This is following up from my earlier post about virgin olive oil vs extra virgin olive oil. Virgin and extra virgin coconut oil are also marketed as separate grades of oils implying extra virgin is a higher quality and costing more than the virgin variety. There is also the organic coconut oil variety, which cost more than the virgin and extra virgin. Let’s look at the process involved in producing the oil: –
How is Coconut Oil Made?
Ordinary/basic/refined coconut oil comes from coconut meat aka as copra dried out on a rack. The dried meat is then pressed, bleached and filtered to sanitize the oils. Some brands even partially hydrogenate the oils which adds trans-fats into the mix. This type of coconut oil usually doesn’t have much taste or odour.
Virgin/unrefined coconut oil is pressed from soft immature coconut meat without the use of any chemicals. The flesh is cut into pieces and then ground into a paste. The oil is then mechanically expressed from the paste.
Another process used to express the oil is wet milling. The meat is boiled, fermented or separated from the milk through centrifugation. As this is done quickly, bleaching or filtration isn’t required. Full flavor and taste is retained during both methods.
Personally, I use the 100% pure coconut oil for cooking from the foods section of the supermarket or Nutiva organic coconut oil, both pictured above. Both have done wonders for my hair.
Overall, unrefined coconut oil is best for hair and can usually be identified by checking the labelling on products and doing some research before purchasing. Unrefined coconut oil is also usually snow white in colour.
The next article will address a recent claim that coconut oil is dangerous.
If you would like to know more about how to use natural oils for specific purposes to get more effective use out of them, you may want to check out How to Grow Hair Healthy & Long with Natural Oils, a guide which goes in-depth into which specific oil (s) works for each hair issues for optimal length and health.