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October 2012

Coconut Oil


The scientific name for coconut is Cocos nucifera.  Coconut is highly nutritious and rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It is classified as a "functional food" because it provides many health benefits beyond its nutritional content. Coconut oil is of special interest because it possesses healing properties far beyond that of any other dietary oil and is extensively used in traditional medicine among Asian and Pacific populations. Pacific Islanders consider coconut oil to be the cure for all illness. The coconut palm is so highly valued by them as both a source of food and medicine that it is called "The Tree of Life." Only recently has modern medical science unlocked the secrets to coconut's amazing healing powers.  n traditional medicine around the world coconut is used to treat a wide variety of health problems including the following: abscesses, asthma, baldness, bronchitis, bruises, burns, colds, constipation, cough, dropsy, dysentery, earache, fever, flu, gingivitis, gonorrhea, irregular or painful menstruation, jaundice, kidney stones, lice, malnutrition, nausea, rash, scabies, scurvy, skin infections, sore throat, swelling, syphilis, toothache, tuberculosis, tumors, typhoid, ulcers, upset stomach, weakness, and wounds.  Published studies in medical journals show that coconut, in one form or another may provide a wide range of health benefits. Some of these are summarized below with regard to how they might help us to better care for skin and coat in our grooming salons: 

  • Kills viruses that cause influenza, herpes, measles, hepatitis C, SARS, AIDS, & other illnesses.
  • Kills fungi and yeasts that cause candidiasis, ringworm, athlete's foot, thrush, diaper rash, & other infections.
  • Expels or kills tapeworms, lice, giardia, & other parasites.
  • Reduces inflammation.
  • Supports tissue healing & repair.
  • Supports & aids immune system function.
  • Helps prevent periodontal disease & tooth decay.
  • Functions as a protective antioxidant.
  • Helps to protect the body from harmful free radicals that promote premature aging & degenerative disease.
  • Supports thyroid function.
  • Applied topically helps to form a chemical barrier on the skin to ward of infection.
  • Reduces symptoms associated the psoriasis, eczema, & dermatitis.
  • Supports the natural chemical balance of the skin.
  • Softens skin and helps relieve dryness & flaking.
  • Prevents wrinkles, sagging skin, & age spots.
  • Promotes healthy looking hair & complexion.
  • Coconut oil has both antibacterial & anti-microbial (contains: Lauric Acid & Capric Acid) agents within its structure.
  • Provides protection from damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
  • Helps control dandruff.
  • Has no harmful or discomforting side effects.
  • Is completely non-toxic to humans & pets.


Coconut oil has long been reveled concerning canines when it comes to nutrition and overall health and longevity. There are many, many benefits to including coconut oil in your own diet and as a source of better overall health. It is recommended to suggest adding coconut oil to a dog’s diet, and this can be further researched and suggested along with those reasons to your pet clients in the salon for better pet health overall.

While coconut possesses many health benefits due to its fiber and nutritional content, it's the oil that makes it a truly remarkable food and medicine.  Coconut oil is an edible oil extracted from the kernel or meat of matured coconuts harvested from the coconut palm.  Coconut oil is usually divided into two main kinds – refined (RBD) oil and virgin oil. RBD coconut oil is oil derived from copra (the dried-out coconut core) and is lower in quality than virgin oil.  In the contrary, virgin oil is simply unrefined oil. It is derived straight from the coconut nucleus. This form of coconut oil making is the most non artificial form and no synthetic filtering is used. 

What Coconut offers to the skin and hair?

Moisture Retaining Capacity: Coconut Oil has high moisture retaining capacity, since it is not broken down easily nor evaporated, being very stable. It does not let moisture escape thus keeping hair moistened and soft. This prevents breakage of hair. Coconut Oil is a far better conditioner for hair than any synthetic one available in the market.

Vitamin-E: Almost every aptly educated person knows the importance of vitamin-E for skin and hair. It keeps scalp and skin healthy and hair rejuvenated.

Lauric & Capric Acids: Provide anti-microbial action and seek to help normalize the skin.

Anti-Dandruff: The various fatty acids present in Coconut Oil serve as very good anti dandruff agents and are way better than any anti dandruff shampoo.  A regular application can help you get rid of dandruff forever.

Stimulates Hair Growth: By thinly and evenly coating the skin and hair shaft, this oil helps to seal in adequate moisture needed to optimize the healthy skin and follicle flora, and to protect the individual hair shaft as well.

Studies have shown that virgin coconut oil actually penetrates the hair shaft. It does this on both damaged and undamaged hair, both as a pre-wash and post-wash product. Because "Coconut oil, being a triglyceride of lauric acid (principal fatty acid), has a high affinity for hair proteins and, because of its low molecular weight and straight linear chain, is able to penetrate inside the hair shaft." Studies have also shown that using coconut oil on hair prevented combing damage.

Coconut oil has a very low melting point (the temperature at which a solid turns into a liquid. It is equal to the freezing point as well), lending it well to easily being added to a variety of shampoo mixes as well as various care methods for the skin which can be easily done by a pet groomer in the salon. 

Different uses depending on the mix and formulas

One should read labels on the products being research when buying. Some products made for hair care specifically will be parted with petrolatum in order to “stretch” the actual level of coconut oil within the product. The more pure coconut oil a product contains, the more it likely will cost and the better it is for you dietary and cosmetically.  This can usually be noticed first by the consistency of the oil within the tub or jar. The more pure coconut oil is, the more slightly solid or caked, and opaquely white in color it will be. While it will still easily scoop from the jar, it melts readily against the warmth of the hands and does not leave a sticky residue behind once rubbed in.  One can use oil parted with petrolatum, but it will likely require more dubious bathing to remove all extra product. One must use virgin coconut oil for the skin and hair, not the not the refined, bleached, and deodorized coconut oil that is usually sold in the cooking section of the supermarket.

 This is a photo of more desirable oil for both feeding and skin care.

How to apply it to dogs in the salon

This oil can be added to a shampoo of your choice, but it most easily, for dilution purposes due to the varying dilutions and formulations of shampoos, for beginners, be added as a simple step ahead of the bath.

  1. warm virgin coconut oil first if it is solid, by placing the bottle in a pot of warm water. If you don't want to heat the whole jar, take some out and put it in a safe container for use in the salon (BPH free plastic only if using plastic), then place that in warm to hot water. Do not use the microwave as that is not good for the oil- it causes breakdown of the beneficial ingredients.
  2. you can add some essential oils if you like, depending on your particular needs.
  3. apply enough so that the hair is completely covered-can be from head to tail, especially upon any areas which are symptomatic, but not so much that it is dripping.
  4. put pet in a warm towel- either wet or dry and allow developing for 7-10 minutes.
  5. Follow with a warm rinse thru of water to help wet the coat, and then apply a shampoo of your choice and finish bathing as usual. Condition the coat as needed.

It’s that simple! Three extra steps, and approximately 15 extra minutes to begin the healing and bring the terrific qualities of this oil to your salon and your clients!

For further study of this wonderful and versatile oil, visit any number of reputable online sites or read the book: Coconut Oil Benefits: Your Hair, Skincare, Weight loss, Aid To Digestion, Immune System, Fights Infections And Heart Disease Benefits [NOOK Book] by Dr. Doris Patton