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Coconut Oil for Hair: Benefits and How to Use

Using coconut oil for hair health is affordable and simple. The benefits of coconut oil for hair have been taught to us for generations, but is that a myth?

Coconut oil has a ton of benefits and can address many hair issues you want to fix. Whether you want to use it for hair growth or for added moisturization, it has numerous uses.

Find out everything you need to know about adding coconut oil to your hair care routine, how to use it properly, and the side effects to look out for.

What Does Coconut Oil Do for Hair?

Coconut Oil for Hair

Coconut oil has many benefits when applied to your scalp or rubbed into your strands before washing them off. Let’s now take an in-depth look at what exactly those benefits are!


As one of the best moisturizers, coconut oil can help prevent breakage and promote healthy hair. This oil is an excellent moisturizer for dry or dull locks because it contains vitamin E, lauric acid, and caprylic acid that strengthen hair from within.

Caprylic acid helps boost blood circulation, while vitamin E strengthens your hair’s outer lipid layer.


In its natural form, coconut oil contains MCTs — medium-chain triglycerides. These compounds are easily absorbed into the scalp and follicles, converting them into ketones that nourish the hair roots.

Eliminate Dandruff and Other Scalp Problems

Coconut oil is also a natural anti-fungal and antibacterial agent, meaning it can help with dandruff and other scalp problems, such as psoriasis.

How To Use Coconut Oil for Hair Care

Coconut oil can be an excellent solution for dull and dry hair. Here are some ways you can use coconut oil for hair.

Deep Conditioning

To deep condition your hair using coconut oil, first wash and towel dry your hair. Apply the coconut oil evenly through the entire length of wet hair (don’t apply near roots).

Leave for 30 minutes under a shower cap or in saran wrap, then rinse well with cool water until no more suds remain. Follow with shampoo and conditioner as usual.

Pre-shampoo Moisturization

applying coconut oil before shampoo

You can apply a small amount of coconut oil to your scalp and hair, massage it in, leave it on for 30 minutes, then wash it off with a mild shampoo. Repeat this weekly to keep the hair free from dandruff and excess oil.


Coconut oil can be useful when it’s time to style your hair, whether you have curly or straight strands. Since the oil is fantastic at keeping moisture locked in, it makes for an excellent styling product that keeps your hair shiny and soft without feeling greasy.

Apply it to clean damp strands and twist them into braids or buns if you want a more formal look, then sit back and wait without worry while they set overnight!

Dry Scalp Treatment

If you suffer from a dry scalp, you can use coconut oil to treat it. It’s an excellent solution for dull and dry hair. It is an amazing natural moisturizer and conditioner that will help nourish your scalp. Plus, it’s a great cleanser as well!

Massage a few tablespoons of virgin coconut oil into wet hair after washing. Allow the oil to sit for five minutes before rinsing thoroughly with lukewarm water. Repeat this process once daily until your scalp feels better.

Hair Mask

Ways To Use Coconut Oil for Hair - hair mask

You can use coconut oil for hair growth and as a hair mask once or twice a week, depending on how often your hair needs it.

Generally, leave it on anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours; if you have time and want more benefits (and don’t mind smelling like coconut), go for at least an hour.

Are There Any Side Effects of Using Coconut Oil for Hair?

Coconut oil works reliably to moisturize and nourish hair. However, it has some side effects for hair that you should be aware of before using it on your scalp or strands.

Can Cause Damage if Used in Excess

Coconut oil can be used as a temporary fix for damaged hair, but it’s not a permanent solution. The best way to use this oil for hair is to treat your scalp with it after washing your hair in the morning and then let it sit overnight.

Coconut oil treatments can make it challenging to attain positive results when trying to get amino acids into the hair follicles.

The hair oil sips into every follicle and blocks the amino acid treatment. You should only apply a small amount of the stuff at once (just enough so that you don’t see any clumps on your strands).

Can Result in Greasy Hair

side effects of coconut oil - greasy hair

If you’re using too much oil, your hair might start to feel heavy and look oily. Coconut oil has a high concentration of fatty acids that can weigh down fine hair types and cause an excess build-up on the scalp.

Can Cause Scalp Irritation or an Allergic Reaction

Some people may experience irritation or even an allergic reaction to coconut oil. Scalp irritation isn’t always a problem for most people. But if you get a reaction, you should discontinue use and consult your doctor, especially if it doesn’t go away.

How to Choose the Right Coconut Oil for Your Hair

To reap the full benefits of coconut oil for hair care, it is essential to choose the right type of coconut oil. When selecting the best coconut oil for your hair, consider the following factors:

Virgin vs. Refined Coconut Oil

Virgin Coconut Oil

This type of coconut oil is extracted from fresh coconut meat without the use of chemicals or high heat. It retains its natural aroma, flavor, and nutritional content, making it the ideal option for hair care. Virgin coconut oil contains a higher concentration of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, which are crucial for maintaining healthy hair and scalp.

