Natural oils are all the rage, but it can get frustrating to suss out which oils are right for your hair type. If you’re an aspiring naturalista looking for somewhere to begin your natural oil exploration, suggests coconut oil. Why? Because the fragrant oil helps moisturize your mane, is reputed to promote hair growth and can help repair damaged strands. Here’s how:

Coconut oil moisturizes. When this yummy oil is applied to wet hair (after shampooing use it as a deep conditioner), it helps strands retain moisture. Coconut oil coats the hair’s cuticle layer to seal in moisture. In addition, it boasts these beneficial side effects: It provides tresses with enhanced shine, and it makes hair easier to style.

Coconut oil helps repair. This lightweight oil contains vitamin E, which provides nourishment for your strands and scalp. When used on porous or damaged hair, this natural oil can help repair the protein structure of your locks. Some naturals massage coconut oil into the scalp to moisturize and help with length retention, but this practice is not for all. Some sistas complain that coconut oil causes serious itching when applied directly to the crown of the head, so if you have a sensitive scalp it may be better to limit application only to the hair.

But however you decide to fit coconut oil into your hair care regimen, this pleasant-smelling tropical oil may be just the rest you need from chemical-based hair moisturizers.

Click here to read about how what you eat affects your hair’s health.