2 Types of Coconut Oil and Their Differences

Posted By Lovella Sitoy in Rapunzel on Feb 22, 2016

We know for a fact that coconut oil is an effective hair and skin remedy. When I first heard of virgin coconut oil, I was wondering if it’s just another marketing hype. Today, I realized that it is not. Have you also wondered about the meaning of “virgin” in virgin coconut oils? Does this mean they are purer and more effective than ordinary coconut oils?

In this article, let’s breakdown the two main classes of commercially-produced coconut oil. Are they produced using the same method? And do they give the same results? Let’s find out.

1. Virgin Coconut Oil

Virgin coconut oil, or sometimes called extra virgin coconut oil, is usually unrefined coconut oil. Meaning it is not exposed to chemical processes like bleaching and deodorizing. VCO is produced using either of these methods:
  • Dry method - In this process the coconut meat is dried first before extracting the oil using a machine press. 
  • Wet-milling method - In this method, the oil is pressed out of fresh coconut milk or coconut meat without drying it beforehand. 

Virgin coconut oil smells and tastes like coconuts. It also turns solid in cool, room temperatures. It’s oil is clear but it is greasier than fractionated coconut oil. VCO is rich in fatty acids, especially lauric acid. It has antioxidant and moisturizing properties. That’s why it is a great remedy for dry and damaged locks.

Uses of Virgin Coconut Oil

There are so many uses of virgin coconut oil. We can use VCO as an oral supplement and a topical treatment. We can use it as a kitchen and dining ingredient. For example, as an oil for cooking, as a salad dressing, a coffee creamer, as a healthy butter alternative, and many more. VCO is also an alternative health remedy.

Coconut oil is used as an effective hair and skin treatment due to its moisturizing properties. We can use it as an organic lip balm, a cuticle softener, cracked heel relief, or as a hot oil treatment to treat dry and thinning hair.

We can likewise use it as an after-shower moisturizer to seal in the skin’s natural moisture. It also found to heal skin conditions such as fungal infections, eczema, and psoriasis. With a simple Google search we can find hundreds of coconut oil uses that we can try at home.

2. Fractionated Coconut oil

Fractionated coconut oil, also known as liquid coconut oil, is a type of coconut oil where lauric acid is removed. To get this liquid coconut oil, it goes through a process called hydrolysis and then steam distillation.

The main difference between VCO and fractionated coconut oil is that the latter is less greasy and easily absorbed by the skin. This coconut oil is a better oil for skin and scalp preparations as it won’t clog up the pores. It doesn’t leave a greasy after-feel when applied on the skin. Fractionated coconut oil also blends well with other herbal oils, making it an excellent carrier oil.

Although fractionated coconut oil doesn’t have a good amount of lauric acid, it contains other fatty acids that still makes it an amazing moisturizer. It also has antioxidant vitamins such as vitamin C, A, and E. All these nutrients are beneficial to skin, hair, and nails.

Uses of fractionated coconut oil

This coconut oil type is a perfect facial oil and leave in hair conditioner because of its non-greasy and scentless quality. It is used as an ingredient in soaps, skin products, hair care products, and medicines. We can also use liquid coconut oil as a massage therapy oil and carrier oil when mixing spa oils. 

Which one is more effective?

Both oils are beneficial and healthy. Basically, your choice would depend on how you’re going to use the oil. Are you going to use coconut oil as a health supplement or as a hair loss or skin remedy?

Virgin coconut oil is both ingested and applied topically. The fractionated version on the other hand is mainly used for personal and beauty care purposes. Both have long shelf life but fractionated coconut oil can last for an unspecified period of time.
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