Coconut oil is one of the most wholesome and versatile natural products. Not just to cook with and to use on your skin, but also to nourish and protect your hair. Using coconut oil for your hair and scalp can truly transform it in amazing ways.
The high percentage of MCT’s, antioxidants and minerals offer many valuable benefits that can be obtained through different hair treatments.
MCT’s (Medium Chain Triglycerides) are fatty acids in coconut oil that contain strong antimicrobial properties;
Antibacterial – Help eliminate different types of bacteria.
Antifungal – Help get rid of fungus and yeast infections.
Antiparasitic – Kill lice and other parasites and helps the body detoxify any harmful substances left behind.
Antiviral – Lauric acid converts into monolaurin in our body, an anti-viral agent which boosts immunity and helps fight off viruses.
So what exactly does coconut oil do?
Due to the unique molecular structure of MCT’s, coconut oil manages to penetrate deeper into your hair than any other oil. This means that it doesn’t just make your hair look good from the outside, but it truly works from the inside out.
When it comes to hair care, coconut oil’s most powerful asset is that it helps restore protein loss.
Scientific research has shown that coconut oil reduces protein loss remarkably for both undamaged and damaged hair when used as a pre-wash and post-wash treatment.
The other oils that were tested sunflower oil and mineral oils, turned out to not help with protein loss at all.
Using coconut oil for your hair nourishes it and retains moisture on the inside of the hair shaft. This in turn strengthens the hair fibre, helps reduce hair loss and stimulates new hair growth.
Antimicrobial properties keep the scalp healthy and protect it from itching and infections. Applying coconut oil on your scalp helps prevent dry skin build-up, which can eventually cause dandruff.
This versatile oil is also a very powerful natural head lice treatment, especially when used with apple cider vinegar.
Coconut oil can add more volume to your hair, adds a healthy shine and is especially good to give body to curls. Plus as a bonus it gives your hair this delicious, tropical scent.
If you are someone who styles her hair a lot, you’ll be happy to know that using coconut oil for your hair helps protect it from damage caused by dryers, irons and rollers. Nevertheless go easy on those – the less you use them, the better!
All these amazing properties makes coconut oil a popular ingredient in hair products such as shampoos and conditioners.
And what’s great is that you can easily make many of these yourself!
How to use coconut oil for your hair?
A little really goes a long way here, especially at first to see how your hair reacts to it.
You don’t want your hair covered in large amounts of coconut oil, it will not work better or faster, the opposite actually.
The more coconut oil you use, the more shampoo you will need to wash it out and that’s something you want to avoid.
Here are some of my favorite ways to use coconut oil for your hair;
Hair conditioner / Pre-poo treatment
Use coconut oil for your hair to grow thicker, fuller hair and keep your scalp healthy.
Apply it on clean, dry hair; massage 1-2 tbsp of virgin coconut oil into your scalp and into your hair. You might need more or less, depending on your hair length and thickness. Use a shower cap and leave the coconut oil for at least 30 minutes.
Wash your hair – it might need an extra wash or two to get all the oil out, especially if you’re using a mild, natural shampoo.
Frizzy hair is caused by heat and humidity, which can be climate related or from regular use of blow dryers, hot curlers or flat irons.
It’s not only unaesthetic, it can also damage your hair because it makes the hair swell and then shrink again.
To protect your hair from frizz, apply a tiny bit of coconut oil on your hands and run your fingers through your damp (not wet) hair. This will lock in the moisture, protect the hair shaft and tame the frizz.
Eyelash & eyebrow conditioner
The nutrients in coconut oil moisturize your eyelashes and eyebrows, help avoid protein loss and stimulate hair growth.
Gently rub a bit of coconut oil mixed with castor oil on your lashes before you go to sleep and let it work overnight.
Split hair ends treatment
This homemade treatment helps support healthy hair ends;
Mix 1 tbsp of coconut oil with 1/2 tbsp of argan oil and 1/4 tbsp of castor oil and massage it into your hair ends. Cover your hair with a shower cap and leave it on for at least 30 minutes. Rinse well.
