the shaft stronger, then it could happen that your beard will grow faster.
If your beard is patchy, then the healing benefits of the coconut oil getting deep into your skin may activate the growth of new hair and fill in the patches.
Again, I hesitate to say this as fact.
What I can say, is it is worth a try if your beard grows slowly or grows in patchy.
Since you will be getting other benefits from using the coconut oil for bears, then there is no downside if it doesn’t actually help grow your beard.
Will coconut oil regrow your hair?
Color me skeptical, but I am keeping an open mind about it.
How to Use Coconut Oil On Beards
While you can use coconut oil on your beard, I actually recommend using a coconut oil based beard product. There are usually other ingredients in the product that help with other things.
Including scent. Some people like to have a little something to make them smell nice and coconut oil may not be the scent they are going for.
That said, here is how to apply it to get the most benefits out of using just straight up coconut oil in your beard.
For best results, you will want to have either a beard brush or beard comb on hand.
Next, take about a dime size amount of the oil, which will likely be solidified, and work it around in your palms.
You want your body heat to melt it so that it is easy to coat your beard evenly.
Once it is melted rub it through your beard, getting all the way down to the skin. Do this as vigorously or as methodically as you like, as long as you are getting all of the hairs.
Now, make sure you comb or brush out your beard so all the hairs have an even distribution of the oil.
You can do this on a dry beard or if it is still damp out of the shower.
To really maximise the benefits of the coconut oil in your beard, your best bet is to apply it at night and let it do its thing while you sleep.
If you do add it at night, make sure you don’t overdo it so you don’t end up with a greasy pillow. It does go on without getting greasy, but if you use too much then that kind of defeats that.
Too much of a good thing definitely applies to coconut oil.
Research seem to suggest that using just the right amount will see your beard respond in a good way, where using too much may not show the results you were expecting.
What About Eating Coconut Oil for Beard Growth and Health?
You are what you eat so it goes without saying that the health benefits from eating coconut oil will directly affect your skin and hair, too.
One benefit is lauric acid in coconut oil is that it helps regulate hormones.
What do hormones have to do with your beard?
For starters, it can help prevent acne or other skin conditions that happen when your hormones are out of whack. Acne can do a number on your beard. Not only that, but you’re more susceptible to getting acne when you have a beard, so eating coconut oil may help you reduce that risk.
The fats in coconut oil can also help your body absorb vitamins E and A which are essential for hair growth and healthy skin.
Eating 2 tablespoons per day and then using it directly on your beard can give you an added boost to your facial hair and skin health.
How to eat coconut oil?
Your best bet is to scoop it right out of the jar. Especially if it is unrefined or virgin coconut oil.
Two tablespoons per day should do the trick.
Otherwise, you can cook with it, use it as a dressing or bake with it. Whatever way you can get it into your system will work.
Final Thoughts on Coconut Oil Benefits
So, is coconut oil good for the beard? Does it live up to the hype?
I am saying, yes, it does.
There are a number of benefits that definitely come from using coconut oil as a beard conditioner.
Yes, there are a few claims that may be a bit of a stretch, but the results on many of the benefits are clear. So, even if some of the supposed benefits may not be the case, there are enough good reasons to use coconut oil in your beard.
If you don’t want to just use pure coconut oil for whatever reason, at the very least look for beard products that use it as a main ingredient.
These days more and more beard grooming brands are recognizing that beards do much better when coconut oil is part of the product.
An added benefit that I forgot to mention earlier is also that it is a natural product. If you don’t like using too many chemicals in general, then the sustainable and natural aspect of using coconut oil should resonate with you and give you even more motivation to use it on your beard.
Do you use coconut oil for your beard or other grooming needs? Let us know in the comment section below how it is working out for you.
If you have any questions about this guide or feel like I missed something then I would like to hear about that, as well.