Coconut oil is finally getting the accolades that it deserves. From dental health and skin care to weight loss and beyond, coconut oil has become popular in the western world over the past few years. But did you know that virgin coconut oil has amazing benefits for your hair?
Here are eight major ways that virgin coconut oil can strengthen, protect, rejuvenate, and give a beautiful shine to your hair. Remember, unrefined, organic, cold-pressed virgin coconut oil is your best option (and should always be used when taken internally).
Coconut oil is solid at cold temperatures but melts at 76 degrees F (24.5 C) or above. So if your coconut oil is solid, measure a few tablespoons of coconut oil (depends on your hair length) in a cup and place it in a bowl of warm water to melt it.
1. Coconut Oil as a Hair Conditioner and Moisturizer
Coconut oil can add luster and shine to your hair when used as a deep conditioner. This is because its chemical make-up makes it bond tightly to hair, unlike other oils and chemicals used in commercial hair care products, by and large.
A study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Science in 2007 found that coconut oil users showed an impact on the amount of moisture their hair was able to absorb: these people showed water absorption at rates not even comparable to the control groups. 5
To achieve a natural, healthy deep conditioning treatment, do the following:
Wash hair as normal and do not blow dry.
Scoop 1-3 tablespoons of coconut oil into a small bowl.
Add a few tablespoons of warm water to a slightly larger bowl, then rest the coconut oil bowl within it.
When oil is at room temperature and malleable, scoop it up into fingers and massage throughout hair.
Wrap hair in shower cap or cover with a hand towel and allow the treatment to work for a half hour or more, up to two hours.
Remove cap or towel and rinse oil from hair.
Shampoo as usual to remove oily remnants.
To get better results you can add a few drops of these essential oils for healthy hair.
2. Coconut Oil to Promote Hair Growth and Prevent Hair Loss
I’ve already discussed a number of natural treatments to promote hair growth such as onion for hair growth, castor oil and rosemary but did you know that you can use coconut oil for hair growth?
According to a report published in the Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, coconut oil has been used for centuries to create a concoction for promoting hair growth.
Coconut oil has been traditionally mixed with aloe vera to promote hair growth.
To grow longer, healthier hair mix 3 tablespoons of melted coconut oil with 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel.
Apply to hair and then sleep with a shower cap. Rinse out with or without an apple cider vinegar (ACV has amazing benefits for your hair), then style as you normally do, with added luster and length!
Another way to encourage hair growth is by mixing coconut oil with Eclipta prostrata (false daisy). According to a research published in the Archives of Dermatological Research, extracts of false daily decreased the amount of time it took for hair to begin regrowing and to fully regrow. 3
Add a few drops of false daisy oil (or use a dry powder) to a few table spoons of coconut oil and use it to message your scalp in order to promote hair growth.
As an added bonus the extract from this flower is touted as a means of keeping black hair black, and preventing breakage due to normal aging and you can read more about it in the next section.
3. Coconut Oil for Preventing Gray Hair
If you mix the false daisy leaf with coconut oil, you may be able to prevent your darker hair from turning gray.
For centuries, women in India have sworn by coconut oil and Eclipta prostrata (false daisy) mixed together and then applied to the hair to keep the color of the hair black and radiant.1
Add a few drops of false daisy oil to a few tablespoons of coconut oil and use as a typical hair mask to reap the anti-gray rewards for yourself.
Another way to prevent gray hair is by mixing coconut oil with Chinese hibiscus, or Hibiscus rosa sinensis. The extract from this rosy pink or red flower is touted as a means of keeping black hair black, and preventing breakage due to normal aging.2
You can also use a number of natural supplements for premature gray hair.
4. Coconut Oil for Dry and Frizzy Hair
Because hair frizz is mostly caused by hair shaft dryness and brittleness, anything that moisturizes and smooths the hair shaft can improve the frizz.
If your hair is frizzy, you can use some coconut oil to tame it. Dry, curly hair tend to lift when you brush them, so put a little bit of coconut oil on your fingers and run them through your hair to prevent the frizz.
Make sure you don’t overdo it with the oil or you’ll just end up with an oily look.
5. Coconut oil as a Dandruff Fighter
Dermatitis, or dandruff, can also be battled using coconut oil.
To keep dandruff at bay, use the above treatment for deep conditioning. Instead of rinsing and washing after two hours, leave the oil on overnight in a watertight cap. The following morning, you can wash with shampoo or use apple cider vinegar rinse as a way to remove excess oil.
You can also add a few drops of these essential oils to the mixture or use apple cider vinegar to get rid of dandruff.
6. Coconut Oil for Getting Rid of Lice
Commercially available lice treatments are harsh and poisonous, so taking 3-4 days to explore effective natural treatments for lice before resorting to potentially toxic treatments is worth the time and trouble.
One tried-and true way to eliminate a lice infestation (including those nits) is by rinsing you hair with apple cider vinegar (ACV) and covering it with coconut oil.
How to get Rid of Lice with Coconut Oil and ACV
Apple cider Vinegar (ACV)
1. Rinse your hair with the vinegar (which is also great for your hair), don’t wash it out, leave it in until it dries. The vinegar should dissolve the ‘glue’ which sticks the eggs to your hair follicles. Warning: if you have an irritated scalp, avoid putting vinegar on the scalp, as it may irritate it too much.
2. When the vinegar has dried, pour coconut oil into your hair, making sure you get complete coverage.
3. Cover your hair with a shower cap or hair wrap & leave it in for a few hours.
Comb your hair to get as many of the eggs & lice out as possible and then shampoo as normal. There is an anecdotal evidence that you only have to do this once and it really works without any chemicals!
If this does not work, try my other natural lice treatments or try to use this vinegar and Listerine lice treatment.
7. Coconut Oil for Damaged Hair
A study conducted in 2003 and published in the Journal of Cosmetic Science found that coconut oil was the winner in a test between coconut oil, sunflower oil and mineral oil in preventing damage to the hair shaft.4
If you have damaged hair, massage your scalp with coconut oil which will heal the damage that is caused to your hair.
According to an article published in the Journal of Cosmetic Science, coconut oil, is a rich source of lauric acid (principal fatty acid), and has a high affinity for hair proteins. Because of its molecular properties, it can also penetrate deep inside the hair shaft.
8. Coconut Oil as a Daily Detangler
Curly or dry hair tangles easily, both after washing and throughout the day. You can use coconut oil after a shower to work through post-washing tangles, or apply to dry hair to fight the effects of a windy day.
Apply a little bit of coconut oil to the palm of your hand. Depending on the length of your hair and how dry it is, you may require more coconut oil to thoroughly coat your hair. Work with small amounts to avoid over oiling.
Rub the oil over your whole hand.
Start at the tips of your hair and work toward the scalp, distributing the coconut oil evenly over your entire head. Alternatively, you can just apply to a badly tangled area for spot control.
Use a wide-toothed comb and begin brushing out your hair at the tips and working toward the scalp. Work in small sections. This will help prevent breakage of the hair shaft.
Keep your Coconut Oil in your Bathroom
Coconut oil is great for your hair—just as much as it is for the rest of your body. What have you got to lose? Try these coconut oil hair treatments and find out how well this ancient, healthy and natural treatment can work for you and your hair. Make sure to keep it in your bathroom as there are 10 genius reasons to keep coconut oil in your bathroom.
We've drawn references from a number of credible sources.
You can visit our Reference Page to find out more.