What You Need to Know ing Coconut Oil for Hair

If you’re looking for soft, shiny hair, you can try grabbing a can of coconut oil. This natural oil is suitable for almost all hair types and is rich in fatty acids that are good for skin and hair.

This article explains why coconut oil can help repair daily damage, improve texture, and restore hair health and shine. It also describes how to use it and how to choose a good oil.


Hair is made of proteins, especially keratin. Dyes, bleach, shampoos, and styling products can destroy this protein, leaving hair dull and brittle.

There is some evidence that lauric acid, a saturated fat rich in coconut oil, can benefit your hair by preventing protein loss.

damaged hair

In a 2015 report, researchers reviewed several studies testing the effects of vegetable oils on human hair. The authors note that coconut oil is similar to natural hair protein and has a unique ability to penetrate the hair shaft (the part of the hair that appears above the scalp).

By penetrating the hair, coconut oil reduces the amount of moisture the hair absorbs. This helps limit daily hair damage.

Additionally, a review study determined that coconut oil was the only oil that reduced protein loss. The same was true for undamaged and damaged hair when participants used the oil as a pre- and post-wash grooming product.

The study also determined the effects of mineral oil and sunflower oil on hair. Neither helped reduce protein loss.

How the hair follicle growth cycle works

dry scalp, dandruff

There is some evidence that you can use coconut oil to help control a dry, itchy scalp and accompanying dandruff.

A 2021 study of 140 people in India (70 with dandruff and 70 without dandruff) found that coconut oil applied topically to the scalp has antibacterial and antifungal properties. It also reduces scalp flaking.

Other research suggests that coconut oil may help repair the skin barrier, which is the top layer of the skin. This will make it a good treatment for dandruff and dry skin.

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Coconut oil has also been found to fight scalp yeast infections.

Evidence from one study showed that coconut oil has anti-inflammatory properties, and study participants also increased the production of collagen, the major structural protein in skin and other tissues.

While there isn’t any scientific research on the link between collagen and hair, personal testimonies and theories claim that collagen treatments are beneficial. And there’s no evidence that collagen supplements are particularly helpful—a healthy diet is the best way to get collagen.


Using coconut oil on your hair can prevent protein loss, which can prevent your hair from looking and feeling damaged. Coconut oil also provides a barrier for the scalp. This can reduce the risk of dandruff and itching.


Coconut oil is one of the most versatile hair oils, and it works wonders as a pre-shampoo, conditioner, styling aid, or mask.

Here are four easy ways to revive your hair care routine with coconut oil:

  • Pre-wash protector: Using coconut oil before shampooing can prevent your hair from absorbing too much moisture, which can lead to damage and dryness. Try applying coconut oil 15 to 30 minutes before shampooing, focusing on the midsection and ends of your hair.
  • Conditioner: Coconut oil may help strengthen the hair shaft and prevent breakage. You can use coconut oil as an alternative to standard conditioners. Or add a few drops of oil to your regular conditioner to enhance its smoothing effect.​
  • Styling Aid: When it comes to taming frizz, just a little coconut oil can go a long way. For easier absorption and styling, be sure to apply the oil to damp hair.
  • Hair Mask: For an ultra-nourishing hair treatment, massage a teaspoon or two of the oil into your hair. Wash off after a few hours and leave overnight if your hair is particularly dry or damaged.

For best results, some hair care experts recommend using coconut oil about two to three times a week.

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Tips for Using Coconut Oil in Hair Care

Coconut oil may benefit all hair types. It is especially suitable for dry, damaged or color-treated hair.

However, some people worry that repeated use of coconut oil may lead to stiff hair in people with rough hair.

To get the most out of coconut oil in your hair care regimen:

  • Heat the oil first: It may be easier to apply the coconut oil if you warm it up before applying it to your hair. Put a teaspoon of oil in a bowl, then place in a container with some hot water. The coconut oil will turn into a liquid in a few minutes. You can also place the solidified oil in the palm of your hand and rub it with your hands to melt it. Avoid heating oil in the microwave to prevent it from becoming dangerously high.
  • Blend: Add a few drops of essential oils like lavender or peppermint to coconut oil for extra aromatherapy benefits. You can also mix coconut oil with natural hair-nourishing ingredients like yogurt, honey, or avocado.
  • Use at night: It takes time for hair to absorb coconut oil, so if you use coconut oil in the morning, your hair will look greasy. Instead, use it at night, then shampoo in the morning.
  • Apply lightly: Although coconut oil is relatively light, coconut oil can make hair heavy if used too much. To avoid build-up, start with a small amount (no more than a teaspoon) and massage your hair gently, starting in the middle and continuing to the ends. If you have thick hair, you can use a little more.
  • Don’t clog the scalp: Some people find that applying coconut oil directly to the scalp can relieve dryness. Others, on the other hand, struggle with issues like irritation and clogged pores. If you’ve never used coconut oil on your scalp, start with a small amount until you know how your skin reacts.
  • Shampoo twice: When it comes time to remove coconut oil from your hair, keep in mind that a second shampoo may be required to remove the smoothness.

Why is my scalp sore?


Since everyone’s hair is different, the best way to use coconut oil varies from person to person. You may need to adjust the timing and dosage to avoid greasy hair or buildup on the scalp.

Choose coconut oil

When shopping for the best coconut oil for hair, choose the unrefined variety (aka virgin or extra virgin). If possible, choose organic, sustainably harvested products.

Unrefined Coconut Oil

  • From the first pressing of fresh raw coconuts

  • No added chemicals

  • Has a unique coconut aroma

Refined Coconut Oil

  • Made from Dried Coconut Kernels

  • Deodorization and bleaching through a series of processes

Cold-pressed products are a good option because these oils do not use heat or chemicals for extraction.

Look for products like Garden of Life’s Unprocessed Extra Virgin Coconut Oil or Dr. Bronner’s Organic Virgin Coconut Oil. These labels carry symbols that guarantee high-quality oils (for example, the Fairtrade Certified Seal or the Non-GMO Certified Seal).


Coconut oil may help moisturize and repair damaged hair. It has also been shown to prevent dandruff. You can use it as a pre-wash treatment, conditioner, hair mask or styling aid.

Use a small amount first and see how your skin reacts. If you like the results and there are no problems, apply the oil about 2 to 3 times a week.

Remember, it’s a bit far, so just use a teaspoon and focus on the midsection to the ends of your hair. Choose unrefined coconut oil for best results.

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