Coconut oil and hair color
  • I turned up one of your posts from a while ago, saying that using coconut oil might cause hair color to fade faster because the penetrating oil could "loosen" the dye and make it easier to wash out. I was wondering if there'd been any more definitive information that had come out since then, and whether that effect would happen even with rinse-off conditioners containing coconut oil, or only when the oil is left on the hair for some time.
  • Do you happen to have the link to that post so I can refresh my memory? Thanks. 
  • It's not even on the actual blog anymore, so I guess it's from before the crash, but I found it archived or reproduced here: http://archive.feedblitz.com/64871/~4243544
  • Ah, thanks. It was helpful to see the information in its original context. Now I'll try to answer your questions: 

    "I was wondering if there'd been any more definitive information that had come out since then"
    Nope, I haven't seen any specific studies on this. Without data it's only my GUESS that coconut oil would cause a problem with dyed hair. The bigger issue could be trying to dye hair that's been freshly treated with coconut oil. Since the oil "water proofs" the inside of hair it might make it hard for the dye to penetrate. That could be more of a  problem than the oil "loosening" the dye once it has penetrated and polymerized. 

    "whether that effect would happen even with rinse-off conditioners containing coconut oil"
    This won't be an issue. If the coconut oil is delivered from a rinse off product it won't penetrate much for three reasons: 1) the use level will be too low. 2) The oil is emulsified which helps it rinse off. 3) Since it's a rinse off product it won't be left on the hair long enough for the oil to penetrate. Studies have shown that soaking hair in oil over night is the most effective. 

  • Thanks!  That kind of begs the question for me, then, what the point of including oils in a rinse-off is, for instance, in this product (http://www.naturallycurly.com/curlproducts/view/10047/sheamoisture-coconut-hibiscus-curl-shine-conditioner-conditioner-13-oz) which claims to have several oils as major components.  If they're just rinsing off, are they basically for show?  Would they have any functional effect?


  • With the right kind of rinse off formula you can get certain oils to deposit on the hair but only in limited quantities. That's enough to provide some surface lubrication but not enough to provide a coating that will soak in. 

    In many many many cases these oils are just added as featured ingredients which look good on the label but don't really do anything. 

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