Refined Coconut Oil

Refined coconut oil is processed from dried coconut meat, known as copra. It undergoes various treatments such as bleaching, deodorizing, and high heat, which may strip away some of its beneficial properties. While refined coconut oil may still offer some benefits for hair care, it is generally considered less effective than virgin coconut oil.

Organic and Ethically Sourced Options

Organically Sourced Coconut Oil

Organic coconut oil is produced without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Choosing organic coconut oil ensures that your hair care routine is free of harmful chemicals that could potentially damage your hair and scalp. Look for a certified organic label on the packaging to confirm that the product meets the necessary organic standards.

Ethically Sourced Coconut Oil

Ethical sourcing refers to the production of coconut oil in a manner that is environmentally sustainable, socially responsible, and economically viable. By choosing ethically sourced coconut oil, you are supporting responsible farming practices, fair labor conditions, and a sustainable supply chain. Look for certifications such as Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance, or similar labels that indicate the coconut oil has been produced ethically.

In summary, to choose the right coconut oil for your hair, opt for virgin and organic coconut oil that has been ethically sourced. This will ensure that you are using a high-quality product with maximum benefits for your hair and scalp while also supporting environmentally friendly and socially responsible practices.

Tips for Using Coconut Oil for Hair Properly

Tips for Using Coconut Oil for Hair Properly

One of the latest uses for coconut oil is applying it to your hair after you shampoo and condition it. There are many benefits to using the oil on your hair, but only if you use it properly! Follow these easy tips when using coconut oil for hair.

Hot Oil Application

You can warm your hair using a hair dryer. Alternatively, you could place it in a dish in the microwave for a few seconds.

Let It Sit

If you have time, leave the oil in your hair for five minutes or longer, depending on how much extra time you want to devote to hair care. The point is that it will work more effectively the longer you let it sit there.

Rinse Thoroughly

Once you’ve washed out your hair, make sure to rinse out all of the oil. Coconut oil can leave behind particles that look like dandruff.

If you have an allergy or sensitivity to coconuts, use a small amount of water-based shampoo on your scalp after washing it with soap and water.

Ingredients You Should Add to Coconut Oil For Hair Growth

  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 5 drops of rosemary essential oil
  • 2 – 4 tablespoons of honey
  • Castor oil (1:1 ratio)
  • Cinnamon (1:1 ratio)
  • Olive oil (½ cup with 1 cup of coconut oil)
  • Tea tree oil (add 10 drops)

Coconut oil is a versatile product used to moisturize the skin and hair. Some people use it as a deep conditioning treatment, while others prefer to apply it daily as a leave-in conditioner. As long as you’re using it in moderation, it results in many benefits.

Coconut oil is affordable and simple to apply to your hair, making it perfect to add to your weekly hair care routine.

Frequently Asked Questions

While coconut oil has some incredible benefits, it might not be for everybody. Below are some frequently asked questions about using coconut oil for hair care and styling.

Can I use coconut oil on curly hair?

Yes, you can use coconut oil on curly hair. This oil is useful for all hair types.

Is coconut oil really good for hair growth?

Yes! Coconut oil has been proven to aid in hair growth. It contains fatty acids and proteins that help strengthen your follicles and prevent breakage from occurring.

What kind of coconut oil to use for hair?

Unrefined virgin coconut oil is the best oil for your hair. Unrefined virgin oil is made from fresh coconuts and contains all the nutrients needed for healthy growth. These ingredients include vitamin E, antioxidants, lauric acid, and caprylic acid.

Does coconut oil make hair dry?

The answer to this question depends on the type of your hair. If you have oily or normal hair, coconut oil will make your hair look healthier and shinier. However, this oil will do more harm than good if you have dry and brittle hair.

What hair types should not use coconut oil?

If you have curly and coarse hair, coconut oil will only make it more frizzy and unmanageable. It coats each strand of your hair with a layer of wax that can make them look greasy and limp.

Are coconut oil hair masks good?

Coconut oil is one of the best natural ingredients for making homemade hair masks because it hydrates the scalp and nourishes damaged strands from within.

You can mix it with other natural ingredients like honey, avocado, or olive oil for the best results.

Can I use coconut oil for dandruff?

You can use the oil as a topical treatment by massaging it into your scalp for at least 20 minutes before rinsing it with shampoo.

Many people find that their dandruff symptoms improve after just a few weeks of regular coconut oil treatments.

How often should I use coconut oil for hair growth?

It may vary with hair type, but you can generally use coconut oil in your hair about 2-3 times per week. Use it less often if your hair feels greasy.

How long does it take for coconut oil to grow hair?

It depends on hair type and the frequency of using it, but the general consensus is that coconut oil takes anywhere from 2-6 months to make any difference in hair growth.

Can I mix ‘Vitamin E’ with coconut oil to boost my hair growth?

Yes, vitamin E is great for strengthening hair and making it less prone to falling out. If you choose to mix it with coconut oil, only add about 3-5 drops.

Is warm coconut oil good for thinning hair?

The temperature doesn’t matter much, but coconut oil is great for all hair types, especially thinning hair. This is because it strengthens the hair follicle, helps to retain protein, and makes it less likely to break.

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