Beards appear to be increasingly commonplace in the UK and have become increasingly popular since 2011. According to YouGov, an estimated 42% of Brits sported some form of facial hair as recently as 2016, with this number has increased from 37% just five years earlier.
Whilst a growing number of people in Britain boast facial hair, however, not everyone understands how best to groom their beards and create the desired look.
Interestingly, coconut oil has numerous properties that can aid the growth of your beard, whilst it’s proven to help moisturise the underlying skin. We’ll explore this further below, whilst considering the precise benefits of using coconut oil on a regular basis.
What are the coconut oil varieties?
As you could probably guess, coconut oil is extracted from the kernel of exotic coconuts, which typically grow in exotic and tropical climates.
Historically used in cooking and food preparation, coconut oil has also become an increasingly popular health supplement throughout the ages.
As a result, it’s now widely produced and sold in locations across the globe, and can be sourced in leading supermarkets across the length and breadth of the UK.
It’s increased popularity has coincided with coconut oil being awarded superfood status, as prior to this it was seen as little more than a delicious ingredient that carried a noticeably high saturated-fat content. It’s estimated that up to 83% of coconut oil is comprised of saturated fat, for example, and to put this into some context the corresponding figure for olive oil is just 14%.
However, further investigation has revealed that the saturated fat found in coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, which is thought to behave differently in the body than other types of saturated fat. More specifically, the fats in coconut oil may increase an individual’s level of so-called “good” cholesterol, whilst they can also be broken down rapidly and converted into energy.
It’s also interesting to note that there are two types of coconut oil typically sold in stores; namely virgin and refined.
The former is the most widely-sold amongst health enthusiasts in the UK, as virgin coconut oil is less processed than refined products and tends to retain its original flavour. Conversely, refined coconut oil goes through rigorous processing and subsequently boasts a neutral taste, whilst it may contain some additional additives.
Here’s a more detailed breakdown of the two types:
Virgin Coconut Oil
As we’ve already touched upon, virgin coconut oil represents the unrefined and completely raw form of the product.
It can be made through either a dry or wet process, whilst it was historically used for the feeding of mammals.
However, it’s now commonly used as cooking oil and an entirely natural food supplement, and one that continues to gain traction with an array of domestic markets.
More recently, it has even earned repute as a key component in organic cosmetic products, which is arguably why a growing number of men are using coconut oil to moisturise and protect their beards.
Refined Coconut Oil
In the case of refined coconut oil, the core component is typically extracted using chemical or physical processes.
The finished product is then manufactured by the methods of RBD and hydration, before being sent for packaging in hundreds of countries across the globe. These processes remove all of the impurities and odours from the oil, whilst potentially introducing some additional additives and compounds.
Refined coconut oil is typically produced for commercial use, as the processes involved make it unsuitable for consumption.
However, refined oil does help with the production of the aforementioned lauric acid, which has a series of potential health connotations within the human body.
So What are the Benefits of Using Coconut Oil on your Beard
With this knowledge in mind, the next step is to understand the benefits of coconut oil when it’s applied to your beard.
We’ve highlighted 15 of these below, whilst asking how they can contribute to thick, fulsome and healthy facial hair.
Make “Beardruff” a Thing of the Past
If a bald scalp can develop dandruff, then there’s no doubt that your facial hair could also find itself swamped by small white flakes of dry skin.
Colloquially referred to as “beardruff”, this can be extremely unsightly whilst it may also be indicative of overly dry skin and a lack of regular moisturising.
Fortunately, coconut oil provides a natural solution to the pesky issue of beardruff, as its organic properties can help to moisten the skin, reduce inflammation and even heal any wounds inflicted by shaving or trimming.
The medium-chain fatty acids found in coconut oil also feature antimicrobial properties, which are thought to treat the symptoms of acne and safeguard the skin against harmful bacteria.
Get Tough on Fungus and Bacteria
Interestingly, coconut oil also boasts antifungal and antibacterial properties, which can prevent the build-up of fungus and bacteria on the skin.
Make no mistake; fungus and bacteria can trigger various infections of the skin that sits underneath your facial hair, whilst those of you with a fulsome beard may find it difficult to identify any initial signs and symptoms.
It’s also fair to note that the skin on our face can quickly and easily become a breeding ground for bacteria, particularly in instances where the sebaceous glands produce an excess of sebum that proceeds to block the pores.
However, by regularly cleansing the pores on your face and applying coconut oil to your skin and beard, you can proactively tackle the build-up of bacteria and develop an inherently protective skincare regime.
Apply a One-two Moisturising Punch to your Beard
As you can probably tell by now, it’s imperative that you moisturise both your skin and beard if you’ve taken the time to grow facial hair.
Coconut oil is ideally placed to deliver this one-two moisturising punch, as this substance naturally hydrates your beard whilst also softening and cleansing the underlying skin.
This negates the risk of either your skin or facial hair drying out over a concerted period of time, whilst minimising instances in which you’re regularly exposed to the type of extreme climate that gradually takes a toll on your skin.
To fully realise this benefit, remember to massage the coconut oil deeply into your beard so that it penetrates the hair follicles and subsequently reaches the skin.
Drive Consistent Beard Growth
In addition to being an excellent moisturiser, coconut can also aid bearded individuals in a number of different ways.
It certainly has a positive impact on overall beard health and can help your facial hair to grow at a consistent pace over time.
According to the most knowledgeable coconut oil enthusiasts, the regular application of this substance can actively encourage the growth of your beard. This applies to both the length and thickness of your facial hair, and in this respect, it can help you to achieve the precise look that you desire.
By nourishing the skin beneath your beard, coconut oil will also minimise irritation of the hair follicles and prevent the growth of wild hairs. This definitely aids the growth of your beard, without compromising on its overall look.
