QFQ: Does coconut oil ruin elastic bands?

This question comes from Angela and she asks, 'I just found your blog a few months ago and started using coconut oil which I like! The only downer is that all my hair ties, head bands and even satin bonnet have all gradually loosened. I think the coconut oil is eating away the elastic.....is this possible?'

A: Yes, I noticed it too, coconut oil does seem to degrade rubber more than any other hair product that I have used. Scientifically, I could not find a study on this although the fact that many things can degrade rubber is known (friction, water, heat, alcohol etc). I do agree with your observation, yes coconut oil does seem to affect elastic and loosen it . I guess I like coconut oil more so I am happy to replace the elastic items and keep using the oil.


  1. Hello again JC:) I bought some RBD coconut oil by mistake and was wondering if it was safe to use on my hair and skin.
    Does it penetrate like virgin coconut oil? I've read all your info here on coconut oil (im a HUGEEEEE fan lol)but it never mentions this type. Do these scientific studies include RBD? I've been online for weeks trying to find anything about this type but unsuccessful.. Please help if you're more successful.

    1. what is rbd coconut oil?

    2. Hey
      It means Refined Bleached and Deodorized coconut oil. Most commercial grade coconut oil is made this way. It is the one thats usually just called "coconut oil" (without the virgin distinction). Instead of being made from fresh coconut meat as the virgin coconut oil is, RBD is made from dried coconut meat or what they call copra. Copra is dried in very unsanitary conditions so chemicals and high heat is used to clean it. Its odorless and tasteless (some people that dont like the taste or smell of virgin coconut oil use this to cook). It is also often hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated.
      So based on these facts of RBD coconut oil would an oil that goes through this process be able to penetrate?
      I read on some sites this type of coconut oil clogs pores but there were no facts as to why it would so I cant believe it.

    3. So JC :) Based on the makeup of this oil would you think it would penetrate my hair shaft and if its ok/safe to use?

    4. I found a journal which compared RBD coconut oil to virgin coconut oil. They concluded that the two oils are very similar in composition. The only main difference was that virgin coconut oil had more of a compound called phenolic acid which is an antioxidant and therefore is a better choice for consumption.

      Based on that journal I would say that it is likely that the rbd coconut oil would behave in a similar way to virgin coconut oil.

      The paper - Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society,
      Volume 86, Number 4 (2009), pp301-307

    5. Thank you soooo much JC. I really appreciate this. Please keep doing what you do. My hair has grown so much since starting to read your blog because I understand what to do how to do it and why I should do things (real hard facts not someones opinion). Thank you soooooo much. I honestly cannot tell you that enough.
      Im a forever fan.

  2. Such an interesting revelation, indeed. I haven't noticed this. I'm using rubber band for my hair most of the time and I also apply coconut oil on my hair. Will try an experiment and see if this is true.

  3. Wow, this makes sense. I was using coconut oil exclusively on my hair and noticed my elastic bands turning to "goo", but this would explain it!


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