Make your own hair mask combining two great natural hair treatments; coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil.
This mix of healthy fatty acids and antioxidants will boost your scalp and hair from the roots to the hair ends.
Mix coconut oil with half the amount of olive oil and massage it into clean, dry hair.
Leave in for 1 hour or overnight with a shower cap and towel on. Wash out well.
Old skin from a dry, very oily or infected scalp results in itchiness, flaking, redness and irritation which can lead to the oh so uncharming dandruff.
Coconut oil’s antimicrobial properties help cure and calm the scalp. Lauric acid, capric acid and vitamin E ease and moisturize it.
Gently massage 2 tbsp coconut oil into your scalp. Let it work for 30 minutes and wash it out. Do this once a week until you see a difference.
To protect your hair from the sea, sun or pool chemicals, rub a bit of coconut oil into your hair and put it in a bun. It will seal and protect your hair.
Hair styling wax
Rub a bit of coconut oil through your hair to style it or make a homemade natural hair pomade combining coconut oil, candelilla wax (a vegan beeswax alternative) shea butter and jojoba oil.
Better for your hair and the environment and much cheaper!
Hair dye aid
If you dye your hair by yourself you want to protect your skin from the dye. Rub some coconut oil along your hairline before you apply the hair dye. It will prevent it from running onto your face and leaving stains.
Coconut oil is a popular ingredient in many shampoos. You can buy a good natural shampoo made with coconut oil, add some coconut oil to your natural shampoo or make your own.
Coconut oil for your hair
As with everything – each of us is unique and reacts differently.
How coconut oil will work for you depends on your hair type and condition.
Black -African style- and other curly hair: these hair types generally benefit a lot from coconut oil.
Not only does it restore the hair’s protein and protects it by sealing it, it literally gives life to curly hair.
Black hair requires special care – specifically during washing. It is much more sensitive to damage because it absorbs more water than other types of hair such as Caucasian and Asian hair.
It swells up more and when it shrinks back during drying, it can damage the hair cuticle. This is especially the case when the hair is porous.
A pre-shampoo treatment with coconut oil is a powerful, natural way to minimize this and grow stronger, healthier hair.
Regular coconut oil use in between washes helps keep the hair healthy.
Straight, Caucasian hair: coconut oil can do a lot here, depending on the type.
Normal, thick healthy hair can be maintained with coconut oil to keep it strong and protected, adding shine, stimulating hair growth and protecting it from sun and sea/chlorine water damage.
Damaged hair: coconut oil has the biggest impact on damaged hair (often chemically treated), as it manages to penetrate it best. The hair cuticle is already more opened and vulnerable, which makes it easier to bind to the proteins and repair them.
Fine or thin hair: coconut oil can make this type of hair oily and heavy, so try with a tiny bit first to see how your hair reacts.
A little bit can be as little as a quarter of a teaspoon for shoulder-length hair.
It’s very important to rinse it well afterwards to get everything out as to not weight it down.
Oily hair: this really depends on the source of the oiliness. As with skin an over-production of oil can be the result of dryness and the body trying to overcompensate for it.
Other times the body just produces more oil than average and the last thing you want is to add more oil to it.
My best advise is to consult with a hair professional and / or dermatologist (as it’s usually also a scalp issue) on how to proceed.
Asian hair: coconut oil as hair care has been used since ancient times in many parts of Asia such as India.
Often mixed with herbs it is used for different remedies such as against hair-loss, for a healthy scalp etc. Hot oil scalp massages, overnight hair masks, coconut oil as a styling gel.. all traditionally used by Indian women who have always had a thing for natural bodycare.
Most of them are blessed with naturally gorgeous hair.
I hope you enjoyed this article about coconut oil for hair.
As always – use a good quality, organic virgin coconut oil; cold-pressed and centrifuged oils retain the highest amount of nutrients.
And if possible, please consider using brands that are sustainable and commit to fair working conditions for those producing them. ♥
What are your favorite ways to use coconut oil for your hair? Share it with the coco community on Instagram @coconutqueendom