Boost the Hormones that Enhance Beard Growth
On a similar note, there’s also evidence that coconut oil interacts positively with the individual hormones that boost beard and hair growth.
More specifically, research has shown that coconut oil boasts considerable antioxidant qualities and actively prevents the oxidative damage of testosterone. In one study, lab rats whose diets included coconut oil generated more of the enzymes associated with the production of testosterone, which is the hormone primarily responsible for beard growth.
If you have elevated levels of testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in your bloodstream or are particularly sensitive to these hormones, you’ll generally grow a thicker and more fulsome beard.
Of course, the flipside here is the those whose scalp hair follicles are also sensitive to DHT may be prone to male pattern baldness, but who doesn’t love the combination of a shaved head and a fully grown beard these days?
Add Some Shine to your Beard
If you regularly use beard balms and oils, you’ll know that natural oils such as jojoba and argan help to moisturise your skin and facial hair.
They also add a genuine sense of shine and lustre to your beard, but there are some who will argue that coconut oil surpasses its rivals in this respect.
Coconut oil certainly creates a nice-looking sheen for your beard, whilst serving the dual purpose of preventing the formation of tangled and knotted hair. It can even prevent split ends, minimising the risk of your beard becoming damaged over time.
Soften your Beard and Create an Easier to Shape Style
We’ve already covered the moisturising and conditioning properties of coconut oil at length, but these qualities undoubtedly contribute to a softer and more malleable beard.
By dramatically reducing the number of split ends and damaged hair follicles, coconut oil certainly creates beards that are smooth, even and relatively easy to shape into a preferred style.
Remember, there are around six growth stages to consider when cultivating facial hair, and during the formative weeks, you may find that your beard is rough and uneven. Whilst this gradually changes over time, using coconut oil will help to expedite the process and keep your beard smooth at all times.
Provide a Boost to the Shaving Process
Given the moisturising properties of coconut oil, it’s little wonder that it’s also highly beneficial when applied at any stage of the shaving process.
Whether you’re trimming your beard, striving to create a symmetrical look or looking to sculpt it into a particular shape, coconut oil helps to soften your skin and facial hair and minimise your discomfort.
In fact, coconut oil makes for an effective alternative to traditional shaving cream, as it provides additional lubrication that allows the blade to glide smoothly over your face. Even if you’re trimming, the blades will move seamlessly through even the thickest of beards to minimise snagging.
Of course, it goes without saying that coconut oil also serves as a soothing aftershave balm and one that hydrates your skins and prevents the risk of damage.
Protect Against Protein Loss and the Shredding of Hair
We spoke earlier about the much-publicised benefits of lauric acid, which in this instance allows the coconut oil to perform a deep penetration of your facial hair follicles.
This not only helps your beard to stay stronger and healthier for an extended period of time, but it also protects against protein loss and the sporadic shredding of hair when you shave or trim.
You can realise the full effect of this by massaging the coconut oil into your face once it has been applied, as this will also ensure that it moisturises the hair shafts and reaches right into the pores of your skin.
Achieve the Optimal Balance of Moisture on your Face
As coconut oil has become increasingly popular as a health and skincare supplement, it has featured in a number of different studies and research products.
One particularly intriguing study has revealed that coconut oil is able to “deeply penetrate” into the air, particularly in comparison with alternatives such as mineral oil.
This makes it ideally placed to prevent what is commonly referred to as hygral fatigue, where an excess of moisture that could lead to the potential swelling of the skin.
In laymen terms, coconut oil enables you to achieve the optimal balance of moisture on your face, as you look to avoid your skin becoming overly dry or oily. This can only be positive for your beard, especially if you’re looking to grow thick, fulsome and shiny facial hair.
And Finally – Can you Create your Own Coconut Oil Recipes?
Now that you’ve understood the benefits of coconut oil and how it can boost your beard, the next step is to determine how you can realise the incredible benefits of this substance.
Interestingly, a large number of the market leading beard oils and balms don’t actually include coconut oil as one of their ingredients so you may be better served by creating your own recipe at home.
This is not only a relatively simple measure that enables you to combine coconut oil with a host of other natural oils and compounds, but it’s also an affordable alternative to buying premium branded products.
We’ve included a simple and effective recipe below, although please bear in mind that you have some freedom in terms of the accompanying oils that you use to create your bespoke product.
A Balanced and Healthy Oil Recipe
Standard beard oils and balms primarily consist of natural oils, so your first step is to determine the exact composition of your product. We’ve selected the following:
- 1/2 oz Jojoba oil
- 1/2 oz Virgin coconut oil
- 7 drops Lavender oil
- 7 drops Rosemary oil
At this stage, you’ll also need to source a 1oz bottle to house your coconut oil recipe, and preferably one with a lid and an eyedropper that allows for the careful and precise application of the product.
Then, simply add your carrier and the remaining essential oils in the bottle and close the lid securely, before shaking it vigorously and allowing the mixture to settle.
Suddenly, your custom made beard oil is ready to use, and you can finally start to provide your facial hair with the TLC that it craves! Just remember, you’re relatively free to experiment with different oils as part of the mixture, with rosemary, almond and castor oils all capable of enriching your skin and facial hair.
The Last Word
The health benefits of coconut oil are increasingly well-known, with the triglycerides found in this substance helping us to burn 5% more calories on average every single day.
Whilst its effectiveness as a skincare supplement is less revered, there’s no doubt that it improves your overall beard health and add a definite sheen to your facial hair.
Hopefully, this post will help you to realise the full potential of coconut oil as part of your beard grooming regime, as you look to leverage its natural qualities and perhaps even create your own homemade oils.