Research suggests that chemical treatments (bleaching, relaxing, colouring, over-processing) and UV, thermal processing, exposure causes hair damage which increases porosity and swelling of the hair cuticle causing the hair to become rough and dull. I have this problem, I think my hair is dull and it is certainly rough and I wondered what was the best way to improve this.
One study I came across explained that Coconut oil treatments prevented combing damage of various hair types and found that Coconut Oil has a superior effect on hair in comparison to Sunflower Oil and Mineral Oils, which are not found to penetrate the hair shaft. The following extract explains their findings: "Among three oils, Coconut Oil was the only oil found to reduce the protein loss remarkably for both undamaged and damaged hair when used as a pre-wash and post-wash grooming product. Both sunflower and mineral oils do not help at all in reducing the protein loss from hair. This difference in results could arise from the composition of each of these oils. 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" Source: Europe PubMed.
I have often wondered, what exactly is the scientific value of hair oils. Besides the articles that I see on Google and other peoples experinces with the product. The info above leads me to believe that it is scientifically beneficial to the hair, so in short, I think I'll be using more Coconut Oil from now on!